Facebook; Scandal, Smokescreen or Wake up Call

April 13, 2018


With societies ongoing relationship with social media we are finally breaching the point of love struck like a first date where everything seems so cute compared to years later when those "adorable" nuances now are irritations that send us to a fit of mutterings and head shaking. In the current times we as users of multiple online services ranging from social media to apps and even search engines need to get a general understanding of how our information is shared. As any other point in history information is valuable to every type of party from marketing companies to Obama in 2012 to the current Cambridge Analytical and Facebook "scandal" (in its loosest meaning) that has affected 50million users or more in regards to the mining of information for voting profiles endorsed by the Trump administration.

With congress holding their talks, its important to understand this is not as a way to invoke criminal charges against Facebook, or Zuckerberg as some would think but instead a way to look at the need to alter or address legislation regarding privacy and the publics information. Given only 5 min a senator for questioning during these "trials" in Congress, Mark Zuckerberg was able to elude any direct yes or no questions by given several minute responces with little information actually given. 



    Here's What we do know.


  • Zuckerburg, though knowing the New York Times*** and The Gaurdian*** reported on March 16th that Cambridge analytical data mining company stole 50 million accounts worth of information, yet still waited to respond until wednesday 4 days later after a delete facebook campaign swells. (NBC Discussing the Movement below)



  • It started in 2014 when University of Cambridge researcher Aleksandr Kogan created an app  that 270,000 people downloaded called this is your life. 


  • Kogan passed it on to Cambridge Analytical who employed it as a personality test. At that time in 2014 you could have had friends and your info accessed through Facebook's api as a developer.


  • Christopher Wiley told the Gaurdian in live interview that through gleaning your likes they were able to establish personality profiles to target appropriate political adds to you as developers could target you through the app. Psychographic Profiling is the term associated with this type of practice.



  • Trumps campaign is not the first political party to employ these strategies, in the 2012 US election Obama's team did same thing, they were just upfront about it. Whereas the Cambridge Analytical personality quiz for example was mining the data and doing so with users unaware the risks associated.(Even if few have ever read a full Terms and Conditions before scrolling to the bottom and accepting it for quick access)

To give a little more insight to my own opinion on this matter,

I think we as users in an increasingly technologically reliant society have to take the time to educate ourselves on the use of our information and how much of it really is already put out their via our own hands on our personal devices.  I cant help but be reminded of the simple yet ironclad advice my own parents gave me while growing up in a generation taught to type in chat rooms and pumping our information into accounts on all sorts of sites. 

  1. Once you put in on the internet, its their forever, regardless if you can find it.

  2. If something is Free, be it membership, site usage, downloads etc, they make their money somehow.

  3. Be skeptical. Seeing is not believing, ask questions and verify before spreading information

These in my parents home were almost like the laws for internet access, and though we did many things we shouldn't have with the internet, as teens and people tend to, these rules have always made me at least consider what I'm putting online. 

Facebook's “Scandal” is a frivolous and fleeting glimpse for society to understand that your information is constantly being collected from a multitude of sources and sometimes its for the positive. Ad targeting for example protects children's websites from showing adult or even unrelated ads when set up properly by the sites developer and though it can seem creepy when one minute your searching best for a new TV and the next your on Facebook noticing ads for deals from best buy and their competitors for those very TV's its all their to fuel our constantly pushing need for convenience. This is done to try to keep us from having to watch, read and view ads from marketers, political parties and groups that have no interest to us based on our activity. Not some tinfoil hat pipe dream involving the stealing of American information. We take this as an affront against us for the simple fact that we are often poorly educated on how the information is handled and the puppet show the media puts up to distract us about it. Remember that same information was put on with people accepting that they were putting their personal information on a Public access website that is internationally renown. This is not a scandal, this is the everyday understanding of the trafficking of anyone's information who takes it upon themselves to put it out there. 


Just an Opinion,




Tags:National Mobile Alert System

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