It has been some time now since the Cambridge Analytica scandal broke. The news drew attention from around the world, with hundreds of thousands tuning in to see famed Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in the hot seat. Memes were born, people everywhere gasped at the implications of the scandal, and speculation is rife as to what will happen to Facebook now.
For those not aware, the scandal is based around United Kingdom based company Cambridge Analytica. Allegations arose that the company illegally stole the private information of millions of Facebook users, and then used the information to create a targeted propaganda system. Algorithms apparently targeted the users with fake news articles and other manipulative posts, which may have been utilised in recent, extremely questionable political campaigns.
How is Facebook involved? Word is that Facebook knew about the information breach, and yet only severed ties with Cambridge Analytica a full month afterwards. In other words; it seems very much like Facebook were in on the scandal, from the very beginning, and unlike when you play online slots at top sites and your information is carefully safeguarded, Facebook was sharing information and taking a gamble on whether or not they’d end up getting caught.
It’s Going Bad For Facebook
Although working in very sensitive territory, regarding how it handles private information, Facebook has somehow managed to avoid serious scrutiny for a long time. Most are aware of how Facebook mines user information, and uses it to create targeted advertising systems. But the Cambridge Analytica scandal is a serious situation. And not just for the future of Facebook itself, but for the thousands of companies that have come to rely on Facebook advertising.
The wave of negative press Facebook is currently facing cannot be understated. The company is being blasted from all sides, and the public is starting to view Facebook practices in a new light. Multiple public hashtag campaigns have already been running, encouraging people to delete their Facebook profiles. And, adding fuel to the fire, public figures have likewise been getting in on it. Elon Musk has deleted his company Facebook profile, clearly as a statement on the situation. And founder of Whatsapp, Brian Acton, has been publicly stating that users should likewise delete their profiles.
The End For Facebook?
Many are already throwing up their hands and declaring that Facebook will die under the boot of the scandal. However, market analysts are not so sure. In fact, many are saying that Facebook will only suffer minor, short-term losses. Presently, Facebook’s stock price has dropped significantly, but not enough for major concern. Yet.
The Facebook stock price dropped by about 8% due to the scandal, which is indeed a significant amount. But given that Facebook has been exceeding exceptions for some time, as far as gains are concerned, it is not time for the crisis switch to be thrown. Of course, there is still uncertainty about the future of Facebook, with the full extent of the scandal to be fully seen. Either way, most would likely still call Facebook a smart investment, at least for the time being.
What Has Zuckerberg Said?
After being grilled in the hot seat, Zuckerberg has been doing interviews, likely in an effort to try and stem some of the negative attention. In an interview earlier this year, he stated that it would take at least three years to fix the social media network. With ‘fix’ likely relating to the scandal, and the potential of such situations happening in the future.
Zuckerberg also stated that he would be focusing on keeping user’s data more secure in the future. Although, many would likely point out, this seems to very much be a case of too little, too late. The data leak has already occurred, and one can’t help but wonder why steps were not taken to avoid this situation in advance.