Zuckerberg’s answers should not shock anyone. Selling ads is and always has been the Internet’s revenue-generation model. However, unlike traditional media, digital platforms offer a much greater audience reach, breadth and depth of geographic, demographic and behavioral data than can be offered from other sources, such as newspapers, radio and television. Zuckerberg has reiterated on numerous occasions the company doesn’t sell data. The fact is, they don’t have to. We, the users, give our data away for free, because we choose to make digital media a part of our daily lives.
While data breach is a critical issue and Internet advertising needs to be addressed, there is a larger point not covered in the testimony – and poses a far greater threat to the social fabric of our society — than what kind of toothpaste one is likely to buy.
Long before Zuckerberg’s testimony, we had numerous studies that show the detrimental impact to our brains and well-being because of social media. But I would argue it’s not “social or digital media” as a platform that’s the problem; it’s the way we individually and collectively decide to use it.
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