As Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg prepares for testimony before US lawmakers on the firm’s data privacy scandal, a group calling itself Faceblock has called on netizens to send a strong message to the CEO that it can’t be business as usual for the social network giant.
Aiming to convey the depth of feelings of Facebook users over misuse of their personal information, the group has urged a boycott of all the online platforms of the tech giant for a period of 24 hours.
“Operation Faceblock” has been set for April 11, when Zuckerberg will appear before the House Energy and Commerce Committee to explain how Facebook failed to prevent data on millions of its users from being improperly accessed by a political consultancy, Cambridge Analytica.
As the world waits to hear what the CEO will say about his company’s plan to rectify its mistakes and reaffirm commitment to user data protection, there are worries that the social media network is merely seeking to tide over its current crisis and that things won’t really change much.
With data harvesting a key element of Facebook’s monetization strategy, will the company really shed its old practices and stop playing around with the personal information of its users?
Well, no one has really has much hope, but at least one can try to pile on pressure on the company and force it to rethink some, if not all, of its practices.
Given this, Operation Faceblock does make sense, with the organizers calling for a one-day boycott of Facebook and its associated apps including Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram.
“If millions of us refuse to use Facebook for just 24 hours on 11 April when Mark Zuckerberg is due to testify to the US House Energy and Commerce Committee, and post about why we’re doing it, together we’ll send a powerful message that Facebook must do better,” Faceblock said on its website.
On Wednesday, the group will post various messages and graphics on other online platforms to remind Facebook of the need to change its ways and respect user privacy.
It is clear that data privacy activists intend to use Zuckerberg’s appearance before a Congressional panel as an opportunity to vent their anger at the world’s largest social media platform.
The boycott call will surely help raise public awareness about data privacy issues, but will it really prompt enough people to…