Saturday, April 7, 2018

James Tulp: Death by a billion deactivations

The website that has defined a generation is dying a slow death. When Facebook first launched on February 4, 2004, the company obsessed with two things- being “cool” and getting as many people addicted to its platform as possible. It accomplished the former by excluding old people- literally- at first you needed an .edu email address to create an account. It accomplished the latter by “exploiting a vulnerability in human psychology”, as inaugural president Sean Parker put it. This strategy worked well for Facebook. Really well.

But recent events have many experts coming to the conclusion that Facebook’s best days are behind her. Former Facebook executives as well as tech moguls such as Elon Musk and Tim Cook have recently slammed the social network. The Cambridge Analytica scandal brought on a new wave of scrutiny over user data. The rise of Snapchat and Facebook-savvy grandmas rendered the website no longer cool to young people. #deletefacebook is trending across the internet.

According to eMarketer, Facebook will lose 2 million users under 25 this year. Less than half of U.S. Internet users ages 12 to 17 will use Facebook this year for the first time. These projections are not good, particularly when you consider the fact that the research was conducted before Cambridge Analytica.

The issue of personal user data leaves Facebook stuck between a rock and a hard place. The more Facebook rolls back its collection of user data, the less valuable they are to advertisers.

So it’s left in quite the pickle- continue invasively collecting user data and face user backlash, or collect less user data and become considerably less valuable to advertisers. But unfortunately that’s not the only problem it's facing.

According to a recent report from the World Federation of Advertisers, digital ad fraud trails only drugs as the world’s largest criminal industry. Combine that with the reality that many users submit fake information and the rise of online ad-blockers and you can see why many advertisers are ditching the platform altogether.

Some major US corporations were cutting back on digital advertising even before all of this came out. Procter & Gamble announced in late 2017 that it would cut $200 million in digital ad spending because increased transparency revealed it was largely wasteful.

Conservatives don’t like Facebook because it manipulates the newsfeed and the trending lists to favor progressive outlets. Conversely, liberals are upset with them for committing the unforgivable sin of providing user data to a Republican campaign.

For me, it’s not the liberal bias. It’s not the fact that my parents and grandparents are on it. It’s not even the privacy issue. It’s the destruction of interpersonal relationships that Facebook is an accessory to. When it first launched, the company leaders were solely concerned with getting as many people on as possible for as long as possible. Needless to say, it succeeded in doing just that. What it was not concerned about was whether or not this was good for people or for society at large.

I would argue (in a much longer post) it’s not its responsibility to alter its business based on what it deems to be good for people, but it’s on each individual to determine what’s best for them.

I ditched Facebook in 2013 after 7 years on the platform. It remains one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. If the trends continue, I won’t be the only one.

Despite still being the largest social media platform in the world, it seems the future of Facebook will not be as bright as its past.

James Tulp is an Adjunct Professor of Political Science at Mississippi College and a Talk Radio Host for WYAB 103.9FM. Listen to him weekdays from 6-7PM.


Anonymous said...

Good riddance!

Anonymous said...

Facebook is Myspace part Douche!

Anonymous said...

Facebook is like an email, you can't survive in the world without one.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting. I reminded me to deactivate my account.

Burke said...

I'm not on Facebook, but it's going through a familiar cycle: popular, hot popular, too popular, unpopular, repopular.

Most people love versions of facebooks, such as actual college facebooks, and high school annuals, and workplace directories. I don't see that love diminishing anytime soon.

A lot of bright people are upset about the manipulation of elections using Facebook, but manipulation of elections we will always have with us. Still, I'm happy that Cambridge Analytica has been outed. As the French put it, de trop. Too much.

Anonymous said...

Change your passwords every 30-90 days and enjoy Facebook and any other app you use.

Anonymous said...

2:30, I feel really sorry for you.

Anonymous said...

I don’t have Facebook. I live in the real world!!!!

Anonymous said...

What purpose does Facebook serve when you have Kingfish?

Samuel Pepys said...

Facebook has been an interesting phenomenon to observe. Of course, many " survive" without it (oh, 2:30! You can, too!) Those of us who don't choose to (over)share, who prefer private correspondence, are naturally rather pleased to see this silly forum come a-tumblin' down. My brief experience with Facebook made me thnk less of people, even those I might ordinarily have "liked" (back when that was an ordinary verb, not something one clicked on). The stupid "viral" videos of cats and dogs, the grandbabies that all looked exactly alike, the trite memes that were more often than not misspelled, the political yammering...really, a worse "expense of spirit in a waste of shame" than, er, the other one. What drove me to deactivate my account, long before the Cambridge Analytica kerfuffle, was...the CAPITAL LETTER EPIDEMIC. I think Mr. Zuckerberg should DEFINITELY be PUNISHED by everyONE who signed up for HIS site. SHARE if YOU agree! Can we get nine trillion "likes"?

