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Zuckerberg's Calls For Increased Oversight After Christchurch Could Be Fake News

The evil Christchurch atrocity has not only reignited the issue of gun control, it’s again shone the spotlight on the power and lack of regulation of social media and the behemoth that is Facebook.

The perpetrator of the massacre streamed his actions live on Facebook and the feed was watched by millions, if not live, then later as it was replayed by various media outlets.

The media blowtorch was again applied to the social media giant and to its CEO, Mark Zuckerberg.  Facebook was unanimously condemned for not having procedures in place to remove the stream quickly once identified, as well as for having virtually no checks or balances on what is allowed on live streaming.

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The incident has also raised the issue of civil liberties versus the ability for anyone in the public to engage in live streaming on social media sites.  Without being able to regulate or control live feeds on Facebook with the type of delay systems available to radio and television, how can they be certain this type of incident won’t happen again, streamed live to the world?

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Facebook and CEO Mark Zuckerberg faced widespread condemnation after the Christchurch shooter live-streamed the massacre. (Image: Getty)

For Zuckerberg it’s another example of his increasingly public role in defending his brain-child, its operations and its business model.

In March 2018 Zuckerberg was obliged to front the US House Energy and Commerce Committee to answer a ‘please explain’ for potential breaches in use of personal data.  In September 2018, Facebook and its CEO was forced to apologise for a data breach affecting 50 million users, providing the hackers control over each account.

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This week, we saw Zuckerberg write in the Washington Post calling for ‘new global regulations governing Facebook’.  As part of this, he calls for a "globally harmonised framework" for privacy and data protection in-line with the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation:

It should protect your right to choose how your information is used… I also believe a common global framework will ensure that the Internet does not get fractured, entrepreneurs can build products that serve everyone, and everyone gets the same protections.”

Sounds so nice and, well, harmonious.

Given how much Facebook is worth and the business model it uses to create billions for its shareholders and investors, it’s hard to take ‘Mr Facebook’s’ call for increased privacy with even half a grain of salt.

Facebook is a corporate titan with revenue of about US$55 billion to the end of 2018, with revenue estimates of $66 billion in 2019.

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As at the end 2018, Facebook had 2.32 billion followers.  Its true treasure trove is the terabytes of data it holds on every user, which drives its core business model of providing this immensely valuable commodity to corporate organisations, multinational companies, employers, and governments.

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In 2018, advertising made up approximately 98 percent of Facebook’s $55 billion in revenue -- that is video advertisements, mobile advertisements, page likes, post boosts and more, derived from individuals and companies.

This will not change.

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Facebook’s business model demands that it continue to attract users that share personal information.  This requires adapting systems and utilising new apps, gadgets, games and other ‘add-ons’ in order to encourage greater engagement by users with a willingness to share details about themselves.

Your private information is their commodity. Your life is their currency.

Everything you post, every piece of information you share, is sifted, filleted, analysed and offered to advertisers.

Facebook's true treasure trove is the terabytes of data it holds on every user. (Image: Getty)

Facebook can be fun as a platform for social interaction.  However, consumers should seriously question whether this corporate giant is serious about protecting your private information, or if they just want you to feel better about handing it over.