Last week we woke up to the news that Facebook has been hacked, another 50 million accounts have been compromised. While the circulating common wisdom has it that nobody cares about privacy, the numbers on the other hand seem to tell a different story as the users started deleting their account in an unprecedented magnitude.

To gain more perspective, let’s look back to the last time something similar had happened. For example when the Cambridge Analytica scandal broke not that long ago.

“A Hurricane Flattens Facebook” wrote Wired Magazine, The Guardian went with a more poignant headline: “A Grand Illusion: Seven Days that Shattered Facebook’s Facade”.

Rivers of digital ink have been spilled in order to cover the epic blow back that social media giant – or personal-data collecting company – has received as their stocks fell 14% and losing billions in a matter of days.

Oh and the tag #deletefacebook started trending worldwide.

When that happened, everybody seemed so sure that Facebook wouldn’t be affected in the slightest, but then again everyone seemed so sure that a recession would never hit back in 2009, or that Bitcoin would never make it to $100…etc.

The numbers for some reason always seem to paint a story that is totally different from the common belief.

There are of course many factors behind such a significant exodus, but before we get to that let’s t’s rewind a little bit to get more context.

Back in 2014, a data company called Cambridge Analytica paid a group of users to take a personality test on Facebook.

Thousands of unsuspecting users volunteered to take the test, but never had they imagined the sheer magnitude of the very trap they’re about to step in.

But the tests seemed to provide too much dopamine to resist. Not only that be they came with a monetary cash bonus to sweeten the pot. It’s like playing “What flavor of Pizza are you?” and end up with some cash to buy an actual pizza”.

As we all know, everybody loves pizza.

And so they clicked, and with a simple click they fell right into the trap.

The problem however is that they took fifty million of their friends down with them, and they did it without even realizing it.

Hello Trojan, Come on in!

As it turns out, the “social engineers” were less interested in knowing what kind of Pizza you supposedly are, and more interested into sneaking their Trojan horse right into your Facebook account.

This way, they can slip in behind the curtains and so collect all your personal data, as well as all the personal data of the people in your friends’ list.

Comedian Trevor Noah said it best:

“I’m sorry but this is bulls**t! Because your friend took this dumbass quiz, this company you never heard of got access to your account?
It’s like your friend boned someone and you got the STD”

The scandal sent shock waves into Facebook’s stocks and everyone started wishing for more competing platforms.

Millions have deleted their accounts even before finding a new emerging platforms as a replacement.

And for many of us here, we wish that the Blockchain would provide the answer that millions of people are searching for. The need is obvious and the demand hasn’t been this palpable for years.

But here’s an interesting question:

Just as cryptocurrencies advance in the midst of financial problems shouldn’t blockchain-based social media take advantage of the shortcomings of mainstream social media?

 

The truth is, there are many issues that the public identifies with: Privacy, visibility, feedback loops, or even some over-reaching algorithms that keeps people boxed into one extreme without the option to discover any other type of content.

So maybe in order to seize the opportunities created by the established platforms, blockchain platforms should address the problems that the audience at large resonate with.

And that is the subject of our next story, but meanwhile I want to leave you with a question:

Which issues do you personally perceive from well-established social media and publishing platforms?

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Responses

  1. CryptosDecrypted

    Excellent, well-written article @the-alien! I particularly like this, “even some over-reaching algorithms that keep people boxed into one extreme without the option to discover any other type of content”. Facebook et al. may have had their day if blockchain dApps can seize the opportunity to address user concerns you highlight. Cheers.

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    1. Adil Elias Post author

      Thanks @cryptosdecrypted I appreciate it. And yeah, I agree with you, if some dapps seize the opportunity, they can even target people who close their FB accounts and there would have an already existent base audience who were just waiting for something similar to come along.

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  2. Tony Lee

    Nice one Adil. Its painful to see how much centralisation current services we all used have and the potential of what Blockchain tech can enable. A Web Crisis = a Blockchain opportunity nice!

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    1. Adil Elias Post author

      Yeah you’re right, we have options already and it’s just the beginning. I hope they can track those users who closed their FB accounts and target them with a message they resonate with 🙂

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    1. Adil Elias Post author

      Wow! That’s incredible man. I think right now you’re not missing much because platforms like Facebook have dramatically restricted visibility. Even super popular people like Tim Ferriss get less than 20 views/likes.

      This is quite impressive man, I don’t know how you did it but it’s fascinating nonetheless.

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  3. Workin2005

    Well written @the-alien. IMO, the problem with centralized social media platforms is agenda driven censorship. Every time they get called out for it, they just blame the algorithm. I’ve seen Facebook label something “fake news” (that was 100% true by the way), simply because it didn’t align with their views. I’ve seen YouTube label things “hate speech” simply because it factually and respectfully discussed a sensitive topic. And of course there’s twitter getting called out for shadow blocking certain people with whom they disagree. Of course they claim it was all just “a mistake in the algorithm”. Riiiiight….
    Humans have bias…and EVERYTHING gets filtered through that bias. When a large percentage of people get their news from social media, that becomes very dangerous. This is why I’m so against any form of censorship. I feel it’s best to let everyone be heard..even if I don’t like what they’re saying. I’d much rather know how people feel than be sheltered from certain thoughts and views. Anyway…thanks for another great post!

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    1. Adil Elias Post author

      That’s true, the censorship is getting out of hand lately.

      I once got banned out of Twitter for saying “everyone is getting easily offended lately” they banned me for abusive language though for a short amount of time.

      I almost answered back joking “well, clearly you’re proving my point by banning me :P”

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  4. TRUTH(@i-am)

    Great article @the-alien,,,, I just LOVE the “Trojan PEEP” – ROTFLMAO !!!!
    Everyone seems to be overlooking the RECOMMEND button. I encourage everyone, if you liked an article, or just think others might like it,,, to PLEASE, PUSH the RECOMMEND button.
    Love your stuff Adil, keep it up!

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