Anonymous said...

Of what possible value do you (3:43) think the changing of password(s) is? Your recommendation is as worthless as those who say, "If you've been hacked, hurry and change your password". And almost as worthless as those who think they can change Facebook's behavior by posting some silly text about 'not giving you permission to share or use my information'.

Meanwhile: We vaguely know the people living on the east side of us for the past nine years and have never been in any neighbor's house. But we have 812 Facebook friends, having personally met only 45.

Anonymous said...

If election manipulation by Facebook meant that Hillary's fat ass was kept out of the White House, then I say yay for them. Yes, Trump is a joke, but she is, too. He'll be gone soon, and maybe Facebook can manipulate us inti voting in someone decent next time.

Anonymous said...

If election manipulation by Facebook meant that Hillary's fat ass was kept out of the White House, then I say yay for them.


Anonymous said...

Computer savvy folks already know that you need to change passwords frequently.

Anonymous said...

>>>Hillary's fat ass was kept out of the White House, <<<

Hair Furor playing tennis in white shorts*! That is all.

* 18 years ago- now he weighs 239 lbs!

Messick said...

Good on ya, 7:14.


I have no facebook account. But I do have two big, heavy, solid wood bookshelves that are full. I desperately need a third to handle the overflow.

That website has brought nothing but agita and disgust to my friends who use or used to use it regularly. A couple of smart ones dumped it several years back. There are now a few more who are considering it. Others just don't remember life without it.
The latecomers, the timid, and the lost, respectively, in my eyes.

Anonymous said...

Somehow I've managed to reach age 64 without Facebook. I have never used it, never felt the need for it, and have a large family and many friends who know how to contact me by email or phone if they have something worthy to discuss. Facebook reminds of something my mother used to say: Fools' names and fools' faces are often seen in public places.

Anonymous said...

9:09; You can have sixteen heavy, solid wood bookshelves and none of them will bring you the warm feeling you get when you watch a man sliding across ice to save a freezing dog yesterday, or the real-time memories you'll have in a thread containing forty recollections of the old drive-in where y'all bought cherry cokes fifty years ago, or the camaraderie you can develop exchanging 'kick ass smack' with a group of football fans you hope one day to meet.

But, yes, you can pour a prissy scotch, sink down into that old musty, brown recliner and lose yourself in some crumbling book that does little more than waste your time for two hours.

To each his own.

Anonymous said...

I have friends , not just all over the U.S. but overseas as well. It's been a convenient way to keep up with them and their children and grandchildren.
I protect my information as best I can with the best security I can get and by changing passwords , but anyone who uses a computer is just as much at risk as Facebook users.
Tulp thinks its a " liberal" site only because he must have more liberal acquaintance. I see far more alt right and conservative posts and as a result got more posts generated by RT from friends. I am sad to see so many that I know are good people getting duped by political propaganda but that's the current climate in which we live.
That Tulp is far more upset with Facebook than with Cambridge Analytica and Steve Bannon's use of the information is beyond hypocritical. It's indicative of a pathetically blinding bias.

Fuss Budget said...

Oh, my, 5:28, what a wordcrafter you are---"pour a prissy Scotch!" And the "musty, btown recliner" is a nice image, as well. And, ummm, can you post a link to that guy sliding across the ice to save that dog? We who are non-Facebookers missed that!

Aww, just wanted you to know that one reader appreciated your subtle rebuke of the Share-aholics.

And, 9:38, as long as you all have email, why do you feel the need to use a public site? I have "relatives and friends" all over the nation and world, as well, but I certainly don't want all of them to see everything. Private email works just fine.

Plain ol' Catfish said...

Well said 9:38 AM

I agree with most of what you said to an extent

I think my biggest gripe with all social media outlets, is that people do not seek to find middle ground.

Hell, up here all people love to do is tell you are wrong and call you stupid, without indicating what they disagree with you on.

There's nothing wrong with disagreeing with people, because we don't see things the same way. However, its safe to assume everyone that posts on sites like this and Facebook are human.

I'm tired of so-called "liberals" and "conservatives" constantly redrawing the lines trying to define to what it "truly" means to be either "liberal" or "conservative". These political purity tests are for the birds.

I don't think anyone wakes up to try and tick off a "liberal" or a "conservative", I assume everyone wakes up trying to figure out how they are going to make it through the day and see if they can make it to the next.

Needless to say, I think everyone is tired of the foolishness. Its time we start finding some common ground as human beings and enjoying a little more peace. We only have so much time on this earth. God bless to everyone I ever disagreed with on here, may we all find common ground in the near future.

Anonymous said...

