Via the The New Inquiry, Rob Horning on how Facebooking will be mandatory:
There is good reason to be concerned about the various data pools of personal information being gathered by communications and social-media companies. It’s used to shape the material conditions of our lives — what we see, what we’re permitted to do, who will talk to us, what sort of service we’ll receive.
It’s no coincidence that [social media management site] Reputation.com is joining forces with the credit-score agencies, as the Economist reports. It’s an extension of the same racket, to create a reputation score that is as actionable as a credit score.
If the reputation score is applied to you, you will have to pay to try to improve it or “clean it up.” But for others, such a score can be used to guide decisions about whether you are worth knowing, worth having as a roommate, worth friending on Facebook, worth offering a microloan to, worth renting a space on Air BnB to, etc., etc. Just as banks don’t want to lend money to bad credit risks, individuals may conceivable balk at lending time to bad social risks. Why waste your time on outcasts or low-status losers who can’t improve your reputation?
So expect the reputation-management companies (Facebook pre-eminent among them) to be reminding us of the risks of unhedged sociality. It’s not prudent or profitable to be associating with people in the wild, with no tools with which to contextualize them — or tools to exercise your power to contextualize them and their data to make it all work for you and your quantified reputation. Friendship is too valuable a resource to spend on unworthy people.
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