EDITORIAL – IS FACEBOOK RESPONSIBLE FOR YOU BEING SCAMMED?
Most people don’t need to be told they’re addicted to technology and social media.
If reaching for your cell phone first thing in the morning doesn’t tell you as much, multiple scientific studies and books will. Now the people responsible for this modern-day addiction have admitted that was their plan all along.
In recent days we have seen multiple articles on this, but have you thought about how this applies to being victimized by Romance Scammers?
Silicon Valley’s Sean Parker, Facebook’s first president, has been telling anyone that will listen in interviews that the Social Media service “literally changes your relationship with society,” and “probably interferes with productivity in weird ways.” And, he added, “God only knows what it’s doing to our children’s brains.”
Facebook’s main goal is still to get and keep people’s attention, Parker said. “The thought process that went into building these applications, Facebook being the first of them, … was all about: ‘How do we consume as much of your time and conscious attention as possible?’”
Attention, he said, was fueled by “a little dopamine hit every once in a while,” in the form of a like or a comment, which would generate more content, in the forms of more likes and comments.
This confirms what SCARS and others has long known, that Romance Scams are in fact a form of addition.
“It’s a social-validation feedback loop … exactly the kind of thing that a hacker like myself would come up with, because you’re exploiting a vulnerability in human psychology.”
Parker said that the inventors of social media platforms, including himself, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Instagram’s Kevin Systrom, “understood consciously” what they were doing. “And we did it anyway.”
Scammers only poorly understood this, but are well adapted to exploit it.
A major part of the scammer modus is to keep the victim connected and addiction to what the (fake) relationship provide – the “validation feedback look” – that the victim is desirable, loved, and worthy of the attentions of another person from across the world. It is that “I understand you” element that becomes the core of the addiction that this causes and the scammers devoutly exploit in their victims.
It is not only a revelation, but may also prove to be Facebook’s ultimate undoing that they were aware of the power of their platform to turn their subscribers into addicts, but may also be the ultimate liability in their contributory negligence in subjecting their subscribers the hundreds of millions of fake (scammer) profiles that can exploit this. In every real sense, this is equivalent to a bad drug side effect, and we will expect to see numerous class-action lawsuits.
Our organization stands ready to support any class-actions that may be coming forth. It just goes to show, be careful what you build and the unforeseen consequences that result, except in this case it was not unforeseen in was engineered in.
Dr. Tim McGuinness,
Chairman and Founder,
Society of Citizens Against Romance Scams