This week, documents were leaked from a former Cambridge Analytica employee that the company data-mined information from Facebook worldwide on an "industrial scale" to manipulate elections worldwide.
With what people are saying is the end of the decade (it isn't), there are stories coming out about technology over the decade. And one story talks about the most disappointing stories of the decade. Leo says that Social Media has been one of the most disappointing stories of the decade as it didn't really achieve the promise that it would bring us together. In reality, the old saying "familiarity breeds contempt" has been more likely. Social media has made us more fractured, as people tend just to read and embrace the things they agree with, or uniformity of thought.
This week, Senators sent a letter to Facebook telling them to respect user privacy, especially when they request not being tracked. Turns out, even if users opt-out of being tracked, Facebook has been doing it anyway. Leo says that while he chooses to opt-out of having his online activity tracked, he understands that Facebook is a free service and they do have to pay the bills with targeted ads. But shouldn't they respect when someone doesn't want to be included?
Mike recently self-published his first book. Now he needs help advertising it. Leo says that social media, Google, and Amazon are the three best places to advertise. But he also asks "where are your readers"? For that, Facebook and Google are the best to go for buying advertising. And the marketing is very narrowly focused, with small $100 buys. Leo recommends APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur—How to Publish a Book by Guy Kawasaki.
This week, at Oculus annual VR conference, Oculus announced a new virtual social network called Facebook Horizon, where you can join friends in a virtual room and hang out. It's like the infancy of Ready Player One. Leo says it makes sense now the way Facebook would spend $3.2 Billion for Oculus, now. They see the future. Here's what it will look like:
George is having issues with his phone screen going black when he opens his Facebook app. What gives? Leo says that the Facebook app is crashing and closes out when the screen goes to black. If you delete it and reinstall it, that should solve the problem.
Steven thinks that those surveys people take on Facebook profiles you to violate your privacy. Leo says that ALL of Facebook is profiling you, and the company sells that information. Facebook is designed to use your information for profit, and they got fined $5 Billion for doing it during the 2016 election.
Ellie would like to get rid of her account on Facebook. Completely. Leo says that you don't really have to do that unless you really want to. He suggests starting by taking the app off your phone. But thanks to the GDPR regulations from the EU, Facebook has made it easy. Go to deleteFacebook.com. It gives you a link directly to the Facebook delete page. Facebook will first deactivate your account for a month. After that, it will be permanently deleted. If you visit Facebook once during that time, it will assume you don't want to delete your account.
After agreeing to a consent decree to protect user privacy in 2011, Facebook has been fined $5 billion for failing to obey the decree. It's the largest fine in the history of the Federal Trade Commission, but it didn't really hurt Facebook, as the stock market rewarded the social media company with a $6 billion stock bump. This leaves Leo to wonder if you can really fine Facebook enough to make it hurt and if the only way to punish the social media giant is to stop using it.
When political figures make questionable or controversial quotes that may violate Twitter's Terms of Service, the social media company will put them behind a "grey wall" with the note that the post violated their abuse rules. Leaving the reader the option to read it or not. Leo says it'll be interesting to see how this will be received or if it will just add to the problem.