As a consultant involved in the digital space for quite some time now, I have carefully observed the evolution of Facebook since its first year of operation. Since that time Mark Zuckerberg has taken the heat on numerous occasions for a variety of privacy-related issues. Remember Facebook Beacon and Facebook Lexicon? What usually follows is a hopeless attempt by some people to start a “delete Facebook” movement instead of taking some time to do a little introspection.
The news surrounding Facebook and Cambridge Analytica over the past few months has caused quite an uproar. So much so that Zuckerberg himself was summoned to two US congressional hearings and just yesterday, to the much better prepared European Parliament lawmakers to explain what exactly had happened along with the steps Facebook was taking to prevent it from happening again.
Here are some of my general thoughts in no particular order. Continue reading “Time to stop pointing fingers at Facebook and take some responsibility ourselves.”
I recently came across the work of Stanford psychologist and social data researcher Michal Kosinski, who has developed a method to analyze people in minute detail based on their Facebook activity. He is currently a leading expert in psychometrics, a data-driven sub-branch of psychology. Continue reading “What your Facebook “Likes” can reveal about you”
I remember delivering a speech in 2008 during the early days of Twitter in which I mentioned to the audience that this platform may soon be the world’s largest sample of live human thought (good and evil) and also the world’s largest real-time conversation database. I heard a few chuckles. Back then Twitter was typically dismissed as some new time-wasting glorified chat where self-obsessed people shared what they were doing at any given moment (e.g. drinking coffee). A typical reaction people had to Twitter was “who cares?”.
Save for the horrendous disservice that I think promoted tweets have done by contaminating raw data-sets with non-organic data (at least through re-tweets), I think my statement has materialized quite well over the years. Continue reading “Downsides to the global democratization and sharing of content”