Why Facebook’s Data Mishandling Hurts

Facebook’s sort-of apologies in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal have unleashed another round of tut-tutting across the internet.  If you (still) use the network, I’m sure you’ve seen friends make good on promises to delete the app or even their entire account because they no longer trusted Zuck with their personal info.

Funny thing is, I don’t recall a similar response to credit card breaches by retailers.  People shrugged and said “cost of doing business, I suppose.”

If I may venture a dubious opinion, I believe people got more upset at Facebook than at, say, Target because relative to other social networks, Facebook encourages something approaching honesty.

Yes, you heard me: honesty.  Sure, Facebook has featured more than its fair share of humblebrags and flat-out fabrication.  However, on Facebook more than other networks, we tend to know our contacts, so they know us better.  Meanwhile, Twitter has succumbed to robots and flame wars while LinkedIn feels like a motivational speaker tryout.  I can’t speak for other popular networks such as Facebook’s Instagram or the oldie-befuddling Snapchat.

For whatever reason, we seem to put our trust, not to mention baby pictures, political opinions and general goings-on on Facebook.  We manufacture ourselves less there.  And feeling that someone has exploited that unmanufactured self really feels like betrayal.

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