Facebook at it again

Let me first start by speaking from experience. Since late 2008 I started toying around with social media.

Right after my divorce I was searching for a gateway to a new life. In full disclosure, I consider myself an introvert, moreover I consider myself a conservative libertarian if that’s even possible. Although I am on social media, I do not post like the majority.

Facebook at the time, was blowing up and people with pages, promoters, et al were cashing in. Soon everyone around you had influence, and the proverbial 15 mins of fame were easier to grab by the horns – as everyone feverishly tried to elevate their status quo.

Soon after I started my journey on Facebook. I began developing my first brand – connecting singles with local events. It started to gain traction and like the rest I was now blasting my list with invites.

It wasn’t long after that I began to notice how quickly people lost interest and or blocked you. I witnessed major advertisers pull their ads from Facebook.

I’ve never been one to sit and post like the rest and when you fast forward to today, most of my post are based on societal issues no one really wants to talk about. Especially as Facebook predicates “echo chambers.”

I’ve felt for a while that Facebook, just didn’t have what it took to keep an audience captured. Especially with all the issues of privacy and their lack of policing hate groups et al.

Privacy issues continue to evolve, whether it was Facebook providing access to companies who used data to help sow discord and ultimately elevate the alt-right movement.

To helping Donald Trump become President, to now paying teens to install a VPN. There doesn’t seem to be anything that Zuckerberg and his team aren’t willing to do for profit. Just this past week we learned about a spat with Apple.

“Facebook violated Apple’s rules by publicly distributing a research app that allowed it to snoop on users’ online activity.

When Apple discovered the transgression this week, it revoked Facebook’s special access to apps and updates that run on its iPhone software…”

Read more here “Apple Shows Facebook Who Has the Power…”

Spat didn’t run long, and by late Thursday afternoon, Apple had restored access, allowing Facebook’s 35,000 workers access to its internal apps.

According to other reports, not only did Facebook make news for this “research app,” which allowed the company access to extensive information on how consumers were using their phones. Zuckerberg’s sister Sheryl Sandberg told CNBC that user had gone through a “rigorous consent flow.”

What is more disturbing, is the fact that ProPublica discovered their tool – along with a number of organizations – developed to let the public see exactly how Facebook users were being targeted by advertisers, stopped working this past month, “after Facebook inserted code in its website that blocks them.”

“In a statement to ProPublica, Facebook said the change was meant to simply enforce its terms of service.”

“We regularly improve the ways we prevent unauthorized access by third parties like web browser plugins to keep people’s information safe,” Facebook spokesperson Beth Gautier said. “This was a routine update and applied to ad blocking and ad scraping plugins, which can expose people’s information to bad actors in ways they did not expect.” – Facebook

Facebook Moves To Block Ad Transparency…

This is disturbing since the tool allowed a deeper dive into the attributes used to target users. Attributes like racial, ethnic, religious, partisan and et al, known as “microtargeting.” Some of which were used by Russian agents during the 2016 election.

Even with scandal, after scandal last year. Press and pundits have long rumored a rapid downfall, claiming Facebook days are numbered. Campaigns like the #DeleteFacebook sought to have users delete the platform over privacy fears.

Nonetheless, with Facebook being so intertwined in our lives, by how we keep in touch, follow the news, get updates, and stay in the know. It’s become something too big and entrenched to let go of. So the question I ponder;

Whose fault is it really?

Theirs or ours, for sharing so much of our personal lives to feel connected and appreciated, in our quest for social acceptance?

About Carlos Barberena
Just a guy trying to contribute to society.

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