Even though its name has changed, Facebook, the OG social media platform, turns 18 today. Being the pioneer of the digital world, let’s check what Facebook has gone through to become Meta.
Founded in 2004 by a bunch of Harvard students including Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook gained popularity in a short time. Even though it was founded for Harvard students, soon the site became popular among other schools like Stanford and Yale. Students were mostly sharing their timetables, photographs, and their daily lives. With gaining such popularity in such a short time, Facebook started attracting brands to itself the same year. By the end of 2004, Facebook had 1 million active users, an impressive milestone to remember.
In 2005, Facebook brought out new changes to its services. People were able to leave messages on their friends’ profiles, tag each other in the photographs, and soon the platform was open to students from all over the world. But it wasn’t long before the platform was opened to everyone over the age of 13 to use. And with that, came 4 million more users, making Facebook’s active user number a whooping 5 million. Brands have also started paying Facebook for exposure at this point.
The Privacy Issue
Facebook’s privacy issues started back in 2006. As people were able to see what posts their friends liked, commented on or interacted with, this created a wave of unreliableness for Facebook. And unfortunately, the issues are still not 100% solved on the user side.
Instant personalization, a program used to give information about a user on a website in the pilot program of Facebook, meant data leakage for users. Put it simply, instant personalization gives all your information to the website on the pilot program so the website serves you in the way that is most fit for you. We know that this is how ads work at the moment for us, they collect data from users. However the problem with this particular incident was that the website collected personal data, including your friends list, your liked pages and more.
The issues continued to happen throughout Facebook’s history. However, the first big one that caused havoc was probably Facebook’s cooperation with the government to sell the information about users. As part of Facebook’s policy, they share information with the government, attorney or company in order to create a safer public. Even though they say this is done for the greater good, it is easy to see the flaws in this policy as Facebook could share information that is not made for the public with the government, which is a violation of the right of privacy.
The Data Leakage
In 2018, Facebook admitted a huge data breach that happened in 2014, leaking 87 million users information through Cambridge Analytica. Anyone using the Cambridge Analytica app were aware that their information on Facebook was given to the app, however signing up also meant sharing information of their friends without consent as well. This wasn’t the only breach though, as Facebook continued to face court cases regarding the leaks.
The latest one accouring in 2021, a hacking site shared data from 553 million Facebook users, which brought to mind Facebook’s security issues, but the problem was how the company dealt with the leakage. In an internal email, the company claimed that the leaked data was from a previous leakage happening in 2019. An apology worse than the fault, Facebook reliableness still remains a big issue.
From Facebook to Meta
Even though Facebook has been in hot waters since the foundation, the company still managed to rule the digital world all these years. With sister platforms like Instagram and WhatsApp, which had their own privacy and popularity issues throughout the years, Facebook became the social media giant we know today. And it seems there is a lot to come in the near future from Facebook, now known as Meta.
Meta is a collection of all apps under Facebook’s name, but it is more than a platform. Meta is created to be a technology company, bringing metaverse to life. In a world where a pandemic has brought radical changes to how we live, metaverse will be an alternative way of living, socializing, and doing our business among all other things. With digital advancements going forward, we’ll definitely see more of what Meta has to offer, and we hope it won’t be leaking our home addresses to hackers on forums.
What do you think about Facebook’s privacy issues? Do you think Meta will have more security now that the company has decided to dive deeply into technology? Do you think Meta and metaverse will be successful? Leave a comment down below or hit us up on our socials!
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