The social network celebrates fifteen years involved in controversies about its neglect in its treatment of its users Fifteen years go a long way, and more in technological terms, where the passage of time is measured in innovations. The history of Facebook represents a merry-go-round of contributions and entrepreneurial deeds to imitate, but also, as one of the most obvious companies in the retention and analysis of personal data, has been plagued by scandals. Some cases starred by the currently largest social network in the world that, despite everything, has not passed ad or invoice to their economic results. It is possible that he did not invent social networks but he has created dependence on them.
A difficult start full of lies
The vericuetos of the American firm start from a university, Stanford, which was the breeding ground of a service that was originally intended for domestic consumption. The original platform was called ” Facemash “. A space destined to score the girls of the campus. It was contagious.
It was the year 2003 but the first stone of what would be a (virtual) empire had already been placed. He was not born, however, in the middle of a mattress of roses, since to make it possible “someone” accessed the database of the university to take thousands of photographs of the students. What exploited the morbid and the lower instincts are, curiously enough, what has sustained all the service during this time; the “like” has become the most basic code to enter its small great universe.
That seed form of directory had as gardeners Mark Zuckerberg, who was responsible for developing ” The Facebook ” a year later, along with his colleagues Eduardo Saverin, Dustin Moskovitz, and Chris Hughes. All of them are set aside before the company regales itself in millions. And, like any brilliant idea, it was not without controversy.
The twin businessmen Winklevoss (Cameron and Tyler) denounced Zuckerberg to take advantage of and copy his idea, which started litigation for a sum of 20 million dollars. Also, Paul Ceglia, a web designer, claimed half of the property to understand that he had taken advantage of their knowledge. Now, these episodes are past water, but their difficult beginnings served the service to go quickly reaping successes.
Under the magnifying glass of the EU
Although, nevertheless, its main business, online advertising, has been closely monitored during this time by organizations such as the European Union (EU). Facebook, which seems to have not found its roof, has been acquiring services to those who have had to give prior authorization.
The purchase of WhatsApp, in 2014, in one of the craziest maneuvers in the industry, went through the filter of the review to understand that it harmed users. That possible crossing of personal data between both platforms has been the workhorse of the guarantors of privacy, although the US company has always denied it. It did not come out totally undamaged since the EU fined Facebook with 100 million euros when it understood that it had lied when it reported this acquisition. Whenever it has had the opportunity, the international organisms have presented/displayed their doubts on their cloudy system of treatment of data of their users.
Interference in the Trump elections
One of the most delicate moments in his career occurred from 2016, coinciding with the last presidential elections in the United States. Those in which Donald Trump, against all odds, won the victory. Since then, the social network has orbited its neglect when it comes to hosting false ads and publications aimed at misinforming the population.
A thorny situation that has begun the era of “fake news”, the spoiled lies that have taken advantage of the nature of social media to entangle and spread hoaxes. Facebook has served as a speaker for foreign groups, many of them even linked to the Kremlin, in order to influence in favor of the blond magnet that in just one year of the presidency has shaken half the world with its controversial decisions.
This scenario has been illuminated because of the absence of draft filters to stop the proliferation of lies. Contrary to what might be expected, Facebook has consented to its dissemination, has even encouraged the “fake news” to give shelter to groups of malicious people because he had never thought about modifying one iota in his business model, based on online advertising. But, in turn, he has demonstrated the ability to manipulate minds.
The Cambridge Analytica data leak
More terrible was the data leakage from Cambridge Analytica. More than 87 million users were corrupted to design electoral campaigns, to go beyond the private frontier. Although it has had several edges, always made up, March 2018 marked a turning point in the history of the social network.
It was the day when humanity began to look with some suspicion on Facebook. His discredit has come to more. And more assuming, de facto, its dubious practices around its database, the oil from which it has extracted the essence of its business. Since then, international organizations, commanded if possible by European regulators, have severely punished the company, although it has managed to weather the situation despite receiving harsh privacy suspensions.
Facebook became entangled and did not know how to anticipate its biggest crisis. Zuckerberg, in fact, had to appear in diverse audiences and be interrogated ad nauseam in several public institutions, the United States Congress and Senate or the European Parliament. And, along the way, another security breach was discovered that left more than 50 million people exposed.
The boycott in favor of its elimination
After all, the confidence of the users has still recovered, but despite the repeated criticism and the campaign calling for its elimination, its empire has hardly suffered. Quite the contrary; Facebook has continued to gain users (current account with about 2.340 million users), has recovered what has been lost in territories such as Europe and has managed to discover new markets that explode like Asia.
And, to top it all, his acquisitions have been his great victories, since Zuckerberg, as a good visionary, was able to analyze the changes of the users, taking advantage of the new ecosystems like the mobile phone and approaching, with phenomena like Instagram, a more public young man who looks beyond.