Facebook blocks the Spinner’s ‘brainwashing’ tech

Facebook blocks the Spinner’s ‘brainwashing’ tech

Facebook has issued a cease and desist notice to an Israeli firm that claims to be able to subconsciously alter people’s behaviour.

The Spinner charges a fee to “subconsciously influence” targets by exposing them to online posts “disguised as editorial content”.

But Facebook has objected to the start-up using its services to achieve this.

And the tech giant has barred the firm and its chief from using Facebook or Instagram for any reason.

In response, the Spinner’s co-founder and chief operating officer Elliot Shefler told the BBC that it would continue to sell targeted online campaigns and refused to rule out using Facebook in the future.

Policy violation

The Spinner claims to be able to “brainwash” loved ones to:

  • quit smoking
  • lose weight
  • propose marriage
  • initiate sex with their partners more often
  • consider having breast implants

To do this, it shows dozens of articles about the issue to targets over a period of months via the internet, including in their social media feeds.

Facebook’s law firm Perkins Coie has sent a letter to Mr Shefler to complain.

“It appears that the Spinner uses fake accounts and fake Facebook Pages to ‘strategically bombard’ Facebook users with advertisements,” it reads.

“These activities violate Facebook’s terms and advertising policies. Facebook demands that you stop this activity immediately.”

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