Still single? Why not become a spy for MI6?

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facebook 100 pix.jpgSigh. For all of the benefits that Facebook has given us, like easier communication with friends, a way of finding out gossip on what your adversaries from school are doing now and a means of sharing identikit pictures from evenings out clubbing, it’s certainly taken away the allure and mystery of certain things too. No longer do people take time in forming relationships and keeping their friends guessing – Facebook knows for sure, and has turned relationships into a strictly binary yes-or-no arrangement, and no longer are you allowed to feel shades of emotion, but you must either be REALLY HAPPY or SAD AND DEPRESSED, and you must broadcast this in your Facebook status. Unfortunately, this isn’t the end of Facebook’s influence.

In years gone by, shadowy men would approach the brightest and best in society, tap them on the shoulder and talk in ambiguous terms about working for their country, and only over time would they realise that they want them to become a spy. In the Facebook century though, MI6 has, instead of headhunting from Oxbridge, gone for placing recruitment adverts on Facebook instead. This seems like something as a climbdown for an organisation so mysterious, we mostly know it from the romanticised, glamourous version we see in the Bond films. MI6 could be only really shatter the illusion more if they let it be known that all recruits have to read the Health & Safety At Work Act poster on the wall in the canteen, and participate in quarterly appraisals where targets are set (unless those targets are “Terrorists and baddies”).

What’s interesting about Facebook’s adverts though is that they can be demographically targeted, meaning that MI6 can specifically push adverts at specific people. Presumably they’ve set their adverts to appear for anyone who’s profile has “shooting, car chases and womanising” as their interests and has their profile picture as a silhouette in profile.

If any of your friends delete their profiles after getting a new job, you know where they work.

(via The Guardian)

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James O’Malley