It's very interesting that they collect so much information but FB is just new media. The fact that they collect and sell data should not surprise anyone, the internet is a virtual world no different than the street corner in your hometown and FB has set themselves up to watch you come and go in this virtual world and record your wonderings and sell the info to those who are interested, not unlike what any individual could do in the real world. Anonymity is part of the reason things have become so caustic in this virtual world, many things typed in private would not be said in face to face conversation for fear of a bloody nose I for one am to simple to use FB, I could never understand it or figure out how it could work for me, so I never signed up, don't think I ever will now, should this forum or other forums go by the way, so will I.

As far as bias and manipulating public opinion there has ALWAYS been bias in our media be it newspapers, books, or social commentary, it is part of the human condition. In years past it was for sale on in any street corner news stand but now with new media it can flash before your eyes as soon as someone dreams it up. The thought that people are just now being manipulated with false stories is just not accurate and shows just how little we remember or maybe never learned about our own history. Centuries past newspapers were even more venomous than they are now, and drawn along party lines bought and paid for just like today. Democracy's greatest strength lies in the individual and his/her ability to discern truth for themselves, Benjamin Franklin argued this at the constitutional convention when many of the other delegates were arguing that the masses were too uneducated and unsophisticated in thought to be able to discern fact from fiction and on this basis be denied the right to vote for higher office officials. We are all in this great experiment together and can separate out the baloney from truth. I believe the greatest threat to democracy is as Charles Dickens wrote in his story a Christmas Carol, when the ghost of Christmas present pulled back his robes to expose the two children hidden underneath, “They are Man's and they cling to me, appealing from their fathers. This boy is Ignorance and this girl is Want. Beware them both, and all of their degree, but most of all beware this boy for on his brow I see that written which is Doom, unless the writing be erased.”