Vinay Nair, CEO and co-founder, Lightful
When Mark Zuckerberg and his friends set up Facebook in their Harvard dormitory rooms in 2004, little did they anticipate growing a social network bigger than any country on the planet, with more than 2.1 billion monthly active users. What was surely even further from their minds, was that it would also lead to Zuckerberg being summoned to the U.S. Congress 14 years on, to face questioning over Cambridge Analytica harvesting data from up to 87 million Facebook users.
After the Observer broke the Cambridge Analytica news, #DeleteFacebook started trending on Twitter amid concerns over people’s personal data being abused by third parties. Combined with a constant exposure to fake news, growing evidence of Russian interference in the U.S. presidential elections and the UK Brexit referendum, is it any wonder people are questioning if social media should cease to exist altogether?
Power is shifting back into the hands of the people. There has been a revival in grassroots civic engagement, with social media giving both a voice to those silenced, and a means to galvanise. Social media is now one of the main tools for raising awareness on important issues and pushing for reform, a topic also discussed in the new book, New Power by Henry Timms and Jeremy Heimans.