Facebook's Congressional Hearing & the State of Social Media
"How you sustain a business model in which users don't pay for your service?" Senator Orrin Hatch asks. Facebook creator and founder, Mark Zuckerberg, responds with a slight smile "Senator, we have ads". This moment was by far the strangest and funniest moment in the congressional hearing in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal. There were others, like Senator Roy Blunt, who didn't ask a question but made the comment about his son being an Instagram star and wanted him to mention that on the panel. While most find this funny (which I do), I also find this extremely disturbing. These members of Congress do not know how social media (or the internet, really) works, and in order for laws to be passed, they need to learn.
Why is This a Problem?
Without getting too political, the reason this problem exists is because these senators ages average out in the early 60's. While I have met quite a few hip senior citizens, most of them do not know how the internet works. I know this from working with many baby boomer business owners and social media is not one of those things they know how to use. However hilarious it might be to many younger folk on why senior citizens don't know social media, it's understandable. The internet is almost 30 years old, and social media as we know it today is 15 years old. With that being said, being stuck in the 70's and early 80's isn't going to help them much because the world has changed a lot since then.
How Does This Affect Me?
Facebook's privacy settings on the internet are being debated as we speak and everyone, including business owners like yourself. Your data is being handled everywhere across the internet, and not just across Facebook, it's everywhere on the internet. It's important to know where it's going, why those people are handling your information, and what they are planning on doing with it. It's also a cybersecurity issue, how do you know if your personal data is in good hands?
What Can I Do?
As a business owner that is on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube or any other social media platform, it is super important to stay on top of the latest privacy updates. While privacy updates are notoriousl difficult to read, Facebook is making efforts to make their policy easier to read per Senator suggestion. You should always own your content, and Facebook, as well as many other social media sites, has a way for you to download all of your data to your hard drive.
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