Scandals of privacy, Sexism, and electoral conspiracies….the social network has been involved in dubious businesses that affect all of us
On February 4, 2004, Mark Zuckerberg changed our life completely. As a student at Harward University, Zuckerberg introduced Facebook to our lives. Since then our way of relating to other people has not been the same again.
Although Facebook began as a University network, slowly it grew behind the academic public. For the years following its creation, it has already reached the rest of the world. By 2007, the number of users reaches 30 million.
However, the popularity of Facebook has also brought problems for both social network and its users. Scandals of privacy, sexism and electoral fraud have made the platform’s credibility go into a tailspin. This is why we took a dive into the past, revealing 10 hidden stories that we so far don’t know about Facebook.
As we saw in the movie The Social Network (2010), in September 2004, Divya Narendra and the brothers Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, sued Zuckerberg for plagiarizing ideas from his site, Connect U. Although it is true that Mark Zuckerberg worked as a programmer for Connect U, the case against him was dismissed in 2007, without a verdict being reached.
#2 When we all became farmers
In October 2010, it was revealed that millions of Facebook users had compromised the security of their profile while playing with popular apps on the platform, such as the FarmVille virtual farm simulator. While users played, Facebook exposed data such as their names, occupations, and photos to advertising agencies.
#3 They track you wherever you go
After having grown extraordinarily in popularity, Facebook announced a radical change in its tracking policy. The social network collects information on the activity of its users on the Internet and would add this information to “anonymous profiles” that it uses to sell personalized advertising on the site.
#4 Nobody reads the fine print
There is a constant complaint from virtual security experts for Facebook to change its terms and conditions policy. According to these indications, the social network constantly modifies the permissions of the platform, making them incomprehensible for many users and allowing more and more details of their profiles to be exposed to the public.
#5 Evade taxes through questionable techniques
In 2012 it became known that Facebook pays a ridiculous amount of taxes for its huge profits. To achieve this, the company resorts to a criticized technique called “The Irish Double”. Through this system, the social network and other multinationals move large sums of money to other subsidiaries under the royalty format, which reduces their tax burden.
#6 There are 83 million false accounts
In 2012, Facebook revealed that there are 83 million false accounts on its platform. Although in some cases these are “duplicated” profiles by people who forgot their password and created another account, in most cases this does not happen. These fake accounts are very useful tools to launch spam to other users and violate their security.
#7 Inflate your statistics
In 2016, Facebook admitted that it had “inflated” the average time that users spend watching videos on their platform. Although the social network says it was an unintentional mistake, advertisers and content creators angered the platform by manipulating its metrics.
#8 You have a demand for sexism
In 2018, a lawsuit was filed against Facebook for sexism. According to this accusation, the tool to publish job offers in the platform allows companies to exclude potential candidates by gender. In the past, the platform was also accused of allowing housing advertisements to exclude certain ethnic groups.
#9 Possibly has ties with Russia
During Mark Zuckerberg’s hearing at the US Congress last year, the founder of the social network admitted that he gave special access to information about each user’s friends to dozens of companies. Among the companies benefited was the Russian company Mail.ur, whose main investor was then Alisher Usmanov, a character very close to Vladimir Putin.
#10 Cambridge Analytica
The name of Cambridge Analytica became infamous in 2018 when it was revealed that this consultant improperly acquired information from 50 million users of this social network in the United States. According to certain media, this information was used to manipulate voters in the 2016 presidential elections in the US.
The company obtained the private information of the users through a personality test, which operated as an app in the social network. Those who completed the test gave, without knowing it, access to the personal information of their profiles and those of their network of friends.
#11 Children in the Facebook search engine
As if all these dark stories about the social network were not enough, recently began to circulate on social networks a simple experiment with alarming results. Someone noticed that if you search the word “girls” on Facebook, you will get suggestions with a sexual tone, while if you search for “children” the results are completely different.