Special to USAfrica magazine (Houston) and USAfricaonline.com, first African-owned, U.S-based newspaper published on the Internet.
Who owns you; Instagram, WhatsApp or Facebook? By Chido Nwangwu
Facebook is the most influential media company in the world, today! It’s market capitalization value is currently US$922 billion.
From Belgrade to Baghdad, from Zamfara to Bangalore, from Jerusalem to Jakarta, from Zurich to Aba, the most visited social media sites are owned by Facebook led by Mark Zuckerberg.
The three most visible and almost unavoidable platforms on the Internet are Instagram, WhatsApp,
and the ubiquitous social app itself, Facebook!
There are, at least, 30 other smaller companies with critical technology engagement functions working and ferreting information for the behemoth call Facebook.
Only four days ago, the influence, power and leverage of the Facebook corporation were manifested in the form of a worldwide outage.
Zuckerberg & Company classified the curious outages as an error from a “configuration change“. The fact of the matter is that some people did not believe that Facebook would let three of its mega-sites to go down, at the same time — arising from some configuration updates! Anything is possible.
The world was largely quiet on Monday October 4, 2021. This was the day after the Sunday, October 3 explosive interview on the most-respected and highest-rated news show in America, 60 Minutes.
Facebook critic at this time came in the person of Facebook’s former product manager Frances Haugen.
She’s the evidently credible and persuasive whistleblower! She appeared before the U.S Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Subcommittee on Monday. That is, regardless of the global outage.
She argued that the acquisition and retention of millions of users are the foremost driving factors for the social media giant. She specifically made it clear that Facebook puts profits over safety and well-being of its users — including teenagers on Instagram. Repeatedly, Haugen said Americans deserve transparency and respect for privacy from the tech powerhouse. Therefore, she called on the lawmakers to pass new, tough regulations for all of America’s social media corporations. She called out what she categorized as Facebook’s reckless disregard for public safety, citing the point that only a few days before the January 6th Capitol Hill insurrection unleashed mainly by the supporters of ex President Donald Trump, Facebook turned off internal settings meant to fight election misinformation.
The bottom line is that Facebook has two faces.
There is the face of Facebook which opens and connects people to Instant and live social interactivity across the world.
The second face of Facebook is the one which relentlessly and without any meaningful and consistent restraints to its deviously calibrated addictive
digital packages to get more clicks, more hits and more users and exponential financial returns!
Anyway, for now, it is Mark Zuckerberg’s world and we all live in it.
At least, he’s running a “democracy” of sorts because the young man allows us to like and comment on cat videos, taco brands…. And, you never know, maybe tomorrow he add a new feature to allow us to like and comment on which of the Taliban leaders has the longest and sexiest mustache?
*Dr. Chido Nwangwu, author of the forthcoming book, MLK, Mandela & Achebe: Power, Leadership and Identity, serves as Founder & Publisher of the first African-owned, U.S-based newspaper on the internet, USAfricaonline.com, and established USAfrica in 1992 in Houston. He has appeared as an analyst on CNN and SKYnews. He served as an adviser on Africa business to Houston’s former Mayor Lee Brown. @Chido247