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Why the Current Cambridge Analytica / Facebook Scandal Requires us to Rethink Social Media

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It is an outrageous scandal that we should not accept. Even if your Facebook profile has not been obtained by Cambridge Analytica, we should not accept such a massive breach of privacy, and those responsible should be held accountable. Those valuing their privacy should think carefully about their usage of Facebook.

For those unaware of Cambridge Analytica, it is a data mining and data analysis company that has played a pivotal role in the US Presidential Election of 2016, the Brexit vote and many other political races. Behind the company are key figures of President Trump, including Steve Bannon, Trump’s former strategic advisor, and Robert Mercer, founder of the Government Accountability Institute that uses the dark web and bots to denigrate political opponents. 

In 2014, the company used personal information obtained without the authorisation of the users to develop a highly effective system to target individual US voters. Under the pretence of academic research, they harvested 50 million profiles without those users approving of being harvested and then used that data to influence the US election. It is a privacy breach at an unprecedented scale, and it shows that Facebook’s attempts to protect their users are not working.

The previous fake news scandal …

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