A rather amusing video from The Onion News Network landed in my inbox this morning. Now I must confess, I had no prior knowledge of the satirical nature of the site, and so I began to watch in blind faith what appeared to be a legitimate news room style debate about how much the CIA had reduced its costs by inventing Facebook and other social networks.
What I now realise is a tongue in cheek sketch about how much information we share online without batting an eyelid does actually raise some very interesting points. Would it be that far-fetched to imagine that governments around the world are using Facebook and other social networks as an admittedly crude, but exceedingly cheap form of surveillance?
If you haven’t seen it, I won’t ruin your enjoyment of the clip by repeating it verbatim, but one quote from a ‘panelist’ does carry some weight, even if the antagonist (the CIA) has nothing to do with Facebook in real life (as far as we are aware): “one of the key reasons [for success] is that the CIA has been so thorough in convincing the nation that constantly sharing information about everything you’re doing is some how desirable instead of deeply unsettling.”