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What you need to know about the Facebook scandal

For most of us, the Facebook scandal is current and significant news, however the full details, the size, reach and impacts of the controversy are in many ways somewhat of a mystery. Ok, yes we get that the personal data of Facebook users has been mishandled and that there have long been reservations about the enormous amount of information Facebook collects. Plus, we grasp that this is a big deal as Facebook has nearly two billion users around the globe. Plus, we are aware that for Facebook this is a total branding nightmare. Yet, you could be forgiven for not being fully aware that when you delve deeper into the scandal it actually starts to read like the script of a Hollywood blockbuster, involving the most controversial and nasty US presidential campaigner ever, allegations that the world’s largest social network listens to users’ conversations through the microphone on their smart phones and after much speculation, the revelation that during the 2016 U.S. election a handful of Russian actors manipulated Facebook users by spreading misinformation on the social network. See what I mean, I’m even thinking Matt Damon for the lead, how about you? So, let’s look at how all this started The whole scandal stems from news that in 2007 Facebook allowed access to the data they held on their users. App creators, developers of games, social software and dating apps, plus academics, researchers and marketers all gained access to the data of Facebook’s users. In 2015 Facebook learnt that Aleksandr Kogan, a psychology professor at the University of Cambridge had broken its data policies when he shared user...

Why JD Wetherspoons decision to quit social media is down to them having the wrong strategy

This month amid a media frenzy and ironically a lot of trending on social media, saw JD Wetherspoons’ Chairman Tim Martin announce that with immediate effect the pub chain would be closing all of its social media accounts, in order to channel its communications directly via an in-house magazine and website. Martin said he took the decision after becoming increasingly concerned by reports of MPs and public figures being targeted by trolls and following the Facebook Cambridge Analytica data scandal. He also expressed a view that there is an unhealthy “compulsion” among social media users to spend too much time on platforms like Facebook and Twitter. Martin felt that Wetherspoons’ staff were spending an increasing amount of time dealing with social media messages and that he was not convinced that being on social media sites brought any commercial benefit to the business. Wetherspoon certainly isn't the only company to recently remove itself from social media platform. Indeed, the call to #DeleteFacebook after the Facebook Cambridge Analytica data scandal saw Playboy, Tesla and SpaceX delete its Facebook account. So, you do have to ask yourself the question was JD Wetherspoons’ decision the right one? Well, no one can deny that Chairman Tim Martin knows his market, especially as his company keeps going from strength to strength, when on average 4 pubs close a week in the UK. He also knows his customers, so maybe he is truly making a stand for his customers by changing his digital policy. Or it could be a strategy based on the fact that he has previously blamed social media and in particular Facebook as...