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Understanding Facebook’s Data Crisis: 5 Important Reads

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Most of Facebook’s 2 billion users are likely to have their data collected by third parties. The company revealed on April 4 that, according to reports, the data of 87 million users was used to target online political advertising in the lead up to the 2016 US presidential election.

As its CEO Mark Zuckerberg prepares to testify before Congress, Facebook is beginning to respond to criticism by the international public and government about its data harvesting and sharing policies. Many scholars in the United States Debating what happened what is the risk how to fix and what will happen next Here we highlight five examples from our recent coverage.

1. What really happened?

Many concerns have been raised by reports that Cambridge Analytica’s analysis was based on person profiles. which is based on the work of Aleksandr Kogan, a researcher at the University of Cambridge.

Media scholar Matthew Hindman asked Kogan what he had done. As Hindman explains, “Information about a user’s personality, or ‘psychic image’, is only the tip of the iceberg. It’s not a personality type, to be honest. Rather, it is a model that fuses demographic data. Social influences, personalities, and everything together make up a large relative.”

2. What is the impact of what happened?

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on a personal level Collecting this level of data – especially for the 50 million Facebook users who have never consented to their data being collected by Kogan or Cambridge Analytica – is distressing. Ethical hacker Timothy Summers noted that Democracy is at stake:

“What used to be a public exchange of information and democratic dialogue is now a customizable whispering campaign: ethical and malicious groups can divide Americans. Whisper in every user’s ear. poke them with fear and encourage them to whisper to others who share those fears.”

3. What should I do to respond?

The impact is significant, with most Facebook users expressing some degree of concern about what Facebook might do to their personal data, as sociologists Denise Anthony and Luke Stark explain, people shouldn’t. Trust Facebook or other companies that collect massive amounts of user data: “There are currently no regulations or third-party institutions to ensure social media companies are trusted.”

4. What if I want to leave Facebook?

Many people have thought and talked about deleting their Facebook account, but it is actually harder than most people expected to do. The Communications Research Group at the University of Pennsylvania addresses all the psychological triggers that make people addicted to social media. Including Facebook’s blatant protest:

“When one of us tried to deactivate her account. She was told how enormous the loss would be – the profile was deactivated. All the memories are gone lost contact with more than 500 friends.”

5. Should I be concerned about future data manipulation?

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If Facebook is difficult to quit Think about what will happen when virtual reality becomes more popular. The powerful algorithms that control Facebook users are not nearly as effective as VR, user experience scholar Elissa Redmiles wrote:

“People using virtual reality are often subject to a greater degree of control than is willingly possible. Everything one sees and hears – and perhaps feels or smells – is created by another person.”

And now people worry they’re trusting too much.

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