On 24 February 2018, more than a hundred of the flyers pictured above appeared in Seattle near Facebook’s regional office on Dexter Avenue. That date marked the two-year anniversary of the corporation introducing its “Reaction” feature, which encourages users to supply the company with personal data by reacting to content in one of six prefabbed ways: Like, Love, Haha, Wow, Sad, and Angry. But instead, one can act against the paradigm Facebook is imposing.
The flyers educate readers on the risks of corporate software analyzing your social media posts and sending first responders to your home if you post something it interprets as evidence that you’re depressed or suicidal — and the flyers offer tangible solutions for this problem. Here’s the text of the leaflet in full, with links added:
SAY NO TO FACEBOOK PROFILING USERS AS MENTALLY ILL
As reported by Tech Crunch, Facebook is now developing artificial intelligence to profile users as allegedly becoming depressed or suicidal. Your use of Facebook is in danger of being seen as symptomatic of mental illness. As a result, Facebook users may have their reputations ruined and be unduly subjected to mental health treatment. Facebook may be able to exert unjust control over users under the guise of helping them with mental health issues. This new program is a clear abuse of user data. As long as corporations such as Facebook control access to public information, people will give up personal data to make use of the platform where the public information is hosted. Facebook will then exploit this personal data for unjust social control, which this “mental health” AI profiling is an example of.
Stop Facebook from making this new program a reality!
Things you can do:
1) Support the global data commons: http://getgee.xyz Everyone should own public information — not corporations
2) Comment on the Tech Crunch article: Facebook shouldn’t profile you as “sick”:
https://is.gd/LyJqni (that short link expands to
3) Share https://pastebin.com/Hmhiy6qp for links to articles about Facebook inflicting psychological harm and to resources for safe alternatives to psychiatry
If you’d like to print and share these flyers yourself, below are links to PDFs, ready to go:
PDF: one-page leaflet for posting on community boards at coffeeshops, on utility poles, in libraries, etc.
PDF: two-page leaflet for handing out (print on front and back of page). The back side contains the information from the pastebin: links to articles about Facebook inflicting psychological harm, and resources for safe alternatives to psychiatry.
Andrew Boyd’s 2016 book Beautiful Trouble offers these suggestions for leafleting:
Make it fun. Make it unusual. Make it memorable. Don’t just hand out leaflets. Climb up on some guy’s shoulders and hand out leaflets from there […] The shareholder heading into a meeting is more likely to take, read and remember the custom message inside a fortune cookie you just handed her than a rectangle of paper packed with text. Using theater and costumes to leaflet can also be effective.
Thanks for reading, and good luck!
Leaflets against Facebook’s profiling offer solutions, including Getgee by Douglas Lucas is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. It does not affect your fair use rights or my moral rights. You can view the full license (the legalese) here; you can view a human-readable summary of it here. To learn more about Creative Commons, read this article. License based on a work at www.douglaslucas.com. Seeking permissions beyond the scope of this license? Email me: email@example.com.