MINNEAPOLIS - Eight years ago the way we networked changed. The social networking site Facebook launched and we flocked like moths to a flame.
These days Facebook boasts 845 million users -- half of them using it lmost daily. Users share personal information about "likes" and dislikes of products, politicians, where they work, plus who they date and who they dump.
It is a data mine like no other and when Facebook stock goes up for sale there's concern that mine will become a commodity to be sold when its investors want big profit returns with more direct advertising.
"I think people have this concern that if Facebook has pressure to earn money that they will bow to that pressure by sharing more and more of our data with advertisers and it is probably a fair concern," Clockwork Media Systems social media expert Meghan Wilker said Wednesday.
"That information you already contributed about yourself they can do with it as they please," New Media and Cultural Studies professor John Kim of Macalester College said.
That data is gold to advertisers because it is so personal. With it they could cater to every "like" you have ever made public and in what is now a business in the billions of dollars its high stakes poker.
"A group of stockholders now is going to be expecting a profit from Facebook," Wilker said.
Whether Facebook will give up information you and I provided remains to be seen.
But, what is already known is, since 2003, many of us have shared more on Facebook than we have with our therapists and that is one of the reasons the social networking site is so valuable as a company.
It owns the information advertisers once only dreamed about and now can pinpoint to 845 million individual people.
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