When it comes to scandals, Facebook just doesn’t seem to catch a break. This social networking site has become the humble abode for baby boomers and misinformation. While the company has been involved in plenty of nasty scandals, it seems like this year isn’t any better.
Here are a few scandals over the years:
This social-networking site was systematically used by the authoritarian government as a tool for the ethnic cleansing of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar.
According to the New York Times, the military exploited Facebook’s wide reach in the country to promote anti-Rohingya propoganda. The rhetoric incited murders, rapes and, eventually lead to the second largest migration in recent times. While Facebook officials took down the accounts of military officials who promoted this propaganda, the people behind these accounts went undetected.
After months of reports about the anti-Rohingya rhetoric, the company acknowledged the delay of actions on their part. But by then, almost 700,000 had fled the country seeking refuge. This was a pompous example of how this seemingly harmless social-networking site singlehandedly erupted genocide in Myanmar.
The much-talked-about story that occurred in March, last year wrecked people’s faith in Facebook. This networking site exposed data on up to 87 million Facebook users to a researcher who worked at the political consulting firm, Cambridge Analytica that worked for Donald Trump’s campaign.
According to Vox, the political consulting firm got the data through researcher Aleksandr Kogan, a Russian American who worked at the University of Cambridge. Kogan built a quiz, which was successful in finding a loophole that could collect the data of the user along with their Facebook friends. Later, the firm sold off the information. Since then, it has sparked a debate about how much users can trust Facebook with their data.
Imagine if a piece of information shared by your grand-mum on Facebook could swing an election? As scary as this sounds, that just might be what happened in the 2016 American Presidential Elections.
While Zuckerberg scoffed at the claim, Facebook played a substantial part during the elections. The rampant misinformation on Facebook has been no secret. While the company took steps to combat the lies, it was apparent this problem was here to stay.
According to Washington Post, Facebook sold their ad campaigns to Russian trolls targeting Americans with divisive messages that were synonymous with Trump’s campaign. Whereas, a study by Harvard’s Berkman Klein Center pointed out that the Facebook posts methodically focussed on Hillary Clinton’s alleged improprieties associated with Clinton Foundation and emails.
Although the extent of Facebook’s involvement remains unknown, the company has been notorious with downplaying their influence.
A few months ago, Facebook revealed there was a serious data breach, as many as 30 million Facebook users were affected.
As per the Guardian, the hackers were able to access information included name, relationship status, religion, birthdate, workplaces, search activity, and recent location check-ins. The hackers began by using a series of seed accounts and attacking the accounts of friends, then friends of friends, and so on down the line, eventually amassing a group of 400,000 compromised accounts, and eventually managed to steal access tokens 30 million users before they were stopped.
Facebook created a security notice page, so users could check if they whether their account was impacted by the data breach.