The Battle on NZ Facebook and Twitter Privacy – The Stand on the Issue

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We know Facebook allows third-party apps to collect data about our internet use as well as our personal information, and it even had our face scanned –and we were happy about this technology of face scanning and tagging. We tagged everyone we cared about! Until we realised it poses privacy concerns for all us users.

Maybe not everyone knows that Facebook also uses our off-Facebook activity! Facebook says the purpose is to serve us better advertisements, anyone convinced? Not us.  Have you ever checked your Off-Facebook Activity Sharing settings lately? If not, then you might be surprised to see a statement like this: 

“This is a summary of the 272 apps and websites that have shared your activity. Some of your activity may not appear here.” 

Sharing records of our interests, opinions, desires, and interactions with others, we believe is an abusive practice. Today, officially closed our Facebook account with our firm stand that we are against this practice of exploiting the personal data of billions of people.  

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Likewise, we are also closing our Twitter account for the same reason. In 2019 Twitter admitted about their “unintentional” use of our personal data for serving targeted advertising.  

Think about this. When our website is hacked, personal information is stolen. Now, there is not even a need for hacking. When using Facebook and Twitter, our personal information is exploited, whether we wanted this to happen or not. The exploitation of data is a threat to life so we wanted to do our part in stopping it.  

Every time we make a decision, we like to be logical –we carefully weigh all of our alternatives. But this time there are no alternatives!  Still, it’s important to understand that our stand as is a fact-based decision-making.

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How Facebook trumped Trump

A few hours after US President Donald Trump’s supporters stormed the US Capitol Facebook banned Trump’s account, thus setting a dangerous precedent! The concentrated power of a few individuals and businesses has taken over free speech as other tech giants followed suit. Twitter permanently banned Trump’s account, and later on Apple, Amazon, Google, Reddit, and Snapchat did their “fair share” of demonstrating their absolute power. 

No, don’t get us wrong, this has nothing to do with any political views. We don’t really care who stays in the White House and who leads whom, what we care most about is the ban on free speech, the destructive power of the tech giants over anyone, or anything that they believe inspires people to violence. So what really is incitement of violence? Anyone can say one thing and two different persons can receive the same signal differently. What must be remembered is a sitting elected official was ‘cancelled’ – regardless of views, do those citizens not have a right to hear their elected representatives? 

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The Australian News Ban due to Money

Just last month Facebook blocked all news content in Australia –viewing and sharing from personal accounts, including posting any news content or links on Facebook Pages. Such bullying was ignited by a planned law of the Australian government to require Facebook (and Google) to pay for news content on their platforms. 

Fake news and disinformation found its easy way while there is a news-ban in Australia. This is all because Facebook {to quote the news} doesn’t want to pay “traditional news media businesses for generating original journalistic content.” 

The over-inflated estimate of population in New Zealand

We do a lot of web design, search engine optimization, and content creation for New Zealand clients. And of course, we did until our decision, also do social media management and paid advertising as we still believe in the correlation between a site’s position in the organic search results and the number of social signals it has; plus we don’t deny the fact that paid advertising across social media reaches an audience second to none! Now, how can we tell our clients that we are reaching around this number of audiences when in fact, Facebook is giving us false numbers, worse it is an over estimate of the population!

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An interpretative news study in New Zealand reveals that there is a 44% over-inflation in age group 20-24 as Facebook claims NZ users can reach up to half a million on its platform; but the truth is the population in the mentioned age group is only 347,800. These Facebook metrics that are accessible in its Ads Manager also show significant over estimates on other age groups. 

While we guarantee to clients that we never employ dodgy techniques in either organic or paid campaigns, here comes the dishonest advertising numbers that only aims to increase ad cost. What do we tell our clients then? The thief robbed us of our money.  

No one can say if Facebook will always stay in business. But what we can definitely say now is that if it is getting to be more trouble than it’s worth – leave it. Or simply follow the number one social media rule:  Unfollow anyone who annoys you. Goodbye Facebook and Twitter.  

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