Analyze This!

finger As we TCTers know, Facebook is in the marketing business — nothing more, nothing less. Its reason for existence is to make money by providing other major corporations with a new and improved vehicle for spying on people’s off-the-job habits and preferences.

As such, Facebook is 100 percent subject to the logic of big business marketing, including its competitive, ceaseless expansion and refinement.

Hence, the recent news that Facebook’s subordinate property, the Instagram photo-sharing “service,” has recently started offering Facebook’s real clients access to the new GazeMetrix image analyzer.

What’s that, you ask? Per Advertising Age:

Instagram’s rise is spawning an ecosystem of startups such as Statigram and Nitrogram looking to provide analytics to brands….GazeMetrix’s ability to see what’s inside photos without relying on hashtags to interpret which are relevant is its differentiator.

GazeMetrix is an early stage startup with image-recognition software to let brands track where their logos are being photographed across social media….The idea is to give brands a window into how their logos are representing them, as well as an opportunity to contact users who’ve posted photos of Starbucks cups or cats hugging Coke bottles, and ask for permission to republish them on their own channels.

Of the 25 brands GazeMetrix is tracking, Starbucks is tops in terms of the volume of photos featuring its logo. Runners-up are Coca-Cola, BMW, Monster Energy, Google and Corona.

Translated into English, what this says is that Facebook is gaining the ability to collect data on its victims not only through the words they click on and type, but also through computerized recognition and analysis of the pictures and symbols they post.

TCT wonders: How long until there are Facebook Life CamerasĀ© hung in every home?

10 Replies to “Analyze This!”

  1. A: Not long at all, and it’ll happen seamlessly, and we’ll wonder how did we ever live without LifeCameras ;(.

    I deleted my Facebook long ago, but occasionally peruse my spouse’s account, and it has become terrifying:

    1) approx 20% of the screen is now occupied by ads
    2) ads also pop up in your wall
    3) more and more people “like” brands and companies, and Facebook makes sure you really, REALLY know about it
    4) The behavior of people itself has changed – it is the exact same narcissistic bullshit regardless of person and whatever personality differences *may* have existed in the not so distand past. Overwhelming majority of status updates are about what so and so consumed, followed by humblebrags, followed by these annoying picture+quote or text memes that apparently constitute political debate nowdays.
    Basically it has gotten so terrible, that it gives me minimal hope – maybe people will wake up to how shitty it is and it’ll follow myspace? Or maybe it is already too late.

  2. Yep… I saw the ‘news’ on facebook (of course…), posted by people who, for reasons I don’t understand, think that posting anything on FB equals “raising awareness” (while in reality it is absolutely nothing than a safe pressure release valve; feeling like they’ve done ‘something’, they can go back to their regimented lives).

    I don’t think there is room for much doubt that these incidents are absolutely non-news at this point (unless the body count is ridiculously high, but even that stops having an effect eventually). It is non-news just as the illegal detention and mistreatment of B. Manning, and god knows how many other whistle blowers, is non-news. (I have to conclude that the next logical step – ramping up the murders or the disappearances of incovenient US citizens will be non-news as well).

    In the face of this perfectly avoidable tragedy, I must confess, without having my head explode due to inconsistency, I increasingly believe everybody should be armed to the teeth. The gun craze is so far gone in this culture, that I’m afraid there is no point in restricting legal access to gun to citizens, esp. given they may really need them for self-defense one day.

  3. Even if you follow that line of thought, the arms allowed the citizenry are ineffective. Even an entire city of the craziest NRA members, protected behind a circular titanium wall twenty feet high, falls in seconds to the Air Force. A fighter wing can pacify a recalcitrant state in, literally, hours. The illusion of safety is the thought, “The USG would never dare kill that many people to accomplish objective ________,” but of course, they would. Um, the Congo.

    Armor piercing, fully-automatic assault rifles are effective for use in the hands of soldiers gunning down Iraqi families and crowds of student protesters, or lone wackos, who had absolutely no help from intelligence agencies, gunning down moviegoers, but they bounce off tank hides, can’t reach helicopters, are far too slow for fixed-wing ground assault craft, and do no good even against mopping-up soldiers when the building collapses on top of their wielders.

    Elites are very happy letting people feel safe with various pea-shooters.

  4. Of course, there is no question that the weapons you can own legally are absolutely useless against what’s available to the military. Even their simplest weapons (i.e. the rifles) are equipped with enhancements and ammunition that gives the advantage to the soldier, even if vastly outnumbered.

    And of course, there is the air support, the specialized training, the organization, the communication, the drugs – none of which the citizenry has the remotest ability to mach, even if it is aware of them.

    So, in any isolated disturbances, centralized power will prevail. The only circumstance in which this is not guaranteed is a truly mass resistance, in which case even the pea shooters will suffice. Present day power needs large scale resources and organization, and if that becomes impossible to maintain due to widespread unrest, it may crumble.

    Imagine how different world history could be if more peoples organized and did what the Zulu did at the battle of Isandlwana? (i.e. fuck up the artillery possessing, rifle firing, well organized British really, really good).

    So I am not worried about the outcome if it ever comes to that. I am worried that the power of propaganda will keep people sedated even if their fellow citizens are being killed.

    What happened in Congo? (other than us encouraging the perpetual warfare). Do you mean actual US strikes on civilians?

  5. PS: And also, let’s not forget the 3 million or so veterans, not all of which are brainwashed killing machines. Homeboys’ve got skills, and some of them – morals. While the times have changed a lot since the 1990s, this is exactly what happened with the OK city bombing. By now sufficient doubt exists to suggest that Mcveigh did not act alone – if he was even ever directly involved. So, if the Waco massacre was enough to piss enough people off, maybe not all hope is lost. Or maybe it is. If more people were pissed and protested in large numbers, the bombing may have not happened

  6. I find it pretty interesting, too, the complete practical failure of the cartoon fantasy that underlies personal handgun ownership. There were 10,000 people in that mall. That means there had to be hundreds of people carrying guns or with guns in their cars. Where were the brave heroes who had the wits and skills to draw and shoot back? Nowhere, of course, for a host of reasons, not least being the primal power of fear and self-preservation.

  7. Yep, deaths are ‘easy’ and ‘entertaining’ only when somebody else does the killing.
    I’ve shot both pistols and rifles, and it is darn hard to hit a target, especially with a handgun – which is a very weak and inaccurate weapon (no wonder pistols are not part of the standard issue military equipment), and it’s difficult even when you’re calm and relaxed and don’t have to worry about being shot back at.

    In the United States of Amnesia, most people are unaware that the oh so “traditionally American” concealed carry of handguns was illegal for the longest time and only got relaxed in the late 1980s or so (?). Before that, gun ownership overwhelmingly meant – “rifle ownership”. Which makes far more sense: you can feed yourself with a rifle, it is actually a useful semi-military weapon, and is less likely to be abused and misused casually the way handguns can be…

    People are also unaware that they have largely the Black Panthers to thank for the resurgence of arm ownership and liberalization.

    But, what can I say. Paranoia is a profitable business – dem’s handguns ain’g going to sell themselves. Living in Texas, and having a passing knowledge of and a minimal baseline interest in guns, I’ve seen many people spend hundreds of $$$ on guns who visually speaking would benefit from using these money for other purposes (e.g. clothes, dental work, gym membership). Apparently, guns are opium for the masses too.

    Nevertheless, as false this juvenile road to empowerment is, at this point, as I’ve indicated above, it may be preferable. Of course, it can go either way. (Vigilante death squads rooting out the commies aren’t that difficult to imagine too..)

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