We have all been rocked by the data mining scandal this week, haven’t we? The ‘how dare they use my data for their own political gain’ game is being played out all over the globe. Yesterday #deleteFacebook was tweeted 41,000 times and was trending in the UK, deleting Facebook accounts is now a thing, and Facebook’s stock price was going downhill fast. My initial thought was ‘why are we surprised’? We’ve known for a long time that our data is collected by all sorts of agencies for all sorts of purposes. We have also known that the nature of social media has changed, it is no longer the conversation between friends and family that it was originally meant to be. Instead of joining in with the annihilation of this social media giant, why don’t we try reshaping it instead? Facebook’s own Facebook page has the following mission statement –
“Give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together.”
Now is the time for Facebook users, personal and business, to remind them of their own mission statement and encourage them to get back to their roots. It feels like now will be an important blip in Facebook’s history. How we decide to deal with this huge data wrongdoing is the important issue. Do we work to make Facebook, and its offshoots, a better place for us to ‘build community’ by moulding it into the social media platform that we actually want? Or do we say enough is enough and walk away?
I say ‘let’s do this’! Let’s change how we use social media platforms and make them a good place to be again. I want to have meaningful conversations: less negativity: less pressure to buy, buy, buy: fewer ‘suggestions’ of people to follow or stuff to buy. Let’s do it!
In the short term, I would recommend that Facebook users check privacy settings and take another look at all of the apps linked to your Facebook account. Do you need them all? Additional apps mean additional data gathering. There are steps you can take to minimise intrusion. My privacy settings are set to friends only and I keep my ‘friends’ number down to minimise oversharing with people I barely know. You can’t beat data gathering but you can minimise the amount of data that can be collected.
The Followers of my charity brand ME Foggy Dog call me Wonder Woman, I am the head of International Foggy Rescue (when he goes missing in the post) and have had to tweet ‘Stand down, International Foggy rescue’ when he arrives in one piece at his destination. Who wants to join my gang? Who wants to be part of the positivity train that works to change Facebook for the better? If enough of us push against the tide it could be the start of something wonderful…again.