For this article I will take a closer look at Facebook as a digital platform. While at first glance it might seem like a social media platform rather than a marketplace that is only the top layer of their eco-system. Facebook traffic information and use social media as a vehicle to attain it.
Blockchain for Business.
On one side you have the users who provide all of the content, data and information that Facebook can sell to the highest bidder. This information is then used to create more targeted advertising which is used to buy ad space back from Facebook and be directed towards at those users.
The users might feel that it is a free space that they are operating on but in fact they are bartering away their data for the experience of using this platform. It is an area that will be highly legislated going forward as a corporation like Facebook holds enough information to influence large scale issues across the world.
At the moment they are in the news for censoring Australian access to information and taking on government legislation.
Facebook blocks Australian users from viewing or sharing news. It comes in response to a proposed law which would make tech giants pay for news content on their platforms.
This is not even the first time as Facebook are already being sued by a group of developers and investors form the “HIVE blockchain”, who are suing on the basis of Facebook manipulating the crypto markets in 2018 by banning cryptocurrency advertising and manipulating the information available to it’s users.
The class action will seek damages for worldwide losses of crypto industry members and investors. The announcements of the crypto ad ban by the respondents dropped crypto markets by hundreds of billions of dollars. Crypto exchange volumes also dropped by 60-90%.
A lot of these advertisements would have been for platforms that would attempt to take on Facebook for its users across social media, marketplaces, data retention and other uses. By blocking their access to the advertising space for sale Facebook maintained their monopolistic advantage over these start up industries.
As a matchmaker, Facebook is perfectly position to sell data to anybody looking to make those matches. They allow a company to be very specific in how they advertise and ensure higher sales. In the beginning Facebook was about growth and connections for it’s users until it reached a tipping point. Now that it is big enough and powerful enough, they are all about the profits.
They have the market power to set the terms and are happy to do so. They control the information and therefore they control the power in any deals which they do to full advantage.
It will be interesting to see how the fight with Australia goes as a government tries to take them on and exert control over their marketplace for information.
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