“Our Very Strength Incites Challenge. Challenge Incites Conflict. And Conflict Breeds Catastrophe.” – Vision (Avengers – Age Of Ultron)
This quote, despite being part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, has relevance to the recent happenings. While I was viewing Mark Zuckerberg’s testimony before the Senate in Capitol Hill, I was able to relate to this quote very deeply. As Mark was faced with questions about privacy, there were quite a few responses wherein he said it was within the end users’ power to share what information they chose for the world to know.
The above quote can be broken into 3 parts:
Strength Incites Challenge
When Facebook first came into the limelight, it was primarily because of its unique approach to social interactions. What started as a dorm — room project turned into a billion dollar idea when ‘The Facebook’ (as it was called back then) hit it off among students. Even till date, Facebook’s ‘Suggestions List’ & ‘Sponsored’ posts are directed pretty accurately given their algorithms.
This is where their USP indirectly stirred up a challenge within the digital marketing company by portraying themselves as a social networking site while using ads for revenue. The spirit of innovation was warped by a sense of competition, & that ultimately led to Facebook prioritising monetary benefits over quality content.
Challenge Incites Conflict
Facebook was able to garner huge audiences within a short span of time because they were not globalizing; they were leveraging technology to create a product which would connect billions. I believe the uprise started to pivot when Facebook realised it wasn’t the only player in the market. Even though they were (still are) a monopoly in the social networking arena — especially since they own WhatsApp & Instagram — Facebook wanted to make sense out of the enormous amount of data they had at their disposal.
By allowing 3rd party developers to build applications & integrate with Facebook, they were not only letting geeks play around with their platform as a silent — silent testing project, they were also getting ideas on how best to use that data to their advantage.
Conflict Breeds Catastrophe
Let’s face it. Facebook would’ve made a fortune with the information they gave Cambridge Analytica access to. It seems like the next logical step in a series of events that Mark would make the user base as nothing but an experiment with us as his lab rats. What we have in front of us is nothing but yet again the next step in a chain of events.
The bill comes due. Always! – Baron Mordo (Doctor Strange)
Good or bad, karma has come around like a boomerang. And unless Facebook revamps its policies, the steady decline will persist. That’s my $0.02 on this issue!