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Facebook is an online
social media
social media
and social networking service owned by American company Meta Platforms. Founded in 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg with fellow Harvard College students and roommates Eduardo Saverin, Andrew McCollum,
Dustin Moskovitz
Dustin Moskovitz
, and
Chris Hughes
Chris Hughes
, its name comes from the face book directories often given to American university students. Membership was initially limited to Harvard students, gradually expanding to other North American universities and, since 2006, anyone over 13 years old. As of July 2022, Facebook claimed 2.93 billion monthly active users, and ranked third worldwide among the most visited websites as of July 2022. It was the most downloaded mobile app of the 2010s. Facebook can be accessed from devices with
Internet The Internet (or internet) is the global system of interconnected computer networks that uses the Internet protocol suite (TCP/IP) to communicate between networks and devices. It is a '' network of networks'' that consists of private, p ...

Internet
connectivity, such as personal computers, tablets and
smartphone
smartphone
s. After registering, users can create a profile revealing information about themselves. They can post text, photos and multimedia which are shared with any other users who have agreed to be their "friend" or, with different privacy settings, publicly. Users can also communicate directly with each other with
Facebook Messenger Messenger is a proprietary software, proprietary instant messaging app and platform developed by Meta Platforms. Originally developed as Facebook Chat in 2008, the company revamped its messaging service in 2010, released standalone iOS and Andro ...
, join common-interest groups, and receive notifications on the activities of their Facebook friends and the pages they follow. The subject of numerous controversies, Facebook has often been criticized over issues such as user privacy (as with the Cambridge Analytica data scandal), political manipulation (as with the 2016 U.S. elections) and mass surveillance. Posts originating from the Facebook page of ''
Breitbart News ''Breitbart News Network'' (known commonly as ''Breitbart News'', ''Breitbart'', or ''Breitbart.com'') is an Radical right (United States), American far-rightMultiple sources: * * * * * * * * * * * * syndicated news, opinion, and commentary ...
'', a media organization previously affiliated with Cambridge Analytica, are currently among the most widely shared political content on Facebook. Facebook has also been subject to criticism over psychological effects such as
addiction Addiction is a neuropsychological disorder characterized by a persistent and intense urge to engage in certain behaviors, one of which is the usage of a drug, despite substantial harm and other negative consequences. Repetitive drug use oft ...
and low
self-esteem Self-esteem is confidence in one's own worth or abilities. Self-esteem encompasses beliefs about oneself (for example, "I am loved", "I am worthy") as well as emotional states, such as triumph, despair, pride, and shame. Smith and Mackie (2007) d ...
, and various controversies over content such as
fake news Fake news is false or misleading information presented as news. Fake news often has the aim of damaging the reputation of a person or entity, or making money through advertising revenue.Schlesinger, Robert (April 14, 2017)"Fake news in reality ...
,
conspiracy theories A conspiracy theory is an explanation for an event or situation that invokes a conspiracy by sinister and powerful groups, often political in motivation, when other explanations are more probable.Additional sources: * * * * The term has a nega ...
,
copyright infringement Copyright infringement (at times referred to as piracy) is the use of Copyright#Scope, works protected by copyright without permission for a usage where such permission is required, thereby infringing certain exclusive rights granted to the cop ...
, and
hate speech Hate speech is defined by the ''Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary, Cambridge Dictionary'' as "public speech that expresses hate or encourages violence towards a person or group based on something such as race, religion, sex, or sexual or ...
. Commentators have accused Facebook of willingly facilitating the spread of such content, as well as exaggerating its number of users to appeal to advertisers.


History


2003–2006: Thefacebook, Thiel investment, and name change

Zuckerberg built a website called "Facemash" in 2003 while attending
Harvard University Harvard University is a Private university, private Ivy League research university in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Founded in 1636 as Harvard College and named for its first benefactor, the History of the Puritans in North America, Puritan cler ...
. The site was comparable to
Hot or Not Hot or Not, currently rebranded as Chat & Date, is a rating site that allowed users to rate the attractiveness of photos submitted voluntarily by others. The site offered a matchmaking engine called 'Meet Me' and an extended profile feature cal ...
and used "photos compiled from the online face books of nine Houses, placing two next to each other at a time and asking users to choose the "hotter" person". Facemash attracted 450 visitors and 22,000 photo-views in its first four hours. The site was sent to several campus group listservs, but was shut down a few days later by Harvard administration. Zuckerberg faced expulsion and was charged with breaching security, violating
copyright A copyright is a type of intellectual property that gives its owner the exclusive right to copy, distribute, adapt, display, and perform a creative work, usually for a limited time. The creative work may be in a literary, artistic, education ...
s and violating individual privacy. Ultimately, the charges were dropped. Zuckerberg expanded on this project that semester by creating a social study tool. He uploaded art images, each accompanied by a comments section, to a website he shared with his classmates. A " face book" is a student directory featuring photos and personal information. In 2003, Harvard had only a paper version along with private online directories. Zuckerberg told ''
The Harvard Crimson ''The Harvard Crimson'' is the student newspaper of Harvard University and was founded in 1873. Run entirely by Harvard College undergraduates, it served for many years as the only daily newspaper in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Beginning in the f ...
