Felix’s rose plant had bloomed and how. It had about 33 roses at the moment. But as the flowers bloomed, Felix knew it was time to prune them. That’s how new buds would find a place on the magnificent plant.
Just as he was about to head out to his garden, Verum called out, “Mysticals, my crystal ball has found some startling news on Facebook. You need to hear this!”
“What is it?” said Felix, making his way towards Verum.
“Over the past three weeks, Wall Street Journal (WSJ), a New York-based newspaper, has been releasing the material. It called it the ‘Facebook Files’. Their source is Frances Haugen, who is a former product manager on the civic integrity team at Facebook. As she has said, these leaks prove that Facebook has prioritized its growth as a company over the safety of its users.”
“That is a heavy accusation to make,” said Orak, “But what exactly do the documents say?”
“Firstly, celebrities, politicians, and other high-profile users of Facebook have different rules than regular users,” answered Verum, “What kind of content these accounts could post differed from the content regular users could post. A system called XCheck was used for this.”
“Do you mean to say that celebrities had greater freedom to post what they wanted?” said Orak.
“Somewhat like that,” replied Verum, “Do you remember Facebook was involved in the Cambridge-Analytica controversy in 2018? Cambridge-Analytica, a British company, collected the personal data of millions of Facebook users without their consent. This data was then used for political advertising during former United States (US) President Donald Trump’s campaign. Facebook had to pay $5 billion to the US Federal Trade Commission. The amount was high so that Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO wouldn’t be personally responsible for this.”
“Oh, wow,” said Scorch, “There is so much news.”
“Yeah, that’s why a group of people who own shares (units of ownership) in the company has filed a lawsuit against it,” added Verum, “And then, we know that Facebook’s internal research showed how it negatively affects teenagers. But it didn’t really take any measures.”
“What does Facebook have to say about these revelations?” said Felix.
“Mostly that these leaks were misleading. They ignored the positive research done by the company,” said Verum, “I’ll keep you posted about any updates.”