Mohd Faisal.Mohd Faisal .8 min read

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Facebook is one of the largest and influential social media platform on the internet with nearly 2 billion user means nearly half of the world population is on Facebook . It is also one of the popular way of communicating with the people .

Since the birth of Facebook in 2004, it has seen a lot of criticism ,Privacy concerns, instances of ad fraud, inappropriate content and data mining on its platform. Which threatened the company’s reputation. so i decided to make a timeline of Facebook controversies.

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Timeline of facebook controversies

September 2004  [copied-idea]

The founders of ConnectU filled a lawsuit against the facebook that alleges zuckerberg copied there idea and source code that they provided to make the site. the controversy ended when they reached the settlement in February 2008. for $20 million in cash and 1,253,326 Facebook shares to all the three founder of ConnectU Tyler Winklevoss ,Divya Narendra and Cameron Winklevoss .some claim the shares were trading at $76 per share in the secondary market, putting the total settlement value close to $120 million.

December 2005  [Facebook data mining]

There were many claim that facebook could be used as a means of data mining and that concern came true when two students from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) were able to download the publicly posted information of over 70,000 facebook profiles using a automated script when they were working on the research project on facebook privacy.

September 2006 [mini-feed privacy concern]

Facebook introduced a new features called  “Mini-Feed”. News Feed which appears on every member’s home page. It displays there recent activities of the member’s friends. Mini-Feed which provide details on new friends, new applications you have installed, messages sent by applications. It basically can report on any changes from an application that could be seen as a news event. which created a controversies as user’s friend could see the every activity of its friend from purchases to messages.

December 2009 [ user’s friend in public]

Facebook issued a new privacy policy which shows a lists of friends of user to be “publicly available” with no privacy settings. which was not the case earlier . Due to this change, the users who had set their “list of friends” as private were forced to make it public without even being informed. so they had to make it public.  it was removed later.

Year 2010 [not allowing user to delete account]

Earlier facebook do not allowed users to delete accounts but they can deactivate their accounts. Still facebook retain their account content from its servers. the users had to clear their own accounts by manually deleting all of the content including wall posts, friends, and messages. Facebook later began allowing users to permanently delete their accounts in the same year.

November 2011 [Non-members Tracking]

One of the article published in united states claimed that Facebook is also tracking the non-members user of its platform. By creating logs of pages visited by them. With the help of cookies to keep track of pages visited . later facebook was ordered by the Belgian Privacy Commissioner to cease tracking non-users, citing European laws, or else risk fines of up to £251,000 per day.

 Year 2012 [psychological experiments on users]

Facebook conducted a psychological test on user by manipulating information posted on around 700,000 user”s home pages.They did so by hiding a small percentage” of emotional words from peoples news feed. Without even letting them know. They did so to see how people react. It create outrage among user later the facebook executive, Sheryl Sandberg apologised. 

October 2015 [ terrorism ]

Facebook was accused of being a public platform for terrorism where no of terror group where sharing a questionable post on their Facebook pages. Facebook said they relies on users to report posts that violate its standards, such as images that celebrate or glorify violence and later takes a hard line towards such cases.

July 2017 [inappropriate secret group]

News reported that there were no of secret Facebook groups where engaging in illegal activity of sharing “obscene” photos of women with the Philippine National Bureau of Investigation warning such group members of the possibility of being liable for violating child pornography and anti-voyeurism laws. Facebook later remove the groups as violations of its community guidelines.

January 2018 [cambridge analytica]

The infamous the cambridge analytica which tried to influence the 2016 US presidential election via advertisements on the facebook ads service .About 90 million users account were affected by the data breach. The cambridge analytica collect data from millions of users without their knowledge they were also able to harvest data on all their Facebook friends too. This scandal cost facebook a lot and its share dropped $50 billion alone during first week of the scandal.

September 2018 [technical data breach]

Facebook  “View As” option that has a security bug which was active from July 2017. This allowed hackers to stole the access tokens to carry out the attack they first gained tokens from their friends. Then, using an automated technique they were successful in stealing tokens from friends of friends. And ultimately stole tokens from 50 million accounts, the bug was so severe that it not only give access to facebook account but also to those site account where you have used facebook to signup. For example if you have signup to Instagram using facebook then your account may have compromised too. As it give them the access to that account too. now the FBI is investigation on the matter.

December 2018 [app bug] 

The bug in the facebook apps allowed third-party app to gain access to users images. The bug allowed them to pull a lot of user data from stories to timeline photos.

I hope that we don’t get to hear anymore controversies from the Facebook , there were many controversies which i have not mentioned if you know any which you think i should have included in the list or controversies which are very lesser known to the people write your response down below. 

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Responses

    1. Mohd Faisal author of the story

      @sumitkumar facebook data is really valuable it doesn’t matter whether you are a billionaire or not they could use your data to spam you and even blackmail you because data in there are generally genuine i think i will write about it in detail