What Now After Facebook?

I thought the revelation of Facebook’s privacy breach last month was bad, but that was it and we’d all move on, which for some people could mean to still just continue using Facebook. However, it seems the bad news coming out about Facebook just won’t stop.

Apart from updating that the originally reported 50 million number of users who were impacted by the breach is now believed to be 87 million users, they’re now saying that most of their 2 billion users are in fact believed to be affected. That’s pretty much everyone using Facebook.

Closer to home, it’s now believed that Cambridge Analytica has Facebook data on 65K Singapore users. That’s not anything like saying most Singapore users are affected, but the number is large enough to be a concern. There are other companies also collecting your data, so let’s not forget that the problem isn’t confined to Cambridge Analytica alone.

All the news surrounding the Facebook privacy breach seems to be just getting from bad to worse. How could there be sucha disastrous privacy breach?

That’s perhaps not completely surprising. After all, how did you think Facebook can command a market cap of US$500B when no one seems to be paying for their Facebook accounts? There’s plenty of value in the company, or at least that’s what some people believe. That value has to come from somewhere.

Are you thinking of leaving Facebook? The problem for many people is that, if not Facebook, where else can they go?

I have no good answers. There are, of course, several alternatives, just not anything so clearly evident that you can put your finger down on it and say that’ll replace Facebook.

I did think a bit about some of my uses of Facebook that is not specifically about social interactions. Like many others, I don’t subscribe to regular printed mainstream media anymore, and I very rarely watch mainstream TV. I get my news online, from various channels, including from Facebook. I’m not sure we can get that many current (active) Facebook users to stop using Facebook, but perhaps it might work to use Facebook less, so as to send a suitably strong signal to Facebook that we are seriously looking at alternatives.

What suggestions do you have to catch trending news without using Facebook? Reddit perhaps?

Just so you know, apart from posting on Facebook, my blog is also posted on Twitter (https://twitter.com/zitseng) and Tumblr (https://www.tumblr.com/blog/zitseng).

A nice news aggregator I use is Feedly. You can use Feedly, or other news aggregator, to watch trending blogs and news sites, or any of your favourite websites, so easily stay on top of any exciting news.

A cute way to figure out what other people reading up to is to watch Google Trends. This is Google’s report of trending searches, i.e. what are the popular things that people are searching. One item that turned up yesterday, for example, is the Scoot bomb threat.

What are ideas have you got so we can all use less of Facebook?

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