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Facebook Addresses the Cambridge Analytica Scandal

Dave Parrack 22-03-2018

Facebook has recently been embroiled in what can be accurately described as a scandal. The scandal being that data harvested through Facebook was then used for political ends How Your Data on Facebook Is Collected and Used to Win Elections Can Facebook influence elections? How can you stop your Facebook data being harvested and manipulated by political campaigns? Read More . After staying silent for a few days, Mark Zuckerberg has now addressed the issue.


What Happened With Cambridge Analytica?

In 2013, a man named Aleksandr Kogan created a personality quiz for Facebook. According to The Guardian, 300,000 people installed the app, enabling Kogan to access the data of millions of people. It’s alleged that Kogan then shared that data with Cambridge Analytica.

Cambridge Analytica is a company which specializes in data mining and data analysis. And this data can be used to help political parties during elections. And it’s alleged the data harvested from Facebook was used to target voters in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

How Is Facebook Planning on Fixing This?

It took Facebook several days to respond to the Cambridge Analytica scandal, but Mark Zuckerberg has now addressed the issues in a post on Facebook. In it, he details the timeline of events and reveals what steps Facebook will take to prevent this happening again in the future.

Zuckerberg starts out by admitting that Facebook has “a responsibility to protect your data, and if we can’t then we don’t deserve to serve you.” He then suggests that “the most important actions to prevent this from happening again today we have already taken years ago.”


I want to share an update on the Cambridge Analytica situation — including the steps we've already taken and our next…

Posted by Mark Zuckerberg on Wednesday, March 21, 2018

These previous actions were to “dramatically limit the data apps could access, “preventing them asking for “data about a person’s friends unless their friends had also authorized the app,” and requiring “developers to get approval from us before they could request any sensitive data from people”.

Facebook is taking three further steps to prevent a repeat performance. These are conducting a “full audit of any app with suspicious activity,” restricting “developers’ data access even further to prevent other kinds of abuse,” and helping users “understand which apps you’ve allowed to access your data”.

Is It Really Time to Ditch Facebook?

The Cambridge Analytica scandal has understandably upset a lot of Facebook users. Especially those who may have been influenced to vote a certain way and can trace that back to Facebook. And many are calling on disgruntled users to #DeleteFacebook.

Deleting your Facebook account is certainly an option, as we suggested with our reasons to stop using Facebook in 2018 Why You Should Stop Using Facebook in 2018 Times have changed, and it might be time for us to stop using Facebook. Here are five reasons why. Read More . However, you CAN limit the data you share with third parties Facebook Privacy Tip: How to Limit Your Data Being Shared With Third Parties You should tweak these Facebook privacy settings to prevent your data from unknowingly being shared by friends to third-party harvesters. Read More , and if Zuckerberg is to be believed maybe Facebook has learned its lesson.

Image Credit: Lord Jim/Flickr

Related topics: Data Harvesting, Facebook, Politics.

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  1. dragonmouth
    March 25, 2018 at 1:01 pm

    Why the sudden, morbid preoccupation with "voter influencing"?! Is it because Hillary's throne was snatched right from under her butt?

    "Voter influencing" has been going on in America since the first elections. What do you think mud slinging is all about? What do you think "Our candidate is great, theirs is a crook" ads are about? They are all mean to influence voters. When Abraham Lincoln was running for re-election, the Democrats portrayed him as an orangutan. Ulysses Grant was portrayed as a drunk by his opponents. Wendell Willkie and the Republicans portrayed FDR as an aristocrat trying to set himself as a President for life. FDR and the Democrats portrayed Willkie as a "third rate" incompetent. Wasn't all that trying to "influence voters" to vote for one candidate over another?

    Improper "voter influencing" is bribing of voters, physical coercion or intimidation, restricting access to polls. The people who are so easily "influenced" by negative ads and/or by election slogans should not be allowed to vote because they are mindless sheep who do not have their own opinion. As General George Patton was wont to say "If everybody is thinking alike, then nobody is thinking." Voters get the government that they deserve.

  2. CC Waterback
    March 25, 2018 at 3:34 am

    Anyone who based their vote on something they saw on Facebook should forfeit their right to vote. You can't boil an election down to a meme.

    Funny, though, how Obama was praised for his genius when he did the same thing. People are just now finding out THEY are the product? All tech companies are selling user data. You think Google provides all those "free" services because they're altruistic?

  3. KT
    March 23, 2018 at 4:43 pm

    Revenue was $3.7B in 2011, and over $40B in 2017. They had a 1 billion users then and now have 2 billion users. The question is revenues went up 11x while users went up 2x. Are we sure they just sell ad space?...?...I am guessing they sell data...your data!

  4. dragonmouth
    March 22, 2018 at 4:32 pm

    "Especially those who may have been influenced to vote a certain way "
    Aren't we getting a little too wrapped up in "voter influencing"?! Isn't the entire purpose of political campaigns to influence voters to vote for a particular candidate?! What makes Cambridge Analytica so different from thousands of other data harvesting entities?

    "(Zuckerberg) reveals what steps Facebook will take to prevent this happening again in the future"
    Zuckerberg and Facebook are full of s**t. I do not have a Facebook or any other social network account. I never did. Yet, FB has a quite extensive data file on me. The only thing Zuckerberg and FB want to prevent from happening again is getting caught. He does not give a damn about the privacy of users' data as long as he and FB can monetize it. The only way something like this can be prevented from happening again is for FB to be forced out of business.

    • Ari Shrum
      March 24, 2018 at 2:16 am


      "I like Ike" buttons. Hats. The good old days. Was that not the social media persuasion of the day? Are the libtards that write this trash really that mentally ill? (Definition: mental illness is the inability or unwillingness to see things the way they really are.)

      To everyone:

      But the little snowflakes don't know their history (by design). Doesn't matter, you have the latter days, and the end times. Tell me, which are we in? I'd say BOTH. Won't be long now.

      The LOVE of money is a root of all sorts of evil. As I understand it, Howard Hughes was dying on the plane to the hospital and he pulled the doctor down and told him if he could keep him alive for 30 minutes he would give him everything he owned.

      You only go 'round once, so get all the gusto you can. Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die. And after this the judgement. ALL things were given by the Father to the Son. Jesus claimed to be God. So you have two, and ONLY two choices (flip a coin? No!). Either he was crucified as a lunatic, or He WAS WHO He said He was. The great I AM. Your life is but a vapor, choose wisely.