Why I stopped giving Facebook personal information

I don’t like Facebook. Not the website itself; even though it’s filled with uninteresting and perfectly dispensable crap, it’s a good way to stay in touch with friends and know what they’re up to. What I dislike about Facebook is the company, the people behind the wall posts, the status updates and all the little “like” buttons spread all over the internet.

There are more than a few reasons for this, and every now and then the company makes the headlines for the wrong reasons, showing the evil side of the social network that keeps me from using it as much as I might like in different circumstances. This most recent episode in the war against Google is just another example. The two companies are fighting for the data produced by Facebook’s users, but if Zuckerberg and his pals try to convince that it’s to protect you, don’t listen; they’re only trying to protect their ability to offer more targeted ads to you via the information you give them about yourself, an advantage they have over Google if your profile is private.

Is the Zuck Dr. Evil IRL? (image by

I abhor hypocrisy, and Facebook are masters at it. They want the internet to regard them as a special company, that deserves a special set of rules. They want all their users to go public, to make their personal profiles available to the world, but they don’t want anybody else to use that information. They want to be able to import contact information from other media, be it Twitter, Gmail or Yahoo!, but they don’t allow any other website to do the same with their contacts information. And, worst than anything else, they never ever ever delete the information you upload on the site, even if you “delete” your account.

This is why I stopped uploading anything personal to Facebook. If there is a Youtube video, or an interesting website, or some photos I took, or whatever I want to share with my friends, I will put it here and use Facebook only to publish the link to the blog. The real content will stay here, on my blog, where I have absolute control over what happens to it. If I choose to delete it, so be it, I will be done with it. That is a power we do not have in Facebook. Their vision is one of ownership: once you share it with us, it’s ours to keep. And all the information they have on you and me and everyone else is worth billions to the company. Unknowingly, we’re feeding the machine with every like button we click. More than wanting to be the Internet, they want to be our lives. And until we all realize this and stop falling into the trap of “sharing” and “liking” every little thing on the web through Facebook, they will continue to be successful, by selling our personal information.

But my bet is this won’t last forever. Every company that tried to be bigger than the Internet itself fell, eventually, and the same will happen to Facebook. It seems impossible today, sure, but there will come a day in which our lives will go on without it. I’m guessing that will be a happy day.

Pomplamoose cover Angry Birds theme

The wonderful Pomplamoose, an indie duo and Youtube darlings from San Francisco, have covered the Angry Birds theme in adorable fashion. If you liked this song, check out their Youtube channel.

Mono: beautiful post-rock from Japan

I’ve fallen in love with the music of Mono, a Japanese post-rock band. Their beautiful and intricate compositions, filled with layered guitar melodies, make me drift. Listening to their music brings me some 10/12 years back, when I started listening to post-rock via the brilliant Sigur Rós. It was a total discovery for me, and Mono are bringing that sense of new that I felt with the first impressions of Ágætis byrjun. Below is Battle to Heaven, my favourite song from their latest release Hymn to the Immortal Wind. I hope you’ll enjoy.

O parlamento vai reiniciar, mas o bug continuará lá

Não existe um pingo de responsabilidade nos políticos portugueses. Será talvez uma verdade de La Palisse, mas ontem tivemos um exemplo supremo de como da esquerda à direita não há uma alma que se salve. Os interesses pessoais (nomeadamente de Passos Coelho, a proteger o seu lugar de líder do partido) falaram mais alto que os interesses do país.

Todos sabem que as medidas levadas a votos ontem são fundamentais e inevitáveis. Os políticos portugueses podem ser irresponsáveis, mas não são burros. Não tardaremos a ver alguns dos que ontem votaram contra o PEC a fazer tremendos jogos de cintura para defender estas medidas; é a política no seu pior.

O que mais me exaspera nesta situação é ver a forma como a esquerda empedernida e bloqueada num passado distante ajudou a direita a fazer cair este governo. É-me muito difícil perceber porque votaram num governo PSD (visto que foi isso precisamente que fizeram). A ideia que passam é que se estão nas tintas para quem seja Governo; o que lhes interessa é tentar mais um lugarzito no Parlamento.

