Swedish Radio Tunes In to the Zuckbook Baloney

June 30, 2022

Sveriges Radio AB or Swedish Radio is a combo of the US National Public Radio and a “real” newspaper. In general, this approach to information is not the core competency of the Meat (sorry, Meta) Zuckbook thing. An interesting case example of the difference between Sveriges Radio and the estimable Silicon Valley super company is described in “Swedish Radio Created Fake Pharmacy – Reveals How Facebook Stored Sensitive Information.”

The main idea is that the Sveriges team did not listen to much disco or rap. Instead the canny outfit set up a honey pot in the form of a fake pharmacy. Then Sveriges analyzed what Facebook said it did with health-related information versus what the the Zuckster actually did.

Guess how that turned out? The write up explains:

After four days, 25 000 fake visits from customers had been registered with Facebook. But they had neither shut down nor warned the owners of the made-up pharmacy – Swedish Radio News’ reporters. When the reporters log into their account, they see that Facebook has stored the type of sensitive information that they say their filter is built to delete again and again. The question that the reporters then asked themselves was whether or not Facebook even has a filter that works in the Swedish language. One of the pharmacies that Swedish Radio reported on say that they cannot find any warnings from Facebook on data transfers that have taken place. The other has not wanted to answer the question. According to state investigators in the USA last year, Facebook only filtered in English.

Interesting? Yes, for three reasons:

  1. The radio outfit appears to have caught the Zuckers in a bit of a logical problem: Yes, there are filters? No, we just do marketing speak.
  2. Dismissing the method used to snap a mouse trap on Zuck’s big toe is probably a mistake. The “I’ll get back to you, Senator” works in the lobby-rich US. In Sweden, probably the method will swim like a plate of Surströmming.
  3. “Real” news — at least in Sweden — still has value. Perhaps some of the US “real” news people will give the approach a spin without the social justice and political sheen.

Net net: Will Facebook change its deep swimming in the information ocean? Has the Atlantic herring changed in the last two decades?

Stephen E Arnold, June 30, 2022


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