“Facebook is a surveillance company rebranded as ‘social media.”
— Edward Snowden
For the last 24-months, POW has been in transition mode to leave Facebook for ELLO. We have successfully established POW on ELLO with more than 20k followers and have established ourselves within the community with the music we report and the events we create all for free. There are two reasons why we started this exodus. 1) Organic reach in the news feed is cost prohibitive even with our large audience and network in the music industry we’ve gained over the years. 2) Unquestionable information gathering and this month is no exception with an unauthorized leak. POW has always been at the forefront of calling out companies with suspect data collecting because we value our audience privacy. This month, Facebook got caught with major data breach with Cambridge Analytica. With stocks at a steady pace (probably a good time to buy), and you haven’t #deletefacebook (if you have one), whatever loss of trust or regulatory crackdown Facebook may face, the social media giant will be around for a while and so will we (for now).
Today, I had a rare opportunity to examine how data is tracked at a Silicon Valley company (unnamed for this note). It is startling to see how a user/customer is tracked anywhere on the planet with common tools used in the industry for product improvement and most importantly data protection (don’t worry, I didn’t see anyone being tracked). I don’t doubt there was no negligence or malice towards our community with the leak, but nevertheless, companies like Google and Facebook need to protect our data and not cross the line. We agreed on certain terms under certain conditions within the law how data is used when we start a new account. Once data is misused and the trust is broken, then we have a constitutional issue.
This year, Pow Presents and Restore the Fourth SF Bay Area will co presenting the second DON’T SPY ON US featuring live music and speakers to help raise awareness about mass surveillance and state violence. We are also raising funds for Restore The Fourth SF Bay Area chapter to continue pressuring our representatives to propose and support corrective legislation and by increasing visibility of the issue through educational outreach projects, social media, petitions, and nonviolent, lawful protests.
We’ll keep you posted on the event’s progress on our website and Restore The Fourth SF.
Founder of POW