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You Can’t Have Your Cake and Eat It: why we shouldn’t be so quick to judge Facebook amidst GDPR

Despite being universally used and loved, Facebook is coping a fair bit of stick right now. First Cambridge Analytica, now news of a fine on the launch day for GDPR. But I can’t help but feel this is a little bit harsh.

Facebook (and most social networks) provide us with a platform that many of us enjoy; being able to keep up with friends, find news stories and perhaps most importantly, notify the world we’ve been to the gym. And what do we pay for this? Nothing.

We as a planet are using Facebook every day and it is fundamental to the way many people communicate. Talking to relatives abroad, organising birthday events, Saturday sports teams, fundraisers – the list goes on.

We take all this for granted as part of a free service in return for seeing adverts about things that may well interest us. This is seen as an outrage, yet people readily pay high monthly subscriptions to satellite television companies who are also raking in the marketing cash. People want Facebook to be free, but expect the social network to run the second biggest online platform in the world without any revenue                                                

The feeling of many is that Facebook is being invasive and sharing our “private” information. But isn’t there an argument that if you willingly post information on a social network for others to see, it’s hardly surprising it is being used? If you don’t want people to talk to you about your favourite football team, don’t put it on Facebook. Don’t want to be used as a statistic in a political poll; probably shouldn’t tweet about politics.

So how about this for an idea: you have an option to use an ad free, no data collected version of Facebook for a monthly subscription fee, or continue to use the platform as it is, free of charge?

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