Almost everyone got the Facebook bombshell wrong.

The data from 50 million users can’t be used as custom audiences, and even if they could get around needing app-signed tokens, Facebook’s own targeting and optimization are way more powerful.

I know, since I had more data from the F8 platform than the Cambridge Analytica folks.

ANY random, unsophisticated person with a dollar a day and some provocative content can wreak havoc– you don’t need a crazy team of scientists working in a dark room, since the ad also does the heavy lifting.

It’s the FEAR of harm that is more destructive than the harm itself.

Facebook killed off Cambridge Analytica because of severe PR issues, digging up something from years ago that happened as often as jaywalking.

I even told Zuck ten years ago that all of us developers knew the whole rule about how we had to get rid of user data within 24 hours was an unenforceable, laughable joke.

Facebook was super sensitive to anything perceived as bad, and the PR folks run the show.

So bad that they had nobody representing themselves at Social Media Marketing World two weeks ago– folks like me carrying the load to teach on Facebook ads.

Facebook shut down accounts left and right, including our main one with no warning. We didn’t violate any TOS details or run any deceptive ads.

Removing many targeting options frustrated many performance marketers, but Facebook could not afford the perceived PR risk.

Meanwhile, LinkedIn quietly gained traction.

And there were MAJOR data providers that weren’t allowed to mention that have orders of magnitude more sensitive data to let us target on for freeway more powerful, specific targeting than what Facebook has ever offered.

The good news for Facebook was that despite #deletefacebook and related outcry, consumers and advertisers will still be using Facebook– they will still be there because you can’t NOT be there.

In the same way, people tell white lies about a friend’s cooking and about their verbal support for non-profits– yet commit no dollars– the Facebook money engine will roll along just fine.

The problem was not Facebook’s data privacy, “greed” to make money, or anything like that.

It was users who are increasingly gullible– falling for fake news, giving up their permissions readily to apps without reading the fine print (I was guilty, too), and not being educated about how social networks work.

This was an education problem disguised as a privacy issue.

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