Surveillance tools, however benign their beginning, will always be eventually used by those in power to suppress opposition. Few would have predicted, 20 years ago, that millions of Americans would willingly participate in the loss of their privacy and thereby, inevitably, their freedom.
In the recent Bohemian interview with Andrew Keen, he says that what’s most needed is to teach the internet how to forget. There is another way to accomplish the same purpose: overwhelm the internet with contradictory data. The same “Like” button previously used to document our friends, our interests, our purchases, our travels, our political views—this same “Like” button can also be used to render all that data meaningless. Just “like” everything.
Like things you hate. Like things you don’t know or care about. Like contradictory things. On a typical day, like the ACLU, Pat Robertson, Elizabeth Warren, the KKK, the NAACP, the Communist Party of America, white supremacist groups, Nuns on the Bus, Tea Party groups, real estate developments in states you’ll never live in, Edward Snowden, the pope, bullfighting, socialism, bunny rabbits, Vladimir Putin, gay pride, Ted Cruz, Wendy Davis, the EPA, wolves, the NRA, Obamacare, Michele Bachmann, vaccines, the Muslim Brotherhood, Israel, and don’t forget to like the NSA. Scroll through online news “liking” every article you see. Do Google searches of whatever keywords catch your eye in the daily news cycle, and like every hit that comes up.
Anyone attempting to build a “profile” on you will find it impossible to filter real you from Mega-Like you.
Also, tag everything. And tag it wrong. Misidentify everything you see. Every photo you see posted on Facebook, post a comment identifying the contents incorrectly.
Pack your Facebook profile with hundreds of movie, book and TV show titles, all unrelated, none of which you actually watch or read.
We cannot make the internet forget. But we can gorge the beast until it pukes. The NSA will not be able to expand fast enough to track all the additional information, and regardless, all the information will be worthless.
Piss off advertisers. Like everything.
D. Bauman has 25 years’ experience working in database management.
Open Mic is a weekly op/ed feature in the Bohemian. We welcome your contribution. To have your topical essay of 350 words considered for publication, write [email protected].