Facebook has constantly been in news since quite some time now for its data leaks and data privacy concerns. The recent Christchurch attacks got live streamed on Facebook which has already given rise to a lot of controversy about the working of Facebook.
Last month, the company came under the radar because of the deplorable working conditions of content moderators. Facebook’s content reviewers were affected by the disturbing content on the platform. The reviewers are affected to an extent that they are tried to overcome their PTSD by having sex and getting into drugs at work, reports The Verge.
In January this year, advocacy groups such as Open Market Institute, Color of Change, and the Electronic Privacy Information Center among others, wrote to the Federal Trade Commission, requesting the government to intervene into how Facebook operates. FTC has been investigating on Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal based on whether the sharing of data with Cambridge Analytica and other privacy disputes violated a 2011 agreement with the FTC.
According to a report by TechCrunch, Facebook has paid teenagers to spy on their behavior and the company has gone to an extent where it has been asking users to screenshot their Amazon order history page.
As per a report by The Wall Street Journal, Facebook has also collected highly sensitive data through the back doors of other apps, such as ovulation trackers, in order to target ads at users who don’t even have their Facebook accounts linked to those apps. They are even targeting ads at users who aren’t on Facebook.
David N. Cicilline, Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law writes in a report, “After each misdeed becomes public, Facebook alternates between denial, hollow promises and apology campaigns. But nothing changes. That’s why, as chairman of the House Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law, I am calling for an investigation into whether Facebook’s conduct has violated antitrust laws.”
German antitrust authorities have already issued an order against Facebook’s data collection practices. Even an investigation by the British Parliament has compared Facebook to a company of “digital gangsters” that considers itself “ahead of and beyond the law.”
According to David, Facebook is a repeat offender, and when a company repeatedly goes against the laws, action needs to be taken.
He further added, “This includes removing members of the company’s board, or even top executives, along with other changes to the company’s business model to address dysfunction at the top.” F.T.C. can also pursue other ways to fix this problem. For example, after German antitrust enforcers found that Facebook abused its dominant market position, it required Facebook to stop combining different sources of its users’ data without their consent.”
On the other hand, Facebook says, The New York Times has been negative towards it. A report by Redcode states that the argument is partially correct and they have backed it by the data. As per the report by Recode, “Times’ coverage of Facebook has been, on average, almost exclusively negative since the 2016 elections, according to new data analyzed by researcher Joe Hovde, a full-time data analyst at a retail tech company.”
Hovde did the analysis by including stories with “Facebook” in the article headline and summary text, and further scored the words on a scale of -5 for very negative words such as ‘curses’ unlikely to show up in the Times article, to +5 for extremely positive, using words such as superb or breathtaking.
Though there are enough proofs against Facebook but only time will tell if Facebook is actually involved in deceiving the users or the media is hiding the real picture.