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Pro-Radical Book Reaction

Please discuss your impression of the book and how Facebook’s actions relate to problems of social inequality in America. 1. VERY IMPORTANT: please expand/emphasize how much Facebook profits off of the exploitation of its users data and privacy. PLEASE: mention how Mark Zuckerberg is in the top 1% of the rich while its users in America it’s users are fed mindless junk and their data’s used to sell things to them and target them and that Zuckerberg doesn’t care about false news being spread, just exploitation of its users. In short, no one benefits from Facebook except Mark Zuckerberg (or at least he benefits the most) 2. REMOVE ALL the praise of facebook, remove all the positive things this essay says about Facebook that the original Professor who wrote this included. The whole point of this essay is supposed is to criticize Facebook and how it plays a role in social inequality in America.

Sample Solution

Pro-Radical Book Reaction

The book titled "Has Zucked" by Rodger McNamee demonstrates the drawbacks of
Facebook and its contribution to social inequality in various settings. According to the book, the
social media platform is one of the most profitable and popular, nevertheless, its admiration and
enhanced performance camouflage a dark reality that is without viral moral and civic values to
guide its operations, consequently, causing major harm to the society (McNamee, 2020). Unless
strict regulations and laws are enforced to guide the operations of Facebook, its catastrophic
effects on individuals and the society at large will remain pervasive.
Data Privacy Issue

The aggression of Facebook in data gathering and breach of the user privacy and
confidentiality indicates its contribution to the social inequalities’ issues in America. According
to the book, Facebook operates more than 29,000 data points for each of its users, that enabled it
gather personal information about the users, without their consent (McNamee, 2020). Through
the “tagging” system and use of third-party websites such as Take Connect, Facebook is able to
collect valuable information about the social connections, activities and location of the users,
information that are considered private (Isaak & Hanna, 2018). The resulting personal data
retrieved by Facebook is only beneficial to Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg and its
shareholders (McNamee, 2020). The data is made accessible to organizations and marketers that
are in dire need of target customers personal information, at a cost. According to the report by
Business insider, Zuckerberg sells its users’ personal data to potential marketers and advertisers,
who need to design effective advertisement campaigns to targeted customers (Isaak & Hanna,
2018). The implications are immense profits for the social media platform, while the privacy of
its users is breached.

Further disregard to the users’ private information is evident when Facebook releases
their data for political campaigns or make the accessible to various application developers.
(McNamee, 2020) in his book reported that “internet platforms enable the powerful to affect a
new kind of censorship”. An indication that the owners of the platforms willingly give third party
access to their data. A case in point is the Trump presidential campaigns where Facebook made it
possible for the team to surreptitiously collect data and personal information for more than 50
million through the Cambridge quiz app. According to Fuchs (2011) the retrieval of such data by
various campaign teams for different political parties in America is essential in assisting the
group formulate precise messages that will convince the targeted voters to vote in their favor. As
much as Cambridge was faulted for its malpractice in the retrieval of data from its Facebook and
their use in implementing targeted propaganda with maximum precision, major faults were
accorded to Facebook company, under whose watch the data breach occurred (Isaak & Hanna,
2018). Facebook, through its relations manager issued an apology to the public for the enormous
data breach, however, majority of people as well as the author of the book, believed that the
company aided the breach and were only apologizing to protect their image and reputation and
not the interest of the users.

Economic Inequality

Apart from the use of users’ data to improve the revenue of the company, Facebook has
in place other strategies that ensures its owner receives huge profits at the expense of the users.
According to Fuchs (2011) the platform designed by the company encourages people to share
their information, most of which are used to benefit the social media platform owner and not the
users. The technological changes and advancements witnessed during the period of Facebook
invention, contributed to the economic unfairness that was witnessed. Through such

technological advancements, the designers of the Facebook were able to come up with a unique
platform features that did not only allow for posting of the location, activities and pictorials of an
individual, but also supported the sharing of such information to reach a large audience. The
networking achieved, was only beneficial to Facebook, following the high demand for big data,
mostly for advertisement, promotion and political campaign purposes. As quoted by McNamee
in his book Zucked “They have taken advantage of our trust, using sophisticated techniques to
prey on the weakest aspects of human psychology, to gather and exploit private data, and to craft
business models that do not protect users from harm”, Facebook exploit users with the goal of
maximizing its profits (McNamee, 2020). Mark Zuckerberg is currently one of the top wealthy
class as a result of the exploitation.

Failed to Achieve Its Purpose

Facebook was overly designed for social interactions and to enable user achieve
maximum networking through communication with others. However, the social media platform
has in most cases failed to accomplish its intended objective (McNamee, 2020). Rather, has only
focused on engagements that have been beneficial to the founder. According to McNamee
(2020) “Facebook is the largest and one of the most important places where citizens exchange
views. And every interaction is governed by the terms of service of a private corporation whose
priority is profits”. Instead of enabling users to have access to content from different sources, the
algorithms build by Facebook are designed to filter information based on the friend list of the
users, and the nature of content that they view overtime. Initially, such filtering was believed to
be beneficial to the users, however, its limitation of the vast content and news desired by many
users questions its credibility as a social media platform designed to promote interactions

between people. In essence, Facebook has failed to accomplish its purpose as a social media
platform and only focuses on profit maximization.
The manipulation and inequalities caused by Facebook can be best curbed by developing
and implementing to ensure every social media platform compliance with the data privacy and
information confidentiality acts. The company should be answerable to all the misappropriation,
data breach and misuse of the users’ data that are either done by Facebook or other third parties
(McNamee, 2020). Facebook should be made liable for all the actions of the third parties mostly
apps, that have access to their platforms. The federal government and other jurisdictions need to
enforce the law governing the user’s privacy to ensure individuals involved in the breach of the
privacy and data protection act are punished, within the law. Such regulations will not only
control the actions of the Facebook, but will also ensure that all the third parties that have access
to the Facebook users’ data comply with the set rules.

Conclusion

While Facebook is considered the most popular and successful social media platforms in
the current times, it has only been beneficial to the owner and various shareholders. The social
media platform has perpetuated most of the social inequalities that are evident within the
American society. Besides, encouraging the breach of privacy of its users, Facebook highly
exploits its users. The social media platform relies on the data provided by its users to make huge
profits and do not offer any benefits to them. Also, the platform encourages the misuse of the
users’ data by various app developers, campaign teams and advertisers, actions that is overly
unethical. The government need to set regulations and ensure the users’ privacy act is enforced,
is the unethical acts of Facebook and other social media platforms is to be curtailed.

References

Fuchs, C. (2011). An alternative view of privacy on Facebook. Information, 2(1), 140-165.
Isaak, J., & Hanna, M. J. (2018). User data privacy: Facebook, Cambridge Analytica, and
privacy protection. Computer, 51(8), 56-59.
McNamee, R. (2020). Zucked: Waking up to the Facebook catastrophe. Penguin Books.