To kill Facebook or not to kill Facebook that is the question! I personally refuse to join the lynching of Facebook because of one big reason.
In short, Facebook is not the only guilty party here and the discussed exploitation of personal data of 50 million users came about without Facebook consent and was performed by a third-party: Cambridge Analytica who leveraged a loophole in their system.
Just a couple days ago, we witnessed a huge campaign against Facebook started with much online applaud after the scandal of alleged inappropriate personal data handling by Facebook was revealed. A public outrage and the hashtag #DeleteFacebook became widespread on Twitter. People started to delete their accounts and Facebook pages. Most notably, Elon Musk declared he deleted Tesla’s and Space X’es pages from Facebook, to add to the global panic. Mark Zuckerberg publicly apologised for the unfortunate event and promised the things to get better. That however did not help much, and Facebook shares’ value plunged.
Everybody suddenly forgot the enormous contribution of Facebook to actively making the world a better place. It was not the internet to make the world a global village, it took a couple of years more and the birth of Facebook to enable all your high-school colleagues, friends, your mum and your auntie to connect with you and stay up to date with your life while you are living on the other side of the globe. Suddenly, nobody remembers life-before-Facebook. Now we want to trash all that amazing work because of a single political incident (which is an alleged accusation, as we do not know the real impact of the security breach). Let’s face it, there is no other platform like Facebook that would contribute that much in supporting communities, families and friends to stay in touch, all in one digital space.
Now, as far as I am concerned, Facebook is a victim here as much as Facebook users are, yet, nobody talks about Cambridge Analytica and their quite unethical behaviour. Some magazines like Vox explain the issue in detail but they do not seem to get enough attention. At the same time some marketers are actually boasting that they exploited the discussed Facebook loophole. The majority of Facebook opponents and competition were just waiting for an opportunity of that kind and immediately jumped on the bandwagon of severe anti-Facebook campaign.
I do not know about you, but that sounds to me like a mad house story. To use a metaphor: Someone has stolen entrusted property from a bank and now boasts freely about it, while the owner of the bank is publicly beaten for not securing the property enough. Of course the bank, here data-bank: Facebook is certainly guilty for not ensuring enough data protection but certainly they did not participate in the “crime”.
Finally, private data collection and use by third-parties is a well known fact for more than a decade. There is a tremendous need for better education of the general public on the risks of giving up private data to companies as well as to educate people on how to identify fake news and manipulative content. Only through relevant education we can effectively fight all the late social media issues.
The only reason why so much attention is given to Facebook and its “sins” now is the potential (yet not proven in any way) strong impact on politics. However, my thesis is that the current events are nothing more but severe, unhealthy business competition.
On that issue, my friend asked me to decide whether I want take the red pill or the blue pill. My answer however to that is: I prefer no pill, and to stay sober and be reasonable. Therefore, stay calm and continue enjoying Facebook as much as I do and definitely #LoveFacebook !