'', "Everyone's been talking a lot about a universal face book within Harvard. ... I think it's kind of silly that it would take the University a couple of years to get around to it. I can do it better than they can, and I can do it in a week." In January 2004, Zuckerberg coded a new website, known as "TheFacebook", inspired by a ''Crimson'' editorial about Facemash, stating, "It is clear that the technology needed to create a centralized Website is readily available ... the benefits are many." Zuckerberg met with Harvard student Eduardo Saverin, and each of them agreed to invest $1,000 ($ in dollars) in the site. On February 4, 2004, Zuckerberg launched "TheFacebook", originally located at thefacebook.com. Six days after the site launched, Harvard seniors Cameron Winklevoss,
Tyler Winklevoss Tyler Howard Winklevoss (born August 21, 1981) is an American investor, founder of Winklevoss Capital Management and Gemini (company), Gemini cryptocurrency exchange, and Olympic Games, Olympic Rowing (sport), rower. Winklevoss co-founded Harvard ...
, and Divya Narendra accused Zuckerberg of intentionally misleading them into believing that he would help them build a social network called HarvardConnection.com. They claimed that he was instead using their ideas to build a competing product. The three complained to the ''Crimson'' and the newspaper began an investigation. They later sued Zuckerberg, settling in 2008 for 1.2 million
shares In finance, financial markets, a share is a unit of Equity (finance), equity ownership in the capital stock of a corporation, and can refer to units of mutual funds, limited partnerships, and real estate investment trusts. Share capital refers t ...
(worth $300 million ($ in dollars) at Facebook's IPO). Membership was initially restricted to students of Harvard College. Within a month, more than half the undergraduates had registered. , Andrew McCollum, and joined Zuckerberg to help manage the growth of the website. In March 2004, Facebook expanded to Columbia,
Stanford Stanford University, officially Leland Stanford Junior University, is a Private university, private research university in Stanford, California. The campus occupies , among the largest in the United States, and enrolls over 17,000 students. S ...
and
Yale Yale University is a Private university, private research university in New Haven, Connecticut. Established in 1701 as the Collegiate School, it is the List of Colonial Colleges, third-oldest institution of higher education in the United Sta ...
. It then became available to all
Ivy League The Ivy League is an American collegiate List of NCAA conferences, athletic conference comprising eight Private university, private Research university, research universities in the Northeastern United States. The term ''Ivy League'' is typi ...
colleges,
Boston University Boston University (BU) is a Private university, private research university in Boston, Massachusetts. The university is nonsectarian, but has a historical affiliation with the United Methodist Church. It was founded in 1839 by Methodists with ...
, NYU, MIT, and successively most universities in the United States and
Canada Canada is a country in North America. Its Provinces and territories of Canada, ten provinces and three territories extend from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean and northward into the Arctic Ocean, covering over , making it the world ...
. In mid-2004,
Napster Napster was a Peer-to-peer file sharing, peer-to-peer file sharing application. It originally launched on June 1, 1999, with an emphasis on digital audio file distribution. Audio songs shared on the service were typically encoded in the MP3 form ...
co-founder and entrepreneur Sean Parker—an informal advisor to Zuckerberg—became company president. In June 2004, the company moved to
Palo Alto, California Palo Alto (; Spanish language, Spanish for "tall stick") is a charter city in the northwestern corner of Santa Clara County, California, United States, in the San Francisco Bay Area, named after a Sequoia sempervirens, coastal redwood tree kno ...
. It received its first investment later that month from
PayPal PayPal Holdings, Inc. is an American multinational financial technology company operating an online payments system in the majority of countries that support E-commerce payment system, online money transfers, and serves as an electronic altern ...
co-founder
Peter Thiel Peter Andreas Thiel (; born 11 October 1967) is a German-American billionaire entrepreneur, venture capitalist, and Activism, political activist. A co-founder of PayPal, Palantir Technologies, and Founders Fund, he was the first outside inves ...
. In 2005, the company dropped "the" from its name after purchasing the
domain name A domain name is a String (computer science), string that identifies a realm of administrative autonomy, authority or control within the Internet. Domain names are often used to identify services provided through the Internet, such as websites, e ...
Facebook.com for US$200,000 ($ in dollars). The domain had belonged to AboutFace Corporation. In May 2005,
Accel Partners Accel, formerly known as Accel Partners, is an American Venture capital firm, venture capital firm. Accel works with startups in seed, early and growth-stage investments. The company has offices in Palo Alto, California and San Francisco, Califo ...
invested $12.7 million ($ in dollars) in Facebook, and
Jim Breyer James W. Breyer (born July 26, 1961) is an American venture capital Venture capital (often abbreviated as VC) is a form of private equity financing that is provided by venture capital firms or funds to start-up company, startups, early-stage, ...
added $1 million ($ in dollars) of his own money. A high-school version of the site launched in September 2005. Eligibility expanded to include employees of several companies, including Apple Inc. and
Microsoft Microsoft Corporation is an American multinational corporation, multinational technology company, technology corporation producing Software, computer software, consumer electronics, personal computers, and related services headquartered at th ...
.


2006–2012: Public access, Microsoft alliance, and rapid growth

In May 2006, Facebook hired its first intern, Julie Zhuo. After a month, Zhuo was hired as a full-time engineer. On September 26, 2006, Facebook opened to everyone at least 13 years old with a valid
email address An email address identifies an email Electronic mail (email or e-mail) is a method of exchanging messages ("mail") between people using electronic devices. Email was thus conceived as the electronics, electronic (digital media, digital) ...
