I have always been careful with what I share with the Facebook algorithm. Other than affirming that I am over 14, I've gone by the motto that I may have agreed to share my data, but I never agreed it would be useful or accurate. From the first time that it asked a birth year, I chose the earliest one one the list. I think I"m 113 now. I always use Ad Blocker, clear my cookies and close the browser immediately after visiting Facebook, and have never used any of their apps.
Seeking a way to protest their behaviour and betrayal of our trust, I decided to pollute my data trail with as much noise as possible. Junk data points like random likes, fake phone numbers and addresses in messages and by sharing things that have no relation to me. The more noise in the system, the less effective their targeting and the less valuable it is to advertisers and other customers.
I decided to focus on the sponsored posts and ads in my feed. I have rarely used the feed because of these features and not wanting to leave an opinion trail. On each post I gave a fake opinion and then left a comment saying what I was doing and suggesting the method to others. I was hoping to spread my message and annoy the advertisers.
It seems to have worked better than I hoped. I copied my message until they disallowed me, after about 5 to 7 posts in a day. I did it for two days. On the third day I discovered that every time I glimpse an ad or sponsored post it vanishes. Poof. Gone. They must want to keep me from annoying their advertisers and letting them know the data may be corrupt. It seems they can't stop you commenting on these things that they force upon you in any other way.
I count this as my first victory. I have banished the ads and sponsored posts that pay Facebook's bills from my feed. They were one of the reasons I didn't bother with the feed in the first place. I have improved my experience and made myself less valuable to them.
This is the comment I posted:
We should flood #Facebook with junk data points about ourselves, random likes, shares, phone numbers in our messages, to make their data mining less valuable and marketing less accurate. #datarevolt Give them noise. I'm targeting sponsored posts at the moment. Weaponize MY dataThis the version I'm now using:
To cause change you don't have to be the bomb, just a link in a chain reaction.I'm playing a new game on #Facebook, I'm chasing ads off my page. I post a comment on sponsored posts warning that I'm poisoning my data with false reactions and suggesting others do so. Ads now run away from me. Fun. #datarevolt
It took 10-14 comments over two days. Now I have to hunt for them and comment before they vanish. It isn't easy but it's fun as I remarked when I discovered it:
They let me post on sponsored ads again. Their mistake.
Hehehe. The ads are running again. Good season for that. I caught ten or twelve today before they all ran away.
From what I've heard only 1 in 10 users might be willing to delete or abandon Facebook. The rest are tied to it for business or keeping contact with those they would otherwise not be able to. I figure its easier to convince more people to chase away the ads we all hate with a game of copy and paste. Then instead of a sacrifice, it's fun.
Imagine if everyone does this.
It's our data. Let them know we can revolt.
We are like a bee colony that needs the hive in which to gather and communicate. Our normal activities generate the honey that Facebook sells to advertisers. We don't want to destroy the hive just show the beekeepers what happens when you piss off your bees.
Swarm the advertisers with false opinions and doubt about their advertising effectiveness. Sting Zuckerberg in the wallet and make him pay attention to the producers. It's less work than trying to find and build and new hive, and it gets our point across loudly.