The former CIA agent, who leaked confidential US electronic espionage documents, advised the use of Signal as an alternative to WhatsApp
Former CIA analyst Edward Snowden has posted on his Twitter account a public survey on the consequences of the possible disappearance of social networks important as WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram after the three suffered massive malfunctions this Monday and caused multimillion-dollar losses in the main computer companies of the North American country.
Snowden posed the following question to users: “Internet giants go offline today and never come back. What would happen tomorrow?”, wrote the computer specialist in the survey, which has two response options: “The Golden Age dawns” and “Collapse: we eat rats for dinner”.
So far they have voted nearly 100,000 Internet users, of which nearly 80% have spoken in favor of the first option. In fact, a couple of hours earlier, the former CIA analyst had already shown his attitude towards the global blackout of Facebook and other services belonging to the corporation, including WhatsApp and Instagram.
“Facebook and Instagram mysteriously go offline, and on a gorgeous day, the world becomes a healthier placeSnowden tweeted.
“The simultaneous crash of Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram seems like an easily understandable and popular example of why splitting a certain monopoly into at least three parts might not be a bad idea”, he explained later.
Snowden also added that “someone should tell” Democratic US Congresswoman Elizabeth Warrenknown for her role in a campaign to break up the tech giants.
Snowden, wanted by the United States for leaking confidential electronic espionage documents for a journalistic investigationalso took the opportunity to share a text published in August about apophenia and, incidentally, recommend that we use Signal as an alternative to WhatsApp.
“WhatsApp, owned by Facebook, is down. It’s a reminder that you and your friends should probably use a more private, non-profit alternative like Signal and another open source app. It’s just as free and takes like 30 seconds to download,” Snowden said.
What is apophenia?
Apophenia has been studied by researchers, although perhaps more incisively by the psychiatrist Klaus Conrad, a former Nazi militant and director of the Göttingen University Psychiatric Hospital in Germany, who analyzed the behavior of dozens of Nazi soldiers and the conspiracy stories they told themselves.
Conrad defined apophenia as the vision and experiences that make sense of something that has no meaning.it could be like a fantasy or the distortion of reality adapted to what a person thinks it is, but what does it have to do with Snowden and social networks?
The former CIA agent started from this concept to argue that apophenia can also develop in the digital world and that it works through the individualization of people because community and consensus become less important than what a person thinks they know and this dynamic ends up segmenting communities and ultimately results in a breeding ground for conspiracy theories.
For Snowden, the fall of Facebook could be an opportunity to reflect about how, why and for what we build these networks.