MASTERCLASSING

Facebook competitor calls out platform in full-page ad over privacy

Tyrone Stewart

MeWe Facebook New York Times adA relatively young social network, hoping to muscle in on Facebook’s dominance, has taken out a full-page ad in the New York Times to call out Mark Zuckerberg’s company over its privacy issues.

MeWe’s ad, which ran on Sunday 27 May, is a response to the public letter published by Zuckerberg back on 25 March which apologised for the way Facebook has handled people’s data and promised to do better because Facebook has “a responsibility to protect your information”.

The New York Times addresses the number of times that Facebook has been fined for its failure to protect personal information, including its $122m fine for misleading regulators over its intentions with user data following the acquisition of WhatsApp in 2014.

This is followed by a look at how Facebook has been guilty of allowing its users to be targeted based on their emotions and how it even used to manipulate these emotions.

The ad also looks at Facebook’s use of ‘shadow profiles’ – where it tracks non-users around the web – and how it circumvented GDPR for some users, moving 1.5bn profiles from its servers in Europe to ones in the US. And there’s a small mention of censorship.

MeWe officially launched in 2016 and prides itself on having ‘privacy-by-design’. It features an integrated social network and a chat app with most of the features you’d expect, including group chats and voice messaging. It’s available in eight languages on Android, iOS, and desktop. It also has a business offering called MeWePro which is available through the same channels.