Facebook got jokes. Tons of jokes. They’ve got jokes on me, on you, your co-workers & cousins too. They got yo momma jokes, knock knock jokes, even plain crude jokes. And the one thing all these jokes have in common, they are all jokes on us. Facebook has literally made us, the users, all the butt of one big data joke. And judging from the crowd’s reaction, Facebook is laughing at us, not with us.

Facebook gave us a platform to share life’s moments with our friends all over the world. It molded from a digital wall of college students posting photos and sharing water cooler talk, to a dominant digital platform stretching across traditional industries like the workplace, marketplaces & financial institutions. In the process, as they grew from spring break photos to brand pages, more and more of the people and brands we see in everyday life began populating the network.


It molded from a digital wall of college students posting photos and sharing water cooler talk, to a dominant digital platform stretching across traditional industries like the workplace, marketplaces & financial institutions.


The Dilemma

Three years ago, if you look only at adults who use the internet – 81% of All Americans – nearly 3/4’s of them used Facebook. Basically, every adult in America was on Facebook. 70% of those users visited Facebook daily and 45% visited several times a day. Not only were we ALL on the social network, we used it daily, even often. Fast forward 3 years and those numbers have only increased. More daily users, more daily sharing, more sharing options; its all increased. Facebook has grown to the one platform EVERYBODY is on.

Facebook is a place where everyone exist with the basic understanding that sharing is good for you and the guiding principle is that you can share intimate moments of your life and ask for nothing in return. Facebook wants you to feel like it’s “freeing” to share & connect. But really Facebook is like talking to the confessional, you confess your sins but they’ll never really talk back. Facebook took our innermost thoughts and life moments & turned them into our worst nightmare, targeted ads. Sure, big brother was watching, but we gave him everything he asked for, basically direct ccTV access, without making him sign an NDA or anything. In actuality, they made use sign something called a “terms of service” that we didn’t read. Somewhere buried in that contract is basically Facebook’s right to take your life story and write the biography without giving you a cent. We did that to ourselves.



Facebook is not the first company to own a treasure trove of data on us and sell it/use it for their own business gains. Reader’s Digest settled a class action law suit for $8.2 million after they allegedly sold information subscribers gave to the publisher. Like Facebook, Readers Digest had consent to collect the data. They did not however have consent to sell that data. Facebook never sold any of our data (that we know of as of yet), but they definitely have not handled it with care. We gave up our data on blind faith that facebook would do right by our data. So maybe we should ask ourselves, have we handled our most valued data with care?