No boring – how to switch it all off – for me – how to lock down your Facebook Privacy setting, or even comment on Mark Zuckerberg, that’s old hat and you can go find that stuff out yourself. Just Google it.
No, I’m thinking about the ubiquitous Facebook and other Social Media icons that every single website seems to have these days. At the bottom – to the side – along the top, someone on nearly every website are the links to Facebook, Twitter and other Social Media websites… what are we thinking. I think Back in 2006 – we added these links as Facebook was all new and shiny and it seemed like a fun thing to do. Facebook meanwhile was loving it. Free advertising all the way, everyone else soon caught on.
Our own thinking after getting over the novelty of these links was, everyone else is doing it, they act as a kind of reassurance to clients. We then used to think we could skin down our websites as Facebook carried all the exciting news for us, then we thought – let’s bring in the content from Facebook back into our website with Boxes and Like Buttons and finally we realised that something like less than 0.1% of traffic to a website clicks these links.
Has it all been a thorough waste of time.
Not for Mark Zuckerberg and all the other Social Media bosses, they have collected data about all of us, resold and packaged it up and used and abused us. We don’t notice it, because it’s not like stealing Yogurt out of our fridge, but the problem is it is. Google, Facebook, Apple, Microsoft (LinkedIn), Twitter – they are all at it. They know when we go to sleep, wake up, when we eat, where we are, working, playing – they have the information.
WhatsApp is an end to end encrypted service, owned by Facebook – what can it possibly give away? but that is the point, there is no need to know what the messages are that we are saying to each other, the real data is knowing the frequency, time of day and geographic location when the App is used. If we’re messaging in a Cafe, then Facebook sends Adds about our local location and area, if we’re heading to bed, Facebook sends Ads about pills and things that might worry us.
Cambridge Analytica eat your heart out, Facebook is leagues ahead of you, and Google is probably even leagues ahead of Facebook when it comes to knowing about us. Truly no human has lived in such a scary age as we do now. Is there a difference between Serfdom and Surfing.
Fighting Back via a Website
Can we? Strangely, I have noted that while I’ve a few friends who have their deleted Facebook Account and a few friends that have stopped using it or locked things down, I’ve had no clients ask me to remove their Facebook links on their website. These innocuous and unassuming buttons on millions of websites I think might hold the key… Mozilla pulled their Facebook Advertising, but the link remains on their website, Unilever also has threatened to pull their Adverts, but Facebook links are all over their websites. From Charities to Governments the links to Facebook are everywhere.
Is it Time?
Should this really be the question? I did note that Tesla has no Social Media links on their website – are they big enough? arrogant enough? I am sorely tempted to remove the links from this website – do I dare? – only time will tell.
What I would say is that these links have played a very important part in the spread of Social Media, throw enough mud at the wall and some will stick, the feeling that everyone had to have these links on their websites is almost more scary than the Data Privacy issues.
Perhaps the ultimate solution is to have a ‘No Facebook here’ icon, a nice red cross that reassures the target audience that while having Facebook was an option – it was not one that was taken up.