. By late 2007, Facebook had 100,000 pages on which companies promoted themselves. Organization pages began rolling out in May 2009. On October 24, 2007,
Microsoft Microsoft Corporation is an American multinational corporation, multinational technology company, technology corporation producing Software, computer software, consumer electronics, personal computers, and related services headquartered at th ...
announced that it had purchased a 1.6% share of Facebook for $240 million ($ in dollars), giving Facebook a total implied value of around $15 billion ($ in dollars). Microsoft's purchase included rights to place international advertisements. In May 2007, at the first f8 developers conference, Facebook announced the launch of the Facebook Developer Platform, providing a framework for
software developer Software development is the process of conceiving, specifying, designing, Computer programming, programming, software documentation, documenting, software testing, testing, and Software bugs, bug fixing involved in creating and maintaining applic ...
s to create
applications Application may refer to: Mathematics and computing * Application software, computer software designed to help the user to perform specific tasks ** Application layer, an abstraction layer that specifies protocols and interface methods used in a c ...
that interact with core Facebook features. By the second annual f8 developers conference on July 23, 2008, the number of applications on the platform had grown to 33,000, and the number of registered developers had exceeded 400,000. The website won awards such as placement into the "Top 100 Classic Websites" by ''
PC Magazine ''PC Magazine'' (shortened as ''PCMag'') is an American computer magazine published by Ziff Davis. A print edition was published from 1982 to January 2009. Publication of online editions started in late 1994 and have continued to the prese ...
'' in 2007, and winning the "People's Voice Award" from the
Webby Award The Webby Awards are List of web awards, awards for excellence on the Internet presented annually by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences, a judging body composed of over two thousand industry experts and technology innovators. ...
s in 2008. On July 20, 2008, Facebook introduced "Facebook Beta", a significant redesign of its user interface on selected networks. The Mini-Feed and Wall were consolidated, profiles were separated into tabbed sections, and an effort was made to create a cleaner look. Facebook began migrating users to the new version in September 2008. In October 2008, Facebook announced that its international headquarters would locate in
Dublin Dublin (; , or ) is the capital and largest city of Republic of Ireland, Ireland. On a bay at the mouth of the River Liffey, it is in the Provinces of Ireland, province of Leinster, bordered on the south by the Dublin Mountains, a part of th ...
, Ireland. In September 2009, Facebook said that it had achieved positive
cash flow A cash flow is a real or virtual movement of cash, money: *a cash flow in its narrow sense is a payment (in a currency), especially from one central bank account to another; the term 'cash flow' is mostly used to describe payments that are exp ...
for the first time. A January 2009 Compete.com study ranked Facebook the most used social networking service by worldwide monthly active users.
China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the world's List of countries and dependencies by population, most populous country, with a Population of China, population exceeding 1.4 billion, slig ...
blocked Facebook in 2009 following the Ürümqi riots. In 2010, Facebook won the Crunchie "Best Overall Startup Or Product" award for the third year in a row. The company announced 500 million users in July 2010. Half of the site's membership used Facebook daily, for an average of 34 minutes, while 150 million users accessed the site from mobile devices. A company representative called the milestone a "quiet revolution." In October 2010 groups were introduced. In November 2010, based on SecondMarket Inc. (an exchange for privately held companies' shares), Facebook's value was $41 billion ($ in dollars). The company had slightly surpassed
eBay eBay Inc. ( ) is an American multinational e-commerce company based in San Jose, California, that facilitates consumer-to-consumer and business-to-consumer sales through its website. eBay was founded by Pierre Omidyar in 1995 and becam ...
to become the third largest American web company after
Google Google LLC () is an American Multinational corporation, multinational technology company focusing on Search Engine, search engine technology, online advertising, cloud computing, software, computer software, quantum computing, e-commerce, ar ...
and Amazon.com. On November 15, 2010, Facebook announced it had acquired the domain name fb.com from the
American Farm Bureau Federation The American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF), also known as Farm Bureau Insurance and Farm Bureau Inc. but more commonly just the Farm Bureau (FB), is a United States-based insurance company and Lobbying in the United States, lobbying group th ...
for an undisclosed amount. On January 11, 2011, the Farm Bureau disclosed $8.5 million ($ in dollars) in "domain sales income", making the acquisition of FB.com one of the ten highest domain sales in history. In February 2011, Facebook announced plans to move its headquarters to the former
Sun Microsystems Sun Microsystems, Inc. (Sun for short) was an American technology company that sold computers, computer components, software, and information technology services and created the Java (programming language), Java programming language, the Solari ...
campus in Menlo Park, California. In March 2011, it was reported that Facebook was removing about 20,000 profiles daily for violations such as
spam Spam may refer to: * Spam (food), a canned pork meat product * Spamming, unsolicited or undesired electronic messages ** Email spam, unsolicited, undesired, or illegal email messages ** Messaging spam, spam targeting users of instant messagin ...
, graphic content and underage use, as part of its efforts to boost
cyber security Computer security, cybersecurity (cyber security), or information technology security (IT security) is the protection of computer systems and computer network, networks from attack by malicious actors that may result in unauthorized informati ...
