2018 will be marked in Facebook's trajectory, but not for good reason. The social network was the protagonist of several polemics, such as data leaks from millions of users, manipulation of profile information for marketing campaigns and serious technical failures, such as instability of the site and bugs that allowed the invasion of accounts.
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As a result of these scandals, despite remaining in the most accessed social network post in the world with more than 2 billion users, even the revenue of Mark Zuckerberg's company was seriously impacted during this period. In retrospect, remember the main Facebook polemics in 2018.
Check out a retrospective of the polemics in which Facebook got involved this year Photo: Gabrielle Lancellotti / TechTudo
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About 50 million users have had personal data leaked to political marketing firm Cambridge Analytica. The news was reported by the New York Times and The Guardian newspapers in March, after an interview interview with former British company employee Christopher Wylie.
The data were collected through a test called "This is Your Digital Life". At the time, hundreds of thousands of users received small sums to complete the personality survey and allow the information to be used for academic purposes. In addition to the responses of the people who answered the test, the app also collected information from the profiles of the friends of these users, without proper authorization.
Facebook personality test stole data from social network profiles Photo: Melissa Cruz / TechTudo
The information obtained illegally would have been used to feed a system developed to trace a psychographic profile of the American population. The goal was to favor Donald Trump's presidential campaign in the 2016 elections through political advertisements compatible with the user's personality. After a few days of the repercussion of the case, Mark Zuckerberg announced some measures to prevent the problem from happening again.
The impact of the consultancy that would have used private data for political purposes made the social network devalue billions on the stock exchange in just a few hours. The company's stock value in the United States decreased by $ 35 billion between the morning and evening of March 19. The impressive percentage reduction in the market was caused by the international repercussions of the case involving Cambrigde Analytica.
3. Zuckerberg appears in the Senate
In April, Zuckerberg testified for more than 5 hours at a United States Senate hearing. He answered, among other questions about regulation and the use of user information, about the company's reaction to the scandal of data leakage for political purposes. "This episode clearly hurt us and evidently made it more difficult for us to achieve our social mission. We now have a lot of work to rebuild a trust," said the company's CEO.
Attack on Facebook: find out what information was accessed by hackers Photo: Anna Kellen Bull / TechTudo
At the end of September, more than 90 million users were surprised to be logged out of their accounts without notice. An official statement explained the action: a failure caused hackers to control accounts of 50 million profiles. Criminals took advantage of a vulnerability in the "see how" function to attack profiles. Posts, friends list, location, groups, among other information were accessed without authorization.
As a security measure, these users and all 40 million who accessed the feature in the past year have been logged out of all devices. A few days later, Guy Rosen, vice president of Product Management for the social network, reported that the number previously reported was wrong and that "only" 30 million profiles were reached.
Users had problems accessing Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram on November 12. To TechTudo, Facebook admitted the instability: "a routine test caused people to have problems accessing or posting to all Facebook services. We quickly investigated and restored access for everyone. We are sorry for the inconvenience."
However, on the 20th of the same month, the platform returned to fail in applications. The error happened in Brazil and in the world, and made #FacebookDown the most talked about subject on Twitter.
Number of complaints in the Downdetector was considered extreme Photo: Reproduo / TechTudo
About 6.8 million users had their unpublished photos exposed through the social network. The information was released on the 14th in an official company statement. According to the note, the bug happened to people who allowed third-party applications to access their Facebook media.
Typically, the platform's photo API allows third-party apps to view only images published on the timeline. With the error, developers were able to access other photos, such as images of stories, photos uploaded and not posted on the network, among other cases. According to Facebook, the bug has now been resolved and affected people will be notified.
Affected profiles are warned by the platform Foto: Reproduo / TechTudo
Last Tuesday (18), Facebook confirmed that Spotify and Netflix have accessed private messages from users of the platform for years. Companies viewed the conversations of people who activated functions to share music or movies for their friends on the social network.
The statement was made after The New York Times accused Facebook of sharing classified information with partner companies. Amazon, Apple, Microsoft and Yahoo would also have had access to the data without users' authorization. All the companies involved denied having used the information in a negative way.
Netflix and Spotify were accused of gaining access to user messages via Facebook Photo: Raissa Delphim / TechTudo
Remember the Cambridge Analytica case? Last Wednesday (19), a District Attorney for the District of Columbia, Karl Racine, filed a lawsuit against Facebook. Although the controversy was discovered in March, it is the first attempt to legally penalize the company for its relationship with political consultancy. With so many cases of information leakage, it is estimated that this will be the first of many processes.
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