Blog 8

Michael Bazarevitsch

Whitney Lew James

Writing Argument

11 November 2019

Reddit

I was able to monitor my usage on Reddit over the past few days and discover how their privacy policy works and how they are able to gain access to personal information. Even though you can select the most private type of profile, they are still able to track your information. In class, my group was assigned Reddit and we were able to analyze the basic functions. No one in our group had used Reddit on a consistent basis, so we were all learning as we went along. We discovered that it was a simple website, designed for young to middle age individuals, allowing content to be shared freely from one person to another. To operate the website, there was a main “page” where the user can scroll down to view content. Each post had a link to the owner of the post and a caption. Along the sides of the page there are advertisements to different websites. Those advertisements are most likely linked and adjusted to fit the needs of the viewer.

“However, Reddit says it will delete all that information from its servers every 90 days — except the IP address you used to create your Reddit account. Same goes for any personally identifiable information the site collects. But your subscriptions, preferred language, all languages you view content in, karma, voting data, and date of last login will all be saved” (venturebeat.com).

Facebook

I have also used Facebook a few times over the weekend and have viewed the website differently after gaining insight into these new social pathways. “Facebook Demetricator is a web browser addon that hides these metrics. No longer is the focus on how many friends you have or on how much they like your status, but on who they are and what they said. Friend counts disappear” (bengrosser.com). This eliminates the need for numbers when viewing how many likes, shares, and comments one receives on a post.

Most information given over the web can be easily transferred into the wrong hands. When websites advertise a free sign-up, they have the ability to send your personal information, including your email and phone number to anyone. They may also decide to sell this information in order to keep their websites active.

Over the past few years, I have been able to experience this first hand. I randomly received phone calls from subscribers that I never signed up for. I would get messages from across the country, or even across the world, asking for special offers and new opportunities. These phone calls are mainly automated voices with recorded responses and messages.

Another example of this is a separate email account that I made. I created this account to use when signing up for certain websites. I currently have hundreds of unopened emails from Best Buy, Amazon, Target… They are all trying to make me respond with more information. The more information they receive, the more profits they can make. Usually, I try and block certain websites or “unsubscribe” to email messages that are nonstop and not relevant to my current situation.

Quizlet

Another important aspect of this is advertising space. Most websites try and use space around the content of their page to sell to advertisers. Many websites and accounts allow the users to pay a small fee to remove the advertisements and messages from their screen. For example, the study website “Quizlet” has recently introduced advertisements on the sides of each study set. Sometimes these messages contain moving aspects or brightly colored lettering that may distract the user from studying what needs to be done. “Quizlet” is a website that allows you to make online note cards on any different subject. This is sometimes very distracting when trying to study. I am not exactly sure how much the fee is, but to remove these advertisements from the sides of the screen becomes part of a monthly cost.

“Quizlet Go gives you a inexpensive way to remove ads from Quizlet. For just $1.99 per year, Quizlet Go will remove all the ads you see on Quizlet across all of our platforms (so if you study on-the-go with our app and then at home with our website, ads will be removed on both). Upgrading to Quizlet Go allows you to both support Quizlet’s free educational tools, and boost your focus without ads — at the same time” (quizlet.com).

https://quizlet.com/blog/introducing-quizlet-go-ad-free-studying-premium-themes