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Why Cambridge Analytica is the best thing to ever happen to Facebook

Posted by Umair Abbasi on April 10, 2018 in Technology


The Current Prominent Sentiment

We are currently at a delete facebook movement that's trying to find traction. We have a few high-profile folks deleting their Facebook pages such as Tesla. It wasn't clearly stated by Tesla that they were deleting their facebook page as a response to the delete facebook movement. But nonetheless the timing coincided well with the Cambridge Analytica issue. As I write this blog, Mark Zuckerberg is giving his first testimony to Congress.

The sentiment I am sensing from Twitter and from reports on most media channels is that of sensationalizing the issue to the max and placing Facebook on the defense.

For instance, lets look at some of these sensational posts.

Wired - Facebook - Your User Agreement Sucks

Wired's tweet on Mark Zuckerberg's testimony to Congress

Washington Post - Facebook - We didn't do Enough

Washington Post article on Mark Zuckerberg's testimony to Congress during his testimony

Wired - Facebook - We can't do that

Wired's tweet on Mark Zuckerberg's testimony to Congress

My Take on the Subject

I paused or temporarily suspended my Facebook account for an unforeseeable time back in February 2018. Long before Cambridge Analytica was a widely known organization. My reasons weren't privacy related. They were more toward what Facebook had become. A social media platform for spam.

You see with the introduction of email alot of folks had this desire and acted on those desires of sharing memes, quotes on wisdom, love, social welfare, health, financial health, positive reinforcing thoughts, and the list goes on. Thank God for spam filters being developed over time and folks just pausing to realize that in general that isn't the content most consumers want to consume.

Sure I could un-follow these Facebook "friends" if I wanted the spam train to stop. But there lies the dilemma. I am interested in what is happening in the lives of these friends. And love to share my own updates. But how do you curb the human desire to spam without knowing they are spamming your friends. How do you place controls or create separate channels for that spam sharing and consumption population without affecting your follow status of your friends?

The answer eludes me till today. But what I strongly feel is the Cambridge Analytica issue is going to jump-start a chain of new privacy settings, make Facebook interesting again, add spam controls (a no meme, and unneeded quotes button), bring along a sleuth of innovative technology forward.

I truly believe this is the best thing to ever happen to Facebook. Sometimes we get comfortable with the status quo and work around add-ons to the service. This issue I feel will actually positively enable Facebook to work on the actual core of the product and positively re-position itself again. I am excited for the updates to come from Facebook and looking forward to un-suspending my Facebook account. Someday, just not today.


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