Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is set to speak publicly for the first time about the latest data scandal at his company within the next 24 hours, according to a report.
NBC News reported that Zuckerberg “will speak publicly in the next 24 hours” with a “focus on rebuilding trust,” citing a Facebook spokesman.
“Zuckerberg’s statement would be his first since allegations emerged that data on 50 million Facebook users had been taken from the company and used by Cambridge Analytica, a data analysis firm used by the Donald Trump presidential campaign,” they explained, adding that, “Zuckerberg’s silence has been notable in the aftermath of the news, which brought new attention to how Facebook had previously allowed connected apps to take data from users that opted in, as well as data from the friends of those users.”
Sandy Parakilas, a former Facebook platform operations manager, also claimed in an interview that Facebook routinely mishandled user data, allegedly giving it freely to many third parties, and expressing a lack of interest in finding out what the companies were doing with it.
Following the controversy, Twitter users posted under the #WheresZuck hashtag, asking why the Facebook CEO had yet to publicly address allegations of mass user data harvesting at the social network.
— Scott Sanchez (@scottsanchez) March 21, 2018
— David Carroll (@profcarroll) March 20, 2018
— Stuart Henderson (@HendersStu) March 20, 2018
— Carole Cadwalladr (@carolecadwalla) March 19, 2018
Though Twitter users and celebrities attacked Facebook specifically over the allegations that user data had been used in Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, even threatening to boycott the company, most ignored the fact that President Obama had also used similar data practices during his campaign in 2012.
“The media is kicking up this huge frenzy over the alleged use of Facebook data, the alleged mass-targeting of users with political ads. One of the headlines on the Guardian right now is ‘The Dark Art of Political Advertising Online,’ now there was no such frenzy when Obama used Facebook to harvest masses of data from users to the point where they actually changed their platform, changed their policies to make sure it couldn’t happen again, but they still let him keep the data,” declared Breitbart Tech Senior Reporter Allum Bokhari on Wednesday. “There was no kind of panic about that and actually, here’s another headline from the Guardian in 2012, ‘Obama, Facebook, and the Power of Friendship: The 2012 Data Election,’ so that’s how they were covering it in 2012 when Obama was harvesting masses of data, whereas when there’s an allegation that Cambridge Analytica might have done so and used it to help Trump, they’re picking up this huge firestorm. So there’s definitely some double standards going on.”
“The other thing is they think the average American voters are idiots because they’re saying that there’s been all this misinformation, this micro-targeting, this manipulation on social media essentially duped people into voting for Donald Trump,” he continued. “They can’t countenance the idea that maybe the elites were just out of ideas, out of legitimacy, and the voters just simply rejected them, and they made that decision on their own. They weren’t manipulated into doing so.”