There are a growing number of us in the technology and advertising communities who have seen the effects of social media on our own families, as well as the alarming amount of personal data collected and shared about us to advertisers, other third parties and sometimes nefarious actors (i.e. Cambridge Analytica, Russian Troll Farms, etc.). What Tristan Harris, a former Google design ethicist, has done with the Center for Humane Technology is truly becoming a movement among many of us who have determined the current social network models of selling users as the product compromises many of our own personal standards for privacy in a democracy (Please watch “The Social Dilemma” on Netflix).
So why does Wednesday Journal and its nonprofit parent Growing Community Media insist on Facebook Connect to verify users in the comments section of online additions? What information is Facebook scraping about us in our very personal relationship with our community? There are other technologies that can be employed to verify someone is an actual member of our own community.
I understand that independent media took a beating in a period of media consolidation and corporatization of newsrooms. It’s as if independent media had to surrender to the Social Media overlords to ensure relevance. Those times are changing and it is time for Wednesday Journal to cut the cords with Facebook.