It’s time to take our part of responsibility for Facebook’s actions

Joseph Emmi
Jul 7, 2018 · 3 min read

After the events of Cambridge Analytica, is a lot that have been said bout the social media behemont and its now questioned practices.

Movements like #DeleteFacebook emerged, with heavy names like Elon Musk supporting it and even deleting the Facebook page of his companies when questioned about it.

More and more evidence have been emerging about the way the company has been sharing personal information of their users with external entities, more recently confirming the sharing of this with technology companies and Smartphone manufacturers. All this, while raising even more questions and concerns, but for what seems, with very little consequences.

One of the problems that many have realised after Mark Zuckerberg’s testimony session in front of the congress a couple of months ago, is the fact that, a lot of the people in that room, despite some very concise questions, it was quite evident that they don’t fully understand how the platform works, which by consequence, makes is difficult to regulate.

However, despite all this, there’s still a party that needs to step in and start taking responsibility and action upon these circumstances, and that is us, the users. Because despite of all this, despite of been the victims, we are also responsible, maybe not of what already happened, but definitely about what continues to happen or might happen in the future.

Think for a moment. After what we already know has happened, all the information we know it is collected from us, but more importantly, the apparently collective discontent towards Facebook’s practices, what would be the natural thing to do if not to just close our accounts, yet, how many of us have actually done it? No, thinking about it doesn’t count.

When we have bad experiences with other brands or companies, we complaint about it, and if we consider it necessary, we would leave, yet with Facebook it doesn’t seem to be the case, instead, leaning towards what seems to be a digital adaptation of the Stockholm Syndrome; one where we not necessarily like the capturer, but we are ok with been captive, basically, because there’s no one else to capture us, for this version of the syndrome freedom is not an option, and apparently for those in captivity nor a goal either.

There’s a reason for this phenomenon to happen, and this because Facebook, like any other of the main companies we regularly interact with, have manage to profoundly integrate into our daily lives in a way that we rarely question, putting us on this strange scenario where we are clearly in disadvantage and our data and behaviours are key assets, yet we accept it all because the social and habitual investments are apparently so high that we rather accept it how it is without questioning, and in many cases without even fully understanding the possible implications.

Scott Galloway in his book “The Four: The Hidden DNA of Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google” discusses these circumstances around the four most important tech companies in the world and how they have become so entrenched into our lives, taking us to this exact point.

Facebook have significantly evolved over the last decade from the university-only social site, to a complete world-class media and communications platform, one that, although its cliché tag-line of having the goal of connecting everyone in the world, does it one way or another, helping millions of people, businesses and communities everyday to stay in touch with those that matter to them.

Yes, there have been downsides along the way, but one or another, in the majority of the cases, when you ask someone why they don’t leave Facebook it’s usually due to a service or a product that allows them to interact with others; Messenger, Pages, Groups, and so on.

There is a real value and perceived benefit from the platform, that’s undeniable, yet, this cannot be a reason for us to become numbed towards those actions that not only have been proved to be negative and/or unethical, but that impact us directly as users, and as citizens; otherwise we are facing the risk of stop being victims, and become accomplices. With the latter, complaining is not allowed.

This article is part of my #100DayProject #100DaysofWriting — Day 95 of 100

Joseph Emmi

Written by

Technology + Business + Design + Entrepreneurship

The Bridge

A crossroad between Technology, Business and Design

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