Dear Cambridge Analytica:
I am writing you in the event I am one of the tens of millions of Americans who unknowingly had their Facebook information appropriated for political purposes.
If you have used my Facebook account to develop a comprehensive profile of me I feel it’s only fair to correct some of the misinformation you will have undoubtedly gleaned by trying to figure me out through this social media platform.
My Facebook self is a lie. It’s basically a neglected version of me that lives in a basement all year long, then comes out once a year in July to see how many people remembered my birthday.
If you take stock in what’s there you’re collecting nonsense.
For starters, Facebook says I have 390 “friends.”
That’s way too many. I actually have three or four.
Facebook says I’m friends with Palm Beach County Tax Collector Anne Gannon. You may erroneously consider this to be a vital piece of telling information, and that perhaps this earmarks me as a person who would not respond well to an anti-tax influence campaign.
However, I’ve spoken to Anne Gannon for a few columns over the years. But I couldn’t swear I’ve even met her in person. And I’m not sure how we ended up as “friends.”
Same thing goes with Dianne Sauve, the director of Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control.
But if your Russian counterparts need to know, I have found it easier to chit-chat with the head of the dog pound than the head of the tax collector’s office. Maybe that will help your overseas propaganda associates to better customize what sort of misinformation will be most effective in swaying me to become a Trump 2020 voter.
(By the way, good luck with that.)
To be more accurate, Facebook needs additional categories. Along with “friends”, there should be category called “people I used to know but couldn’t pick out in a lineup” and then another category called “people I vaguely know and will acknowledge despite having a tenuous and mostly imaginary relationship.”
And then the biggest category of all, “strategic acquaintance.”
My “friends” list is a mess.
I’ll bet there’s a bunch of dead people on it. This is because when they died, I would have no idea that it happened because we weren’t friends. Just thought you should know that too.
You may find this helpful if you decide to do a get-out-the-dead-vote campaign.
In other news, my Facebook self has failed to mention any movies I have seen. My movies section is a blank.
That’s not correct. I watch a lot of movies. So if you need a recent movie to add to my voter profile, put me down for that one about the woman who falls for the fish creature, the one my son calls “Grinding Nemo.”
There are other things on my Facebook page I just can’t explain.
For instance, why did I “like” Perry Ellis men’s clothing? No clue. I wouldn’t know Perry Ellis from Perry Mason.
But somehow I’m a fan. In real life, I like Costco. But you won’t find that on my Facebook page.
Also, I am apparently in a public group called “Tone Def,” which is dedicated to music. I have no idea when I joined, but I’m pretty sure that after years of belonging, I looked at the page for the first time on Monday. Go figure.
Also, it would be wrong to consider me a listener of iHeartRadio. I don’t even know what iHeartRadio is.
Stuff just happens to you on Facebook, and not to be a bigger jerk than you already are, you go along with things that are, well, misleading.
It just seems that you’re gathering misleading information all to develop a database that will help you to launch more misleading information. It’s like a self-perpetuating nonsense machine.
All to promote Donald Trump. OK, that part seems spot on.