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Author Topic: Your Chinese social media identity  (Read 1933 times)

Calach Pfeffer

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Your Chinese social media identity
« on: August 14, 2015, 09:40:33 AM »
Do you want to consolidate your social media identities and, for instance, use the same name across media or do you want to keep them separate?

All social media whether Chinese or international is surveilled, of course, but do you want to make it easy for the metadata trackers? is there reason to be paranoid? Social media accounts are linked to your phone number, which is, increasingly, linked with your real name. If you're foreign, your phone number has always been linked to, probably, your passport, because you used it as ID to buy the number in the first place. And while ultimately, all surveillance is at least icky, it might also be that some surveillance is more hostile than others.

But on the other side, online identities gain substance the more they exist across media. Branding is the poor cousin of this idea, that online identity can be real and substantial. And maybe there is reason for not just companies, but people to consolidate...

As I age I am becoming to my surprise something of a luddite and really don't want answers to any of these questions. They make me paranoid, and I'm paranoid already. But I suppose it has to be asked, maybe particularly in the context of China. (And, if we want to appear even-handed, in a context of NSA.)

What do you reckon?


/Az0gtehDef1ler

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Calach Pfeffer

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Re: Your Chinese social media identity
« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2015, 03:55:27 AM »
It's a non-issue?

A non-issue that falls on which default? I'm imagining that most people already do maintain their own firewalls between their Chinese presence and their foreign presence. Presumably driven in large part by the absence of various kinds of foreign media in China.

Internet society is strange and foreign to me. I know the dominant visible culture there verges on the puerile - cats, Facebook pics of your lunch, astoundingly reactionary teenage-style hate groups - but then there's subgroups. What locus do they use? What is the kernel of an online identity?

Online identities are about as coherent as rl identities, but for a long while online it's seemed you can shrug off identities. IRL, you can't do that as easily because you are located in your physical body. Online identities have for a long time seemed to have no fixed locus, but now we know large parties such as the NSA and whoever in China (MSS?) do kind of tie us to whatever we've done before....

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Escaped Lunatic

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Re: Your Chinese social media identity
« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2015, 03:01:28 AM »
I started out as Escaped Lunatic only here at the Saloon.  Now I've got my own EscapedLunatic.com website, have a G+ account using that name, and also popped into the Square Foot Gardening forum for some advice under that name.

As far as surveillance, the NSA already has tracking chips embedded in you, so there's no escape. uuuuuuuuuu
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Calach Pfeffer

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Re: Your Chinese social media identity
« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2015, 04:54:34 AM »
Facebook Should Pay All of Us

Not long ago, Zeynep Tufekci, a sociologist who studies social media, wrote that she wanted to pay for Facebook. More precisely, she wants the company to offer a cash option (about twenty cents a month, she calculates) for people who value their privacy, but also want a rough idea of what their friends’ children look like. In return for Facebook agreeing not to record what she does—and to not show her targeted ads—she would give them roughly the amount of money that they make selling the ads that she sees right now. Not surprisingly, her request seems to have been ignored. But the question remains: just why doesn’t Facebook want Tufekci’s money? One reason, I think, is that it would expose the arbitrage scheme at the core of Facebook’s business model and the ridiculous degree to which people undervalue their personal data....


The relevance here in China is twofold (as it is in not-China, where Facebook actually exists): one, social media is not free, the coin you pay is attention and data; and two, that data is more valuable to "the company" than any actual money you might offer for the social media service alone. The difference in China (if you don't count NSA as a hostile agent) is what gets done with that data.

Now, even outside of China, we don't know what gets done with social media data. By far the simplest possible use is targeted advertising. Now, I may be grossly underestimating the efficacy of advertising, but social media companies create all that infrastructure to make ad money? Frankly, if you have trackable data streams on literally billions of people, then getting rich just on advertising is really a failure of imagination on your part. Hell, you could try crafting social trends at least!

So what does China do with all that information? Provide better ads?

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Calach Pfeffer

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Re: Your Chinese social media identity
« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2015, 09:21:54 AM »
It's not entirely a question of what can happen to the data, although that is, obviously, a legitimate worry. Some part of it is just being left out of what happens to the data. That article makes a good point that probably we don't lose much by giving away information, but that if we get nothing back in return, then something is going wrong.

You could say in social media we get back such wonders as "Likes" or "Friends", but that's not anything paid to us by "the company". You could say, well "the company" makes it possible to get all those "Likes", they provide the service. But that is entirely a weird argument. Do you often praise your bosses for letting you make friends with your coworkers?

The weirdest thing of all with social media is, where do the rules come from? Social media are informal societies, they have norms and practices - cultures - and they're operated by gigantic companies. Why are more people not as paranoid as me?

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Escaped Lunatic

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Re: Your Chinese social media identity
« Reply #5 on: August 17, 2015, 05:24:56 AM »
Hell, you could try crafting social trends at least!

I'm certain that there's nothing of the sort going on.  Why don't you sit down and spend some time watching reality TV to help get yourself in a better frame of mind.

Hello Control.  One of the subjects is getting dangerously close to figuring out what's going on behind the curtain.   Worse, he's posting it publicly on a site we can't contain.  Please send an extraction team and have the reprogrammers get ready.
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Calach Pfeffer

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Re: Your Chinese social media identity
« Reply #6 on: August 17, 2015, 05:41:29 AM »
What's most annoying about The Great Social Media Conspiracy is how little they do share what they can do. We all know "big data" exists but does anyone know how interesting the science is? Are there trends and understandings that arise? If history, for instance, is an interesting discipline, why is big data the preserve only of marketing? It's unfair.

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Escaped Lunatic

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Re: Your Chinese social media identity
« Reply #7 on: August 18, 2015, 03:26:52 AM »
What's most annoying about The Great Social Media Conspiracy is how little they do share what they can do. We all know "big data" exists but does anyone know how interesting the science is? Are there trends and understandings that arise? If history, for instance, is an interesting discipline, why is big data the preserve only of marketing? It's unfair.

It's still a very vague science, best left to those few who can eek out a tiny profit from it.

This isn't the unfairness you are looking for.  You want to go home, rethink your life, and get a job selling death sticks.
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Calach Pfeffer

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Re: Your Chinese social media identity
« Reply #8 on: August 19, 2015, 04:35:44 AM »
Who says it's a vague science?

They're the ones who can craft attention trends, remember. And they can watch their own backs through Big Data itself. if social science is real, if economics is real, Big Data has to be a fascinating and evolving field. The tools are being built now. (Or, I hope they're being built now - if it turns out they were built long ago and we've all been being drip fed "the future" that already arrived decades ago...........)

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