Techlash – Is Facebook Doing More Harm Than Good?
The company, Cambridge Analytica, was working closely with the Trump campaign and is also said to have played a role in the pro-Brexit campaign ahead of the United Kingdom’s EU referendum in 2016. “We exploited Facebook to harvest millions of people’s profiles. And built models to exploit what we knew about them and target their inner demons”, Christopher Wylie, a former Cambridge Analytica employee turned whistleblower, told the Observer. It is not the first time that Facebook has unwillingly but rather naively enabled misuse of its platform as Josh Constine of Techcrunch interestingly points out in a recent article. “Facebook has naively put its faith in humanity and repeatedly been abused, exploited, and proven either negligent or complicit”, Constine writes, adding that the company lacks “cynics and diverse voices who might foresee how its products could be perverted or were conceptualized foolishly in the first place”.
Facebook is currently facing massive criticism for its handling of the Cambridge Analytica affair, its stock price is tumbling and the hashtag #DeleteFacebook is trending on Twitter. Even before the most recent scandal, many people had started questioning whether the world’s largest social network might have gotten out of control. In a poll conducted in December by CB Insights, 59 percent of the respondents said that they expect Facebook to be considered a net negative for society in ten years’ time.