If like me, you occasionally mull over your Facebook participation, you may be carrying on that internal conversation every time you hear about the company’s mishandling of data. It’s not that I don’t like Facebook — I enjoy it immensely, especially connecting with so many friends — but I am distressed, over and over, by Facebook’s data problems, and its cavalier attitude towards user privacy.
Now two articles provide information about the problems and how users are responding.
CNET’s short article, Facebook Lost 15 million US Users in the Past Two Years, describes an Edison Research report that contains statistics on Facebook users. For instance, 15 million people in the United States quit using their accounts in 2017 and the article explains all sorts of statistics, including the fact that use among people 55 and older is still increasing. There are many more interesting stats in this brief piece.
A National Public Radio interview, Facebook is Losing Users’ Trust, Tech Investor Says, explains how an early Facebook investor, Roger McNamee, has become disillusioned because of so much misuse of data. McNamee believes that Facebook disregards users’ privacy and enables the manipulation of data, and he points out that when he tried to alert Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandburg, they blew him off. You can read the interview, by reporter Noel King, or listen to it.
Best Roger MacNamee Quote: I’m immensely disappointed, both in Mark and in Sheryl Sandberg. I really can’t understand why this is so hard for them to understand. We’re talking about democracy – not just in the United States, but around the world. And we’re talking about treating users like human beings as opposed to, like, the fuel for a business that generates profits. And in my mind, this is a character test. And they’re having a really hard time with it.