Dear Mark Zuckerberg,
My mum deleted her public Facebook profile when she was in her late twenties. She was concerned about the amount of information she was sharing so openly on your platform. It seems that her concerns have grounds given recent events, the public response, frankly, isn’t good enough. I want answers, Mr. Zuckerberg. I want to know where all my information is being stored, who it's being sold to, and why. I want to know why Facebook introduced facial recognition software, which seems to me to be some form of human profiling system -- but what would I know, I’m just a kid. Are you, and these technology companies, using my language patterns, too? Is it important how I think, speak and write; is that some kind of code for you? And why does my friendship network and location matter so much to you? (When I say you, I mean Facebook, but I think of you and Facebook as the same thing, even though one is real and the other is a digital entity. More on that in a minute.) Surely, where I am, who I know, and how I interact with them is private. Also, the make-up of my face and how I think and write. Those things belong to me, especially if associated with my name and birth date, and then, by definition, as a human right. But, I have a sneaky feeling that you and your company are using this information for other, more devious uses. Perhaps, I’ve been reading too much science fiction, but, historically, those writers have been uncannily on point. J.G. Ballard. H.G. Wells. There’s Philip K. Dick with, “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep.” Margaret Atwood’s, “The Handmaid’s Tale” is pretty poignant of late, too.
But, being someone who is well-read, I’m sure you’re familiar with these narratives and themes, and those in the more recent, “Ready, Player One.” It all hits a bit too close to home, for me. I’m pretty stoked that I get to live in a democracy because having the right to vote is important. When I’m old enough, I’m going to make sure that I take advantage of that choice and educate myself accordingly. But what’s the point of going to school and learning so much, and having the right to vote, when pretty nasty people and foreign governments can influence that process for their own ends? The fact that you’ve let bad people use my information to affect democracy makes me very upset. Seems to me to be the epitome of evil. What’s the point, then, too, of living in a democracy? Shouldn’t you, given how much money you’ve made from your company, be taking more responsibility? But, then, if you’re creating a data farm of our information, which you’re using to create an alternate race of artificial intelligence, otherwise known as, perhaps, defamation, privacy infringement, theft, and perhaps worse -- if we’re sticking with our science fiction theme-- that seems to me to be the epitome of evil, too. Then, it isn’t just the foreign governments and nasty people using my information for their own ends -- it’s Facebook. And you’re facilitating that. So, what does that make you?
By using the information I put into Facebook, even if you just intended to sell it anonymously to advertisers, aren’t you creating a weird feedback loop that will eventually spell the demise of humanity, anyway? I want to know why there is such a similarity between what I see, my thoughts, and the adverts appearing on my Instagram feed. ‘Cos Facebook owns Instagram (and Whatsapp, and Oculus VR, to name a few) -- that was a nifty maneuver, and one, I’m sure, that wasn’t done just, “because they were very talented app developers who are making good use of our platform and understood our values…” Maybe I don’t want all these companies to know everything about me so that they can make a profit at my expense. If I knew that’s what they, and you, were really using my information for, under the guise of friendship and community, I wouldn’t have signed up for Facebook, or Instagram, or the Internet, in the first place. That was, and is, false advertising on your part. But, I think, it might have already gone too far. Does my Mum's clone already exist? What's going to happen to me? I want the truth, Mark Zuckerberg, and my life back. What you and your affiliates, and those foreign governments, and the nasty people, are taking doesn’t belong to them or you. It belongs to me. I’m not a number just because I have an IP address. I’m a human being. I also want answers, Mark. I hope it’s alright if I call you Mark -- since you know so much about me. And, you know what, Mark, whoever said that nothing in life was free -- seems they were right. Nothing is free. But, I’ve decided that my freedom isn’t for sale. That’s my choice, according to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. If any of these things are true, which we know some of them already are (and who would have thought that a few years ago), I hope you decide to take the lead by telling us the truth, and do the right thing by my Mum, Dad, and me, your kids, and by the world, too.
An Unborn Daughter
Dear Mark Zuckerberg,