Understand the Human Stock Market [Content Made Simple]

Issue #216: New Facebook dating app, deceitful advertising, and more.

The ‘Human Stock Market’ Is Here



The content-for-notifications exchange may feel like a cheap way to win friends, influence people, and earn more money (as startups like NewNew make possible). But such a life sets us up to be enslaved to the demands of the crowd and the fickle whims of the market—when the only person we should be enslaved to is Christ.

A quiet and faithful life (1 Thes. 4:11–12), untempted by the seductive stages in our pockets—and freed from the prison of constantly needing applause—is a richer life than that of even the wealthiest Instagram influencer.


I wrote this piece for The Gospel Coalition a few weeks ago, and it went live on Monday morning. I hope it is helpful for you, perhaps encouraging, and maybe event a tinge convicting.


Turning off Facebook Comments, and Is Live-Tweeting Good?

recent article from The Guardian on how Facebook is allowing pages to turn off comments is our main topic this week. Also, we decide whether live-tweeting an event is overrated or underrated. 


Link #1: How Facebook’s Ad System Lets Companies Talk Out of Both Sides of Their Mouths

Let’s be clear: this is how Facebook’s ad system is designed to work. You can direct specific messages to very specific groups of people. We can talk all day about the ethical issues of companies talking out of both sides of their mouths, but Facebook is designed to make that incredibly easy to do.

Liberals on Facebook are given one picture of ExxonMobil. To them, the multibillion-dollar oil giant sells itself as turning over a new leaf, exploring “carbon capture” techniques that put carbon back into the ground.

If you’re a conservative, Exxon has a very different message: “The oil and gas industry is THE engine that powers America’s economy,” reads one ad targeted at conservatives. “Help us make sure unnecessary regulations don’t slow energy growth.”

Link #2: Surveillance Nation

This isn’t social media, really, but much of my concern re: surveillance capitalism and social media data privacy are related to Clearview AI and its massive problems.

A controversial facial recognition tool designed for policing has been quietly deployed across the country with little to no public oversight. According to reporting and data reviewed by BuzzFeed News, more than 7,000 individuals from nearly 2,000 public agencies nationwide have used Clearview AI to search through millions of Americans’ faces, looking for people, including Black Lives Matter protesters, Capitol insurrectionists, petty criminals, and their own friends and family members.

Link #3: Facebook is testing a video speed-dating app called Sparked

Facebook continues to attempt its gobbling of the internet universe. Will be interesting to see if this platform takes off.

Sparked would be the second dating product from Facebook. Facebook Dating, which operates out of the main Facebook app, launched in the US in 2019 and has since rolled out to various countries, including, most recently, the UK. It operates similarly to most dating apps in that people can view a public profile of a potential match and then send a like to possibly receive on back and start a conversation. The NPE Team has launched many apps, none of which have particularly taken off, so it’s unclear how committed Facebook will be to Sparked.


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