DailyPost 1847

The world has seen it all, from the Slave Trade to the Opium Wars, the Empires in human history have ruled the roost in a variety of wars. Trade, as it meant money, has been the main game. Today, we have an empire without a territorial jurisdiction but controls all territory, to the hearts and minds of people. Social animals as we are, it has brought socialization on our fingertips, a euphoria for a world which has socialization as its DNA. But might be, the mode has proved to be nefarious in a variety of ways, for social existence itself. What the social media has to offer has been well illustrated in the movie The Social Dilemma, led by the Facebook family.

This is not the first time Facebook Inc. has come under scathing attack. We all remember the Facebook Cambridge Analytica saga, with the lid being pulled by Christopher Wylie. ”In 2018, he released a cache of documents prompting the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica data scandal, giving The Guardian documents that described the secret workings behind Cambridge Analytica.” The Facebook brazened it out. Mark Zuckerberg played truant with governments and legislatures. What he enjoys most besides the money this empire generates is multidimensional unassailable power which emanates out of literally owing the data of 7 billion accounts across his three products. Five hours of outage of his empire, seemed to have brought down the world.

Facebook is a highly secretive organization, which deals with data, based on whimsical algorithms and ironclad NDAs unknown to the world. The approaches to the Trump and Nancy Pelosi are all public domain facts, bringing Facebook into the dock again and again. Now they are facing one more challenge, from an ex-Facebook employee, now a whistle-blower. After anonymity she came out in the open on a program named 60 Minutes and next in the Senate, where all hell broke loose. She is Frances Haugen, ex-Facebook product manager. Supported by documents out of the Facebook’s stable itself, being an insider, it is getting immense traction. The data is also killing, that too little is done, on what Facebook flaunts as its community commitments. For once we see the Democrats and Republicans coming together.

As per the whistle blower Facebook is fine with propagating hateful content on its platforms to keep users engaged. One of its internal researches proves Instagram’s detrimental effects on the teen girls’ mental health. There have been conflicts of interests over and over again between what is good for the public and what was good for Facebook and it always chose to optimize its own interests. This choice has been a money spinner. It is also claimed based on documents that Facebook services hurt some children’s self-esteem and abet human trafficking. What is different this time is that *lawmakers are united* on taking action to stop the harms caused to teenagers by Facebook. *Law makers have become smarter about tech;* on algorithms, specific issues such as speech online and Facebook’s promoting the pieces of content that it does. Facebook today is sitting on a mountain of internal research to prove all these facts, but it feigns ignorance.


Sanjay Sahay

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