A Project for Better Journalism chapter

Facebook admits to distributing user info


On April 9, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg met with Congress to apologize for allowing several outside companies to have access to data unknowingly from Facebook users.

Facebook is currently the most popular social network worldwide, having more then one billion active users worldwide and 214 million users in the United States.

Earlier this year, it was revealed that 87 million people had their privacy breached by Cambridge Analytica who used the information in Trump’s 2016 election.

This is not the first time, however, that Facebook has been involved in information-providing lawsuits and controversies.

In December 2015, the Guardian reported that Ted Cruz the United States Senator used the data from the scandal and the people were not aware that their information was being sold by companies and used by politicians to influence their vote.

Zuckerberg testified about these issues in the Senate on April 10 and the House on April 11,  leaving people with many questions still unanswered resulting in many people losing trust in Zuckerberg and in Facebook.

With so many people losing trust in Facebook, one would think that the company would not be able to recover from this and that it would affect them deeply, however that’s not the case.

In fact, Zuckerberg’s net worth increased by $3 billion when he appeared before Congress, Facebook’s shares went up 4.5% to $165 from $157.93 in a day, and Facebook gained $21 billion in value to total 479.4 billion

Most expected Zuckerberg to leave out of Congress with punishments and regulations but he instead left with a slap on the wrist, leaving people’s information exposed and people’s trust in Facebook iffy.

Most teens, however, don’t seem to be bothered or understand what is going on.

“We all use social media but no one really thinks about the consequences” said senior Lamesha Louza, who admittedly knew little about the Facebook scandal. “No one ever says, my identity could be stolen or my information could be used for unethical purposes.”

Although many teenagers do not know the consequences of sharing information with social media sites, some still feel it is unethical for big companies to take advantage of their vulnerability.

“I feel as though it is very unprofessional and inappropriate without their permission because that is an invasion of privacy,” said sophomore Sharrah Rondina.  She believes that it should be punishable for corporations that use our information without our consent and our government should really do more to address these issues.

“Not only should it be a penalty that they can just pay off, it should be loss of power or control on the company,” said Rondina.

Facebook launched on February 4,fourth 2004 by tech genius Mark Zuckerberg and fellow Howard college students, creating the biggest social network that we all know today and gave our trust to.