Big Brother Facebook


Kenny Alexander

Messenger app may seem like an innocuous alternative to texting, but behind that blue bubble is spyware that can track all that you do.

Kenny Alexander, Staff Writer

   Messenger app is the second biggest messaging app in the world, followed by Whatsapp, but most people are unaware that when they download the messenger app they are agreeing to let the Facebook branch record audio through their microphone without their permission. They also gain the ability to take photos and video without consent or forewarning. These along with other alarming abilities, such as the ability to randomly make phone calls and cellular data gathering and sharing essentially allows Facebook to have eyes and ears on all 1.3 billion Messenger app users. 

    Some people might be thinking so what? I don’t use Facebook, I’m not a Boomer. However, you may not know that Facebook also owns Instagram and Whatsapp, the aforementioned largest messaging services on earth, and the most popular social media sites for millenials.

     The Facebook corporation now claims to have over 2.1 billion individual active users across its family of online services every month and with access to the internet spreading over every continent, that amount is growing every day. Now that Facebook has roughly a fourth of the population of the world under its watch, it is more important now than ever that as a society we objectively look at what these corporations are, who they are, and what their intentions are.

    Simply put, Facebook is playing the information game. They have been from the beginning, since it is the way they make money. Their entire business model is learning as much about you as possible to then target ads at you that their algorithm thinks you will click on. But their use of your information goes far beyond their ad targeting algorithms.

    In a Bloomberg report from this August, employees from some of the many companies Facebook employs disclosed that since 2015 they transcribed private voice messages from the Messenger app. Some of the whistleblowers felt that their work was unethical, yet said so anonymously as to prevent losing their job. Others said that they didn’t feel bad because it was in the terms of service, vaguely all be it, but the public still technically agreed to it. This has been going on since at least 2015.

    This is just one aspect of our society’s continual surrender of privacy to faceless corporate entities. When we are persistently complacent with our privacy slowly being degraded, we will soon not have any. Our children will not have any, it will be but an absurd reality like the one we imagined before the internet. This doesn’t have to lead to a dune-esk technological apocalypse. We are now still in control of ourselves, if we continue to click yes on these absurd terms of services one day we won’t have the choice too. Read what you agree too or go to websites that summarize it in the least. Don’t forfeit your privacy for convenience.