Listening to portions of the Congressional hearings regarding the Facebook privacy violation firestorm, I can’t help but wonder: are people really this naïve?
Addressing the Facebook controversy dead-on, CEO Mark Zuckerberg answered mostly inane and pointless questions. The central theme was data security and user privacy, to which Zuckerberg largely toed the corporate line. What else was he supposed to do? His company was obviously caught facilitating data mining for political purposes.
Big deal. It happens all the time. Every time you log into the internet, you’re at risk for someone tracking your browsing patterns.
Don’t get me wrong – I’m not siding with Zuckerberg in this Facebook controversy. They clearly violated user privacy and disclosure agreements. They will face repercussions, as they should. No company should be above the law. But what’s going on right here is nothing more than a Facebook witch-hunt.
What particularly irks me is the precontrived pomp and circumstance, as if Capitol Hill actually gave a damn about protecting the American people. In reality, they only care about looking good on camera so that they can score cheap political points for the upcoming midterm elections.
They know that Americans eat this stuff up like greasy hamburgers and salty French fries. Until society educates itself – which it won’t – the same ruse will continue unabated.
This is why I view this drama as a Facebook witch-hunt. It’s all about finding a convenient scapegoat as a distraction from truly pertinent issues. The Facebook controversy also reinforces a victimization mentality that’s becoming all too familiar.
What I mean is that fewer people today take accountability for their own actions. They depend on outside parties for things that they themselves should be responsible. In this case, Zuckerberg and company are not the first-line of defense in terms of internet security: you are!
No one forces you to open a Facebook account. Especially, no one forces you to disclose private information on your homepage. That is all entirely up to you; you can be as transparent or as anonymous as you want to be. However, if you take a certain route, you shouldn’t complain about the consequences.
What’s amusing to me about the Facebook controversy is how effective of a platform it is for political purposes. Thanks to the exceptionally divisive campaign cycle, few people (particularly liberals) held back their views. Thus, it was easy for data miners to map out a true gauge of political sentiment.
But now that “their woman” lost, people are hopping mad. It’s a joke. Facebook may have facilitated the privacy violation, but most folks were willing to whore it for free. I really don’t see what the big issue is.