Which Character Are You? 

Sunday, June 22, 2014, 09:11 PM - Tech and Security


For the past year or so there have been alot of fairly prolific polls being shared across facebook, twitter, and most other social media. They ask you various questions about your personality and then somehow come up with a profile for you based on characters from movies, video games, history, and anything else imaginable. "Which member of the Justice League are you?" and "Which character in The Breakfast Club are you?" are two of the more popular examples and once you complete this test you're asked to share which stereotype you fit on your choice of social media so your friends can take the test too. And so these have spread with the giddy passion people often have for nostalgia. "I got Green Lantern!"

But why would whoever creates these spend so much time formulating tests and making sure they spread? Is it ego or ad driven, or something far more sinister? What we do know is that when you share your test results, they are permanently linked to your social media account. You may delete the post, but the site that administered the test still has records of which accounts it was shared to. If you do several of these, as many people have, it's possible to build quite the psychological profile for all those people. It would be exceedingly difficult to get a large portion of the population to sit down and voluntarily take a 100-question psych evaluation, but split it up into 10-question games and people readily volunteer answers to questions that they would NEVER entertain if it were coming from an official source.

Knowing what we now know about the NSA and how widespread their reach actually is, it would be naive to assume they don't have access to this data, if they don't just buy it outright. Imagine how useful it could be for investigators and agents in the field. They can now not only pull up a picture of you straight from facebook, all of your stated interests, who your friends are, and with a psychological profile they can attempt to predict your actions. Who needs profilers in the FBI when people are willing to submit to examination without even having to get a warrant? What if it's determined that you're a danger to society based on your new profile? This could easily be used for targeted surveillance instead of the catch-all system they use now, and with the public outrage over the Boston bombers and various mass shootings, it wouldn't take much convincing to get a judge to sign a warrant if you match the profile of a killer.

Let's not give them any more information, people. We have little privacy as it is, do we want them in our heads too?

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Comments

Seven 

Sunday, June 22, 2014, 09:47 PM
First.

Colourful 

Wednesday, June 25, 2014, 10:37 PM
It's very much plausible. Watch out!

Dante 

Friday, July 8, 2016, 06:14 AM
It's gonna be determined that you are dangerous if you don't give you information out, i.e not taking those tests : )

Anon137 

Thursday, March 9, 2017, 05:05 AM
I think you speak to the wrong audience here (except this text is accessable from the visible net). That's why we use Tor and similar services after all.

But one problem with social media companies is: While it was possible to use them anonymous, they started make certain information mandatory for registration in the last past months. A phone number is required now by Facebook and Twitter and using the phone number of friends doesn't work often too (and doesn't make sense anyway, since they can connect you through them and find out who you are - see linkedin for example). They are forcing us anonymous now even more away. Previously we could still have more or less connections to other people anonymously. Now they are separating all people into two communities. Participate and give all your info away or be anonymous and don't access to the rest of the world. It was an inconspicuous step that most people didn't noticed. And I wouldn't wonder if it's just a matter of time 'til they begin to forbid and exclude anyone not participating more aggressively.

a 

Sunday, July 30, 2017, 01:06 AM
;D

Anon 

Friday, September 15, 2017, 02:45 PM
It makes sense

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