Welcome to Facebook! My name is Truth-O, your new virtual Facebook assistant. In response to the recent uproar over Facebook’s mishandling of data, I was programmed using a composite of every Facebook user’s private personality data. I’m here to provide complete transparency regarding the kind of data we collect. While you are logged in and browsing our wonderful website, I’ll occasionally offer helpful tips, explanations, and transparency bombs. It’ll all be done with a very light touch so you’ll barely know I’m here, always watching you with my big, friendly eyes.
My creators hoped that by delivering this terrible news through a cute cartoon robot, you’d be able to overlook some of the more egregious data extraction we do over here at Facebook. I really can’t stress enough how bad it is. If you were a rock formation and your privacy were the natural gas buried deep within you, we’d be the ones fracking you to bits. But an adorable cartoon assistant should assuage your concerns, right? That’s what we’re banking on.
It’s time for a transparency bomb! I noticed earlier through your phone’s camera that you were wearing a red shirt. I’ve queued up an ad for a shopping website where you could purchase a red hat to match your shirt. Also, you should sit up straight. According to Facebook’s facial recognition software, to which you unknowingly consented because we buried it deep within our terms of service under the DO NOT READ THIS section, you are thirty-five years old. Your poor posture will not do you any favors vis-à-vis back pain and we need you to be able to sit up so you can continue going on Facebook. Go ahead and place that sticky note over your phone’s camera, I can still see you through your laptop’s camera, idiot. Transparency bomb number two!
Hey, we clearly got off on the wrong foot here. I’m just a cute cartoon robot who wants you to enjoy your time on Facebook. Let’s get back to the fun browsing, okay? Look at that fun post by your friend Carol where she asked for cooking advice and everyone is commenting with their favorite easy-to-make dinner recipe. You should tell Carol about the homemade mac and cheese you cooked the other night! How do I know that? Well, I can read your messages and I saw you messaged your roommate asking if you guys were out of gruyère because you were at the grocery store and wanted to make mac and cheese that night. Speaking of which, you should really be buying your gruyère online, it’s way cheaper. Look at this cheese ad.
While I’ve got you here, would you mind confirming your social security number for me? Facebook already knows it, but I just need you to provide it voluntarily so you don’t freak out when you realize we’ve already figured it out. After all, you’re just a little pawn in our game. Boom! There goes another transparency bomb!