The past has a particularly painful way of dredging itself up, particularly when it repeats itself.
Mark Zuckerberg is finding that out in a very acute way. The Facebook boss is currently embroiled in a scandal involving Cambridge Analytica, a firm that allegedly bought data from no less than 50 million Facebook users without their permission.
That, along with the fact that privacy breaches have happened at Facebook before, makes this a story the media would pick up. And then came the fact that, according to the U.K. Daily Mail, that data was used by the Donald Trump and Brexit campaigns.
That’s when the hue and cry broke out like nothing else. But what did they expect? His disregard for users has always been on display.
Cambridge Analytica promised to “find your voters and move them to action” through data-driven campaigns and a team that includes data scientists and behavioral psychologists.
“Within the United States alone, we have played a pivotal role in winning presidential races as well as congressional and state elections.”
OK. But where did everyone think they were getting that data? From you. Because Mark Zuckerberg thinks you’re dumb and isn’t afraid to sell your every detail. And he said as much in a 2003 IM conversation.
Back during the formation of Facebook at Harvard — back when it was called The Facebook and limited to campus — Zuckerberg offered user data to a friend in an infamous instant messenger conversation which was later leaked on the file-sharing site Medium.
Zuckerberg: Yeah so if you ever need info about anyone at Harvard
Zuckerberg: Just ask.
Zuckerberg: I have over 4,000 emails, pictures, addresses,
Friend: What? How’d you manage that one?
Zuck: People just submitted it.
Zuck: I don’t know why.
Zuck: They “trust me”
Zuck: Dumb f***s
In a 2010 interview with The New Yorker, the profane exchange was brought up. Zuckerberg claimed that he’d “grown.”
Yes. He’s certainly grown. Grown to the point where he could sell user data to the Obama campaign back in 2012, for instance. Grown to the point where he could sell the data of 50 million users to Cambridge Analytica, for another. Or grown to the point where they feel they can purge people’s news feeds of things they don’t like, particularly when it comes to things that may be conservative in nature. They know what’s best for you, after all.
Mark Zuckerberg has certainly grown. And that’s not a good thing for you or your personal data.
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