In this article we review why Facebook has been brought to shame, what they are doing to mitigate their loss of face (no pun intended!) and what this means for SMEs who have hitherto invested in Facebook as an integral part of their marketing strategy.
Facebook’s ‘week of shame’
The exposure of Facebook’s data breach brought to light by The Guardian in March of this year, shone a light on the sinister and ever more sophisticated manipulation of consumers’ personal data which has gone on largely undetected in recent years.
The acquisition of the personal details of 50 million Facebook users by Cambridge Analytica, to have their online footprint tracked, segmented, fed into performance optimising algorithms and targeted with up to ten thousand different ads, pedalling ‘fake news’ is alleged to have swung the Presidential Election of 2016 in Donald Trump’s favour and the outcome of the Brexit Referendum too. Combined with alleged Russian interference, the audacity and scale of this breach demonstrates the power of data manipulation in the digital age and the extent to which it can undermine the very foundation of our democracies, leading to disruption in world order.
Dubbed as Facebook’s ‘week of shame’, the breach, along with Mark Zuckerberg’s silence saw $60bn wiped off Facebook’s market capitalisation, as the world arose from its couch of complacency and began to absorb the magnitude of what had been uncovered.