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You Are the Product

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You Are the Product

London Review of Books,

5 min read
5 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

Facebook helps you connect with friends. It also watches everything you do – everywhere.

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Editorial Rating



  • Innovative


Facebook claims that it seeks to “bring the world closer together.” But according to award-winning British journalist John Henry Lanchester, the company’s true purpose is much more mundane: to grow as a business and make as much money as it can. To that end, Facebook has acquired unprecedented capabilities to monitor and influence its two billion users. Will users and regulators rein it in? getAbstract recommends Lanchester’s devastating critique of one of the world’s most valuable companies to Facebook users, policy makers and political activists. 


Most of Facebook’s two billion active users poorly understand the company’s business model and its ethical implications. The company’s self-proclaimed mission to “give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together” obfuscates the company’s real driving principle: to grow and to make money.

Facebook has come under fire for its role in influencing voters during the 2016 US presidential elections. By connecting people with similar backgrounds and political preferences, Facebook has been contributing to political polarization. Facebook’s algorithms make users particularly susceptible to fake...

About the Author

John Henry Lanchester is an award-winning British journalist and novelist. 

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    K. P. 7 years ago
    The actual impact of Facebook has gone well beyond what John has identified. So what are we going to do about it? I honestly believe, FB has been long been compramised! It's exsistance has been only made possible with the framework that FB has been instructed to operate in by certain powers of the world! Basically in my opinion FB is a maneuvering tool used by XXX to make changes to cultures and societies in the world for their geopolitical advantage!
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    S. E. 7 years ago

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