Social Engineering for Fun and Profit. And Other Stuff

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A search engine marketing consultant has shown that it’s simple to use Google AdWords and YouTube videos to further a specific agenda. That might be a good thing, such as by encouraging suicidal people to call a hotline, but it could equally as easily be used for evil.

This, to me, is what is scary about the power of Alphabet (Google and YouTube), FaceBook and the others. The author’s example of suicide prevention is noble but it could be used for less savory ends

Unfortunately I don’t think there is a way to manage / control this

That’s exactly my feeling—the genie is out of the bottle, and there’s nothing we can do to put it back in. And it’s not just Alphabet, but Facebook and Twitter too, and probably their equivalents in other parts of the world where they aren’t the dominant advertising platforms.

All we can do is not be sheep.

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Maybe you could start a techcentric or Mac centric Mastodon instance.

Serious question: how would that help?

I think these tools should also be used to counter the spread of false information and correct or remove erroneous posts. Misinformation about the two largest mass murders so far this month have been spreading across social media unchecked:

That’s an interesting thought—perhaps the fact-checking organizations should supplement their full-text articles with such banners aimed at people searching for the misinformation.

You can bet the Russians, and maybe others, will be using these tools to influence the elections in 2020.