There's a growing pushback against world's largest and most popular social media platform Facebook. What people have been suspecting for long is staring right into their faces with the news of massive users’ data leak to third-parties for various purposes coming to the fore, majorly for election influencing.
This has led to a global #DeleteFacebook movement that is urging people to quit Facebook and keep their data safe. The controversy in the middle of this situation is part of the bigger story regarding Facebook's role in the 2016 US presidential election.
Earlier, WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton also asked users to "delete" the social media platform, Facebook, amid alleged data leakage of its users for political purposes.
"It is time. #deletefacebook," Brian Acton tweeted to more than 23,000 of his followers. WhatsApp was acquired by Facebook in 2014.
A data company - Cambridge Analytica – allegedly harvested the data of over 50 million Facebook users, then used that data to help Trump campaign target advertisements.
India has the largest number of Facebook users globally, to be specific, 241 million compared to the USA’s 240 million in 2017. Now it can go two ways from here in India - on one hand, owing to India's indifference to privacy policies, poor handling and safeguarding of data and practically no awareness about individual's digital security, people will just let it pass and in a way wait for a disaster to happen.
On the other hand, this movement has the potential to run wild among people leading to mass quitting from the social platform. After all, it's about your data security, isn't it? Former Cambridge Analytica employee Christopher Wylie is the whistleblower at the heart of Facebook's data controversy. As far as we know, from various media reports, Facebook was aware of the cache of user data that Cambridge Analytica had, it had reportedly asked the company to delete it. However, the social giant never followed up and chaos ensued.
Now what do you do? As millennials, we are so used to checking Facebook all the time, literally, all the time! The need to be connected and the need to know everything about everyone around makes it more of an Obsessive Compulsive thing. People lose hours of daily productivity because of mindless Facebook usage. Yes, it keeps us socially connected, we no longer miss birthdays and anniversaries, but there's also that fake news in your timeline that you should be wary of. However, deleting Facebook alone wouldn’t help keep your data safe, you would have to get out of Instagram, quit Snapchat, get off Twitter as well (interestingly, Twitter too stores your data and ironically hashtag deleteFacebook is trending on Twitter!) Did you think of Amazon and other ecommerce sites? Do they too store your data? What would you do? Stop buying stuff online?
Like a Twitter user pointed out:
If you are worried about companies using data to target you, then you need to delete your Facebook and Twitter and Instagram and Snapchat and stop buying things from Amazon and stop searching with Google and cancel all your credit cards and stop donating to charity and cancel mag— Sonny Bunch (@SonnyBunch) March 19, 2018
Facebook will most likely tide over the current crisis, at least in India, but it also needs to clean up its act, be more responsible with people's data.
So, what do you think? Are you jumping on Twitter to announce your break-up with Facebook or give it some more time? Let us know in the comments below.