The next generation of Facebook
BY : BENJI KARMIS
After two five-hour-long sessions on both Tuesday and Wednesday of what was surely torture for Mark Zuckerberg, Congress finally satisfied their appetite for clarity on Facebook’s privacy policies. He was grilled on Facebook’s monopolisation of the social media industry, on their part in influencing the 2016 election with the famed “fake news,” and of course, on users’ data being sold to third parties (primarily Cambridge Analytica) without their consent. Since Facebook is the world leader of social media by a long shot, how will this change the global company?
By now, you’ve probably heard of the #deletefacebook movement. Celebrities like Will Farrell, Jim Carrey, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, and of course Elon Musk have all joined the Facebook rebellion. It’s the reason Facebook stock value dropped almost twenty percent amidst the pit of their Cambridge Analytica scandal.
First and foremost, the senators asking questions are mostly in age group of those who don’t know how to rotate a PDF let alone the logistics of private information sharing, so their understanding of how Facebook works could probably use a bit of polishing. Even so, they made some great points, and we’re likely to see some degree of change. Industries as massive as Facebook don’t tend to change overnight, so it’s likely going to be a couple months before we see some changes to our feeds. Though it’s hard to point out what exactly will change, it’s safe to say Facebook’s privacy statement will be revised, ideally to be more easily understood and digestible by its one billion-plus users.
We wonder, will Facebook end up selling its users’ private information again? We’d like to think it won’t after the painstaking hours Mark Zuckerberg spent getting his hand slapped in front of Congress. Unfortunately, though, he’s got a long history of apologizing, dating all the way from his first attempt at a form of social media named Facemash. He was eventually put in front of the Harvard Administration Board for, wouldn’t you know it, being accused of breaching the privacy of Harvard students by using unauthorized school ID photos to rank his classmates in order of attractiveness (smh). His history makes it challenging to believe in him.
Unfortunately, we have ourselves to blame as well. We were naive to think our information was protected and not used for monetary gain for information-hungry companies trying to get ahead. Even though the damage has been done, we at least have another wake-up call to be more cautious about our online behavior. Whether you decide to join the #deletefacebook movement or use a separate browser for your FB activity, we can all appreciate the new wave of Zuckerberg memes.