What Does Facebook Owe You?

wooden tiles spell out "Facebook Security"

From the Financial Times, March 21, 2018:

This week’s plunge in the price of Facebook has driven the social media giant to its cheapest valuation since the company listed in 2012, underlining the collapse in the market’s belief that it will be able to continue its breakneck growth.

How Bad Does It Hurt?

I guess the term “plunge” is relative. Or, maybe it’s an invitation.  (via CNBC March 20, 2018)

“Despite these negative headlines and increased concerns around user data and regulatory risk, we do not believe Facebook’s business is currently being impacted,” J.P. Morgan analyst Doug Anmuth wrote in a note to clients Monday.

The stock’s value fell about 14% between Monday and Friday, following news that Facebook had suspended Cambridge Analytica for data use violations.

Trading volume was high, and some analysts see this as a signal that Facebook share will begin to regain their value.

Facebook’s advertising revenue has grown exponentially since 2009, and went from near $27 billion dollars in 2016 (Yes, that’s with a “B”) to almost $40 billion dollars in 2017.  (Source: Statista)

“Generally speaking, when a stock experiences a sudden spike in trading volume, it may be seen as a bullish signal for investors. An increase in volume means more market awareness for the company, potentially setting up a more meaningful move in stock price. The added volume also provides a level of support and stability for price advances.”

Equities.com

Of course, others see the today’s closing price as a predictable adjustment to a stock that was grossly over-valued from the start.

However you view Facebook as an investment, one thing is clear.  This social media platform is not going away any time soon. With over 2.1 billion users world-wide, Facebook remains “King of the Hill.”

Where’s Mine?

In light of Facebook’s revenue explosion and the data “scandal,” you may be asking yourself, “How can Facebook be compelled to either 1) compensate its users for its failure to protect their psychological profiles or 2) relinquish its reign as social media monarch?”

How about these answers: it won’t have to do either any time soon; and maybe it doesn’t owe its users anything at all.

Do You Really Think It’s Private?


We tell our kids not to put private or identifying information on the Internet.  Then, we get on Facebook and post their pictures, birth dates, names, schools, and on and on.


I’m not throwing stones, because I’ve done it, too.


Our kids don’t have the same fears of privacy violations, because they recognize that most information on the Internet is not private, and accept it de facto.

You are going to create a psychological profile of me to try to sell me something, whether it be a pair of shoes or a presidential candidate? Go for it!  I’m aware of your marketing tactics and have the ability to make informed choices.


In this way, it seems that the older generation is a bit more naive.

How many people do you know who have accidentally posted personal information publicly?  Who didn’t know how to change their privacy settings (or didn’t know that there were privacy settings)?  Who sent a damaging or embarrassing email “Reply all”?

Those mistakes are no one else’s fault.

Choose Your Friends Wisely

How about the people on Facebook who have thousands of “friends.”  Do you believe that they really know all of those people so well that they can trust personal information to them?

How about friends of friends?

Facebook was aware of misuse of user data, and started taking prophylactic measures as early as 2014 to change privacy setting options.


I’m not trying to defend Facebook. Far from it.  Personally, I think the company is beyond greedy for continually limiting Facebook Page reaches unless it can extort advertising fees from page owners.

But, hey, this is the U.S. of A.  Facebook is a business, not a charity.

If You Can’t Say Anything Nice, …

How do you protect yourself from the next invasion of privacy?  Crawl in a hole? #DeleteFacebook?

Even as a small-time website, with a peanuts ad budget (read “zero”), my biggest referer is Facebook.

I just searched for the hashtag “DeleteFacebook.”  The top three results were not actually even about Facebook. They were about Elon Musk and Tesla, with photos of Musk.  Boy, can that guy market!

Anyone truly believe that Elon and company will permanently disable their Facebook pages?

The takeaway here is what we’ve known all along.  Say respectable things in public, know that the Internet is public, understand that marketers “gonna market.”


Are you joining the #DeleteFacebook movement?


 -Jo


Featured image by Marco Verch, some rights reserved.


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3 comments

  1. I don’t have an account there but I am not surprised it happened. No one should be, like you said…there is no privacy online. Or anywhere, really!

    1. Ha! So right you are 🙂

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