. Statistics showed that Facebook reached one trillion
page view In web analytics and Website governance, website management, a pageview or page view, abbreviated in business to PV and occasionally called page impression, is a request to load a single HTML file (web page) of an Internet site. On the World Wide W ...
s in the month of June 2011, making it the most visited website tracked by
DoubleClick DoubleClick Inc. was an advertisement company that developed and provided Internet ad serving services from 1995 until its acquisition by Google in March 2008. DoubleClick offered technology products and services that were sold primarily to adv ...
. According to a Nielsen study, Facebook had in 2011 become the second-most accessed website in the U.S. behind
Google Google LLC () is an American Multinational corporation, multinational technology company focusing on Search Engine, search engine technology, online advertising, cloud computing, software, computer software, quantum computing, e-commerce, ar ...
.


2012–2013: IPO, lawsuits, and one billion active users

In March 2012, Facebook announced App Center, a store selling applications that operate via the website. The store was to be available on iPhones, Android devices, and for mobile web users. Facebook's
initial public offering An initial public offering (IPO) or stock launch is a public offering in which shares of a company are sold to institutional investors and usually also to retail (individual) investors. An IPO is typically Underwriting, underwritten by one or mo ...
came on May 17, 2012, at a share price of US$38 ($ in dollars). The company was valued at $104 billion ($ in dollars), the largest valuation to that date. The IPO raised $16 billion ($ in dollars), the third-largest in U.S. history, after Visa Inc. in 2008 and
AT&T Wireless AT&T Mobility LLC, also known as AT&T Wireless and marketed as simply AT&T, is an American telecommunications company. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of AT&T Inc. and provides wireless services in the United States The United States ...
in 2000. Based on its 2012 income of $5 billion ($ in dollars), Facebook joined the
Fortune 500 The ''Fortune'' 500 is an annual list compiled and published by ''Fortune (magazine), Fortune'' magazine that ranks 500 of the largest United States Joint-stock company#Closely held corporations and publicly traded corporations, corporations by ...
list for the first time in May 2013, ranked 462. The shares set a first-day record for trading volume of an IPO (460 million shares). The IPO was controversial given the immediate price declines that followed,Facebook shares fall valuation doubts
Yahoo! Finance
Tepid honeymoon of Facebook and NASDAQ does not deliver the big bang
forbes.com
and was the subject of lawsuits, while SEC and FINRA both launched investigations. Zuckerberg announced at the start of October 2012 that Facebook had one billion monthly active users, including 600 million mobile users, 219 billion photo uploads and 140 billion friend connections.


2013–2014: Site developments, A4AI, and 10th anniversary

On January 15, 2013, Facebook announced Facebook Graph Search, which provides users with a "precise answer", rather than a link to an answer by leveraging data present on its site. Facebook emphasized that the feature would be "privacy-aware", returning results only from content already shared with the user. On April 3, 2013, Facebook unveiled Facebook Home, a user-interface layer for Android devices offering greater integration with the site. HTC announced HTC First, a phone with Home pre-loaded. On April 15, 2013, Facebook announced an alliance across 19 states with the National Association of Attorneys General, to provide teenagers and parents with information on tools to manage social networking profiles. On April 19 Facebook modified its logo to remove the faint blue line at the bottom of the "F" icon. The letter F moved closer to the edge of the box. Following a campaign by 100 advocacy groups, Facebook agreed to update its policy on hate speech. The campaign highlighted content promoting
domestic violence Domestic violence (also known as domestic abuse or family violence) is violence or other abuse that occurs in a domestic setting, such as in a marriage or cohabitation. ''Domestic violence'' is often used as a synonym for ''intimate partner v ...
and
sexual violence Sexual violence is any Human sexual activity, sexual act or attempt to obtain a sexual act by violence or coercion, act to Human trafficking, traffic a person, or act directed against a person's Human sexuality, sexuality, regardless of the rela ...
against women and led 15 advertisers to withdraw, including Nissan UK, House of Burlesque, and Nationwide UK. The company initially stated, "while it may be vulgar and offensive, distasteful content on its own does not violate our policies". It took action on May 29. On June 12, Facebook announced that it was introducing clickable
hashtag A hashtag is a Tag (metadata), metadata tag that is prefaced by the Number sign, hash (also known as pound or octothorpe) sign, ''#''. On social media, hashtags are used on microblogging and photo sharing, photo-sharing services such as Twitter ...
s to help users follow trending discussions, or search what others are talking about on a topic.
San Mateo County San Mateo County ( ), officially the County of San Mateo, is a county (United States), county located in the U.S. state of California. As of the 2020 United States Census, 2020 census, the population was 764,442. Redwood City, California, Redwoo ...
, California, became the top wage-earning county in the country after the fourth quarter of 2012 because of Facebook. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the average salary was 107% higher than the previous year, at $168,000 a year ($ in dollars), more than 50% higher than the next-highest county, New York County (better known as
Manhattan Manhattan (), known regionally as the City, is the most densely populated and geographically smallest of the five Boroughs of New York City, boroughs of New York City. The borough is also coextensive with New York County, one of the List of co ...
), at roughly $110,000 a year ($ in dollars). Facebook joined Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4AI) in October, as it launched. The A4AI is a coalition of public and private organizations that includes
Google Google LLC () is an American Multinational corporation, multinational technology company focusing on Search Engine, search engine technology, online advertising, cloud computing, software, computer software, quantum computing, e-commerce, ar ...
