Thursday, November 23rd, 2017

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Facebook is World’s Third Largest Country

Its official: Facebook is the world’s third largest country.  Recently, Facebook announced that it has reached the 500 million registered user mark. 500 MILLION! In the world of membership organizations that’s a knee rattling, earth shaking, just staggering amount of people. It is now roughly equal to the largest mobile phone carrier in the world, China Mobile. As a point of reference, the largest US carrier is Verizon with a measly 90 million subscribers. Facebook is by far the largest website in terms of user base.

China and India own the largest populations in the world with over one billion people in each country. Facebook is number three. Almost double the size of the US, or at least headed there. As recently as February 4th Facebook was at 400 million which means that it is on pace to be the largest country in the world in just a few years. If Facebook had an army it might be unstoppable.

What does all this mean? It means that Facebook potentially wields a lot of influence and it has a major responsibility to protect us. It has tons of personal data.  Recently, it has experienced serious concerns regarding privacy. Going so far as to know when you’re about to break up with your boyfriend. But to me, the biggest issue is hackers. Think about all of the information that Facebook has on you: full name, birth date, city, family members, friends, work place, sex, etc. Its not difficult to steal an identity with all of that information. Piecing together an address with that data is a snap. Identify theft is a big area of concern for Facebook users. Consider the goal of hackers. If you’re going to take the time to hack into a system are you going to waste your time with a small fry? Or go after a company where there is tons and tons of data on people? I think its clear that Facebook is getting hacked more frequently. Anectdotaly, I’ve noticed it personally with multiple friends’ accounts being hacked of late. Fortunately, Facebook is beefing up security. That said, you still need to protect yourself. Make sure you review your own privacy settings.

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