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opinion • 13 


mgateway ■ WWW.THE6SIEWM0NUNE.CA « Volume 103 , Issue 19 


Facebook's graph search is scary 



Profiling Facebook-style makes 
creeping random strangers even 
more effective. Otherwise known 
as Facebook Graph Search, this as¬ 
pect of the social media network is 
still being beta-tested and allows 
you to search for people by what 
they like, the relatives they have, 
where they work and where they 
live — among other things. 

Although some people do have 
publicly viewable profiles, if you 
wanted to find out what someone 
liked before this, you’d often have 
to find them by name and look 
through their profile — after they 
gave you permission to access it. 
Now if you want to search "women 
who are married" and add in more 
specific criteria like "likes strip¬ 
ping" and “lives in New York City," 
you can. Some of the searches are a 
little bit funny — "mothers of Jews 
who like bacon” was an example 
given by Tom Scott, a British come¬ 
dian randomly selected to beta-test 
Graph Search. 

Some of them, though, are fright¬ 
ening — and give startling glimpses 
of new ways to find people through 
aspects of their profile that they 
didn't realize had to stay hidden. 
Graph Search is dangerous, and 
lots of people are underestimating 
how it reconfigures the information 


found through searching processes 
used by Facebook. 

Tom Scott highlights other uses 
of Graph Search in his Tumblr feed. 
Actual Facebook Graph Searches. 
Among other things, he searched 
“married people who like prosti¬ 
tutes” and "current employers of 
people who like racism." A more 
troubling experiment was “men 
who like men in Tehran, Iran and 
like Islam," which opens up a whole 
new can of worms in the form of 
minority discrimination and identi¬ 
fication. Ultimately, these searches 
focus on information that should be 
able to be restricted and could act as 
new tools for extremist groups and 
oppressive governments. 


Facebook has never 
been the perfect picture 
of privacy, but people 
should be able to expect 
at least a little sense of 
security about how their 
information is accessed 
and what strangers can 
see. 

Graph Search and its potential 
applications might not be a hor¬ 
rible thing if most people placed 
safeguards on their information or 
users who searched for things only 
used it for positive applications — 
like maybe starting support groups 
or reconnecting with old friends. 
However, history has shown that 


when people are given the oppor¬ 
tunity to share too much, they will 
take advantage of every chance 
to tell the world about every time 
they fart or eat Kraft Dinner. Be¬ 
yond that, people can't be trusted 
with the abundance of information 
Graph Search has to offer, because 
Facebook has been proven a very 
effective tool for internet stalkers. 
Graph Search makes stalking easi¬ 
er because if you don't know some¬ 
one’s name, you just have to know 
basic information about them, 
some of which could be guessed or 
observed. 

Facebook has never been the 
perfect picture of privacy, but 
people should be able to expect at 
least some sense of security about 
how their information is accessed 
and what strangers can see. Right 
now people can be found through 
networks they place themselves 
into, friends they have in common 
with the searcher and their name, 
which limits the potential search¬ 
ers to a few degrees of separation 
from the subject of the search. Be¬ 
cause Graph Search uses accessory 
information, it opens up the poten¬ 
tial for anyone to find you using 
peripheral information that might 
not be high-priority when you place 
restrictions on your account. 

This increased exposure of peo¬ 
ple's private information is danger¬ 
ous, reduces any semblance of pri¬ 
vacy offered by Facebook to almost 
nil and foreshadows how the net¬ 
work is working to make informa¬ 
tion accessible to as many people as 
possible, including total strangers. 


Females deserve the right to fight on front lines 




Overdue gender "equality" has 
been officially presented this week 
in the United States in the form of 
front-line combat jobs for women, 
but there's still a long way to go be¬ 
fore this equality is real. 

This past Wednesday, Defense 
Secretary Leon Panetta lifted the 
1994 ban that prevented women 
from having positions in front-line 
combat ranks in the US Army. Ac¬ 
cording to TIME, women make up 
approximately 14 per cent of active 
US military personnel — and they 
now have an equal chance to de¬ 
fend their country in the same way 
men have been afforded. In a re¬ 
cent poll on debate.org, 58 per cent 
of people agreed that it's about 
time female soldiers are given the 
ability to serve in the same man¬ 
ner as men. According to the Wall 
Street Journal, there have been 
many complaints from women in 
the ranks about being excluded 
from “real fighting." However, re¬ 
gardless of potentially being given 
230.000 new jobs, there are still 
social and cultural problems that 
limit the possibilities presented to 
women. 

