The world has been abuzz in recent weeks amidst the Facebook/Cambridge Analytica data scandal. This is, perhaps, the most damaging and far-reaching revelation in the company’s 14-year history. Rally cries to #DeleteFacebook have been trending for weeks – and many individuals, including large brands like Tesla – have followed through on this threat.
Mark Zuckerberg’s scrutinized testimony at the congressional hearing, was followed by Facebook and Instagram’s sweeping API changes to crack down on how advertisers and third parties can access and use customer data. This has created a ripple effect across the digital marketing industry, as third-party developers and software companies play catch up.
But, I’m not going to write a blog post today about how marketers can adapt their privacy, data usage policies and overall social media advertising approach to the new era of social media marketing. There is plenty of coverage on that. Today, I’d like to share my thoughts how we must create healthier boundaries around social media.
Admittedly, I am in deep conflict about the state of affairs of the digital media landscape. Having worked in the social media space for over a decade now, I’ve helped some of Canada’s top brands capture the hearts, minds and attention of their customers. On a personal level, I have met and connected with amazing friends and colleagues, and have access to a flood of helpful information on a daily basis that helps me stay on the cutting edge of this industry. That said, I have also had my fair share of burn outs from staying connected to the firehose day in and day out.
The utopian vision of universal connection on which social media was founded upon has been crumbling for years now. Left in its place, there is a darker, more dystopian landscape, where social media has become a tool powered by algorithms, populated by marketers and, in some cases, manipulated by “bad actors”.