How Facebook got into a mess – and why it can’t get out of it

Mark Zuckerberg will be hauled before Congress this week. He’ll apologise – but his company doesn’t know how to change its brand of ‘surveillnce capitalism’

Ponder this … and weep. The United States, theoretically a mature democracy of 327 million souls, is ruled by a 71-year-old unstable narcissist with a serious social media habit. And the lawmakers of this republic have hauled up before them a 34-year-old white male, one Mark Elliot Zuckerberg, the sole and impregnable ruler of a virtual country of about 2.2 billion people who stands accused of unwittingly facilitating the election of said narcissist by allowing Russian agents and other bad actors to exploit the surveillance apparatus of his – Zuckerberg’s – virtual state.

How did we get into this preposterous mess? Answering this question requires an understanding of (among other things) the peculiar nature of digital technology, the ideology of Silicon Valley, the astonishing political naivety of Zuckerberg, the ethical tunnel vision of software engineers and – most important – the business model that has come to be known as “surveillance capitalism”.

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Faceblock campaign urges users to boycott Facebook for one day

Direct action planned in protest against company’s involvement in Cambridge Analytica scandal

Facebook users are being urged to stop using the social media platform for one day in protest against the company’s involvement in the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

The Faceblock campaign has been planned to coincide with Mark Zuckerberg’s appearance before the US Congress on Wednesday, where the Facebook chief executive will be testifying about data privacy issues.

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Facebook suspends data firm hired by Vote Leave over alleged Cambridge Analytica ties

AggregateIQ, which played a pivotal role in the Brexit campaign, suspended after reports it may have improperly obtained user data

Facebook has suspended the Canadian data firm that the official Vote Leave campaign spent 40% of its budget with, as the Cambridge Analytica scandal continues to unfold.

On Friday, Facebook announced that it had suspended AggregateIQ (AIQ) from its platform following reports that the company may be connected to Cambridge Analytica’s parent company, SCL.

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