Sunday, March 25, 2018

In Yo Face!

On Tuesday 20 March 2018, Facebook Inc. (FB:NASDAQ GS) addressed their data sharing scandal with a folksy-arrogant press statement beginning: "Mark, Sheryl and their teams are working around the clock to get all the facts..."

Youngish Mark, your familiarity hurts - we've not been introduced, I don't know Sheryl, or much about your mega-corporation. But slowly We Lab Rats awaken.

Folksy Facebook?
Founder, Chairman & CEO Mark Zuckerberg & Sheryl Sandberg (Chief Operating Officer and Zuckerberg's second-in-command) run $500 billion mega-corporation Facebook Inc. (highly-prominent among 1200 NASDAQ Global Select Market Companies). In January, Facebook reported 2.2 billion monthly active users.

Cambridge Analytica, Steve Bannon and affiliates (via SCL Elections and others) reportedly used Facebook data to influence democratic polling around the world. Facebook friend networks were secretly harvested for intimate data, then boosted by supplemental info to profile huge numbers of us for political propaganda as well as ads. Now we're approached with great familiarity and microtargeting.

People responsible reportedly include Alexander Nix, Alexander Tayler, Aleksandr Kogan, Christopher Wylie, etc. The story became more unsavory with claims of sabotage, sexual entrapment, bribes and compromising videos. Until the scandal exploded, Jared Kushner claimed (link, and more here) his clever use of Facebook data for digital targeting led to the success of the Trump campaign.

Facebook shares dropped from $176.80 to $159.30 last week (Monday to Friday 19-23rd March). BBC Business (link) calculate the drop knocked corporate value $58 billion lower.

Tuesday's press statement (20 March) was disarmingly friendly:
"Mark, Sheryl and their teams are working around the clock to get all the facts and take the appropriate action moving forward, because they understand the seriousness of this issue. The entire company is outraged we were deceived. We are committed to vigorously enforcing our policies to protect people’s information and will take whatever steps are required to see that this happens."  [end]