The great Cambridge Analytica/Facebook roundup

This week may well turn out to be a defining, watershed moment for Facebook and for the social media industry as a whole.

As you might have heard, these past few days have seen Facebook get in very hot water because of how an outfit called Cambridge Analytica collected and used its data. Most of the information that is coming out is not news among people who study social media, but circumstances are creating a perfect storm.

Since the story is still developing, and the number of takes is growing by the minute, we decided to put together a roundup of some interesting, often opposing perspectives and viewpoints, which we hope will help you make sense of this story.


Let’s dive in (updated 3/22):


Ok, now show me some of those hot Twitter takes..


Keep going…


The Stamos saga…

  • FB’s Chief Security Officer Alex Stamos, a widely respected figure, and one of the most vocal public advocates for Facebook’s decisions over the past year: please don’t call it a breach!
  • But now Stamos is said to be leaving the company, or maybe not?
  • Stamos had been investigating Russian activity on Facebook since June 2016: that month Zuckerberg said fake news influencing the election was a “pretty crazy idea.”


There’s more…

  • The Parsons/New School prof who has been on CA’s case for months, suing its parent company (SCL) to get his personal data back from them
  • Facebook has a history of being lax with app permissions (and thus with the data it shares with third parties)
  • Former Googler: programmers building these tools and then blowing the whistle shows us that computer science as a discipline science needs an ethical awakening
  • The sinister side of targeting: why access to data is more important than access to the mind


But what about the research…


Where next?


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A few bad apples: the vocal, tiny (1%) minority starting most wars on Reddit