Facebook is a Spy Machine | The Socjournal


Big Brother is Watching

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said, in an interview with Russia Today, that Facebook was “the most appalling spy machine that has ever been invented.” Assange said he believes Facebook is a giant database of names and records about people, maintained voluntarily(!) by its users but developed for U.S. intelligence to use. As Assange says:

Everyone should understand that when they add their friends to Facebook, they are doing free work for United States intelligence agencies, and building this database for them.”

While Assange backs away from claiming that Facebook is actually run by U.S. intelligence agencies, the fact that they have access to its records is dangerous he says. Still, there are things that suggest a closer look is required. You have to ask yourself about the money for example. Facebook is not a small application and even in its infancy it would have required massive computing power. Who paid for that power, and why? You also have to note that Facebook itself was created by an elite student, at an elite university, in a context where elite norms and values rule the day. It is all suggestive, but the real kick in the head is the fact that Facebook executives are conducting massive (and massively unethical) experiments on users. In a paper published in the  Proceedings of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences entitled “Experimental Evidence of Massive-Scale Emotional Contagion Through Social Networks,” Facebook scientists reported the results of a massive experiment designed to see if they could control emotions. And the results? Success! By manipulating the users “news feed” the Dr. Frankensteins on Facebook’s science teams were able to demonstrate emotional contagion. Of course, they framed it in the context of public health, but in a world where manipulation of mass consciousness is carried out on a minute by minute basis the ability of powerful humans to use social media to create, modify, and control emotions is remarkable.

Can you imagine the possibilities?

If a U.S. president wants to drum up support for an attack on Palestine, or perhaps a home-soil terrorist cull, they could simply ask Facebook and other social media to tweak the feed thereby sowing fear, anger, possibly even hatred. And of course other social media would be involved. It would be naive to think that Facebook is the only bogey man hiding in the closet.

Now I know that many people reading this are going to doubt the possibility. We live in free democracies after all and our governments are all about the good, the strong, and the pure. Unfortunately that’s an extremely naive position. The CIA has been conducting experiments on consciousness and mass consciousness since their LSD work in the fifties and sixties (look up Project MKUltra), and while Facebook and other social media may try to distance themselves from military connections, quickly erasing intimations and implications of connection (Martens and Martens, 2014), the links are probably there. It is hard to fathom how a single individual could provide funding for the massive technological appropriations that would have been required in the early days of Facebook’s money bleeding start up.

It is certainly something to think about. As for me, I’m going to think twice before sharing my feelings, and trusting the news feed, of your average social media site.


Martens, Pam & Martents, Russ (2014). Facebook’s Experiment and its CIA Roots. Wall Street on Parade. [http://wallstreetonparade.com/2014/07/facebook%E2%80%99s-experiment-and-its-cia-roots/]