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The dismissals, investigations and silence of Zuckerberg: what happens after the scandal with a massive leak of Facebook data

In March, Facebook was in the center of the trial of the illegal use of personal data 50 million social network users. The company Cambridge Analytica collected them bypassing the rules and applied in the election campaign of Donald Trump. According to media reports, Facebook knew about the leak and hid it for several years. Later, a former employee of the social network said that the scale of the “drain” of data is understated: dozens of private firms allegedly extracted personal information from users through a “hole” in the defense and handed over to third parties.

what the first consequences of the scandal for Facebook and Cambridge Analytica were.

Head Cambridge Analytica suspended from work

On March 17, a former employee of a private analytical firm, Christopher Wylie, told The Guardian that the company had acquired Facebook’s personal data bypassing the rules of the service. Information Cambridge Analytica used to configure advertising in social networks in such a way as to encourage people to vote for Trump in the US presidential election.

Alexander Nix. Photos of DPA

Later the British channel Channel 4 published a video with the head of the firm Alexander Nix, who talked about interference in the elections of other countries with the help of illegal methods. After that, Cambridge Analytica removed Nix until the end of the investigation, although he claimed that the media had told him.

The scandal affected the Facebook actions

Representatives of the social network stressed that they did not consider the incident a “leak” – data was collected legally by the application developers, who then violated the rules and transferred them to Cambridge Analytica. But the company was criticized for the weak protection of personal information. After the first media reports about the scandal, the company ‘s shares fell 11%. Total Facebook by March 21 lost more than $ 50 billion market value.

Google Screenshot

On March 20, a Facebook shareholder Fan Yuan filed a lawsuit against the company because the social network management knew about the leak as early as 2015, but did not notify the users and was not convinced that the data had been destroyed. The statement was signed by other shareholders, who demanded compensation for financial losses from the fall of shares.

Against the backdrop of the proceedings, The New York Times reported on the resignation of the head of the security department of Facebook, Alex Stamos. According to the publication, he decided to leave the company because of internal disagreements about the way out of the situation with accusations of misinformation of users.

Investigations have been opened in the United States and Britain

The US Federal Trade Commission launched an investigation into Facebook – according to the rules, the social network should notify users that their data was passed on to a third party. Violation can cost companies millions of dollars in fines. Also members of Congress suggested asking Zuckerberg about the company’s connection with Cambridge Analytica and the impact on the elections in the United States.

“It’s about time for Mr. Zuckerberg and the other CEOs to testify before the Congress. Americans deserve answers about how social networks were manipulating elections in 2016 “

The head of Facebook was also invited to the European Parliament to “tell millions of Europeans that their personal data were not used to manipulate democracy.” Zuckerberg is also expected in the British Parliament.

In social networks are urged to remove Facebook

The Slate publication noted that at first glance, Facebook’s fault is disproportionate to the fault of Cambridge Analytica: the social network did not sell the data itself, it did not violate the law, and the degree of influence of political advertising on the elections in the US has not yet been determined. But, according to journalists, the main thing in the scandal is that Facebook allowed the emergence of a major “hole” in its safety and undermined the trust of users who had previously quietly given their social data to the social network.

On Twitter, the #DeleteFacebook hashtag has gained popularity : users have been called to abandon a network that can not protect their personal data. Some bloggers mistakenly stated that Facebook itself sold information.


“At last I deleted my account on Facebook. If you are furious with what the social network has done with your data, then just delete Facebook. We all left with MySpace, so we can leave Facebook. Remember: we are not customers, we are a product »
To the wave of discontent, actor Jim Carrey and Bryan Acton, one of the founders of the WhatsApp messenger, which since 2014 belonged to Facebook, joined the crowd. Acton left the company in early 2018 to work on a new startup

Mark Zuckerberg is still silent

Photos CNet

Western media drew attention to the fact that from the very beginning of the scandal the head of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg did not appear in public and did not give comments. On March 20, a management meeting was to be held at the company’s office with all employees wishing to ask about the leak and Cambridge Analytica. However, neither Zuckerberg nor Operations Director Cheryl Sandberg came to the meeting.

The company explained the absence of the head of Facebook heavy workload: he allegedly “day” is working to resolve the scandal. According to Recode, Zuckerberg will still answer all questions on March 23 during a weekly briefing with staff.

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