I’ve never thought much of “liking” because it may be the laziest of all possible responses to a given subject short of blinking. Taking this logic forward, we could argue that the practice of “liking” renders us passive. We may “like” an art object or a piece of political rhetoric without actually formulating a coherent opinion about what, exactly, appeals to us. This sort of non-response deadens our critical faculties and reduces us to consumers of content. Now there’s a new reason to dislike “liking.” From the UK Guardian:
Facebook users are unwittingly revealing intimate secrets – including their sexual orientation, drug use and political beliefs – using only public “like” updates, according to a study of online privacy.
The research into 58,000 Facebook users in the US found that sensitive personal characteristics about people can be accurately inferred from information in the public domain.
Researchers were able to accurately infer a Facebook user’s race, IQ, sexuality, substance use, personality or political views using only a record of the subjects and items they had “liked” on Facebook – even if users had chosen not to reveal that information.