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Facebook Update


Let's be friends again. - SHUTTERSTOCK/HOLLY HARVEY
  • Shutterstock/Holly Harvey
  • Let's be friends again.

Hello. Mark Zuckerberg here with a few announcements about our Facebook community. Call me Mark, though. Many humans call me Mark. Just kidding. About the humans.

It's been a challenging year and if I've learned anything from testifying before Congress about fake news, Russian interference in our presidential election and the harvesting of personal data by third party companies without the consent of our unsuspecting users, it's that those of you over 30 will never leave and you'd like more features. Hear that, Snapchat-ing youths? Features!

So let's discuss some upgrades we'll be installing to the platform in the coming weeks. We're applying advances in our facial recognition software, 24-7 audio and visual surveillance and data scraping methods to give you the best experience possible. I'm pretty proud of our team.

You may have noticed how behavioral tracking allows us to load your page with targeted ads that make you feel judged. We're now introducing predictive shopping to go ahead and close the deal on things you keep looking at on Amazon or wherever. You were going to get it eventually — this way it'll be like a surprise.

You'll speed through tedious online quizzes and always come up with your desired result when we autofill your answers using information we've compiled about your opinions, personality and online porn habits. (Spoiler: You're a Hufflepuff! And yes, it's mostly because of the porn.)

Careful monitoring of users' feeds, comments and micro-expressions now allows us to send you alerts when your hot mess of a cousin is about to go off. This same technology allows you to not only see "likes," "loves" and "laughs," but which of these responses are genuine and which friends scroll past your selfies, roll their eyes and mutter, "Ugh, this bitch."

We've also solved your "vague-booking" mysteries. With everything we've gathered on you and your online friends and family, you'll never have to wonder what Ted is referring to when he posts, "Why does this always happen to me?" Facebook will henceforth provide a clear explanation in subtitle form, like, "Ted is back on his bullshit and no longer welcome at The Shanty." Likewise, Ted will see a pop-up window explaining that nobody likes a handsy Jäger drunk and The Shanty doesn't even have karaoke. Because, yes, we saw the whole thing.

Just changed your status to "In a Relationship?" Our proprietary algorithm will let you know if this thing is going to last or fizzle out. (It doesn't look good, Ted.)

You asked for better gif options and we heard you. Now you can spice up your online banter with a limitless cache of personalized gifs drawn from our surveillance video of you going about your day. That face you're making right now, for example — classic.

Is your lagging engagement hurting your reach? Our upgraded autocorrect feature takes a bland post or comment and amps up its divisiveness — possibly making it a little racist — to spark conversation. This service also extends to media outlets that have struggled to compete with sensationalist click bait. Nobody's scrolling by that policy explainer now that it's got a racial slur in the headline. You're welcome!

We recognize that our platform contributed to the "bubble" phenomenon by feeding users news, opinions, memes and straight-up fabrications to reinforce their existing views. To counteract that information isolation, we'll be directly connecting you with folks with wildly opposing and potentially violent ideologies to get you out of your bubble.

About that fake news — our Newsfeed Integrity Team is on it. We're thinking about getting a van. They'll research the truthiness of articles in about the time it takes your grandmother to send you a clipping in the mail and protect you from alternatively factful items by pushing them down in your feed to where those legit news pieces were before we added the slurs. Yeah, let's do it. Let's get the van.

We also know concerns about your privacy can weigh on you. So we're going to scan your phone for nudes, sell them in overseas markets and send copies to everyone in your contacts. Because once the thing you fear most actually happens, you're free. Also you've already agreed to it as stated in our updated privacy policy.

You love those Friendiversary posts, right? Get ready for auto-generated flashback posts of our good times together — you, me and Facebook — every time news breaks about ICE using our data, shadowy corporations mining your personal information or hate groups sending targeted messages through our platform. We'll also reinstall the Facebook app automatically when you delete it. No harm, no foul.

Finally, when you've been chosen at random to enter our gladiator ring, battling other users to the death for the entertainment of me, your boy king, we'll Facebook Live the carnage and send alerts so your friends won't miss a second. Check your last terms and conditions agreement. It's in there.

Jennifer Fumiko Cahill is the arts and features editor at the Journal. Reach her at 442-1400, extension 320, or [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @JFumikoCahill.

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