NY Social Media Marketing Expert Kris Ruby of Ruby Media Group was on Fox News Fox & Friends First discussing Mark Zuckerberg’s response to the Cambridge Analytica Data Mining Scandal & Facebook’s role in it. To watch the full segment, click here
It is not the first time Facebook has had privacy issues, and it won’t be the last. There is a public misconception about Facebook. Many users still don’t understand that they are the product on it. Yes, they are given a “free” platform to use as a social media network, but that can often come at an expense- the expense being your data. That data is the currency of the platform- it is what developers and advertisers need to build out targeted profiles on users. In the case of Cambridge Analytica, there was a clear violation of trust. This was not merely an issue of a developer misusing data- Facebook knew about it. It calls in to question how many other developers could have done the same thing during that period. Is this a case of too little too late? Why are we only hearing from the company about this now in the middle of a media frenzy? Facebook’s response is reactive vs. proactive. That can potentially damage users trust over time.
The majority of users do not trust Facebook. However, Facebook has such a monopoly in the social media space that these users really have no other options and nowhere to go. The fastest growing demographic on Facebook is comprised of Baby Boomers. Even if they mistrust Facebook, they don’t want to spend the time to get off the platform, hop on a new one and learn how to use it. It is simply easier to keep using Facebook.
Then you have the case of Millenials who are stuck with Facebook because all of their dating apps are tied to their Facebook login. Even if they hate the platform, they still have to use it to gain entry to the site through their Facebook profile. There is also the issue for small business owners- their business fan page is tied to the admin login of their personal profile. If they want to make any changes to their companies’ presence on Facebook, they need to be able to login to manage it.
The level of trust consumers have for Facebook is at an all-time low. However, it’s like a bad relationship- people feel stuck in it, and because nothing else is lined up that is a better option, they stay in it. Some people vehemently care about how their digital footprints are used- if they didn’t, there wouldn’t be an explosion of industries such as social media marketing and personal branding agencies. However, others have accepted it as a fact of online life because they realize the isolation and alienation that comes with going dark on social media.
The group function of Facebook is also critical for professionals to connect. Disconnecting yourself from Facebook can cut you off from access to business opportunities which can have negative financial implications. Facebook users are left with the question: will it cost me more to stay off the platform or on it?