It is very simple. Don't put anything on facebook or any computer that you would not like for everyone to see. It isn't that hard.
As far as political propaganda, people already have their mind made up then they find something that agrees with them. People that will let something they read on facebook completely change their mind were not sure about anything to begin with.

Anonymous said...

Most of those that are horrified that the Trump campaigned used information from Facebook were applauding Obama's use of it in 2012. Notice how the press never mentions that. It's not about the data being accessed and used, it's about who gets to use it.

Anonymous said...

... but anyone who uses a computer is just as much at risk as Facebook users.


Anonymous said...

"Common ground" is a myth. Just like the virtues of diversity.

Anonymous said...

I may share this post from Kingfish to Facebook... then everyone will know I'm one of the cool kids... lol

Anonymous said...

11:06 said "Most of those that are horrified that the Trump campaigned used information from Facebook were applauding Obama's use of it in 2012. Notice how the press never mentions that. It's not about the data being accessed and used, it's about who gets to use it."

Hammer meets nail.

Anonymous said...

One of the brighter students I had pegged Facebook in one word: "masturbatory." I could not agree more. Although there is another, and equally unseemly, aspect: the implicit begging for applause and approval. Like the tree that falls in the forest with nobody there to intercept the sound waves, have Facebookers come to feel that they do not really exist unless dozens of others shower comments about their silly posts? "Love this!"..."LOL!"..."Awww sweet!"...

Anonymous said...

""Common ground" is a myth. Just like the virtues of diversity."

Why the negativity? Who did something to upset you, sheesh?

StarRider said...

Instantaneous conversation with family and friends, the chance to meet and have conversations with people who share the same interests all over the world, and the chance to argue with complete strangers, all for free. What's not to like about Facebook?

Still Laughing at 10:15. said...

Typical stuffy-brat-adult at 10:15 who claims to have no interest in mundane things like Facebook. Has no interest yet asks for a link to a facebook video mentioned. Same guy who won't participate in Facebook activities to track down family relationships yet asks for a 'copy and paste' of the final results of the search.

Probably would never be caught dead buying a Penthouse magazine but will gladly take and dispose of your old copies. We see what you are.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like Tulp needs a safe space from Facebook. Sad!

Anonymous said...

Numbskull at 5:51, yo! 10:15 was obviously kidding about wanting a link to the dog video or whatever it was! Kingfish really should provide an emoticon to alert the dimmer readers to the presence pf sarcasm...we could call it a "satiricon" maybe. I got hooked on FB a few years ago when I realized just how many idiots there were out there who had absolutely no filters, and would post the damnedest personal stuff! HUGELY entertaining! A *Schadenfreude"-ian's delight, so to speak. It's not at all necessary to post anything oneself---but just carefully acquire a nice list of blabbermouthy friends, sit back, and enjoy the show! A couple of years ago a "friend's" college-age daughter was having a delightful drunken exchange with her boyfriend---pretty graphic---when the young hussy accidentally tagged her mom's name, and---BING!---into my newsfeed popped, "[Hussy] tagged [Mom] in her post" and, glory be, there was the whole thing for the world of Mom's 589 "friends" to hoot over! It got really interesting when Mom entered the stern comment, "GET OFF FACEBOOK RIGHT NOW!"

She did...darn. But stuff like that happens all the time. I love Facebook! They can do whatever they want with my puny data.

Anonymous said...

They can do whatever they want with my puny data.

That isn't all you've got going that is puny.

Buckerzerg said...

Nor do people have any means to completely stop being tracked by Facebook. The surveillance follows them not just on the platform, but elsewhere on the internet—some of them apparently can’t even text their friends without Facebook trying to snoop in on the conversation. Facebook doesn’t just collect data itself; it has purchased external data from data brokers; it creates “shadow profiles” of nonusers and is now attempting to match offline data to its online profiles.

Again, this isn’t a community; this is a regime of one-sided, highly profitable surveillance, carried out on a scale that has made Facebook one of the largest companies in the world by market capitalization.

Anonymous said...

8:44 berates the social media tool yet seems to be quite the expert on tagging and how it populated his feed with a conversation where a mutual 'friend' was tagged. Now I see how that works. So, thanks, 8:44.

And thanks for telling us that somebody else was kidding when you have no way of knowing that. Or were you tagged behind the scenes?

Anonymous said...

Agreed, 9:38.
10:15, your first cousin twice removed is not going to email you.
James Tulp's column was rambling and had no true purpose or conclusion, other than some unknown "death" vendetta against Facebook.

Anonymous said...

Wowzers, that genius college schmuck crook Zuckerberg is the ultimate Pied Piper. Y'all have sucked down so much of his Kool-Aid you cannot see straight, and are dancing happily right behind him. But I feel certain you would do it all over again, just to see your second cousin thrice removed's grandbaby pictures. Hit "like," and jolly on! But don't be surprised if most of us opt out of it.

