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Brave New World: Virtual Panopticon as “The New ‘Normal’ “

A Panopticon

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COMMENT: In FTR #718, we examined the spectacularly popular Facebook/social media phenomenon. Behind all of the “glad-handing” surrounding the social network are some truly insidious forces.

Much of the capitalization for the network comes from forces apparently linked to the Underground Reich and the intelligence community is all over Facebook and the rest of the high-tech world. (Not unusual or, necessarily sinister. Still, with some of the malefactors present in “alphabet soup,” being completely transparent to strangers is something one should approach with great caution.)

Above all, signing on with Facebook apparently negates any concept of privacy one might have. 

It appears that, increasingly, anyone who does not wish to be part of this “virtual panopticon” and have their data appropriately mined will be viewed with suspicion and stigmatized professionally.

“Is Not Joining Facebook a Sign You’re a Psychopath? Some Employers and Psychologists Say Staying Away from Social Media Is ‘Suspicious'”; Daily Mail; 8/6/2012.

EXCERPT: Facebook has become such a pervasive force in modern society that increasing numbers of employers, and even some psychologists, believe people who aren’t on social networking sites are ‘suspicious.’

The German magazine Der Taggspiegel went so far as to point out that accused theater shooter James Holmes and Norwegian mass murder Anders Behring Breivik have common ground in their lack of Facebook profiles.

On a more tangible level, Forbes.com reports that human resources departments across the country are becoming more wary of young job candidates who don’t use the site.

The common concern among bosses is that a lack of Facebook could mean the applicant’s account could be so full of red flags that it had to be deleted. 

Slate.com Advice Columnist, Emily Yoffee, wrote in an advice column that young people shouldn’t date anyone who isn’t on Facebook.

‘If you’re of a certain age and you meet someone who you are about to go to bed with, and that person doesn’t have a Facebook page, you may be getting a false name. It could be some kind of red flag,’ he says.

Yoffee points out that these judgements don’t apply to older people who were already productive adults before social media became widespread.

The tech news site Slashdot summed up Der Taggspiegel‘s story about social networking as ‘not having a Facebook account could be the first sign that you are a mass murderer.’

It points out that Holmes, who is accused of killing 12 people and an unborn child and wounding 58 others at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, and Breivik, who murdered 77 people with a car bomb and mass shooting, did not use Facebook and had small online footprints.

Breivik used MySpace and Holmes was reportedly on the hookup site Adult Friend Finder.

Psychologist Christopher Moeller told the magazine that using Facebook has become a sign of having a healthy social network. . . .



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