,
Intel Intel Corporation is an American multinational corporation and technology company headquartered in Santa Clara, California, Santa Clara, California. It is the world's largest semiconductor chip manufacturer by revenue, and is one of the devel ...
and Microsoft. Led by
Sir Tim Berners-Lee Sir Timothy John Berners-Lee (born 8 June 1955), also known as TimBL, is an English computer scientist A computer scientist is a person who is trained in the academic study of computer science. Computer scientists typically work on the ...
, the A4AI seeks to make Internet access more affordable to ease access in the developing world. The company celebrated its 10th anniversary during the week of February 3, 2014. In January 2014, over one billion users connected via a mobile device. As of June, mobile accounted for 62% of advertising revenue, an increase of 21% from the previous year. By September Facebook's market capitalization had exceeded $200 billion ($ in dollars). Zuckerberg participated in a Q&A session at
Tsinghua University Tsinghua University (; abbreviation, abbr. THU) is a National university, national Public university, public research university in Beijing, China. The university is funded by the Ministry of Education of the People's Republic of China, Minis ...
in
Beijing } Beijing ( ; ; ), alternatively romanized as Peking ( ), is the capital of the People's Republic of China. It is the center of power and development of the country. Beijing is the world's most populous national capital city, with over 21 ...
,
China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the world's List of countries and dependencies by population, most populous country, with a Population of China, population exceeding 1.4 billion, slig ...
, on October 23, where he attempted to converse in Mandarin. Zuckerberg hosted visiting Chinese politician Lu Wei, known as the "Internet czar" for his influence in China's online policy, on December 8.


2015–2020: Algorithm revision; fake news

, Facebook's algorithm was revised in an attempt to filter out false or misleading content, such as
fake news Fake news is false or misleading information presented as news. Fake news often has the aim of damaging the reputation of a person or entity, or making money through advertising revenue.Schlesinger, Robert (April 14, 2017)"Fake news in reality ...
stories and hoaxes. It relied on users who flag a story accordingly. Facebook maintained that satirical content should not be intercepted. The algorithm was accused of maintaining a "
filter bubble A filter bubble or ideological frame is a state of intellectual isolationTechnopediaDefinition – What does Filter Bubble mean?, Retrieved October 10, 2017, "....A filter bubble is the intellectual isolation, that can occur when websites make us ...
", where material the user disagrees with and posts with few likes would be deprioritized. In November, Facebook extended paternity leave from 4 weeks to 4 months. On April 12, 2016, Zuckerberg outlined his 10-year vision, which rested on three main pillars:
artificial intelligence Artificial intelligence (AI) is intelligence—perceiving, synthesizing, and inferring information—demonstrated by machines, as opposed to intelligence displayed by animal cognition, animals and human intelligence, humans. Example tasks in ...
, increased global connectivity, and virtual and
augmented reality Augmented reality (AR) is an interactive experience that combines the real world and computer-generated content. The content can span multiple sensory Modality (human–computer interaction), modalities, including visual, Hearing, auditory, hap ...
. In July, a suit was filed against the company alleging that it permitted
Hamas Hamas (, ; , ; an acronym of , "Islamic Resistance Movement") is a Palestinian territories, Palestinian Sunni-Islamic fundamentalism, Islamic fundamentalist, militant, and Religious nationalism, nationalist organization. It has a social ...
to use it to perform assaults that cost the lives of four people. Facebook released its blueprints of Surround 360 camera on
GitHub GitHub, Inc. () is an Internet hosting service for software development and version control using Git. It provides the distributed version control of Git plus access control, bug tracking system, bug tracking, software feature requests, task man ...
under an
open-source license An open-source license is a type of License compatibility, license for computer software and other products that allows the source code, blueprint or design to be used, modified and/or shared under defined terms and conditions. This allows end user ...
. In September, it won an
Emmy The Emmy Awards, or Emmys, are an extensive range of awards for artistic and technical merit for the American and international television industry. A number of annual Emmy Award ceremonies are held throughout the calendar year, each with the ...
for its animated short "Henry". In October, Facebook announced a fee-based communications tool called
Workplace A workplace is a location where someone Work (human activity), works, for their employer or themselves, a place of employment. Such a place can range from a Small office/home office, home office to a large office building or factory. For Indust ...
that aims to "connect everyone" at work. Users can create profiles, see updates from co-workers on their news feed, stream live videos and participate in secure group chats. Following the 2016 U.S. presidential election, Facebook announced that it would combat fake news by using fact checkers from sites like
FactCheck.org FactCheck.org is a nonprofit website that aims to reduce the level of deception and confusion in Politics of the United States, U.S. politics by providing original research on misinformation and hoaxes. It is a project of the Annenberg Public Po ...
and
Associated Press The Associated Press (AP) is an American Nonprofit organization, non-profit news agency headquartered in New York City. Founded in 1846, it operates as a cooperative, unincorporated association. It produces news reports that are distributed to ...
