Facebook Under Fire in the UK

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    Failing to walk its talk is hurting the social network’s reputation

    Facebook has come under scrutiny repeatedly due to its cavalier attitude towards user’s right to privacy. Sure it claims to support privacy, but case after case has shown that it’s far from a priority for the social network. That approach is drawing fire once again, this time from lawmakers in the UK, specifically those in Parliament’s Science and Technology committee, which is currently drafting guidelines for websites and apps regarding the transparency of how they gather and use personal data. The Telegraph’s Christopher Hope reports:

    Andrew Miller MP, the committee’s chairman, said: “Facebook’s experiment with users’ emotions highlighted serious concerns about the extent to which, ticking the terms and conditions box, can be said to constitute informed consent when it comes to the varied ways data is now being used by many websites and apps.

    “Let’s face it, most people click yes to terms and conditions contracts without reading them, because they are often laughably long and written in the kind of legalese you need a law degree from the USA to understand.

    “Socially responsible companies wouldn’t want to bamboozle their users, of course, so we are sure most social media developers will be happy to sign up to the new guidelines on clear communication and informed consent that we are asking the Government to draw up.”

    Facebook, while currently a dominant force in the social media scene, is making a major crisis management mistake. When it comes to user privacy, it’s saying one thing while doing the complete opposite, and users are catching on. Already more anonymous services are catching on, especially amongst the younger crowd, and we don’t feel it’s too far of a stretch to say this contrast, combined with the fact that privacy is increasingly a hot-button topic among stakeholders, does hold the potential to sink Facebook at some point down the road.

    For more resources, see the Free Management Library topic: Crisis Management

    [Jonathan Bernstein is president of Bernstein Crisis Management, Inc., an international crisis management consultancy, author of Manager’s Guide to Crisis Management and Keeping the Wolves at Bay – Media Training. Erik Bernstein is Social Media Manager for the firm, and also editor of its newsletter, Crisis Manager]

    – See more at: https://managementhelp.org/blogs/crisis-management/2014/11/29/even-twitter-execs-prone-to-crisis-on-social-network/#sthash.YdvrZaHw.dpuf