Why do people spend hours on Facebook discussing cats and their lives? Answer: because there are millions of other people doing the same thing. Because it is ubiquitous.
Yet, Sir Andre Geim, who shared the Nobel Prize in Physics (2010) said that he regarded most social media platforms as “utterly time wasting”. He also says:
“I see the social purpose of Facebook and Twitter but if you look at the stuff on there it’s 10 per cent important and 90 per cent rubbish”.
I understand that. I wouldn’t be that harsh but there is truth in what he says. Most of Facebook and Twitter is waffle, over the garden fence chat. That is not bad in itself. We need some of that but how much do we need?
People should realise that Facebook is one of the world’s biggest businesses. It is publicly owned. This means it is owned by shareholders. Shareholders need to make money from their shares. That is why they bought the shares. The directors of FB know this. They find ways to satisfy their shareholders. The best way is to make lots of money. The best way to make lots of money from FB is to use the information that FB users input into the website. At a simplistic level this means that adverts are well directed. When you see an advert on Facebook, it is not the same advert than another person saw. The ads are tailored to you.
Information about people = money making opportunities. Google are the same. Confuse, use and abuse is the motto of big internet companies. When these companies know what a visitor likes you can feed them with adverts and stuff they like. Information about people and their habits is worth billions of dollars and FB has collected it.
When you read the instructions about removing information do you understand it? Do you even think about it? Do you care? You should care because we should care about our privacy and about big business using private information about us.
You can’t blame FB because it is free. They have about 4,000 engineers alone. Although you can’t find the figure on the internet. It probably costs hundreds of millions dollars a year to run FB. I don’t know what the figure is but it will be in that order. They have to pay that and make a profit. They make about $1.5 billion per year revenue it seems but figures are not easy to come by.
PoC is probably the only truly independent cat website. Catster.com is company owned and CatChannel.com is too. Nobody is stealing your private information on PoC. It is a genuine website. There are no shareholders, no money worries. Nothing like that. You write something and share. You only share with the people who view what you say and comment on it. There are no secret programs stealing information. What you see is what you get.
My impression of FB is that they abuse though confusion. Has anyone figured out where they are on FB? Navigation on FB is bizarrre.
You can post something on FB and get maybe ten comments etc. Well, you can get that on PoC and help cats at the same time with donations and with no spying and stealing of information.