I was doing social media marketing before there was a name for it and had one of the very first Facebook business pages. For the last decade I’ve worked as a social media strategist for a wide range of companies including Fortune 500 tech, university science departments, local government, non-profits, small businesses, and entrepreneurial tech companies. I gave hundreds of presentations explaining the mysteries of social media for business.
I was immersed in the California tech scene. I don’t code, but some of my best friends are coders creating the apps and software many people use. Over the last 10 years we spent hours debating and discussing the very issues of privacy, data, and ethics in tech that are in the headlines now.
Before I found my way to the tech and social media scene I served almost two decades as a special educator. Meaning I spent almost 20 years studying how people learn and how to distill complex concepts into clear, memorable explanations.
In 2015 I started warning my Facebook friends about Cambridge Analytica and the Facebook quizzes. In early 2016 I could tell something was amiss with social media and the Presidential election. Though I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. Throughout the rest of the campaign I started finding more and more hints at what was going on. When Clint Watts testified before the Senate in January of 2017 and explained the Russian activity on social media I felt relief. Someone else was seeing all the crazy things I was seeing.
With the revelations of Russia and Cambridge Analytica’s activities on social media people are hungry for someone to explain all this beyond the sensationalism of the headlines. And these tactics only work if we fall for them. My goal is to teach as many people as possible about the tools and tactics that are being employed to manipulate them online and how to counter them.