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Posts generate engagement.
User profiles and tracking of likes / dislikes etc. generate data.
Both in combination provide an outlet for targeted advertisement.
I’ve never stated otherwise.
Right, but it matters how that data is being used. Is it used 'fairly' - as in, what you would or could reasonably expect given the popularity of certain subjects (a form of data transparency, 'being honest') or is it being used in a manipulative way.
The papers reveal the manipulation at work is staggering and extends beyond Facebook as well, with full intent and knowledge that destabilization generates more money. Conflict generates money. We can see the results in societies. They're not positive. Facebook has lied on multiple counts about what they said they would do, and what they really did wrt changing the algorithms and prominence of posts.
The question that we need to ask here is whether we want that.