This is the 300th post I have made to this blog. It’s kind of a cool milestone for me. So, I felt like acknowledging it here.
I used to believe there was a responsible way to use Facebook. As long as you didn’t like any business pages, share anything from a business, or click on adds, my theory was you were relatively safe. The recent disclosure that Facebook shared private messages with Netflix and /Spotify is a game changer.
Everyone who uses social media, especially Facebook, should know they have very little privacy. If you tell Facebook important things to marketers: birthday, education, things you buy, and more, you should expect that information to be sold. After all, nothing is truly free. Facebook is going to use what it has to make money. Facebook’s most valuable asset is information about Facebook users.
The idea that Facebook sold private messages to at least two companies is a totally different issue. When someone sends a private message, most people assume that message is actually private. A private message is something an individual expressly chose not to share with anyone but the recipient(s). Yet, Facebook allowed corporations to read people’s most intimate thoughts–thoughts the senders intensionally tried to keep private.
For me, the decision to sell private messages was the last straw. Sure, I got some enjoyment from Facebook. Facebook drove more people to read my content than anything else. But if we want the tech industry to ever have some boundaries, we have to set those boundaries. In my case, that means leaving Facebook. I can’t support a company that so violates the trust of its users as to sell things users intend to be private.
In a world where government pretended to respond the will of the people on occasion, Congress would pass a substantial privacy law. In this world, where the government shutdown has set a record, it’s up to us. If you’re tired of Facebook abusing us and our privacy–delete your Facebook account. Mine will be gone by the end of the weekend.