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    • I am just starting to understand @Chris ‘s brilliance in not having personal profiles as the basis for our participation in Cake. At first, it was frustrating. But now that I’m starting to see the evils of data mining and how it can change the way we live, I find myself drifting away from a lot of social media platforms to preserve my own individuality.

      Chris—am I correct in thinking that Web 1.0 tools and platforms (like ADVrider?) may actually be the best way to continue an online presence and still fly under the Web 2.0 radar, so to speak? Have you built Cake in a way that prevents data overreach? Could you share your thoughts on this?

      Of course, I am interested in reading anyone’s comments on this topic, not just Chris’...

    • Sometimes I fret that users may not care enough about privacy, so they will always be drawn to sites like Facebook who know if you're black, your age, relatives, friends, marital status, credit score. propensities on hot-button issues...

      At Cake and Adventure Rider, we don't know any of those things about you. We have to know a few things, like what topics you follow, so we can put them in your feed. The only thing our advertisers know on Adventure Rider is that we have a KTM subforum that's pretty busy, so maybe advertise there if you are KTM or a competitor? Our users can opt out of ads by paying for a subscription.

      What I don't think people know is how influenced most of us can be to believe untrue and horrible things. For example, When W. Bush lost the New Hampshire primary to McCain by 19 points and had lost his 50-point advantage in South Carolina, the campaign decided to go hard negative out of desperation.

      They used Cindy McCain's relief mission to Bangladesh. She had been asked by one of Mother Teresa’s nuns to help a young orphan with a cleft palate. After flying her to the U.S. for surgery, Cindy decided she couldn’t give her up. At the Phoenix airport she broke it to her husband, and they adopted Bridget.

      Bush's campaign was able to use Bridget's dark skin to conjure terrible things in the minds of certain targeted voters, even though none of them were true. It may have changed the course of history.

      Unfortunately, when bad actors in the form of advertisers are empowered to influence us as they can on Facebook with that much personal info, terrible things happen.

      For example, I listened to a great podcast episode on using AI for detecting fake news. AI now is achieving 75% accuracy in detection. Not enough, but progress. In the big data they researched to signal fake news, your friends were high on the list. People who believe one fake news story believe another and they are friends with people who believe the same. Facebook gives them that info. So purveyors of fake news can target your friends who they know to be vulnerable to certain news stories, like vaccines will harm your children.

      So in our minds at Cake, it's fair to know your interests, but not all the other stuff Facebook has on you from buying offline lists and correlating it to your user name.

    • So “social media” does not necessarily have to equate to “the Dark Side?”

      A friend has recommended I read Ten Arguments For Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Now by Jaron Lanier. I am #2 on the Holds list for this book (also recommended in Wired) at my local library, and I have been contemplating how I would feel if I am convinced to leave Cake. I have no problem getting off fb, Twitter, IG, etc, since I have already scaled back my participation significantly (and I assume this is also why I don’t feel stalked on any of those platforms—because there’s not enough dIrty data out there on me. I never do personality tests that tell me what river I am; I’m always the dead end for “cut & paste this post” drivel, etc.)

      I’ve already concluded that Cake would be the platform I would miss the most... although ADVrider’s Women’s forum would come in a close second. 🙂

    • I read Jaron's book. He's a respected guy and piece of work all in one.

      When I grew up TV was widely known as the boob tube and rock music was subverting us. Those were widely held beliefs. I was surprised to hear that Steven Spielberg's mom indulged his movie passion and let him watch tons of them and spend a zillion hours making his own at the expense of his grades.

      Here's the thing: there is truth in the fear that there are bad books, movies, TV and songs. But Spielberg grew up to make good movies. There are now incredibly great things on TV like Frontline, and wonderful books among the awful ones.

      Being able to find people in the world to talk about your interests is incredibly powerful. It's just that, like books, there is good social media and bad. Is anyone accusing Quora or Wikipedia as bad? We just have to build good social media, with your help.

    • In reading Chris's posts I am contrasting the difference between Facebook and Cake as far as privacy goes. There is a world of difference, thankfully, so I rarely use Facebook but enjoy the anonymity of Cake.

      I like interesting stories, facts, articles, books, and conversations. I don't want to know that my former college roommate is now subtly racist (at least the Facebook email from her account there today seems to indicate that). Or what someone ate for dinner last night (unless they live nearby and have leftovers to share!). The other reasons for giving up Facebook are more compelling....the whole lack of privacy and data mining. So giving up Facebook would not be that difficult.

      But I don't see any reason for giving up Cake, along with other social media sites. It has none of those downsides.

    • I kind of agree with her—whenever my data has been compromised, I have been “made whole” through an offer of a discount on some ridiculous “reputation-saving” company that expects me to **share my data** so it can protect it better during the next data breach. wtf

      Sure, there would be a huge rise in class action lawsuits (which, generally speaking, only make attorneys money) and the Wild, Wild West of the Internet would probably shrink or disappear, but putting in place some *real* (expensive) consequences for sharing other people’s data seems to me to be long overdue...