The Facebook algorithm detected that I’m interested in things like Musea, Sportswear, and Technology, Prefectures of Japan, The American Mathematical Society, and the color Green. Particular aspects of my personality, but is it true? And if so, how do they know?
In our physical world, we understand identity. We know when to be a friend or lover, a professional or student, a parent, or a child. We intuitively change roles. In a digital environment, we don’t control our identity in that same way. Instead, who are are online is determined by companies and institutions – composed of data and calculated by algorithms.
Every click, like, buy, chat, and view is embedded into a profile. A profile that doesn’t merely describe your interest, preferences, conditions, obligations, desires, and weaknesses – It influences your perception of the world because companies decide what types of advertisements, products, or information is most suitable for you, based on that data.
They construct your identity to understand how to get (or hold) your attention, make you click on an add, or slightly alter your thoughts. How they build that profile: What data they use and combine, where that data comes from, and how the algorithm processes the information remains secret.
Facebook thinks to know that I like green. Let’s find out why – and play a game with what they know about me.