Is Facebook Too Big to Fail?
Yet again, Facebook has come under fire about its’ lax, opt-out vs. opt-in privacy policies. Yesterday, the cyber world was buzzing about Facebook’s intention to share a user’s home address and phone number with external sites. Despite a barrage of negative coverage, Facebook meekly issued the following statement to The Huffington Post:
Despite some rumors, there's no way for other websites to access a user's address or phone number from Facebook. For people that may find this option useful in the future, we're considering ways to let them share this information (for example to use an online shopping site without always having to re-type their address). People will always be in control of what Facebook information they share with apps and websites.
Even though Facebook discreetly announced this new policy, it caught the attention of privacy czars and US politicians. Only then, did it back down under the proviso that it would be "re-enabling this improved feature in the next few weeks".
There’s a lot of negative and often justified “ink” surrounding Facebook’s privacy issues. Still, the company forges ahead without apology or excuses. Goldman Sachs recently invested $500 million in the company which led many pundits to predict that Facebook is here to stay. It is too big to fail.
Or is it? Facebook owes its’ success to its' users. The users turned it into the “social media” phenomenon that it is. No amount of investment or money can define the quality of a user’s experience. No company is completely immune to the pull of a crowd. At what point will Facebook users become disillusioned with the product? When will “the crowd” decide enough is enough and move-on? We have all witnessed how fast people discover and use new platforms in this age of social media. A small drip (for example Twitter) can turn into the breaking of the Hoover Dam virtually overnight.
Surely Facebook hasn’t become so omnipotent that it feels no need to properly inform and protect its’ users. There are times that Mark Zuckerberg appears to be dipped in gold and subsequently makes his own rules. The only problem with being dipped in gold is the unprotected "Achilles’ heel".
If I were him, I would hire someone full-time to do nothing but look over his shoulder.
Mr. Zuckerberg; call me. I'm free.