(AP), making reporting hoaxes easier through crowdsourcing, and disrupting financial incentives for abusers. On January 17, 2017, Facebook COO
Sheryl Sandberg Sheryl Kara Sandberg (born August 28, 1969) is an American business executive, billionaire, and philanthropist. Sandberg served as chief operating officer (COO) of Meta Platforms, a position from which she stepped down in August 2022. She is als ...
planned to open Station F, a startup incubator campus in
Paris Paris () is the Capital city, capital and List of communes in France with over 20,000 inhabitants, most populous city of France, with an estimated population of 2,165,423 residents in 2019 in an area of more than 105 km² (41 sq mi), ma ...
,
France France (), officially the French Republic ( ), is a country primarily located in Western Europe. It also comprises of Overseas France, overseas regions and territories in the Americas and the Atlantic Ocean, Atlantic, Pacific Ocean, Pac ...
. On a six-month cycle, Facebook committed to work with ten to 15 data-driven startups there. On April 18, Facebook announced the beta launch of at its annual F8 developer conference. Facebook Spaces is a virtual reality version of Facebook for Oculus VR goggles. In a virtual and shared space, users can access a curated selection of 360-degree photos and videos using their avatar, with the support of the controller. Users can access their own photos and videos, along with media shared on their newsfeed. In September, Facebook announced it would spend up to US$1 billion on original shows for its Facebook Watch platform. On October 16, it acquired the anonymous compliment app tbh, announcing its intention to leave the app independent. In October 2017, Facebook expanded its work with Definers Public Affairs, a PR firm that had originally been hired to monitor press coverage of the company to address concerns primarily regarding Russian meddling, then mishandling of user data by
Cambridge Analytica Cambridge Analytica Ltd (CA), previously known as SCL Group, SCL USA, was a British political consulting firm that came to prominence through the Facebook–Cambridge Analytica data scandal. It was started in 2013, as a subsidiary of the privat ...
, hate speech on Facebook, and calls for regulation. Company spokesman Tim Miller stated that a goal for tech firms should be to "have positive content pushed out about your company and negative content that's being pushed out about your competitor". Definers claimed that
George Soros George Soros (Personal name#Eastern name order, name written in eastern order), (born György Schwartz, August 12, 1930) is a Hungarian-American businessman and philanthropist. , he had a net worth of US$8.6 billion, Note that this site is ...
was the force behind what appeared to be a broad anti-Facebook movement, and created other negative media, along with America Rising, that was picked up by larger media organisations like ''
Breitbart News ''Breitbart News Network'' (known commonly as ''Breitbart News'', ''Breitbart'', or ''Breitbart.com'') is an Radical right (United States), American far-rightMultiple sources: * * * * * * * * * * * * syndicated news, opinion, and commentary ...
''. Facebook cut ties with the agency in late 2018, following public outcry over their association. In May 2018 at F8, the company announced it would offer its own dating service. Shares in competitor Match Group fell by 22%. Facebook Dating includes privacy features and friends are unable to view their friends' dating profile. In July, Facebook was charged £500,000 by UK watchdogs for failing to respond to data erasure requests. On July 18, Facebook established a subsidiary named Lianshu Science & Technology in Hangzhou City, China, with $30 million ($ in dollars) of capital. All its shares are held by Facebook Hong. Approval of the registration of the subsidiary was then withdrawn, due to a disagreement between officials in Zhejiang province and the
Cyberspace Administration of China The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC; ) is the central Internet censorship in China, internet regulator, Internet censorship in China, censor, oversight, and control agency for the China, People's Republic of China. The office also holds ...
. On July 26, Facebook became the first company to lose over $100 billion ($ in dollars) worth of market capitalization in one day, dropping from nearly $630 billion to $510 billion after disappointing sales reports. On July 31, Facebook said that the company had deleted 17 accounts related to the 2018 U.S. midterm elections. On September 19, Facebook announced that, for news distribution outside the United States, it would work with U.S. funded democracy promotion organizations,
International Republican Institute The International Republican Institute (IRI) is an American nonprofit organization. Most of its board is drawn from the Republican Party. It is committed to advancing freedom and democracy worldwide by helping political parties to become more iss ...
and the
National Democratic Institute The National Democratic Institute (NDI), or National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, is a non-profit American NGO that works with partners in developing countries to increase the effectiveness of democratic institutions. The NDI's ...
, which are loosely affiliated with the Republican and Democratic parties. Through the Digital Forensic Research Lab Facebook partners with the
Atlantic Council The Atlantic Council is an American think tank in the field of international affairs, favoring Atlanticism, founded in 1961. It manages sixteen regional centers and functional programs related to international security and global economic prosp ...
, a
NATO The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO, ; french: Organisation du traité de l'Atlantique nord, ), also called the North Atlantic Alliance, is an intergovernmental organization, intergovernmental military alliance between 30 Member sta ...
-affiliated think tank. In November, Facebook launched smart displays branded Portal and Portal Plus (Portal+). They support
Amazon Amazon most often refers to: * Amazons, a tribe of female warriors in Greek mythology * Amazon rainforest, a rainforest covering most of the Amazon basin * Amazon River, in South America * Amazon (company), an American multinational technology co ...
