Direct Marketing 2

This story is the continuation of Direct Marketing.)

“How did you know we were coming?”

“I used Facebook to hack your computers.”

We looked at each other. What she said made no sense. Facebook was a social network, not a hacking tool.

The girl made an exasperated face. “Listen. What is the most powerful computer system online?”

“Google,” I said. “They are running who knows how many servers.”

“Facebook is running two hundred million human brains. That’s way more computing power.”

“Uh? Facebook is not a computer!”

“Yeah, right. Do you think chips know they are inside a computer? What do you believe is happening when you play games and chat? You are running subroutines for Facebook’s distributed processing system.” She smiled cheerfully. “You didn’t really think that a social network without a revenue stream could be worth ten billion dollars or more, did you? It’s the world’s biggest hypercomputer. Shifting around buying patterns and hacking into people’s laptops is the least it can do. And it’s not what it was built for.”

“What do you mean? What is Facebook for?”

She put a finger over her lips and passed me a piece of paper. There were a hundred and forty letters written on it, and I didn’t want to believe what they said.


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