So far, users complaining and closing their Facebook accounts have mainly been private, but could the platform's latest public rejection from CrossFit spell the beginning of the end for social media giant?
Over the past two decades, California-based CrossFit has chopped an intense fitness regime and built a chain of training centers around it and earned millions of customers loyalty. CrossFit understood the value of platforms like Facebook and Instagram in targeting the audience, building an affectionate successor, and keeping them engaged.
But instead of appealing to the most possible consensus statements – the secure, standard choice of most image-conscious companies – CrossFit actively infused its social media communications with an actual ideology. Its publications and statements on weightlifting and exercise training regularly refer to libertarian politics, sulfur sealing with its irreverent president, Greg Glassman.
So that was not a big surprise, as CrossFit became one of the few companies to pause with Facebook, and to make it so much public. This week, the company announced that it would close its relationship with Facebook and its affiliates, and explain the reasons for it in an online anti-Facebook manifesto of varieties after a CrossFit diet group was temporarily deleted without notice.
When it comes to losing accounts, Facebook, so far, has mostly felt of individuals complaining about things like salmon privacy policies, political censorship or negative effects on mental health. Studies have shown that Facebook can contribute to feelings of inadequacy, anxiety and depression – and recent studies have found that the number of Facebook users fell by a whopping 15 million over the past two years. In addition, the biggest decrease in the demographic group that social media giants have tried hardest to appeal to – 12 to 34 year olds.
Dramatically declaring the intention of closing one's social media has become something of a passage for many in recent years. Twitter hashtag #deletefacebook started after the Cambridge Analytic scandal, which saw the shady fixed harvest data from 50 million users without permission – even though there has not been mass water from which Facebook could not recover. But when a larger company announces that it stops Facebook for good, it can potentially signal that a mass run will not last long in the future.
Until now, the number of companies has chosen to leave the platform – whether it is very fanfare or in a crossfit style rage – has not gathered in a critical mass. But if CrossFit's rejection of Facebook and its practice has not been a fire, the reasons for the rejection are already well-known and widely used.
People get sick of Facebook's pleasant relationship with both the US government and foreign governments . CEO Mark Zuckerberg has even said that acceptable online speech should be defined by "thought-provoking governments" and approved plans from Australia and France for this trend. They also suffer from Facebook's security breaches, jeopardizing their data and a growing tendency for censorship of political speech on the platform while securing its criteria to determine what content to censor.
Meanwhile, as Facebook increasingly does not meet the expectations of the communities that contribute to it, it also does not contribute as expected to the communities where it lives. The company allegedly pays almost no tax on its substantial income.
Facebook's many mistakes, giving so many people for so many different reasons, could call for the most unfortunate ways for the company. In good time, we can look back and designate May 2019 as the beginning of the end to Facebook – the month that US companies began a mass emigration, logging out for good.
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