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Facebook’s “reactions” let you express how you feel about a link, photo, or status. While such data might be helpful for your friends, these recorded feelings also enable increased surveillance, government profiling, more targeted advertising, and emotional manipulation. Go Rando is a web browser extension that obfuscates your feelings on Facebook. Every time you click “Like”, Go Rando randomly chooses one of the seven “reactions” for you. Over time, you appear to Facebook’s algorithms as someone whose feelings are emotionally “balanced”—as someone who feels Angry as much as Haha or Sad as much as Love. You can still choose a specific reaction if you want to, but even that choice will be obscured by an emotion profile increasingly filled with noise. In other words, Facebook won’t know if your reaction was genuine or not. Want to see what Facebook feels like when your emotions are obscured? Then Go Rando!
We’ve known for years now that your “Likes” on Facebook not only tell your friends what you saw today, but also change what you see on Facebook in the future. For example, Facebook uses your “Like” activity to target ads, to decide which posts appear on your News Feed, and to manipulate your emotions as part of its own studies of human behavior. At the same time, Facebook shares your data with other corporations and government agencies, fueling increased surveillance and algorithmic decision making.