One important reason for the 
lack of women in the front lines 
are the assigned gender roles 
that have already been assumed. 
Instead of being handed guns, 
women throughout history were 
given jobs that were more "fitting" 
for their gender. Approximately 
59,000 nurses served in the US 
Army Nurse Corps during World 
War II, and this wasn't the only or¬ 
ganization specifically for women. 
There were also groups like the UK 


Women’s Voluntary Service, who 
provided assistance in civilian aid, 
food convoying and the mending of 
clothing. 

However, there are more serious 
social problems that keep women 
out of these traditionally male 
roles. These issues include the sta¬ 
tus of women in different cultures, 
as well as mixed gender living 
quarters and the troubles present¬ 
ed with amourous relations. Both 
the Huffington Post and BBC News 
have reported shocking facts about 
sexual harassment and abuse with¬ 
in US Army ranks. Female soldiers 
are more likely to be raped by their 
male comrades than to be killed in 
combat, according to the Depart¬ 
ment of Defense. 

Chantelle Henneberry, a female 
soldier who fought in Iraq, provides 
just one example of the way women 


are treated. Her sergeant sexually 
harassed her and after she reported 
him she was transferred and he was 
promoted. Many women don't re¬ 
port incidences of abuse due to the 
fear of alienation or being demoted. 
The real problem in US ranks is not 
the number of jobs being given to 
women, but rather the way women 
are treated in general. 

In 2013, with an increasing 
amount of equality being spread, 
women should be able to have a ca¬ 
reer. earn promotions, and make a 
living in the same ways men have. 
Until these backwards gender roles 
are done away with, it doesn't mat¬ 
ter how many bans are lifted. 

A combat role in the army, 
while being a dangerous job, is a 
job all the same. Women should 
be afforded a safe and respectful 
workspace. 


LETTERS * CONTINUED FROM PAGE 9 

MRA's must work with 
feminists on causes 

(Re: “MRAs misunderstand 
feminism," by Paige Gorsak, Jan 23.) 

There is a dent in my wall — and 
my head — from reading these 
comments. 

Having a penis myself, I believe 
that circumcision is an issue that 
needs to be discussed. But because I 
also have a brain, I think that MRAs 
and like-minded men are wrong in 
their tactics. 

It’s as if they think there’s only so 
much activism to go around. They 
feel a need to - as Paige says - tear 
others down to build themselves 
up. 

At the very least, let’s have 
feminist and men's groups engage 
the public together. 

But alas, I am a hypocrite. I do 
value one over the other! For some 
strange reason I devote more of my 
time towards stopping the street 
harassment and sexual assault of 
women than I do thinking about 
Duluth’s "Power Wheel” and baby 
penises. 

Thanks for the article, Paige. 

Scott Travis 

VIA WEB 


No, you misunderstand 
Men's rights activism 

(Re:" MRAs misunderstand 
feminism,"by Paige Gorsak. Jan 23.) 

Paige is the one who misunder¬ 
stands feminism. MRAs have to 
focus it because feminists oppose 
almost everything they do. 

When Erin Pizzey wanted to 
acknowledge violent females and 
thus help male victims, the femi¬ 
nists threatened and attacked her 
and kicked her out of the organisa¬ 
tion she founded. 

When Michelle Elliot started to 
highlight the issue of female pae¬ 
dophiles (and their mostly male vic- 
itms) she was abused by feminists 
who didn’t want to acknowledge 
that female paedophiles existed. 

When Warren Farrell wanted to 
talk about male suicide it was femi¬ 
nists who smeared him and block¬ 
aded his event. They then lied about 
everything that happened and pre¬ 
tended it was their rights that had 
been violated. 