Anonymous said...

Facebook? That's the thing grandparents use to keep up with the grandchildren that don't visit them, isn't it?

Anonymous said...

Yup, 3:57. But many young parents, rightly, do not want their photogenic little ones to have an "internet presence" before they are old enough to decide for themselves what they want "out there". These thoughtful parents send the grandparents photos in private emails! God, Zuckerberg must be guffawing his way to the bank. "Fools' names and fools' faces," indeed...what a genius, playing with our endless vanity.

Anonymous said...

Wasn't it that awful actress, Sally Field, who gushed embarrassingly (in her Oscar acceptance speech,) "You really LIKE me!"? Man, she's the poster child for Facebookers who love to check how many "likes" they get for their every pitiful post about what they ate for breakfast, or how their chemotherapy is going. Have some dignity, and keep it private, people!

Anonymous said...

6:13, I LIKE your comment.

Amy M. said...

Coming in late to this, but these comments have been fascinating to read. I can only add that, while I have always known Facebook had a dossier on its members (common sense and a basic knowledge of the internet would tell you that) there have always been ways to do a little damage control. I did several things from the outset, and have been little troubled by ads, etc.

1) NEVER click on an ad. Instead, click the little dots above it and choose the option "Hide all ads from (whatever company)" you won't see them again, and FB knows you won't be interested in similar ones. DO NOT answer the little survey question "Why don't you want to see this?" You don't owe FB any explanation, you just don't want to see it. If you delete emough ads, at some point, you will see almost none of them. It's a hassle to do all that clicking for a while, but eventually your newsfeed will be almost ad-free. Do this, as well, for links to non-commercial websites. When a friend posts a link to, say, "Fabulous Fat Free Feasts" go to that same button and select the Hide All From...option. Do this enough, and you will be surprised and delighted at how de-cluttered your news feed becomes.

2) Similarly, never, ever click on a link to an article or "Suggested Post" ---if it looks really interesting, say, "Two Headed Baby Born to Kim Kardashian's Dog," make a note to Google it later, when you are off FB.

3) Never hit "Like". And ideally, don't comment. I stopped this cold when I realized that FB let "friends" know by putting "[my name] commented on [so-and-so's] post," Whaattttt? Why would I want all my 50 or so "friends" to know what I said to someone they don't even know?

4) Limit your "friends". Only accept FB friendships from people you, duh, really are friends with in real life. Just because someone you had one math class with in middle school requests to be connected, does not mean you must accept. You can even delete the request, but just letting it sit there forever in limbo is not rude. It's not the same as failing to RSVP, for Heaven's sake!

5) If it's too late to do #4---you have already accepted too many people you don't really give a rat's patoot about---just "Unfollow" them (assuming you don't want to "Unfriend" them outright. This feels especially good when you do it to Aunt Nellie, who puts her every bowl of Cheerios and every trivial cat anecdote out there, or your friend who feels she must WITNESS FOR JESUS at every opportunity.

6) Go into the privacy settings and select "Only Me" any time you are given an option about who cane see what.

None of these will completely keep you off their radar, of course; "they" are a lot wilier and savvier than you are, and they are using you to make money. But if you just HAVE to feel "connected," at least make these feeble, basic attempts to preserve a measure of dignity.

Anonymous said...

DANG, April 9, 2018 at 6:13 PM, did you really just attack someone on chemotherapy from keeping their friends posted and in search of support?
Please identify yourself to them so they can "unfriend" you, because you are clearly no friend.

Anonymous said...

DANG, 2:23, do you realize that support for life's misfortunes comes in other (far better) ways than baring it all on a public forum? It's called real, in-person friendship...private know, the way we all somehow survived and had a little community around us before that boogerhead Zuckerberg seduced us all? And convinced people like you that gee, if a few good friends are nice to have, why not collect over 500 of 'em? And report every wart, mole, and doctor report to them all, likely to be seen by friends-of-friends (perfect strangers!)

"Those friends thou hast, and their adoption tried,/Grapple them to thy soul with hoops of steel."

And don't insult them by expecting them to create a Facebook account just to hear from you. If you are not close enough to connect by the usual private means, maybe they don't need to know about your every trip to the bathroom.

Please Share.. said...

Dang! I thought everybody wanted to know how many months right down the hour I've been sober. And I'm actually doing YOU a favor by posting all those crockpot chicken recipes and reminding you to 'like' them or you won't be able to find them again. And asking you to like and share those pictures of my 97 year old WWII uncle are for the sake of national pride and love of country you dimwit.

But, you just go right ahead and select 'only me'. That way nobody will ever see anything you post but you'll have fun posting.

I'm sorry you were not able to be at the reunion. Joan's baby looks just like your husband and even has his name.

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Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).

Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.

In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

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Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

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