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  • Facebook and its CEO Mark Zuckerberg are under a ton of pressure right now.

  • So much pressure that Zuckerberg nervously sat down with CNN to say this:

  • Now I think what's clear is that in 2016

  • we were not as on top of the number of issues we should have,

  • whether it's Russian interference or fake news.

  • the latest issue?

  • Facebook admitted that a developer who had accessed the data of 50 million Facebook users

  • later sold it to a political firm called Cambridge Analytica.

  • that firm was later hired by the Trump campaign.

  • Facebook says both parties violated its policies,

  • but many users feel the company could have done more to protect their data,

  • and a growing number of people say they're leaving the site.

  • so, this is 2018.

  • but to understand what's happening today, you have to look back to

  • Facebook's policies between 2007 and 2015.

  • In 2007, Facebook opened its platform to developers,

  • meaning, it allowed outside apps to access all kinds of user data.

  • Did you ever play the game FarmVille?

  • Or did you ever use Tinder or Spotify?

  • You may have noticed that when you use these apps, they asked you to sign in through Facebook.

  • Back then, Facebook allowed apps not just to access your information,

  • but also to access the information of your friends.

  • And that help the apps and advertisers better understand your preferences.

  • During this time, Facebook became a fixture in users' lives.

  • By allowing access to that data, Facebook paved the way for all kinds of apps

  • to help people find dates, search for jobs, be productive, and stay entertained.

  • it also ushered in a new style of political campaigning.

  • The new Obama 2012 smartphone app has everything you need

  • to get the President's back wherever you go.

  • And that in turn fuelled the social network's growth.

  • In 2007, Facebook had 58 million users.

  • Today, it has more than 2 billion.

  • But, back to that period we are talking about.

  • In 2014, Facebook dialled way back on its data sharing policies.

  • It announced that it would restrict the data that apps could access,

  • and it would stop allowing developers from getting

  • the information of your friends without their consent.

  • Those changes were implemented in 2015.

  • But this period in Facebook history had already opened the company

  • up to some of the massive problems it's facing today.

  • If you pass on that amount of information to somebody who's trying to manipulate you politically

  • then of course, they're able to exploit your vulnerabilities and send you customized messages

  • that no one else will see, and no one knows what those messages are.

  • In 2013, when all of these data was still available,

  • a Cambridge University researcher accessed the information of 50 million Facebook users.

  • That data was ultimately sold, against Facebook's policies, to Cambridge Analytica.

  • Cambridge Analytica says it's launching its own investigation

  • to determine if the firm engaged in any wrong-doing.

  • Now Facebook says its investigating all of the apps that had

  • access to massive amount of user information.

  • But that's a lot of apps, a lot of Facebook users,

  • and a lot of their friends.

  • Well, it's hard to know what we'll find, but we're

  • going to review thousands of apps.

Facebook and its CEO Mark Zuckerberg are under a ton of pressure right now.

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The Key to Understanding Facebook's Current Crisis

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    Kate Chang posted on 2018/03/29
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