The Facebook data breach – will this start a decline for Facebook, or is it just the beginning of long overdue regulation?
Cambridge Analytica’s CEO has been suspended after UK’s Channel 4 went undercover and recorded him boasting about being the mastermind behind Trump’s election victory in 2016.
Cambridge Analytica reportedly collated the personal details of up to 50 million US Facebook via a 3rd party Facebook app, then used the Facebook Ad Platform to target specific voters in key swing states, deliberately seeding and promoting misinformation about Hillary Clinton. This included up to 100 memes with ‘Defeat Crooked Hillary’, a slogan they claim to have invented. With no branding on the content it was impossible for it to be tracked or attributed back to Cambridge Analytica or Trump (their client), and no way for voters to know they were experiencing a political message.
The Facebook share price crashed yesterday, wiping $50 BILLION of its market capitalisation. Analysts expect increased Facebook regulation and decreased usage driven by the scandal to ultimately impact advertising dollars.
US, UK and Australian governments have launched investigations and a please explain from Facebook on how easily fake news can be spread on their network.
To add to Facebook’s troubles, #deletefacebook is now trending on Twitter, with many high profile people joining the movement, including WhatsApp cofounder Brian Acton.
And Chris Wylie, a Cambridge Analytica whistleblower, has described the firm’s actions as ‘weaponising data’ that ‘explored mental vulnerabilities of people’ by creating a ‘web of disinformation online’:
One word. Wow.
Stay tuned as this story is only going to get bigger from here.
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