's Alexa (intelligent personal assistant service). The devices include video chat function with Facebook Messenger. In August 2018, a lawsuit was filed in Oakland, California claiming that Facebook created fake accounts in order to inflate its user data and appeal to advertisers in the process. In January 2019, the 10-year challenge was started asking users to post a
photograph A photograph (also known as a photo, image, or picture) is an image created by light falling on a photosensitivity, photosensitive surface, usually photographic film or an electronic image sensor, such as a charge-coupled device, CCD or a acti ...
of themselves from 10
year A year or annus is the orbital period of a planetary body, for example, the Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known to harbor life. While large list of largest lakes and seas in the Sola ...
s ago (2009) and a more recent photo. Criticized for its role in
vaccine hesitancy Vaccine hesitancy is a delay in acceptance, or refusal, of vaccines despite the availability of vaccine services and supporting evidence. The term covers refusals to vaccinate, delaying vaccines, accepting vaccines but remaining uncertain abou ...
, Facebook announced in March 2019 that it would provide users with "authoritative information" on the topic of vaccines. A study in the journal Vaccine of advertisements posted in the three months prior to that found that 54% of the anti-vaccine advertisements on Facebook were placed by just two organisations funded by well-known anti-vaccination activists. The Children's Health Defense / World Mercury Project chaired by Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Stop Mandatory Vaccination, run by campaigner Larry Cook, posted 54% of the advertisements. The ads often linked to commercial products, such as natural remedies and books. On March 14, the ''Huffington Post'' reported that Facebook's PR agency had paid someone to tweak Facebook COO
Sheryl Sandberg Sheryl Kara Sandberg (born August 28, 1969) is an American business executive, billionaire, and philanthropist. Sandberg served as chief operating officer (COO) of Meta Platforms, a position from which she stepped down in August 2022. She is als ...
's Wikipedia page, as well as adding a page for the global head of PR, Caryn Marooney. In March 2019, the perpetrator of the
Christchurch mosque shootings On 15 March 2019, two consecutive mass shooting There is a lack of consensus on how to define a mass shooting. Most terms define a minimum of three or four victims of gun violence (not including the shooter or in an inner city) in a short ...
in New Zealand used Facebook to stream live footage of the attack as it unfolded. Facebook took 29 minutes to detect the livestreamed video, which was eight minutes longer than it took police to arrest the gunman. About 1.3m copies of the video were blocked from Facebook but 300,000 copies were published and shared. Facebook has promised changes to its platform; spokesman Simon Dilner told Radio New Zealand that it could have done a better job. Several companies, including the ANZ and ASB banks, have stopped advertising on Facebook after the company was widely condemned by the public. Following the attack, Facebook began blocking
white nationalist White nationalism is a type of racial nationalism or pan-nationalism which espouses the belief that white people are a Race (human categorization), raceHeidi Beirich and Kevin Hicks. "Chapter 7: White nationalism in America". In Perry, Barbar ...
,
white supremacist White supremacy or white supremacism is the belief that white people are superior to those of other Race (human classification), races and thus should dominate them. The belief favors the maintenance and defense of any Power (social and polit ...
, and
white separatist White supremacy or white supremacism is the belief that white people are superior to those of other Race (human classification), races and thus should dominate them. The belief favors the maintenance and defense of any Power (social and polit ...
content, saying that they could not be meaningfully separated. Previously, Facebook had only blocked overtly supremacist content. The older policy had been condemned by civil rights groups, who described these movements as functionally indistinct. Further bans were made in mid-April 2019, banning several British far-right organizations and associated individuals from Facebook, and also banning praise or support for them. NTJ's member Moulavi Zahran Hashim, a radical Islamist
imam Imam (; ar, إمام '; plural: ') is an Islam Islam (; ar, ۘالِإسلَام, , ) is an Abrahamic monotheistic religion centred primarily around the Quran, a religious text considered by Muslims to be the direct word of G ...
believed to be the mastermind behind the 2019 Sri Lanka Easter bombings, preached on a pro-
ISIL An Islamic state is a state that has a form of government based on Islamic law (sharia). As a term, it has been used to describe various historical polities and theories of governance in the Islamic world. As a translation of the Arabic ter ...
Facebook account, known as "Al-Ghuraba" media. On May 2, 2019, at F8, the company announced its new vision with the tagline "the future is private". A redesign of the website and mobile app was introduced, dubbed as "FB5". The event also featured plans for improving groups, a dating platform, end-to-end encryption on its platforms, and allowing users on Messenger to communicate directly with
WhatsApp WhatsApp (also called WhatsApp Messenger) is an internationally available freeware, cross-platform, Centralized computing, centralized instant messaging (IM) and Voice over IP, voice-over-IP (VoIP) service owned by American company Meta Platfor ...
and Instagram users. On July 31, 2019, Facebook announced a partnership with
University of California, San Francisco The University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) is a Public university, public Land-grant university, land-grant research university in San Francisco, California. It is part of the University of California system and is dedicated entirely to ...
to build a non-invasive, wearable device that lets people type by simply imagining themselves talking. On August 13, 2019, it was revealed that Facebook had enlisted hundreds of contractors to create and obtain transcripts of the audio messages of users. This was especially common of Facebook Messenger, where the contractors frequently listened to and transcribed voice messages of users. After this was first reported on by
Bloomberg News Bloomberg News (originally Bloomberg Business News) is an international news agency A news agency is an organization that gathers news reports and sells them to subscribing news organizations, such as newspapers, magazines and All-news rad ...
, Facebook released a statement confirming the report to be true, but also stated that the monitoring program was now suspended. On September 5, 2019, Facebook launched Facebook Dating in the
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...
