For me, the cynically dark phrase “too big to fail” comes to mind in describing Facebook management’s precarious position in light of the current Cambridge Analytica News. “It’s not a data breach.” You say tomato and I say BS. Compound this situation with the targeted disinformation campaign lodged by Russian hackers to manipulate Facebook groups into organizing divisive political protests. Something bad happened during Facebook’s stewardship of our info, that we willingly gave them permission to collect.
Facebook was too big and powerful and too well run to make mistakes.
Just look at the bullet points of this CNBC article:
- Facebook’s reaction to a year of scandal has vacillated between defensive cluelessness and aloof silence.
- Users are getting the message that information they post on Facebook can be used in ways they did not intend, and usage is starting to decline.
- Meanwhile, executives are selling shares like crazy, including a plan by Mark Zuckerberg to sell almost $13 billion worth of shares by mid-2019.
Don’t just read the article, watch the video clip as well.
These areas should give readers and advertisers cause for concern. If you can’t trust Facebook’s word that your personal info is safe. If you can’t trust Facebook to own up/remedy quickly any breaches. How can you trust anything FB tells you about reach and engagement data?
I “became an adult” during the Cold War. “Trust no one” and all that. In fact, I never had a FB page until I needed it to join Facebook groups. But, I never trusted this whole data mining / re-selling is good for business. (See Dr Ian Malcolm quote).
Anything and everything during the Cold War that could be turned into a weapon would be. It’s a lesson forgotten that painfully needs to be retaught. Data may be coin of the realm. But it is also power. And power corrupts in the wrong hands. As we are seeing in the headlines.
So, what happens now? Life goes on, but there is a price to be paid.
Which Is Worse: Facebook’s Poor Stewardship of our Data or Its Lack of Transparency? You decide.
I am advising my clients to scale down on FB and use an alternate means of engaging with readers & customers.