Call it the Facebook user paradox.
Leviathan social network Facebook says it is all about connecting people no matter what.
If you swallow and follow that logic you might be forgiven for concluding that Facebook’s workforce – top-to-bottom – would be super open and connected, swimming amongst their billions of users, connecting and being connected.
Nothing could be further from the reality when dealing with Facebook.
Facebook is the complete antithesis of “user” friendly or “customer-centric” businesses that feeds on the direct, personal, human interaction. Facebook is the anti-Nordstrom. When it comes to the Facebook user, Facebook isn’t just low-service or poor service – it’s NO service whatsoever.
That is unless you want to spend money on advertising to say – influence and election in a nation outside the USA – Facebook is much more accommodating. Facebook is also more than happy to relentlessly pursue its typical users to create expensive advertisements on the site as a way of “Boosting” the popularity of a Post, for example.
One minute Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg says Facebook wants to be fair to everyone and let his or her message be heard. Facebook is still more than willing to accept money for political ads, or maybe even restrict the market for such online advertising their own advantage. It’s at odds with Facebook’s relentless marketing of its ads to “Boost” the popularity of a one of your posts, which is about giving your post more visibility versus other posts.
If you can pay money to Boost posts how is that Facebook can neutral and objective? It’s pretty clear: The more money you spend, the more “Popular” your post will be, thanks to Facebook’s for-profit advertising “Boost.”
Facebook has built a genuinely maze-like series of steps necessary to genuinely remove your data from the site. It has also created a rigid, unresponsive Facebook user Help system that seems purposely designed to thwart human interaction and ignore user issues that do not rise to the level of involving law enforcement and/or the news media. Those kinds of issues would be bad for Facebook’s revenue.
Facebook’s haughty disregard for its users comes through in its alleged Help Center, which is neither Helpful nor a Center. In reality it’s a kind of brick wall where Facebook sends the people, users, it really doesn’t want to deal with. In short, that means just about every user with an issue.
Facebook and its philosophy of connecting people no matter what happens seems to have created a massive petri dish where social ills both old and new, fester, combine and mutate. And Facebook is sorry about that. Now.
Always reactive, there is little evidence of Facebook ever averting a major issue with some sort of open and progressive feature or policy. Facebook is always contrite, promising to do better once it gets caught, once information about 87 million “users” has been stolen (or was it given away or was it freely available?), once an election has been stolen.
As this article was being written, yet another example of the company’s disdain for Facebook users and its inherent sneakiness and dishonesty surfaced April 5, 2018 in an article on TechCrunch website.
You can’t remove Facebook messages from the inboxes of people you sent them to, but Facebook did that for Mark Zuckerberg and other executives. Three sources confirm to TechCrunch that old Facebook messages they received from Zuckerberg have disappeared from their Facebook inboxes, while their own replies to him conspicuously remain. An email receipt of a Facebook message from 2010 reviewed by TechCrunch proves Zuckerberg sent people messages that no longer appear in their Facebook chat logs or in the files available from Facebook’s Download Your Information tool.
This particular incident demonstrates several things about Facebook and it attitude toward the Facebook user.
The first is that Facebook executives are willing to make these kinds of move without disclosure of any kind, 2) it proves the existence of features that could be offered ALL Facebook users but have been reserved for Facebook’s internal use only, 3) once again Facebook is reactive when caught, 4) when caught Facebook’s reaction is to suddenly play nice. In this case they’re going to offer the feature to you, the lowly Facebook user, just eight years late.
This is a subject covered at more depth in a later chapter.
Also informative is exactly when this episode of this most recent cover up for Zuck took place. This remote erasing of emails took place in 2010 – nearly eight years ago.
Once again Facebook isn’t really “on time” with being honest and open, two things Facebook’s management either refuses to become. The truth always arrives late at Facebook and management treats the truth and openness as very unwelcome visitors.
Part of Facebook’s response to his revelation, eight years after this feature was available to him, Zuckerberg will be “punished” by not allowing him to have the delta message feature. Wow! This is Facebook’s idea of justice?
Oh, and they were sure to include their legal disclaimer when explain why they did it and why it was a secret:
“After Sony Pictures’ emails were hacked in 2014 we made a number of changes to protect our executives’ communications. These included limiting the retention period for Mark’s messages in Messenger. We did so in full compliance with our legal obligations to preserve messages.”
It’s important to note that Facebook was certain to include a legal CYA line about this coverup.
But this bring up one of my primary points about Facebook: For a social network that’s all about connecting people, why is it so incredibly difficult to remove, I mean REALLY remove, your data from the site?
For seven consecutive days I worked to take my data, every interaction, every post every post, off Facebook. I treated like it was job. I spent time off line, chasing down old clients and sometimes friends to get help with getting my data off Facebook.
Coming Soon: Chapter 2 — The User-Proof Wall