Trojan Tribune

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Web of Lies

Hundreds of life-size cutouts of Facebook’s founder and C.E.O. Mark Zuckerberg appear overnight in front of the Capitol lawn as protest against Facebook, the world largest internet platform.

Hundreds+of+life-size+cutouts+of+Facebook%E2%80%99s+founder+and+C.E.O.+Mark+Zuckerberg+appear+overnight+in+front+of+the+Capitol+lawn+as+protest+against+Facebook%2C+the+world+largest+internet+platform.+
Hundreds of life-size cutouts of Facebook’s founder and C.E.O. Mark Zuckerberg appear overnight in front of the Capitol lawn as protest against Facebook, the world largest internet platform.

Hundreds of life-size cutouts of Facebook’s founder and C.E.O. Mark Zuckerberg appear overnight in front of the Capitol lawn as protest against Facebook, the world largest internet platform.

Hundreds of life-size cutouts of Facebook’s founder and C.E.O. Mark Zuckerberg appear overnight in front of the Capitol lawn as protest against Facebook, the world largest internet platform.

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The internet, it seems like we can’t live without it, but what if there’s more to the web than meets the eye? We’ve all heard those cautionary tales that parents and adults like to throw around about the “bad people on the internet” who like to extract people’s private information and use it to their advantage, but with recent privacy breaches, it looks like those tales are becoming a reality.  

It is a well-known fact that the internet is full of platforms and major corporations like Facebook that their sole profit comes from exploiting people’s trust by selling their rights to privacy to third parties that abuse the data. Users relinquish a significant part of their private life once they make the decision to log in with a platform whether the world knows what they ate for breakfast or where their previous location was.

The platform for middle-aged mothers who love to post videos of their cats or embarrassing baby nudes of their grown children (yes, I’m talking about Facebook)  has been in hot water over the issue of privacy that has caused creator and C.E.O., Mark Zuckerberg to face hearings with U.S. Congress. The issue began way back in 2015, before the U.S. presidential election of 2016 with the now president Donald Trump.

Facebook creates revenue by selling ad space for third parties and subgroups to advertise a product or get statistical data from. Back in 2015, the U.S. 2016 election was on everyone’s mind with most of the nation polarized and many third parties would pay to show ads in favor of their presidential candidate or those that bashed their opponent. It was recently found out in the beginning of April of 2018 that a private corporation called Cambridge Analytica, a political data firm hired by President Donald Trump’s campaign, had indeed data mined and taken people’s private information in order to sway the 2016 election.

The purpose of the hearings held on April 10th and 11th in Washington D.C. was to understand what Facebook’s policy was on data mining, privacy settings, and so on, to determine if Facebook was to blame for people’s data and privacy being breached and exploited by a political firm that consequently led to the election of Donald Trump. The two days of hearings caused the world to go haywire and questioned if Facebook was as reliable and truthful as it brands itself. Outraged people went as far as placing 100 life-size cutouts of Mark Zuckerberg outside the Capitol building in Washington D.C.

The Facebook hearings have been only one event in the long strand of privacy concerns over the years and people are becoming more aware of their digital footprint. The media has taken the opportunity to release information and tips about protecting one’s privacy like CNBC experts solutions such as staying away from “personality and fun quizzes”, changing privacy settings, being aware of the origin of your followers and friends, avoiding third parties, and ultimately leaving that platform. In my opinion, users should know better and get into a habit of reading the small print in order to decrease the chance that your privacy is breached.

For those who are still concerned about data mining and feel like their privacy is at stake, the best option is to leave Facebook and raise awareness over the issue and bring it to the platform’s creators attention to improve the way data is gathered and shared. With every scandal and report that comes out major platforms and third parties can find loopholes in their system and end the web of lies.

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