Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share
29 November 2016
Cambridge Analytica and Facebook problems
The Facebook Cambridge Analytica problems swarm news feeds, and for good reason. Much of the news focuses on Cambridge Analytica, its use of data mining techniques and Facebook’s falling stock price.
It seems, like everything else today, the lightning rod is once again POLITICS. Mention the Trump Administration and hair on BOTH sides catch fire. As if Facebook’s problems with Cambridge Analytica have anything to do with politics.
No. Facebook’s problems are a BRAND problem. Brand in ALL CAPS.
I don’t know about you but I am going to have trouble using the term social media anymore. As a term, it just feels too innocent. You know, like a social gathering or a party with friends. It is not that. It IS a ruthless business looking for ways to profit from our own ignorance.
Chatting with my sister last night, Kerry pontificated on how dumb any of us are to think that anything we share on social media has any privacy inherent in it.
“The freedom to suspend belief is over. I don’t know about you, but posting a picture of my grandkids on Facebook suddenly seems risky.”
She is right of course. But she gives too much credit to our own naiveté. Much of what we do in our commercial world is suspending reality. Accept the illusion and give into the moment. That’s why we can enjoy movies, novels and even social media.
What Cambridge Analytica did with our own naiveté is exploit our own desire to believe. We want to believe that, when we tell our friends about our vacation, that only our friends read it. That’s what social media promises. Facebook and Google+ kinda promise that by letting us control our friend selection and block those we don’t wish to see.
The Cambridge Analytica scandal changes the risk of sharing online
Facebook is not social media. Facebook is a for-profit business. So those innocuous little memes that ask you to learn something about yourself based upon your date of birth or favorite color are misleading.
You are inviting some stranger to learn more about you. And, make no mistake about it, those looking in plan on selling that information for a profit.
So, let the buyer beware. Cambridge Analyitca is not the villain here. Neither is Facebook. This is an infringement on privacy because you believe.
This is why this is a BRAND problem for Facebook. Because brand is all about belief. Without a willing buy in of belief, brands contain no value.
Social media will never be the same. Think of the social media world we live in now, especially considering our privacy. Facebook twists from Russian attempts to influence our opinions. Amazon ads appearing in our browser the moment we so much as mention a product on Facebook. These destroy our beliefs in privacy.
It is just not a lot of fun to measure everything we choose to view or say. The freedom to suspend belief is over. I don’t know about you, but posting a picture of my grandkids on Facebook suddenly seems very risky.
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