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Facebook scandal shines a light on the lack of social media regulation

Mark+Zuckerberg+sat+before+Congress+for+two+days+of+testimony+as+he+explained+how+Facebook+was+rectifying+their+users%27+security+following+the+social+media+software%27s+largest+breach.+
Mark Zuckerberg sat before Congress for two days of testimony as he explained how Facebook was rectifying their users' security following the social media software's largest breach.

Mark Zuckerberg sat before Congress for two days of testimony as he explained how Facebook was rectifying their users' security following the social media software's largest breach.

Mark Zuckerberg sat before Congress for two days of testimony as he explained how Facebook was rectifying their users' security following the social media software's largest breach.

Will Logsdon, Senior Editor

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Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, testified last week in front of Congress to clarify the circumstances of the Cambridge Analytica Scandal as well as to defend the tech giant’s reputation. Republican and Democratic lawmakers reprimanded Zuckerberg for the security breach within Facebook’s servers as well as the illegal data collection of its users. Zuckerberg was noticeably uncomfortable and anxious when he testified. Dressed in a blue tailored suit instead of a washed out grey t-shirt which has become his fashion staple, Zuckerberg appeared blatantly aware of the crisis his company is confronting.

Approximately 87 million Facebook users were compromised in the recent scandal perpetrated by Cambridge Analytica. Cambridge Analytica is a British political consulting firm which combines data mining with other strategies that allow the corporation to gather information on users of various social media and online platforms. Facebook has admitted to authorities and users that they were deceived by Cambridge Analytica which acquired personal information about Facebook users from an external researcher who claimed to be collecting it for academic purposes. The CEO of the company boasted that he and his company had orchestrated Trump’s digital campaign on Facebook. This detail is important because it has since been revealed that thousands of ads which appeared on Facebook advertising fake news stories, predominantly about Democratic Candidate Hillary Clinton, were developed by Cambridge Analytica. Stories that were circulated by Cambridge Analytica included one about a supposed child prostitution ring organized by the Clinton Foundation inside a Washington DC Pizza Parlor. This scandal has since been coined “pizzagate” and it fooled thousands of unsuspecting Americans.

Social Media is a highly unregulated industry that invites billions of users everyday to its various platforms. Alexander Nix, the CEO of Cambridge Analytica, had contacted Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks founder, and requested his help in uncovering Hillary’s 33,000 missing emails. The evident bias of various tech CEO’s is concerning and threatens user censorship since the creators reserve the right to remove users who argue on behalf of the opposition. For example, Mark Zuckerberg admitted in his testimony that Facebook should not have banned and censored two African American sisters who vehemently supported Donald J. Trump during the election. The video bloggers who call themselves Diamond and Silk received the apology via twitter from Facebook a day after Zuckerberg’s public apology during his hearing.

As Zuckerberg approached the Capitol Building for his hearing, he was met by a 100 life-sized cutouts of himself with the words “Fix Fakebook” plastered on their chests. The activist campaign which organized this demonstration is hoping to stop the spread of misinformation and Fake News on social media.

During his testimony, Zuckerberg told the committee hearing that, “We didn’t take a broad enough view of our responsibility, and that was a big mistake. And it was my mistake, and I’m sorry. I started Facebook, I run it, and I’m responsible for what happens here.”

The Cambridge Analytica hack poses a threat of possible legal repercussions for Trump’s White House which is currently managing many crises. President Trump has repeatedly claimed that the Robert Mueller Investigation into his campaign finances and his relationship with the Kremlin is a witch-hunt which will yield nothing credible and merely be a waste of the taxpayer’s money, and a waste of the prosecution’s time. Since the discovery of Facebook’s data mining, Zuckerberg has said he will be working with the Mueller Investigation to conclude whether or not the Russians exploited private user information to help elect Trump. They are keen to figure out whether or not Trump was explicitly aware of the Fake News campaign which many Democrats claim won him the election.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This saga, which grows daily in complexity, continues to expose the corrupt actions of former and current government officials. Several of Trump’s top aids, and even his personal lawyer, have been investigated by the FBI and Mueller probe. Foreign governments, including the British Parliament, have requested a meeting with Zuckerberg. Although Zuckerberg has presently become the scapegoat that “must suffer for the internet’s evils”, other entrepreneurs in Silicone Valley and government leaders in Washington will be forced to compromise on a solution that protects the security of millions of American social media users.

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Facebook scandal shines a light on the lack of social media regulation