Someone observing the digital landscape a couple years from now could see Facebook continuing its dominance and deduce that it’s fine to play fast and loose with customer data in the name of growth, to optimize your product around addictiveness, and to sell information on your users.
Or, in a couple years, they could see the massive consequences Facebook faced for behaving that way. They could see people chose to give their attention to products they trust, and left Facebook in droves.
Which is why quitting Facebook matters: it sends the message that companies can’t, and shouldn’t, try to have that much power over our lives. That if other companies try in the future, they’ll get punished for it.
If someone in our social circle deceives us or lies to us, we tell our friends. We use gossip to spread information about who is and isn’t trustworthy, partially so there are consequences for not being trustworthy. If businesses aren’t subject to the same consequences for not being trustworthy, they’ll have no motivation to think before they do something that could break their users’ trust.
If Facebook thinks they can keep focusing on addiction, ad revenue, and data collection with no consequences, they’ll keep doing it.
Facebook is getting the pounding it deserves for its shocking carelessness in allowing the antidemocratic, lying sleazebags at Cambridge Analytica to harvest the data of some 50 million users. Plenty of my friends are fleeing Facebook in utterly justified outrage. They’re joining a growing #DeleteFacebook campaign—and that tardy we’ve-already-fixed-it apology from Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg has only rubbed salt in the wound.
Still, I’m not joining the exodus—at least not yet. I still find Facebook a valuable and important self-publishing and communication platform. For all its flaws, it remains a vital tool for political activism—just look, for instance, at how important Facebook and other social media were in organizing the West Virginia teachers’ strike, or the wave of student mobilization after the Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting, right up through this coming weekend’s march on Washington. Don’t get me wrong. I think Zuckerberg and Sandberg should take early retirement to Antarctica. But the root of the problem isn’t Facebook. It is about ideas and about politics: the mindless corporate libertarianism that dominates this company and the entire tech industry.
Two days after Trump was elected, Zuckerberg was asked whether Facebook had “distorted the way that people perceived the information during the course of the campaign.” He replied, “Voters make decisions based on their lived experience.” But online experience and lived experience become more inseparable every day.
(2) - https://www.theatlantic.com/photo/2018/04/photos-of-the-week-walls-whales-the-pope-and-a-llama/557960/