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Personal Growth

Is Facebook Holding you Hostage?

Facebook privacy is the new oxymoron, like jumbo shrimp, says Alexandra Petri. She sees us in the grip of a digital Stockholm syndrome. Sometimes we want to leave, but we never will.

What’s the Latest Development?

“Like it or not, we’re in the grip of a digital Stockholm syndrome.” Alexandra Petri writes about the Facebook conundrum—we may complain about the social networking site but we just can’t let go. “The topography changes, swiftly, when you least expect it. Midway through the night, your rights are rearranged. Suddenly everyone and his internet-equipped dog can see everything you post—unless you dash off to change your settings. Facebook privacy? It’s the new oxymoron, like jumbo shrimp.”

What’s the Big Idea?

“We keep forgetting we are the product, not the consumer,” says Petri. “If someone is offering you a carrot you did not pay for, chances are there is a stick somewhere.” Every few years we threaten to leave, especially when things keep being rearranged without our consent. “But they stop us at the border, every time, holding all our loved ones hostage. ”You want this memory, don’t you?’ they ask. ‘And this picture! And how will you ‘Like’ things when you leave?'”


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