Is User Privacy Just A Facebook Responsibility? (Mark Zuckerberg On Trial)

Is User Privacy really entirely the responsibility of the platform or the user of the platform? This is the real question at the heart of this hearing that took place today, where Mark Zuckerberg, CEO & Founder of Facebook testified before Congress.  NBC’s replay of the Live stream (all 4 hours) is below. Please feel free to leave your comments on any part of this testimony. But we are specifically asking you to answer that opening question.  Who is truly responsible for the information that we place online?

Was this Hearing on Facebook’s Role in User Privacy matters a waste of time?

User Privacy - Social Media or personal Issue??

That is another question you can respond to below, because as several of us are Facebook users, this is perhaps a very important moment in time. Then again, looking back it may have been a huge waste of time (unless it leads to Regulation). It was interesting that regulating facebook came up from several Senators. Clearly they discussed this before going into day one of this hearing. Platforms that allow anyone to say what they feel, are a threat to people in power.

This has always been the threat the internet has posed from day one.

Blogs, have effectively been scrutinized to the point that people still don’t rank their ‘news’ ahead of the more traditional outlets. Even with those outlets (CNN, Fox, NBC, etc..) coming under attack for being Fake News, most people still check with them first.  In a way, society has made that decision, because when we look at Fox News, it’s so problematic. While most news may not ‘always’ be entirely presenting the truth, Fox tends to go out of its way to deceive the audience.

However, people still continue to tune in, mostly because the lies Fox is spewing, are the truths that audience already believes. Fox is literally preaching to its’ choir.  They have literally become the National Enquirer of news outlets, and yet, even the National Enquirer is still selling magazines. This, inherently is the biggest issue with all of this conversation on Capitol Hill.

People are going to do, what the fuck they want to do.

You cannot stop people from posting ‘fake news’ on social media outlets. All you and I can hope for, is that the people who view these posts take an Educated approach. Unfortunately this is the problem, in general. People simply believe what they read, or only read headlines instead of the entire articles. People are lazy about gathering knowledge, and that’s truly a shame. So when a person posts information … on any platform, be it social media, a blog, or – you and I ‘still’ need to be willing to do additional research on our own.

We need to do the work individually, to verify that what we see online is true.  However, most people just won’t and don’t do that.

Putting Facebook on trial, for Cambridge Analytica collecting and using data, is not going to solve User Privacy issues. Smartly, Mark Zuckerberg introduced both Net Neutrality, and Cookies into this discussion. In one response, he addressed the huge problem “Regulation” will pose, not only to User Privacy but also, User Freedom of Expression. Also, by making sure ‘internet cookies’ are on the record, he exposes the overall problem – It’s Bigger than Facebook.

Data Collection companies, can collect data on Users, in addition to what ever that user is doing on Facebook.  So, when a user leaves facebook and goes to a website, facebook isn’t necessarily who is ‘tracking’ that user.  The ISP (pipes, as Zuckerberg called them) have that information. With Net Neutrality, this ‘user privacy’ issue is going to get WORSE.  Not only do these Data Collection companies have access; so will the Government. They’ll be even more invasive than the social media platforms are.

As if they didn’t already have this information; but it always helps to have a back up!

Again, 4 hours of ‘discussion’ – please weigh in on any part of this below! Feel free to invite others to come here and discuss this with you as well.  Thanks for stopping by.