Saturday, January 25, 2020

UK Government Labels Facebook a ‘Digital Gangster’

Adedamola Bada
I'm Damola, a computer engineer from Obafemi Awolowo University. A crypto enthusiast, marketer, and writer who is seeking to achieve career excellence through hard work and positive contribution to the organization that aspires for excellence. Contact me on

Facebook’s data privacy controversies are far from ending, and the UK government is the latest angry body coming fast at the heels of the tech giant.

We’ve Got All Facebook History

Digging up dirty bones and hidden skeletons from Facebook legal drawers could be a lot easier than tracing crimes to the devil himself; they have been splattered on the internet since 2014, and the dirty trails have not dried up since then. In fact, they reached their peak in 2016 prior to current US president Donald Trump’s election. A lot of factors are increasingly being pointed out as adding up to the president’s win, but Facebook is alleged to have played a hidden yet significant role.

If anything, one of the main sticking points that has not settled down with a lot of American citizens and perhaps a few European countries is Trump’s love affair with Russia. The United States of America should not be dining the same champagne flutes with Putin’s country; it just doesn’t seem right; what is the definition of ‘right’ anyway?  It is Facebook’s oath to protect it users’ privacy while selling their data to big clouts in need and remaining immune to punishment because they have one of the biggest legal supports and are for one incredibly smart at what they do.

Give it to Andrew Bosworth, the Vice President of Facebook whose memo written in 2016 leaked late last year. Memos should not be interesting for non-board members, but this one is, it shouldn’t take people by surprise that Facebook’s executives are more concerned about the growth of the company than the safety of its user. As long as Bosworth is concerned, Facebook’s ‘overall good’ of connecting millions of people counters a few evils that might just pop up under Facebook’s radar.

“Maybe someone dies in a terrorist attack coordinated on our tools,” Facebook’s VP wrote in his memo. “And still we connect people. The ugly truth is that we believe in connecting people so deeply that anything that allows us to connect more people more often is *de facto* good.”

Russian? The UK Doesn’t Like It

Facebook came under worldwide scrutiny after investigations revealed that the company allowed fake Russian accounts to purchase ads worth more than $100,000 in a bid to influence US elections in favour of Trump, and they just did. After keeping quiet for a long while, CEO Mark Zuckerberg was subsequently summoned to the Congress.

In lieu of the past events, UK lawmakers have labeled Facebook a ‘digital gangster’ and accused them of ‘knowingly’ violating customers’ privacy to spread Russian ‘misinformation and fake news.’ The heat is on, and the UK is being encouraged not to turn down the steam.

“Companies like Facebook should not be allowed to behave like ‘digital gangsters’ in the online world, considering themselves to be ahead of and beyond the law,” House of Commons, a committee overseeing media policy wrote.

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