<- Internet Studio

detest.me by Eric Liu

We live in an Information Age where Data cannot exist in isolation. Our virtual selves that we construct using various platforms – and that we voluntarily feed – are essentially permanent imprints. Can these data mines accurately reflect who we are? Neoliberalism has feasted on the gluttony of information that we crave: why not embrace it?

Detest.me is a bookmarklet that records user interactions on a web page. A bookmarklet is a portable piece of JavaScript code injected into a web page by the user. Generally, it is more accessible and decentralized than extensions, which depend on the browser. Upon visualization, recorded metrics – hovered text, images, words and typed character – are displayed along with a timestamp represented when they were accessed. The bookmarklet represents an inclination to embrace our relationship with the information that we consume.

The project is inspired by Nick Briz’s “How To / Why Leave Facebook,” a web essay that examines the neoliberalization of information by the social media giant. Facebook and Google are famous services that track and sell user data to third party advertisers. Detest.me mimics such a functionality but returns such information to the user, the results of which may be unsavory. How will such a panoptical mechanism impact a user’s experience and interactions? Will is encourage them to sabotage it by attempting to input false data?