It is January 1, and I expected to just wish you a Happy New Year and leave it at that.
But then today, I came across an article in The Guardian about beauty filters.
Apparently, via Tik Tok and other sources, teens (especially girls) are being invited to submit a selfie that will then be digitally retouched to make her look like she should look. More than makeup or clothing, the app will rejig her lips and even her jawline to attain an improved image.
“Many of the popular filters that have crept into the popular libraries that have crept into app libraries also change the face’s proportions, generally to fit female, European beauty standards, with thinner faces, smaller noses, and plump lips.” The Guardian.
Selfies submitted to Tik Tok with these enhancements can explode audiences. I would call that the “hook”. How irresponsible is this to do to a forming personality? Is high rates of teen suicide really a worthy goal?
Now, let’s take this a step further. The Chinese government is presently spending tens of billions of dollars to mine the social media internet for information on individuals, groups, and organizations. Not only are they seeking information on those speaking against them (which means they will now have me on their radar) but they are looking for weaknesses in individuals of interest to them. Say that a young girl a few years ago got interested in one of these beauty filters. As a result, she made some bad decisions regarding medications, surgeries, drugs, or what have you.
Now she holds a significant and confidential position with a Defense contractor. She is still afflicted with the inferiority caused by the beauty filters. Would it be all that difficult for a government to manipulate her by providing her with the surgeries she craves, or threatening to reveal what she has already done to attain her unrealistic goals?
The basic rule is that a person can become a spy through M.I.C.E., Money, Ideology, Compromise and Ego. The target can be offered money to become the person they believe they should be (Money). They can be convinced that they are already that person (schmoozing) (Ego), or they can be confronted with the things they’ve done to achieve their goals and told that if they don’t play ball, they will be exposed. (Compromise)
I don’t know about you, but this whole mess terrifies me. What is worse is that there seems to be absolutely no regulation of this social media activity at all. If this was attempted through printed news ads or articles all hell would break loose.
On that joyous note, Happy New Year!