Complex Made Simple

Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook under fire, but who’s to blame?

Updated (26/03/18)

Generally, on Facebook, people choose to post things online, for friends, family, or whomever else sees that information, which is up to the user; people like you and me.

The younger generation has used Facebook as a sort of a ‘stalking” tool where myself and many others have been both victims and suspects in this.

As it stands, you can go to anyone’s profile and check their pictures, unless that person, you are “stalking” (not criminally speaking), has set their privacy settings higher than the default.

Now, Facebook is under fire.

Facebook is experiencing its fourth day of heavy criticism amid the Cambridge Analytica scandal, and there are calls to #Delete Facebook amid reports that the US Federal Trade Commission is investigating the company’s use of personal data.

So yes, go ahead delete Facebook, Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger, and while you are at it, delete Instagram.

But why delete something that you gave your consent to, and share your personal life and views on?

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What is all the fuss about?

#DeleteFacebook had caused Facebook to lose $50 billion of market cap, starting from when yesterday’s hashtag went viral, as per CNN’s report.

The reason being, Cambridge Analytica collected privatepublic information from Facebook profiles.

Information that included what people liked on pages, what groups they were following, and what kind of pictures and opinions they were posting.

Cambridge sold that information to Trump consultants, in 2016, and the founder of Cambridge claimed these same consultants had persuaded voters into casting ballots for Trump last year.

Whatsapp Co-Founder, Brian Acton, tweeted #DeleteFacebook while linking a company he recently invested in, Signal, which has an app that’s “privacy first.”

Privacy first was Acton’s and his colleagues’ most important part when they created WhatsApp.

Back when Whatsapp was a yearly payment, they explained that “Whatsapp doesn’t send your information to 3rd parties, or show you ads” but instead “relies on a subscription service.”

Facebook doesn’t deny they let Cambridge Analytica collect data, and that in fact it isn’t their fault, and in a recent post by Paul Grewal, VP & Deputy General Counsel of Facebook; he was quoted as saying “users gave their consent.”

And it’s not Facebook’s fault even if Mark Zuckerberg felt pressured to claim part responsibility yesterday.

 “This was a major breach of trust, and I’m sorry this happened,” he said in an interview on CNN. “Our responsibility now is to make sure this doesn’t happen again.”

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What did you sign up for?

The Facebook service has allowed you to share everything with everyone, and that is your fault, not Facebook’s.

Facebook provides you tools to protect yourself from 3rd parties seeking to search and collect your data, and when you first sign up, they let you agree to this, and you did.

We here at AMEinfo are very “privacy first,” and although this is an unfortunate story, neither Cambridge Analytica nor Facebook is at fault, but instead users who gave their consent to breach privacy are.

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How to protect yourself

Whatsapp has already implemented End-To-End encryption, and it has proven to be reliable so far, with no problems reported by any of its users.

Back in 2016, Whatsapp announced that it would share your data with Facebook, but shortly afterward removed this feature.

In Instagram, you can choose to make your account private, and this doesn’t allow people to see your posts unless they request to follow you, and only if you accept can they see what you post.                                                   

Facebook notifies its users every once in a while by sending you a pinned post on the top of your timeline to “recheck your privacy.”

Although not that effective, you can go into the “Help” section and check how to change your privacy settings.

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What if the big whale is killed

Let’s consider this: What if we did delete facebook? What would happen then?

The answer is: Nothing.

We now have lots of apps and websites that do practically the same thing as Facebook, if not better.

Reddit is a website that was released recently and is gaining a lot of popularity because of its voting system called Upvotes and Downvotes, which pushes posts up or down, on a ladder, and the best part is that anyone can post there, although rules and guidelines do exist.

Twitter is going strong with more users already packing their things up from Facebook and moving onto the site.

Snapchat died last month with its newest redesign, and I can’t find what my friends posted on this app yesterday.

Facebook can and might die one day and when it does someone might drop by and leave a flower or two on some forgotten post: “RIP: Well Done…But you’re done and finished. So long ol’ friend.”

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