Face to Facebook

During the annual festival Transmediale  in Berlin in, Germany there’s a LOT of things happening but this project seemed to stir up emotions everywhere and from everyone, including owners of facebook .  The media artist Paolo Cirio and the media critic  and editor in chief of Neural magazine Alessandro Ludovico worked during 2years on the project called face to facebook.  So, what did they do that’s so upsetting?

1. During 8 months they scraped public  data from 1 million public profiles on facebook (simply google a person and get the public profile without having to be a member of facebook)
2.  The pictures then got filtered through face analysis software from this 250.000 profiled and grouped by their facial expressions.
3. Started to ask themselves why fb is so popular on the market, what does fb want from you etc etc
4.  The only thing they figured fb didn’t explicitly have is a datingservice. So they simply created a website called lovely faces.com. and posted all the faces there
5. Also as a sort of an small homáge to the original founderof fb Mark Zuckerberg  ( facemash.com)

Media went mental and screamed repeatedly through all different chanels to people to check their accounts. Within 12h they got the first legal threat from facebook.  They’re still negotiating with them and are pushing them to close down everyhing for good.

What’s the point? Are they evil guys using your personal info? are you simply stupid having put it there yourself in the first place?

First of all, this project is the third in ‘The Hacking Monopoly Trilogy.

“In all of them we stole data that is very sensitive for the respective corporations. With Google it was the “clicks” on their AdSense Program; with Amazon we started to steal the content of entire books, and with Facebook we stole a huge amount of public data profiles. In all the three projects, the theft is not used to generate money at all, or for personal economic advantage, but only to twist the stolen data or knowledge against the respective corporations. In GWEI it was the shares obtained through the money created by the Adsense program; in Amazon Noir it was the pdf books distributed for free; and in Face To Facebook it is the collection of profiles moved with no prior notice to a dating website.”

Hopefully it’s an alarm clock for everyday user to be aware that EVERYTHING you do on the net leave a trace and NOTHING is free. Just like IRL (surprise?!). But it doesn’t mean you should avoid it because of fear. Live your life to the fullest and educate yourself!

here’s Cirio talking about face to facebook http://vimeo.com/23206156

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