When the news hit that millions of Facebook customers had been compromised, and that fake news had bought its way not only into the Facebook news feed but was segmented to reach specific targeted audiences, many people were surprised and appalled. They wondered how this could happen. Later we found out that those who signed up for Messenger even had their private phone calls and text messages monitored. It might be time for a pay to play social network.

Have you ever wondered how you could text someone about a product, and the next thing you know pop-up ads are showing up in your news feed and you begin receiving emails for the product?

Why I Didn’t Sign up

I never signed up for Messenger, don’t get me wrong, it sounded enticing. However, I read enough of the agreement to know that Facebook wanted not only the rights to all my information, but my contacts as well. Thanks, but no thanks.

What confused many people was that they misunderstood Facebook’s (and other networks) business model. When I asked folks what business Facebook was in most said Facebook was in the social media business. That’s not their business model. Facebook is in the information aggregation and distributing business. It’s how they make their money. They gather information from followers and sell it to marketers, legitimate companies, and fake news generators.

From Advertising to Pay for View

In my lifetime I’ve watched the emergence of cable TV as it overtook the three networks that dominated television in this country since Sears and Roebuck sold Philco TV sets, and rabbit ears. Advertising monetized the networks. It was and is their business model. There was no other game in town so we all watched commercials.

The networks continue to survive, most of us watch network TV for our favorite shows, sporting events, news, and weather. However, we try to avoid the commercials, don’t we?

In 1972 HBO changed the game. Their business plan wasn’t to sell advertising but to sell the service. Showtime and others followed, and today we have Netflix, Hula, and Amazon.

So, Is it Time for a Pay to Play Social Network?

Is it time for a new a pay to play social network? I think so, and I believe millions of users would sign up. I’d gladly pay a monthly fee if my information were kept private, if my content wasn’t gathered, packaged, and sold to companies, and if I was protected from fake news. I even have a name for this new social media network – SafePlace. Sign me up, how about you?

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