One of the biggest data leak scandals that have emerged in the last few days is of the Facebook Cambridge Analytica Data scandal. It is involving the subsequent breach and the data leak of about 87 million Facebook users. The Cambridge Analytica started collecting the information during the course of 2014. The main reason for which the data was collected was to make sure that some sort of influence can be carried out over the opinion of the over on behave of the politicians who are going to be hiring them.
After the discovery of the scandal, Facebook immediately apologized, but the public outcried against the fact that how their information was being used, combined with the changes in their stock prices, meant that the story was going to linger on a bit more. Later on, it was also reported that how the United States Senator Ted Cruz and some of the other politicians had been using this data to make sure that they gained advantage over the other people. In the follow-up of the reports, it came forward that how Cambridge Analytica’s employee and whistleblower Christopher Wylie was the one who brought this scandal to the forefront. He was the one who gave insight into the overall size of the data as well as the sort of personnel that were involved during the course of stealing this data. The scandal raised a question marks about the practices and overall ethicality of Facebook.
Media coverage of the event was extensive due to the fact that it was an important story as well as the sort of implication that this story has over the presidential elections. The likelihood that the social media website that has access to the database of about a billion people could be using the data to their advantage and actually selling it was a very daunting prospect, to say the least. There were many platforms that covered the news in great detail. Guardian, though, was the one that came forward with the extensive coverage of the story. They were the first ones that allowed a perspective regarding the extent of the scandal and how the overall thing is going to raise a question marks about the safety and the security of using social media.
The good thing was that in this information-oriented age, more or less all the platforms were quite accessible. The key difference thought was that while, on the one hand, the electronic media and the prime time shows gave coverage to the whole issue, the problem was that in order to have a detailed and in-depth understanding of the whole issue, it is imperative that the clear narrative of the story is being understood. Thus it was one of the few stories where one can see how print media turned out to be a much more effective medium with regard to the understanding is needed to be developed.
The reason that the detailed outlook and the understanding of the whole issue are needed to be developed is due to the fact that the whole issue is rather technical in its nature, and in order to have a clear idea of what is going on, one needs to actually go through the background and context to have a clear understanding about what is being asked here. The interesting thing during the course of the whole event was how different media outlets reported the story in a different light and manner. For instance, the reporting that was being done by New York Times was more focused on the Congress trial and the subsequent way Mark Zuckerberg answered the question. On the other hand, if one carries out the comparison, Channel 4 news and some of their other media outlets were focused on the fact of how the data scandal worked out.
Especially if one talks about Channel 4 News, they were especially inclined to make sure that extensive coverage is being provided to Christopher Wylie, the whistleblower who brought the whole issue to the forefront. The idea on their part was to make sure that the extent of the data scandal is being understood. The Guardian, on the other hand, was more interested in reporting about the fact that how the different politicians were using the data to their advantage, especially extensive reporting was carried out with regards to the way Ted Cruz was using the data to make sure that the companies were aware of the selling of the data. Thus each media outlet was covering the special aspect of the way this whole scandal folded out in the given time period. Later on, New York Times and the Guardian were promoting their leftist ideologies with regard to the fact that how different politicians such as Donald Trump might be using the data leaks to their advantage and how lack of safety is going to be the key theme when it comes to the governmental process.
The interesting irony during the course of the whole event was the fact that how the whole event was about the potential pitfalls and lack of security and confidentiality one gets to see on social media pages. The reaction on the social media at the initial level was that of disappointment among the users that how Facebook has compromised the trust that they have placed over it. As is the case of everything that is reported on social media, there was a certain degree of hyperbole as well. Another interesting thing was the fact that how people started to side with Facebook after the completion of the trial with Congress due to the fact that how Mark Zuckerberg handled all the queries that were coming his way. Again, it was quite an interesting perspective that people were criticizing Mark Zuckerberg on Facebook and were actually using the same medium for venting out their anger over him, the medium that was created by him on his own.
There was another dimension to the story with regards to the way consumer advocates saw it. Some of the business channels and organizations came up with the perspective that there is a need to make sure the degree of consumer protection that is needed to be placed over social media is needed to be increased. They were of the point of view that the way this whole incident has rolled out, there is the likelihood that the consumer’s right to confidentiality is being breached during the course of the whole process. The whole thing though can be summed up by the fact that how the Congress trial of Mark panned out and the whole reaction one gets to see after it
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