People don't use Facebook anymore

Digital discrimination: Nothing works without Facebook

A few years ago I jokingly imagined a two-class society: those who use Facebook and those who don't. At the time, I laughed at visions in which people without Facebook would be disadvantaged. Today the horror scenario is slowly becoming a reality.

Recently there was a TEDx event at the University of Leeds, a conference on "Technology, Entertainment and Design". There was a competition for presentations in which students could submit proposals for presentations - but only via Facebook. I would have had ideas without further ado. But a selection process on Facebook? I preferred to be content with a seat in the audience.

Facebook discrimination goes even further: some time ago Barclaycard organized a raffle that was only accessible to registered Facebook members. And if you want to use some web services, you only get the option to log in with a Facebook or Twitter account.

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Networks with profile accounts that manage information centrally are certainly convenient - for users and service providers at the same time. On the other hand, they also lead to certain people being excluded from the outset.

When a restaurant gives out coupons on Facebook to attract young audiences, I understand that. If officially organized events like TEDx rely on Facebook, or if companies like Barclaycard encourage their users to transmit their own data to a profit-oriented corporation in the USA without reservation, this is more than doubtful.

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In Great Britain, many people are protesting against the identity card planned there. But Facebook knows more than any agency. But while one mistrusts authorities, the data is given to a company voluntarily. In theory, authorities are accountable to the people, but a company is only accountable to its owners.

Certainly it can be argued that nobody has to participate. Only if you continue with this thought will you come very close to discrimination. One example is the credit history in the USA. Everyone needs them there, because without a credit card people are suspect as customers. Do we want to sort people according to whether they are willing to give their data to Facebook in the future?

Apart from the data protection problems, such a focus on central services leads to dependencies. For example, those who outsource raffles to Facebook ultimately lose the competence in their own IT department.

But what worries me most of all: What happens when a Facebook account becomes a prerequisite for life? Will I no longer receive certain services in the future if I do not have such an account? Because the fact that I no longer receive certain offers is already the case.

What will happen to the digital future? Will we soon be dominated by a single company?