Facebook Fake News in the Post-Truth World
In August 2019, Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook, was surrounded by controversy. The first major storm of protest followed the surprise election of Donald Trump as President of the United States on November 8, 2016; many put the blame at the door of fake news stories served up on Facebook's Trending News Feed. Zuckerberg dismissed these claims as "crazy," asserting that Facebook was a technology company, not a media company. In 2017, it was revealed that a Russian intelligence team had purchased 3,000 political ads on Facebook in an attempt to influence the 2016 US Presidential Election. Then, in March 2018, the public learned that Cambridge Analytica, a political consultancy, had used 87 million Facebook profiles obtained from scraping the site to affect the election. As a result, Zuckerberg was called to Congress to testify. In early 2019, Facebook announced the company was to merge its Facebook, Facebook Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp platforms and share data, but that this data would be more secure. The claim was greeted with much skepticism. To explain the move, Zuckerberg published a blog post, changing the company's mission from making the world more open to achieving privacy-focused communications on its platform. Meanwhile, Facebook continued to struggle with fake news while expanding its service offering. In June 2019, it announced it was to launch Libra, a new global cryptocurrency for its 2.5 billion users around the world. There was little doubt of the scale of Zuckerberg's ambitions.