Facebook Users Beware

You’re too late ~ Elon Musk

Are you angry and upset about what Facebook has done with your personal data, your pictures and your information?

Frankly, I’m a bit surprised that they are pandering to the outcry. They don’t  have to explain or apologize for their actions at all and yet they are issuing press releases and publicly stating that they will fix the problem, all to calm you down, in the hopes that you won’t leave.

Let me explain…

As early as the 1600’s there has been mail order sales. In 1744 Ben Franklin produced a catalogue of academic books to be sold through the mail. In 1872 a man by the name of Aron Montgomery Ward began selling goods from his general store direct to the consumer through the mail. He coined the term direct sales by cutting out the middle man and going direct to the consumer, changing the way business was done forever. In 1917 The Direct Marketing Association was invented and in 1928 third class bulk mail was established.

What does this have to do with your precious data?

As marketers built upon Wards idea they needed a way to target the customer they wanted to target so that they were not wasting their advertising dollars trying to mail advertisements for beauty supplies to homes that only had a male living in them or likewise trying to advertise mens work boots to widows.

The mailing list was born. Aside from the goods and services being sold the targeted mailing list business has been one of the biggest revenue producing business world wide since the early 1930’s

The modern term for targeted mailing list is data gathering…

The whole internet is responsible for data gathering and it is what is fueling the economy. Data gathering is a good thing, if you’re a widow you don’t want to see ads for mens work boots in your Facebook news feed likewise, if you are a heterosexual man you don’t want see ads for makeup and female beauty supplies in your news feed. It gets better than that though, because Facebook, Google, and others are collecting so much data on you they know exactly what type of work boots and makeup you wear so you see exactly what you want in your news feed.

Your data is not yours…

Facebook owns your account and the content stored on it, you have the right to add and remove content to it as much as you like but once its there its theirs. I know for some of you that might make you mad or even outraged that fact was hidden from you in the fine print. Honestly what information are you afraid that they have that they might sell to someone else anyway?

Take a stand and show the man who’s in charge…

I admit none of this is very comforting so lets say you decide to take a stand and your going to delete your Facebook maybe your Instagram and possibly all of your social media accounts. This is not going to stop data collection and targeted marketing to you because you still have a smart phone and it’s listening to you and watching you all of the time.  Now let’s say you decide to get rid of your smart phone… well don’t forget to get rid of your Google home and or Alexa, your Amazon fire stick with voice remote and you might want to think about cancelling the cable while you’re at it. Ok just get rid of everything and build a log cabin in the woods that will end data gathering and targeted marketing right… wrong. You would have to live in the cabin and never see anyone who possesses any of the equipment that you painstakingly got rid of and you would not be able to rejoin society because there are cameras everywhere. Below is a picture of my night job office.

qEK+MIu5RtiXIuGUs8KXcg

That is a camera and a tablet computer in the truck I drive for work so even if I wanted to live off grid I couldn’t.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Elon Musk said in his interview with Joe Rogan that “it is too late”. We can’t stop the machine that has been created the collecting and sharing of data will continue with or with out your consent and or knowledge. It is far beyond a Facebook issue and even if they decide to stop collecting data today there are to many other nodes on the AI system that will continue to do it; every smart phone, camera, and computer connected to a phone line and or the internet can and does collect data 100% of the time without exception and without fail. The AI already knows far more about you than you realize because you are non-stop programing it and so is everyone else. Every tweet, every post, picture and video. It’s not going to stop and there is no off switch. No need to whine and cry about it we live in the best times imaginable and things are only going to get better as our world becomes completely customized to our personal preferences.

A Better Life for FREE

We call it social media but they are data sharing platforms. The first data sharing platforms were the printed page, then the telegraph, then the phone, and so on. They all required payments for use and only a select few could use them. The data sharing platforms now are the best in history and we don’t even pay to use them, sure we pay for our internet connection but we don’t pay anything to use the platform that is continuing to change the lives for so many. It has completely revolutionized how we communicate and do business. And for all the nay sayers out there I don’t see you not one click ordering or posting a picture of your vacations any more. The internet has its flaws like anything else but the upside far outweighs the down side. It is responsible for more humanitarian efforts than anything else in history. Facebook has raised more money for charities and non-profits than any single entity.

Security

I am sympathetic to the concerns over security that criminals will have access to our personal data and they will be able to steal our identity or our money or know where we live and and rob our home. Criminals that want to do those types of things are going to do them with or without Facebook and Facebook is not selling  our information to those types of people because  Facebook doesn’t benefit from that transaction at all. Facebook and other social media platforms benefit by selling your data to legitimate companies like Amazon who will in turn pay top dollar for the information then spend even more money running specifically targeted adds to you in your news feed. Google and Microsoft are doing the exact same thing. So stop being so outraged that these companies that have given us the modern world we live in at no cost are trying to make money doing it. Isn’t that what a companies is supposed to do?

The cost of doing business

It is not cheap to run the type of infrastructure that it takes to run a company like Facebook. Its expensive to allow you to produce a live video or to store endless pictures of your kids birthdays so lets not demonize these companies for making money by selling direct marketing sales lists to legitimate companies that are willing to pay top dollar for them.  As I write this, the U.S. stock market is in free fall so the last thing we need to do at this time is end what will be the greatest marketing tool and job creator in the 21st century beating the Television by miles.