Facebook has kicked up a storm lately. Whether it’s been about them storing user data, and how it is used to manipulate the people on the platform, running campaigns for political parties or something else. They have provided enough fodder to keep the media nibbling.
What went down
This time, the world was shocked to find this out and Mark Zuckerberg appeared in front of a joint hearing of the Senate judiciary and commerce committees on April 10, 2018. Zuckerberg apologized about how the data had gone to Cambridge Analytica and released a statement saying – “We have a responsibility to protect your data, and if we can’t, then we don’t deserve to serve you. I’ve been working to understand exactly what happened and how to make sure this doesn’t happen again.” But people all over the world are really skeptical about it.
How it all started
It all started when there was a report by The Guardian and The New York Times about how Facebook has been hoarding data of millions of users and that this data was given to Cambridge Analytica. It is confirmed that Facebook played a major role in the U.S elections in 2016. They heavily moderated Trump’s campaign and were also responsible in the circulation of negative content about Hillary Clinton. Multiple reports have shown that Trump’s team invested heavily in Facebook ads, while Cambridge Analytica is responsible for the ‘Defeat crooked Hillary’ campaign.
When the reports about this were getting viral, Facebook released a statement saying that “Voting is a core value of democracy and we believe that supporting civic participation is an important contribution we can make to the community,” a spokesperson said. “We as a company are neutral—we have not and will not use our products in a way that attempts to influence how people vote.” However, reports show that Facebook’s role in the 2016 elections is the absolute opposite of this statement.
Users have dropped
After the 2018 April testimony, Facebook’s two recent reports show that there is a sharp decline in the users’ rate on the platform for the first time in history. There is a pullback in the user rate in North America as well. There have been many speculations about if this is the end of the Facebook, as this is a major scandal they’re still tainted with, and people are no longer trusting the tech giants.
Several studies say how companies like Twitter and Facebook are using the loophole of freedom of speech as a shield from almost everything. Facebook was on a roll since 2012, being the unstoppable social media emperor. But it had been involved in several controversies regarding privacy issues like cyber-bullying, identity theft, trolling and rape pages leading to violence, and content theft. Although the company has toned down its ways, there are still a bunch of concerns the company needs to deal with.
This decline in the user rate is a huge red flag for Facebook, and people are wondering if this could mark the downfall of the company. Many are arguing that Facebook needs heavy regulations, else, users might be dropping out of using the platform altogether. For now, we have to wait for Facebook to unfold its moves for better or worse.