When laws seeking to protect 
men from false allegations are pro¬ 
posed who is the first in line to stop 
them? Whyfeminists of course. And 
almost every time a woman kills her 
husband all she has to do is alleged 
the tiniest amount of abuse and 
regardless of the truth of her allega¬ 
tion s an a rmy of fern i n i sts wi 11 try to 
stop her facing justice. 

Feminists are mostly female 
supremacists who will do anything 
to get their way and to harm men. 
When women are behind in some 
area such as education or employ¬ 
ment then it's a disaster, and when 
it's men who are disadvantage it's a 
brilliant victory and the men getting 
what they deserve. 

Feminism has become a hate 
movement that opposes the idea of 
men’s rights as human rights. We 
will never achieve equality until 
men and women come together to 
expose the lies of these misandrists. 

DaveB 

VIA WEB 


MRA's are right to fight 
against feminism 

(Re: "MRA's misunderstand 
feminism, "by Paige Gorsak, Jan 23.) 

The reason feminism gets a lot 
of heat from MRAs is because real 
policy has been made utilizing 
feminist researched data as its basis. 
Those basis have been shown to be 


knowingly propagated falsehoods, 
advanced by PhDs - the feminist van¬ 
guard. These PhDs have not faced 
censure of any kind for knowingly 
distorting the truth and/or telling 
bald-faced lies and continue to teach 
post-secondary students. 

As a quick example, if you have a 
intro, level course in women's stud¬ 
ies text, justtake a quick browse. See 
if you find a reference to Margaret 
Meed's study of theTchambuli tribe 
and its matriarchal character. 

If you do, you should know 
that this example has been thor¬ 
oughly debunked and Meed herself 
recanted. Yet, the Tchambuli exam¬ 
ple is still widely utilized (despite 
being debunked more than 30 years 
ago) because there are no other 
known matriarchal societies. If the 
text in question was published less 
than 20 years ago, that's a red flag. 

This sort of offense is pretty mild 
compared to intentionally distort¬ 
ing facts on domestic violence and 
rape, although it is an academic dis¬ 
grace. The lies of the academically 
and politically influential feminists 
have led to many injustices in the 
system (which you do recognize). 

But its not just the initial lies, it's 
the pattern of silencing opposition 
and repeating those lies ad nauseam 
which perpetuates these injustices. 
Naive individuals may thinkthatit’s 
a simple misunderstanding, but it's 
not. 

Influential feminists have dem¬ 
onstrated that they are not open to 
changing their mind, even when 
their data is wrong or their meth¬ 
odology flawed. Nor do they debate 
using evidence and logic; their pri¬ 
mary tools are shaming language, 
strawmen, adhominem attacks and 
false equivocation. 

MRAs understand feminism all- 
too-weli, that is why most oppose it. 

“Brad” 

VIA WEB 

I know what feminism 
is about 

(Re: "MRAs misunderstand 
feminism," by Paige Gorsak. Jan 23.) 

Well let’s see... I am supportive of 
MRAs now. and critical of feminism. 
I was a feminist for my entire adult 
life up until about four years ago. 
At university I was called "insight¬ 
ful" on gender issues by a feminist 
communications professor. I have 
had numerous feminist friends and 
girlfriends and lived with a femi¬ 
nist woman who had a degree in 
women's studies from a prestigious 
university. I was a regular reader of 
numerous Feminist magazines and 
online jounals. I did pro-bono work 
with several women's groups. 

But I guess I must not know what 
Feminism is. Makes sense. 

“TMG” 

VIA WEB 


Letters to the editor should be sent 
to letters@gateway.ualberta.ca (no 
attachments, please). 

The Gateway reserves the right 
to edit letters for length and clarity, 
and to refuse publication of any letter 
it deems racist, sexist, Ubellous, or 
otherwise hateful in nature. The 
Gateway also reserves the right to 
publish letters online. 

Letters to the editor should be no 
longer than 350 words, and should 
include the author's name, program, 
year of study, and student ID number 
to be considered forpublication. 

Holy cow! We got a ton of com¬ 
ments this week. Good job on getting 
angry and writing in, you guys. I'm 
proud of each of you. Just make sure 
to check your submissions for spell¬ 
ing and grammar mistakes. It saves 
me so much time. 

I have to go. I just booked a trip to 
theNeverlands.