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Should we quit Facebook?

Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of the largest social network in the world, was summoned by US senators and representatives to the US Congress on Tuesday, April 10, 2018, following the Cambridge Analytica scandal which concerned the privacy of 2.13 billion users. This scandal, as well as previous cases involving Facebook, call into question the core of the business model of the company.
Source: geralt

The sinking of Facebook

Jean-Baptiste Hubert | translated by: Kummer Livia | 2018. May 12. 00:00

The recent scandal linking the web giant and Cambridge Analytica represents only the visible face of a massive iceberg ironically spared from destruction by global warming. Personal data has become a cryptocurrency just as Bitcoin, its ownership passionately changing hands between holders and investors who are eager to shape the world in their image. A company where President Trump or President Putin have their seat helped their ascent by these new traders.

*Facebook, where laxism is pushed to the extreme

Having a tool that is powerful enough to influence two billion people on a daily basis necessarily implies great responsibility. Looking at Facebook's story we can say that the social network has never taken this responsibility seriously. Let's start the introspection in January 2016 when the moderation policy indicated that a video broadcasting two teenagers obviously in the middle of a forced sexual act "did not go against the standards of Facebook". On the other hand, there is widespread censorship of causes that deserve the greatest possible exposure, such as the campaign raising awareness on breast cancer early in 2018, which was unjustly erased because of a "too apparent" exposure of the chest. As another example, we can use the interference during the US presidential campaign with more than 29 million voters targeted by Russian digital programs buying advertising space on the platform. This was coupled with the infamous "Fake News" spreading on Facebook without any action being taken against them, which enabled the unsurprising victory of the real estate mogul. Finally, the Cambridge Analytica controversy does not seem to differentiate from the previous setbacks, since it is once again a case of trading in personal data without any user consent. Your private life is no longer private at all.

*A leader who does not live up to the challenges

When Facebook was conceived, it started with a simple but innovative idea to connect students at first at Harvard University, and after its growing success, also on a much larger scale of the population. If Mark Zuckerberg was able to establish himself initially as a leader, it is not the case today. Indeed, the California start-up’s exponential growth (431 million subscribers in 2010 in contrast to 2.13 billion in 2017) exceeded all expectations, and by that also surpassed the leadership ability of its captain.
For most people, his character remains a mystery – is he the clever thinker with great naivety or the big bad wolf? No one can really answer this question, and so the words and acts from inside his company are contradictory. Based on what he said on March 21, 2018 after the new scandal had arisen: "This constituted a very important breach of trust and I am very sorry" followed by "I launched Facebook, and in the end, I am responsible for what happens there", we could consider him the victim of the system that privileges money to people. George Gipe stated: "Responsibility is to do the right thing before being punished, not after"; to attribute this quality to the young prodigy is then difficult.
A CEO must have a course. Travis Kalanick has paid the price, when after being the head of Uber since 2009, in 2017 he was pressured to step down by the shareholders since they were concerned about the negative image of the young businessman. I do not think it is risky to claim that Mark Zuckerberg, sailing in the midst of polemics and scandals, does not know where he is going. CNN has already noted that within a year the star of Silicon Valley has passed from "the darling for 2020 [...] to political calamity". As to the keeping of his status, the future is therefore uncertain. 

*Reliable alternatives

Before decrying Facebook, one must be able to propose an alternative that would fulfill the primary functions of the platform. A BDM study reveals that 54% of the Internet users go to Facebook to browse photos and videos, 50% to share some moments of their lives with their friends, 43% to access entertaining content. Paradoxically, people comment but do not necessarily update their own profile – 25% have never done so and only 10% do it every day. In addition to that, another great reason to join this network is the Messenger application which has 1.3 billion members today. Taking into account these expectations, to find some alternatives to Facebook may seem quite possible.
If you wish to see reliable and useful news join "Nuzzel"! This app syncs with your favorite social networks such as LinkedIn or Twitter to give you access. Will you miss Messenger? How about using "WhatsApp", this messaging app is both convenient and encrypted, and it will meet all of your needs! Are you scared of missing an event organized by your school or city? "Paperless" is here at your service to send invitations by post, and "Doodle" allows you to decide on a convenient timing for everyone. And if you are not invited anywhere without Facebook, it may be time to question the sincerity of your "friends". If it is the "groups" that matter to you, try "GroupMe" – an application that creates a group chat that allows you to chat and make plans with your colleagues. Finally, if it is the disappearance of the alert "Today is Paul's birthday, wish him a happy birthday!" that is holding you back, to save the date on your phone will not take you more than 20 seconds.
Thus, despite an innovative idea which has seduced a third of the world's population, Facebook seems to be at its last breath as the trust of its users eroded. At the request of Mark Zuckerberg to grant him once again our confidence, I will answer "Trust is acquired, not requested – the one who deserves it does not need to ask for it", Emile de Girardin.

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