Maybe Facebook was too good to be true

Like many of you, I've been Facebooking for a while.  It started out as a way of promoting political ideas.  More recently, it's all about baseball, The Beatles, connecting with old friends, and posting a family photo.  I just couldn't take the political terrain of 2016.  At one point, Facebook posts resembled the Iran-Iraq War, or people just throwing chemical weapons at each other over Trump versus Cruz.  So I dropped out of the political chat.

Over the years, I always expected that Facebook would eventually collapse.  In other words, I suspected that there'd be a privacy violation sometime that would cause massive cancelations.  It was too good to be true to have so much personal information floating around without some trying to figure out how to use it.

Well, it looks as though my hunch turned out to be true.  I believe we are seeing the end of what we call Facebook.  I believe that within a year, Facebook will be history or replaced by some competitors who will promise to protect your privacy.

As Liz Peek wrote, let the marketplace respond with an alternative:

If people care about their privacy (and it’s not at all clear that they do), they will gravitate to a service that offers better protections.

That could include a free app like Signal, which permits encrypted texts, phone calls and video chats between users and is ad-free.  If such services become more popular, Facebook will have to change its ways.

Rivals will rein in bad behavior from Facebook, not new rules, and it is that potential leash that regulators might destroy.

As happened when new restrictions were put on banks, it will be the biggest competitors, like Facebook, that can easily afford expensive oversight and will take market share and prosper.  Smaller firms, up-and-coming innovators in the dotcom revolution, will get strangled by burdensome red tape.

The solution to the problem is not government intervention but increased customer sophistication. 

So let the cleansing begin.  Let the marketplace break up or fix Facebook.  Keep the government out of this, because consumers and entrepreneurs are capable of taking social media to the next level of development.

PS: You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.

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