The Problem of Facebook in the Global and Domestic Context


The Problem of Facebook in the Global and Domestic Context

By: Samuel Forray

Since its Internet start in 2004, Facebook has grown into a multibillion dollar company and a reliable stock market investment, making the company appealing to millions of Americans.  However, in recent years, the once internet sensation has been under fire for user privacy breaches, Russian meddling in the recent U.S. election and hate crimes being posted in foreign countries.  

This began in the United States with the recent sharing of information with Cambridge Analytica, a software firm associated with Republican nominee Donald Trump’s campaign at the time.  

“We believe the Facebook information of up to 87 million people — mostly in the US — may have been improperly shared with Cambridge Analytica,” Mike Schroepfer, Facebook’s Chief Technology Officer, said.  

This groundbreaking sale of user information has led to members of the social media company being sworn in front of members of Congress to discuss user safety, as well as privacy, regarding Russian influence on the users of Facebook in Donald Trump’s historic election win.  Upon many criticisms from world leaders, founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been criticized for his relationship with Cambridge Analytica, which he himself called a “breach of trust” during the testimony in front of the United States Congress.  

Abroad, Facebook has been under fire for many years.  Zuckerberg has been called out by English Parliament on the Russian security breaches and has often refused allegations and invitations to appear in front Parliament.  The situation that seems to be the gravest is the situation in Myanmar.  The last few years there has featured a widespread persecution of the minority population of the Rohingya, a small Islamic ethnic group, by the native Buddhist population. 

 Facebook has been in the center of this conflict for some time.  Hate speech and Islamophobic posts are a massive problem on Facebook’s message boards. The Myanmar Facebook network team consists of only two people to flag content for the entire nation.  This issue will remain unsolved until Facebook decides on a course of action.

Facebook has had a very complicated past but the user security, as well as speech policing, have been the biggest problems. It is incredibly infuriating because of the potential that Facebook has to enable connection and interaction between people, but Facebook’s poor construction has been detrimental to social prosperity.  By allowing poor privacy settings they have exposed the American people to the Russian government, which allegedly meddled with the most recent presidential election.  

The situations abroad especially in Myanmar have been atrocious and completely contrary the company’s mission statement posted on their own Facebook page, “Give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together.” This statement directly contradicts the actions being taken by the company.  

Before Facebook launches another campaign to re-establish cheerful feelings in the company’s prosperous hopes, Zuckerberg and the rest of the company must examine their policies and their decision to protect their users from offensive and invasive material being posted against them.  Only then can the social media platform evolve into the next phase of Facebook’s development.