Facebook, connecting 2.2 billion people across the world, is currently the largest social media platform in existence. However, the exponential growth of Facebook is responsible for some major repercussions. As Zuckerberg loses the reigns of this ever-expanding virtual citadel, we are forced to question Facebook’s credibility due to its exploitative access to our data. This question becomes more salient as the abuse of data during the 2016 US presidential election is unveiled, prompting the Congress to crackdown on Facebook and demand Zuckerberg's testimonial.
During the 2016 US presidential election, a political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica, allegedly compiled highly personal profiles based on data from Facebook users and cross-matched that with several other databases - in order to assist Trump’s campaign. Acknowledging the fact that Cambridge Analytica covered the digital sector for Trump’s campaign, they have been accused of potentially devising a biased campaign.
During the testimony at a joint session between the Senate Judiciary and Commerce committees, Zuckerberg was attacked with all kinds of technical and personal questions, primarily being grilled by Senator Lindsey Graham. “Who’s your biggest competitor?” asked Graham. The Facebook CEO struggled to find an appropriate response, subsequently naming Google, Apple and Microsoft as companies “overlapping” with Facebook in certain ways. Senator Graham then followed up, “You don’t think you have a monopoly?” To this Zuckerberg abruptly replied, “It certainly doesn’t feel like that to me.” The questioning then shifted to identifying a procedure of regulating Facebook as a company, instead of allowing him to self-regulate his own business practices. When asked if regulation would be welcome at Facebook, Zuckerberg said, “If it’s the right regulation, yes.”
Dhaka is the second most prominent consumer of Facebook, with 22 million active users
However, it’s not that simple due to the perplexity of imposing regulation on an organisation which simultaneously operates as a media as well as a technology company. The norm for any media firm is to abide by specific codes of ethics. Facebook’s duality in both the media and technology sector seems to disrupt the functionality of these codes, designed to safeguard the core principles of the internet of things. Hence the application of inappropriate regulation can possibly result in the deterioration of the online infrastructure and user freedom. Dhaka is the second most prominent consumer of Facebook, with 22 million active users, covering 1.1 percent of the total monthly Facebook usage. So we are fairly vulnerable to a breach of data, which can have very tangible consequences, for example swaying our elections similar to that of the US.
As digitization encroaches and envelopes our world, appropriate cyber-laws are crucial to authenticate the integrity of the internet of things. Lawmakers need to have a deep insight into the attributes of the worldwide web to construct cogent regulations. The virtual realm of Facebook is growing into elephantine proportions, too large for singular control. Rather than jumping aboard on the Zuckerberg hate train, appropriate laws should be enforced to remedy the situation.
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