The Cambridge Analytica scandal has been in the news for the past few weeks. Even after Mark Zuckerberg was interviewed, ensuring users that they were doing everything they could to protect Facebook user data, brands and users have been talking about the #DeleteFacebook movement. The reasoning behind it commonly stems from wanting to punish Facebook for allowing the data of over 50 million of its users to be sold and used by a third-party.
Brands like Playboy and Tesla have recently deleted their Facebook pages, and even social media marketing friends--who base their careers on social media and Facebook ads--are considering the idea of deleting their Facebook profiles.
My Two Cents That No One Asked For
Honestly, I feel like there has to be a better way for us to do some sort of demonstration other than deleting our Facebook or Instagram pages, because that’s not going to solve the main issue. Yes, you can give up Facebook and Instagram, but there is still Amazon, Google, Walmart, Safeway Club cards, Costco, financial industries, etc. etc. etc. Even local retailers have loyalty cards that allow them to know a bit about user spending habits. So if you really don’t want your data to be used for marketing purposes--then it’s time to get off the grid with solar energy, grow your own food, and make your own clothes. Or maybe keep a stack of cash under your mattress and only pay in cash.
I know that may sound harsh--but we live in a very digital society and there is a lot of great accomplishments from technology and the use of data as well. As marketers, specifically Facebook advertising marketers--we use that data to our advantage but we also don’t like the idea being the product.
It’s About Spending our Money in Companies We Believe In
Like Dick’s Sporting Goods, who is taking a stand against gun control after the Parkland students stood up and shouted, they didn’t want to be shot at anymore. I have been to Dick’s twice since they made the political announcement, and am proud to see more companies, and people, putting their money in what they believe in.
The breakdown for Facebook wasn’t using the data to begin with. We have known they use our data for years. I realized it the first time I mentioned visiting my dad in Sacramento and seeing Facebook ads for restaurants in Midtown, Sac. Even now, online retailers seem to follow me everywhere I go--Amazon, Target, and Nordstroms have cookies on their websites and they have ads personalized to my shopping experience. Is it weird, yes. Does it work…YES!
What Facebook did wrong was not following up and being on top of the breach when they found out an app was sharing the data outside of “educational purposes.” And, yes…hey have seen a hit over the past few weeks with stocks being down and people closing their accounts to head over to Instagram (which is ironic because Facebook owns Instagram).
I don’t know the answer to it what to do to protest, but deleting Facebook just feels like a knee jerk reaction IMO. This needed to happen (no matter how much I hate the outcome of having Trump as president) so that security can get tighter…and that people can be more aware that they are trading their data for cheaper prices at the grocery store.