By JAKE ROME
Mark Zuckerberg has found himself in the midst of another sticky situation.. Ted Kramer, an app developer close to Zuckerberg, had his laptop seized by the British Parliament in late November in an effort to find information that the government believed Zuckerberg was hiding from the public. It was found that Facebook was aware of Russian accounts attempting to meddle with the 2016 United States elections, and that Zuckerberg, at one point, considered selling user (and friends of “user”) data to third party companies. This is something that Zuckerberg promised he would never do. Now that you have the most recent context, let’s indulge ourselves in the many reasons why you should despise Mark Zuckerberg just as much as I do.
Facebook threatens democracy. As an inclusive website, anyone and everyone has a voice to project their beliefs with little to no qualification. Because this is the case, misinformation is often spread as fact over Facebook. According to The New York Times, the Workers Party candidate Fernando Haddad had several false allegations placed on him during the 2018 Brazilian election, which were spread through the popular messaging app,”Whatsapp”. Whatsapp was acquired by Facebook in 2014. Though I understand that lies are spread all over the internet, Facebook does not do an adequate job at moderating the content that appears on their different platforms. As of 2017, Facebook had roughly 7,500 content moderators, with hopes of expanding to 20,000 by the end of 2018. While this seems like a significant increase, Facebook has over 1 billion users across the world. If Facebook were able to acquire an army of 20,000 moderators, that would mean that each moderator has to oversee 50,000 accounts worth of content. Not to mention the majority of the moderators will be located within the United States, most of which will only moderate accounts that are in English. The rest of the world is left without adequate moderation, due to a lack of foreign moderators. Without moderators that speak the language of a given country, it will be nearly impossible to moderate accounts that are spreading misinformation over politics, religion, organizations, or more. Too much liberty is given through Facebook, and Mark Zuckerberg is not taking the action needed to make sure falsehood is not spread in other parts of the world. He has created an international product, but without international regulation.
Finishing Thought: Zuckerberg is the supreme overlord of Facebook. Though he has a board of trustees below him, their presence in the company is purely symbolic. Mark Zuckerberg is the majority vote holder of the company, so ultimately, anything he says goes. The Board acts more as a group to give feedback to Zuckerberg, but they can not outvote him. Zuckerberg claims to have no interest in stepping down from his Chairman and CEO positions, meaning that you shouldn’t expect Facebook to change course anytime soon.