Irony alert: The Federal Trade Commission may have just saddled Facebook with 20 years of privacy audits, but that’s not stopping it from tapping the social network to build up a fanbase.
In case anyone missed it, the Wall Street Journal (NSDQ: NWS) reported that the Federal Trade Commission and Facebook have reached a settlement over the social networking site’s controversial privacy practices. A formal announcement is expected in coming weeks but for now it is unclear if the FTC’s press release will include the agency’s usual suggestion to “like us on Facebook” — a message that has appeared at the bottom of all its other recent news bulletins.
Using social media is part of the standard toolkit for any organization — even governments. Still, one has to admire the chutzpah of the FTC for promoting itself on Facebook while at the same time raking Facebook over the coals in behind the scenes interrogations that led to the impending settlement.
Despite the irony, the agency doesn’t seem to have a terrific sense of fun in general. Its Facebook page lacks a single joke or party pic and instead offers a stern series of warnings about consumer scams — and a long warning about the privacy perils of Facebook.
The dry content, though, has not stopped the FTC from building a considerable Facebook fan-club. At last count, 5,481 users had clicked to “Like” the page — leaving some of us to wonder how a rather dull federal agency became 10 times more popular than we did.
The agency could not be reached to learn if it will give citizens an opportunity to ‘Like’ the Facebook settlement.