Tom Britton

Founder of "Cyprus Business Group" (CBG)

Born in 1989, Tom Britton lived in Bristol, UK, until 2002 when he and his family chose to reunite with their Greek-Cypriot family, relocating to Limassol, where he grew up. When the time came, he flew to Aberystwyth University in Wales to study visual semiotics and media. Now, at 34 years old, he lives in Ypsonas with his wife, offering digital marketing services through 3edrock.

tom britton speaker at Go digital Cyprus Conference
Tom's "why" behind the creation of "Cyprus Business Group"

Over the years, working with the internet as closely as I do, I’ve come to see the WWW as a double-edged sword; it connects the world together whilst simultaneously dividing us. And, in the midst of AI, fake news, and cyber-crime, the divide is at risk of growing even more. One platform that I think suffers most is Facebook. It’s rife with fake accounts, spammers, scammers, get-rich-quick-schemers, and other forms of cyber-crime. Now, it’s no secret that here in Cyprus, we all use Facebook religiously, even whilst the rest of the world has seemingly moved on. Some Cyprus-based SMEs even opt to use Facebook to showcase their goods or services instead of investing in a website of their own. Afterall, Facebook offers everything a starting business needs to get going, for free. And, to top it all off, there are Facebook groups we can all use (again, for free) to advertise and network around the world.

The problem is that most groups value quantity over quality. Letting just anyone join a Facebook group grows your membership count, which looks great to other potential members, and even prompts the Facebook algorithm to suggest this large, growing group to others. As a result, the ratio between good apples and bad apples ruins the experience, and devalues the group. The answer? Strict admin oversight. In late-2018, I started a public Facebook group called “Cyprus Business Group” (CBG). From day one, we’ve checked the profile of each new member (i.e. account history, business activity, friends, location, and more) – sometimes even expanding our investigation beyond Facebook, to LinkedIn. Undesirables (e.g. fake accounts) are banned for life, and not just them, but any profiles they create in future. We reached 3,000 members in October 2023.

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