Yes, Bad People Use Facebook Too

from the in-case-you-didn't-know dept

Reader Tina alerts us to an article about how some students in Venezuela have been arrested for using Facebook to monitor other students’ activities, and then rob them while they were out. Of course, it appears the plan wasn’t that foolproof, considering they were caught. The rest of the article discusses Facebook and Twitter usage in Venezuela, and how the police and the government are trying to use those tools to crack down not just on crime, but also on dissent… at the same time that government protesters are using the tools to make themselves more widely heard (and organized). There isn’t that much surprising — and it seems that the role of social networks is merely to amplify what is going on already in the country, which is about what you’d expect. Still, it is interesting to see this sense of wonder that some people have over the fact that not everyone who uses Facebook uses it for “good” reasons.

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Comments on “Yes, Bad People Use Facebook Too”

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kyle clements (profile) says:

this is why I only tweet about a vacation until after I’ve returned home. and why i frequently don’t post anything for several days at a time, so the really dedicated thieves can’t find a correlation between my absence from the social networks and vacationing.

Having nothing to tweet about has nothing to do with it… :'(

Seriously though, any technology can be used for good, or for other purposes, and users really need to be more careful about what they post. People forget things; the internet does not.

Anonymous Coward says:

“how the police and the government are trying to use those tools to crack down not just on crime, but also on dissent”

New technology is a double edged sword. Back in the days before machine guns and tanks and airplanes, etc… to some extent the government paid attention to the people because the government didn’t necessarily have a huge disproportional military power over the people (ie: when the people had huge rebellions leaders would have their heads chopped off, ie: in France). Now a days that’s impossible because modern weaponry (and the fact that leaders are always behind bullet proof glass and inside bullet proof cars, etc…) make it easy for a small group of people, the government, to easily destroy a MUCH LARGER group of people and to defend themselves against them. The people pretty much know that violence won’t work because the average person doesn’t have the means to defend against a tank and an airplane. Also the invention of surveillance (ie: red light cameras and cameras everywhere you go) has also made it that much easier for government to subject the people to tyranny. So we pretty much get subject to tyranny.

But while technology makes the old ways of rebelling against and managing a corrupt government useless, it also creates new ways of managing and rebelling against a corrupt government and of organizing backlashes, protests, and resistance among people who live longer distances apart. While looking into the past may help us find ways that the people have managed and rebelled against a corrupt government and that could give us insight into how to manage our currently broken government, we also need to look at technology and look at how we can use it to find NEW ways of managing our corrupt government, new ways that counter the new ways that our government has used technology to subject the people to a tyrant plutocracy. Recent examples have included things like the Blogs and Social networks, etc… and another example (that’s not really implemented) is the advancement in cryptography and how that can be used to create end to end user verified and user audited voting machines that allow users to verify their votes were properly tallied and hence reducing voter fraud. What we need to do is come up with new innovative ways that allow us to manage our corrupt government, ways that counter the new technologies that have made it easier for the government (and big corporations and the rich and the powerful) to subject the people to tyranny.

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