With the current corporate boycott of spending advertising dollars on Social Media platforms, it reminded me that I was overdue in speaking out about our departure from Social Media last year, aka Social Media Distancing.
From the time the Information Superhighway was a dirt road, I have been an optimistic pessimist in regards to the Highway …working on that Highway and reading Clifford Stolls: Silicon Snake Oil paved the Highway for me.
At the Sol Center, we had been questioning the efficacy of social media platforms for some time. Cambridge Analytica, constant false news and adverts, personal privacy, the incendiary ramblings of elected officials, etc …it was all really just too anti-social, and not at all compatible with the verdant mindful mission of the Sol Center.
Upon learning about the peril of Suzie Kelly in the late Summer of 2019, the Faustian nature of it all became abundantly clear. And that now was the time to depart Social Media platforms with immediate effect, no longer offering any support to these platforms in any fashion. The business implications of a social media presence for the Sol Center or Natasha could no longer, in any form, be justified …and with that we were gone. From a purely business perspective the decision was difficult, but it was conscience, reasoned, and also very liberating.
The catalyst for this departure came about after reading what had happened with Suzie Kelly’s loss of her retirement savings. The data that Facebook and Aristocrat had compiled about Suzie, allowed Aristocrat’s behavioral analytics to easily recognize and prey upon her gambling addiction, or that of any Facebook user. Good News! Susie, and two other Plaintiffs were able to reach a class action agreement in principle totaling 155 million in the Spring of 2020.
I will miss the adventures of: Felix at Huddersfield Station, Augie the Plant Doggie, my cousin washing his RV, Sadie Golden, and of course your adventures as well.
To be truly effective in forcing the hand of change on Social Media platforms, an entity cannot simply temporarily or permanently suspend the spending of advertising dollars. Entities must remove themselves from Social Media platforms entirely …and the same for individuals.