Why I deleted Facebook even before Cambridge Analytica.

Is Facebook really healthy?

The first time I learnt about social media was in 2010, one year before I completed my high school education. The first few days were really exciting and fun. My first social media account was of course facebook and I enjoyed it. I know I am not the only one who had their social media ‘Virginity’ broken by the social media kingpin – Facebook. So don’t judge me yet.

Like most youths, I joined facebook for one reason. I wanted to be ‘cool’ and not to connect with my friends and family as the company wants you to believe. I would see my friends and family everyday. I definitely didn’t want to connect or see them online. Everyone was using facebook and therefore I wanted to join to be cooler.

I have been using Facebook since 2010 until 2017 when I decided I had had enough of it. Facebook was not as it started, a lot has changed over time. A lot of updates happened during the time I still had a facebook account. Changes which were both good and bad.

Before facebook came, there has always been ways to keep in touch and read news. Real news and not FAKE news which has grown over time as Facebook grew. The birth of fake news led to my first doubt and negative feeling towards FACEBOOK. Facebook became the channel for propaganda and hate especially in Kenya. Kenya happens to be country where fake news can be taken literally and no one will even bother to verify it’s source. Even Media companies sometimes become victims of this mess.

Growth of African Market

Kenya has always been known to be the leader in Africa when it comes to technology. The curiosity of Kenyan people and their innovativeness makes us one of the biggest market in Africa. Kenyans love to embrace anything cool that technology offers. There are over 5.3 million facebook active users, most of this users are are actually using facebook on mobile phones.

It is Facebook’s addictive features that really make a difference when it comes to it’s numbers though. Not because Facebook offers better things that internet can offer or better services. I am tired of seeing adverts that seem to be specifically targeted to me. Former Facebook president Sean Parker once said that Facebook excels on addiction. Which is true. Think of it as cocaine or porn.

As a Facebook user I would be sure that I must check my facebook over 3 hours a day. This is not because it has any values but because that feeling was been planted in my brain which made me come for more – everyday. Most people have tried to delete their facebook accounts in order to concentrate on their work, school or to better their family relations but facebook and other social medias always end up ruining this. They end up coming back for more of nothingness.

I personally tried deleting my facebook more than 3 times before actually deciding it is for good. The first 2 attempts were unsuccessful because I was never convinced enough and thought maybe Facebook was not the course of my depression. I needed something else to motivate me.

Cambridge Analytica role in Kenya’s elections

My motivation to completely delete my Facebook came after the 2017 general elections in Kenya. This was before Cambridge Analytica came ‘into our lives’. I just felt something evil was going on. The campaigns which ran during this elections made me sad and I felt a sense of hatred. Hatred towards a certain politician whose face and ideas about Kenyan was all over the campaigns. But Still I kept on feeling like everything was a bit cheesy.

I felt like facebook was being used to influence my decisions. I felt used but also something was always telling me it’s just marketing and I should not fall for it. But the truth later came out. I was right and Facebook was separating my country more than ‘connecting’ us. That’s when I decided enough is enough.

I should also mention that it is not easy to delete something that has been part of you for more than a decade but if you want to do it you can. At first it might be stressful but that is exactly what Facebook wants you to feel. Once you quit it you will then realise that there is nothing you will lose from cutting of fake online friends. In fact you will have peace of mind. You will be able to read more and understand the world better and appreciate what it offers.

Do not let people define who you are and how you should live your life. Chose truth. Facebook is not the truth.

Twitter to open account verification to everyone.

Twitter wants to verify everyone

A symbol of  status quo.

Twitter introduced the ‘fancy’ blue check mark in 2009 in order to sort out high profile individuals such as sportspersons, Journalist, Politicians and anyone with a higher notability than an ordinary person in their respective field. But in the recent years, the check mark  has been a symbol of status quo to most of the bearers but Twitter maintains it’s not.

Is twitter verification brocken?

In his recent periscope live broadcast, the C.E.O of the giant social network Jack Dorsey, admitted that the verification process is broken and the company is trying to make it open to the public. Which means anyone who has verified their phone number or email will soon get a check mark on their names.

“The intention is to open verification to everyone,” Dorsey said. “And to do it in a way that’s scalable, [so] we’re not in the way and people can verify more facts about themselves and we don’t have to be the judge or imply any bias on our part.”

Jack Dorsey. C.E.O Twitter

The check mark was ‘invented’ to show that the person bearing the name is who he or she says is which acted as means a proof of authenticity but the general public has always viewed  it as a tool that sorts and gives special favours to verified accounts. In 2016 twitter opened the verification process to the general public where one could fill in a form and submit a reason why they should be verified but the process led Twitter into a frying pan when quiet a number of white supremacists accounts where verified in the process. Twitter later removed the badges and suspended a number of accounts.

Now the question is – will opening the verification to everyone sort the issue out? Will this have an impact on perhaps other social media such as Facebook and Instagram. Which both have the same mechanisms of verification and sorting users?

Different colored Check marks

Twitter is also considering having different colors of the check mark to differentiate users depending on their field. For instance, Parody accounts will get a RED check mark. This will enable users and followers know who they are really following and what the account is about.

All this still needs to put in mind; Twitter should and must maintain itself as a free and open platform. Where people can express themselves freely without fear. To do that, Twitter will now verify anyone as long as they verify themselves through email and phone number. This is to cub bots and multiple accounts. Therefore you do not need to use your real name in order to get verified.

It is also important to note that twitter will have to increase it’s workforce in order to accommodate the million applications that will come on their way because of the demand for verification.