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Online engagements and manipulations

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“Back in 2012, a year before Cambridge Analytica came on the scene, a group of scientists from the University of Cambridge and Stanford University began looking for a link between the five personality traits and the pages people ‘liked’ on Facebook. They built a Facebook quiz with this purpose in mind, allowing users to take real psychometric tests, while hoping to find a connection between a person’s true character and their online persona. People who downloaded their quiz knowingly handed over data on both: the history of their Likes on Facebook and, through a series of questions, their true personality scores.” — from Hello World: Being Human in the Age of Algorithms by Hannah Fry.

If you’re the kind of person who is fond of answering quizzes on Facebook, perhaps you need to think again the next time you do.

Because as innocent as answering a Facebook quiz, you’ll never know what happens to your data after you unknowingly gave them away.

Wondering what might happen to your data? Here’s an example.

As Seth Stephens-Davidowitz wrote in his book Everybody Lies: Big Data, New Data, and What the Internet Can Tell Us About Who We Really Are, “social science is becoming a real science.”

And with the elections looming over the country, our online engagements might be used against us to manipulate us and become a part of targeted (political) adverts.