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Is Quitting Facebook Your Best Response to Its Privacy Failures?

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Steven Mehler
Steven Mehler is an experienced writer, blogger, SEO specialist and social psychologist that works as an editor at a local newspaper.
Mark Zuckerberg fell quite far out of grace and an outraged public have manifestly quit Facebook encouraging others to do the same. But is it the answer?

Mark Zuckerberg is in hot water – with Congress, with the public, and with Wall Street. How did this “darling” of the millennial generation fall so far from grace?

The answer is this: he got lazy. 

The other answer is this: In trying to balance his primary principle of “do no harm” and his commitment to free speech, he failed. And the reason probably lies in the fact that his corporation is so huge, he simply cannot have his finger in every pie. He has relied on others to find that balance, and they, too, failed. In that failure, millions of users have had their personal information compromised, not to mention they have been the receivers of huge amounts of “fake news.”

So, is the answer for an outraged public to quit Facebook? Some celebrities have done so very publicly and are encouraging others to do the same.

I am not quitting Facebook. And here’s why:

  1. The recent failings of this giant of social media have been a huge wakeup call for Zuckerberg and his executives. Already, they are putting strategies in place to prevent such an event from happening in the future. And they do have the tech expertise that surpasses most large online corporations

  2. My personal (and financial) information has already been compromised several times. My debit card was “cloned” and used; Experian exposed my personal and financial information; the IRS has been hacked with serious consequences for millions. Even my doctor’s office records were hacked, and God only knows what information about me is out there somewhere.

  3. My personal information that may have been exposed due to Facebook’s laziness does not measure up to the exposure from other critical sources. To me, it is “small potatoes.” So, someone knows my political leanings; they know if I am in a relationship or not; and because I was smart enough not to provide details of my birthdate, no one has that either. Not so with my doctor’s office or the IRS.

  4. It’s up to me what I share on Facebook. As it is with any user. What are we doing individually to not expose ourselves to nefarious individuals and organizations? We have some responsibility here and we need to get smarter too.

What’s more, now that the GDPR came into force, I expect the nature of the content in the Newsfeed will change. I was already advised to review my posts for any information regarding a person’s ethnicity, religious beliefs, memberships or sex-related data if this content isn’t endorsed with a publicly apparent consent. While I mostly give out business tips as well as cover ever-green topics, I might consult with some of the top editing services regarding altering some of the publications.

The outrage that so many have expressed and that has become so public is largely because Facebook is such a huge force on this planet. And as that force, the breach and the wholesale allowing of anyone to set up fake accounts and use them to influence an election is certainly a big concern. But I am confident that Zuckerberg et al will take this lesson to heart and do what needs to be done I do not have the same faith in the IRS.


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