Look, we’re going to have to just suck it up and realise that Facebook might actually be evil. Sure, it’s got a friendly exterior: archiving your beloved memories, reminding you it’s your acquaintance’s birthday when you definitely forgot, giving you a platform to constantly compare your achievements and social life to people you don’t know anymore. But, ultimately it knows too much.
Anger has been rising as news reports circulate about one of the largest data leaks in social networking history. Over the weekend, whistleblower Chris Wylie revealed to The Observer that he built “Steve Bannon’s psychological warfare mindfuck tool” after harvesting the information of more than 50 million Facebook users.
Wylie’s company, Cambridge Analytica, then used all the personal information to supply Trump’s former advisor with tools to identify the personalities of American voters and influence their behaviour. UK government regulators are also investigating illegal work performed on behalf of the “Leave” vote in the Brexit campaign.
In response people are raging against the company calling on others to #DeleteFacebook. “If you don't pay for the product you ARE the product. Facebook sells all of your information to the highest and lowest bidders. Why sell yourself so cheaply?” a user who goes by @Donkey_OT wrote.
As the call to action continues to trend on Twitter, Facebook’s stocks have dropped by 7 per cent, showing that time might be running out for the social media giant to clean up its act. Since 2016 Mark Zuckerberg has been enaged in a fierce battle against fake news and its adverse affect on political outcomes.
Just last month, a conversation surfaced from a meeting between UK politicians visiting US lawmakers debating the hot topic of fake news. MPs called Facebook a “surveillance operation“ that is in an “abusive relationship” with its users.