Facebook’s latest bad press and FTC investigation has turned the once hipper-than-thou clubhouse into an official news media chew toy. Data collection is nothing new. Android and Facebook’s role in it is nothing new.
But now the spin has turned from one of being forward-thinking and convenient into something dark and sinister.
Once the press smells blood, they attack full force. It is the nature of the beast, but Facebook seems to not be literate in crisis management. They were adept at happy, relaxed hipness and making people feel special. The personalization of their yearend and monthly recaps as well as friendiversarys were always creepy and intrusive, but the me-centredness gave them a free pass time and again.
Now, they have been singled out from the social media posse with the others distancing themselves from it, with Amazon, Apple, Twitter, and Google not showing an ounce of support. I find this turn expected, but interesting on many levels nonetheless.
I have seen their Toronto office once when I was invited to see a j-talk last year — there was a certain kind of youthful casualness to the place, complete with gong, cheery, inspirational postcards, IKEA-type minimalist furnishings, and bold column murals, but the badges and requisite signing it to enter the lair screamed that underneath that “make yourself at home” warmth, all cold eyes were being kept on you at all times.
For years, it was the top layer everyone saw, and now it is the inner layer that’s the focus. It was always there, but now that there has been a series of missteps, the company is now in the crosshairs of an angry mob with no help from their fellow Internet robber barons.
It reminds me of one meeting Trump held inviting all of the Big Tech companies, with Facebook snubbing the event. They blew it off when they were in a position of strength.
Now, they are getting whumped for doing what they have always done. Climates change rapidly, and Facebook is now learning what journalism still hasn’t come to grips with: you can lose power in a heartbeat…