As Mark Zuckerberg rightfully squirms in his seat over the Facebook user-data breach by Cambridge Analytica, millions of people are asking themselves, “Should I delete my Facebook account?”
The harsh truth is that even if tens or even hundreds of thousands choose to opt out of Facebook, this is a company that has over 2 billion users. Yes, Facebook has lost tens of billions of dollars in valuation since this story broke, which has certainly gotten its attention. But in my mind, a bigger question is not whether to delete your account, but what actions should you take if you stay?
First, users must check their own privacy settings. Second, we must insist that the Federal Trade Commission investigate Facebook’s privacy practices and that legislators and regulators strongly examine antitrust legislation. If we simply abandon Facebook, rather than hold it accountable, then we lose the collective power of billions of users. It’s like giving up your vote because you’re unhappy with the current situation in Washington, rather than exercising it to bring about the changes you want. We cannot expect a corporate behemoth with a monopoly on social media to police itself, but as Facebook users, we can mount our own campaigns to insist that lawmakers and regulators investigate and take action to protect our privacy and data.
If we don’t like what Facebook has been doing with our user-data, let’s take advantage of its worldwide platform to organize our efforts and resources to hold the company accountable. While it may feel like it’s time for #delete, it’s actually more like #demand.