No fundo, tudo isto não passa de um jogo de xadrez sujo e propenso às rasteiras, onde os primeiros a serem sacrificados somos nós. Não passamos de peões que assistem a estes jogos de poder e no final ainda celebramos as vitórias daqueles que se dispõem a atirar-nos para um abismo.

Há muita gente contente com o que se passou ontem; eu, sinceramente, não consigo perceber porquê. O país vai parar por uns 3 meses, até o novo Governo tomar posse, e este irá ter de implementar medidas e políticas iguais ou semelhantes às que foram rejeitadas ontem; tudo muda para tudo ficar igual. E entretanto, o tempo perdido servirá apenas para afundar o país um pouco mais. Tanto que o mais certo é que no dia em que tomar posse o novo Governo estará a preparar-se para entregar as chaves ao FMI.

Plymouth, Montserrat: a city covered in ashes and mud

Plymouth was the capital of Montserrat, a tiny island in the Caribbean. Due to an eruption of the nearby Soufrière Hills Volcano, it was abandoned in 1997, since the pyroclastic surges of the eruption covered the city in mud and lava, making it uninhabitable. The entire south side of the island was abandoned and is now a restricted zone. Most of the people who lived in Plymouth decided not to return to Montserrat after the disaster, and much of its commerce and administration were located there. This disaster crippled the small island severely; 14 years later, the new capital is still not build and the population is less than half of what it was before 1997.

Plumouth after the eruption

Plymouth one year after the eruption

Plymouth today

The same location in Plymouth, today (author unknown)

Game of Thrones preview

Game of Thrones is the tv adaption of the acclaimed fantasy saga A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin. It’s produced by HBO and it will premiere April 17. The books themselves are a true masterpiece, a reference in the gender; Martin’s writing is astonishing, the story compelling and addictive and the characters as real as it gets. And it brings just about the right amount of fantasy to allow even those who don’t appreciate the gender to enjoy it anyway.

The story revolves around the Stark family and how they are pulled into a conflict for the rule of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros, the fictional realm in which the story is set. Lord Eddard Stark is one of the King’s closest friends and to help him he will fall into the palace intrigues that aim to put the Lannisters, another very powerful family, in power. As we go deep into the rabbit hole, however, the ramifications of the story are so full of twists and surprises that leave the reader (and, hopefully, the tv audience) longing for more. HBO has been releasing regularly previews and trailers, that honestly have left me mouth-watering for the premiere. This video below is the latest and was released this week.

Lutar até não poder mais

Garra, determinação e muito coração. Foi assim o jogo do Benfica ontem frente ao Marítimo. Um jogo difícil frente a um adversário bem organizado e com um guarda-redes que parecia capaz de travar o mundo sozinho. Só uma equipa com uma fé tremenda e uma determinação inabalável continuaria a pressionar, a empurrar o adversário para trás, em ondas sucessivas de ataques. A vontade de vencer superou todas as adversidades, e isso é o que mais me orgulha na equipa e na exibição de ontem.

Gaitán vs Marítimo

Teria sido muito fácil baixar os braços depois do golo do Djalma. O título já é pouco mais do que uma miragem e todos sabemos que qualquer deslize do Benfica neste momento ditará um ponto final na corrida, pelo que os jogadores poderiam perfeitamente ter-se sentido impotentes perante a belíssima época do FC Porto e pensar em poupar-se para os desafios que aí vêm, importantíssimos mas para outras provas, frente a Sporting e PSG. Mas não, a vontade de vencer e a auto-crença desta equipa são inquebráveis nesta fase da temporada; aconteça o que acontecer, a forma como lutam mesmo quando tudo parece perdido já me deixa com o ego inflacionado. Apetece citar o slogan da Adidas: impossible is nothing. A equipa parece ter feito disso o seu lema e prepara-se para fazer o Porto suar pelo título. Ainda bem que assim é.

%d bloggers like this: