It’s that like button. It’s the live post you can catch of your favorite artist at this year’s Coachella. It’s that instant connectivity; checking what your pre-school buddies had for dinner yesterday. You’re all very familiar with this social media platform out of Mark Zuckerburg’s Harvard dorm room back in 2005 that has now grown into a global community and one of the world’s most valuable companies.
Recently though, the world’s favorite social media network has come under heavy public scrutiny following a user data breach thus even calling for Mark Zuckerburg to appear before Congress. So here is the scandal explained in a nutshell. It came into the light of the press that a data mining and political strategy firm based in London known as Cambridge Analytica which had worked on Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign had improperly gained access to about 50 million user profiles and experts believe that this gave them an advantage in targeting voters.
This of course raised questions above the user privacy of the rest of Facebook’s 2 Billion active users which has sparked a “delete Facebook” campaign worldwide. As the world turns more and more to unconventional sources for its daily news, Facebook is also under fire for its failure to curb fake news stories which are able to spread more rapidly that those that are actually true.
Drawing from this limelight appearance for Facebook, the issue of our personal data and who we entrust in to has made its way into popular public debate. Today we are willing to give away so much of information about ourselves in return for these companies’ services. And I don’t mean just Facebook. And it becomes distressing when we can’t trust where we place this data. This podcast, revealing how exactly the Facebook algorithm works, shows that with just about 250 likes, Facebook can known about you just about as much as your mother or your spouse knows. How many likes have you accumulated? Get my point?
So anyway, what am I getting at? In 2018, your personal and bio data is one of your most valuable assets. It is only sensible that we demand the at-most safety and privacy. There is no doubt that social media networks have made our lives better, but at what cost?