. This new application allows users to integrate their
Instagram Instagram is a photo and video sharing social networking service owned by American company Meta Platforms. The app allows users to upload media that can be edited with Social media camera filter, filters and organized by hashtags and Geotaggi ...
posts in their dating profile. Facebook News, which features selected stories from news organizations, was launched on October 25. Facebook's decision to include
far-right Far-right politics, also referred to as the extreme right or right-wing extremism, are political beliefs and actions further to the right of the left–right political spectrum than the standard political right, particularly in terms of being ...
website ''
Breitbart News ''Breitbart News Network'' (known commonly as ''Breitbart News'', ''Breitbart'', or ''Breitbart.com'') is an Radical right (United States), American far-rightMultiple sources: * * * * * * * * * * * * syndicated news, opinion, and commentary ...
'' as a "trusted source" was negatively received. On November 17, 2019, the banking data for 29,000 Facebook employees was stolen from a payroll worker's car. The data was stored on unencrypted hard drives and included bank account numbers, employee names, the last four digits of their social security numbers, salaries, bonuses, and equity details. The company didn't realize the hard drives were missing until November 20. Facebook confirmed that the drives contained employee information on November 29. Employees weren't notified of the break-in until December 13, 2019. On March 10, 2020, Facebook appointed two new directors Tracey Travis and Nancy Killefer to their board of members. In June 2020, several major companies including
Adidas Adidas Aktiengesellschaft, AG (; stylized as adidas since 1949) is a Germany, German multinational corporation, founded and headquartered in Herzogenaurach, Bavaria, that designs and manufactures shoes, clothing and accessories. It is the lar ...
,
Aviva Aviva plc is a British Multinational corporation, multinational insurance company headquartered in London, England. It has about 18 million customers across its core markets of the United Kingdom, Ireland and Canada. In the United Kingdom, Av ...
,
Coca-Cola Coca-Cola, or Coke, is a carbonated soft drink manufactured by the Coca-Cola Company. Originally marketed as a temperance bar, temperance drink and intended as a patent medicine, it was invented in the late 19th century by John Stith Pembe ...
, Ford, HP,
InterContinental Hotels Group InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), trade name, marketed as IHG Hotels & Resorts, is a British multinational corporation, multinational hospitality company headquartered in Denham, Buckinghamshire, England. It is listed on the London Stock Exc ...
,
Mars Mars is the fourth planet from the Sun and the second-smallest planet in the Solar System, only being larger than Mercury. In the English language, Mars is named for the Roman god of war. Mars is a terrestrial planet with a thin atmosph ...
,
Starbucks Starbucks Corporation is an American multinational List of coffeehouse chains, chain of coffeehouses and Starbucks Reserve, roastery reserves headquartered in Seattle, Seattle, Washington. It is the List of coffeehouse chains, world's larges ...
,
Target Target may refer to: Physical items * Shooting target, used in marksmanship training and various shooting sports ** Bullseye (target), the goal one for which one aims in many of these sports ** Aiming point, in field artillery, fi ...
, and
Unilever Unilever plc is a British Multinational corporation, multinational Fast-moving consumer goods, consumer goods company with headquarters in London, England. Unilever products include food, condiments, bottled water, baby food, soft drink, ice cr ...
, announced they would pause adverts on Facebook for July in support of the Stop Hate For Profit campaign which claimed the company was not doing enough to remove hateful content. The BBC noted that this was unlikely to affect the company as most of Facebook's advertising revenue comes from small- to medium-sized businesses. On August 14, 2020, Facebook started integrating the direct messaging service of
Instagram Instagram is a photo and video sharing social networking service owned by American company Meta Platforms. The app allows users to upload media that can be edited with Social media camera filter, filters and organized by hashtags and Geotaggi ...
with its own Messenger for both
iOS iOS (formerly iPhone OS) is a mobile operating system A mobile operating system is an operating system for mobile phones, tablet computer, tablets, smartwatches, smartglasses, or other non-laptop personal computing, personal mobile computin ...
and Android devices. After the update, an update screen is said to pop up on Instagram's mobile app with the following message, "There's a New Way to Message on Instagram" with a list of additional features. As part of the update, the regular DM icon on the top right corner of Instagram will be replaced by the
Facebook Messenger Messenger is a proprietary software, proprietary instant messaging app and platform developed by Meta Platforms. Originally developed as Facebook Chat in 2008, the company revamped its messaging service in 2010, released standalone iOS and Andro ...
logo. On September 15, 2020, Facebook launched a climate science information centre to promote authoritative voices on
climate change In common usage, climate change describes global warming—the ongoing increase in global average temperature—and its effects on Earth's climate system. Climate variability and change, Climate change in a broader sense also includes ...
and provide access of "factual and up-to-date" information on climate science. It featured facts, figures and data from organizations, including the
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is an intergovernmental body of the United Nations. Its job is to advance scientific knowledge about climate change Attribution of recent climate change, caused by human activities. The Worl ...
(IPCC),
Met Office The Meteorological Office, abbreviated as the Met Office, is the United Kingdom's national weather service. It is an executive agency and trading fund of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and is led by CEO Penelope E ...
, UN Environment Programme (UNEP),
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (abbreviated as NOAA ) is an United States scientific and regulatory agency within the United States Department of Commerce that forecasts weather, monitors oceanic and atmospheric conditio ...
(NOAA) and
World Meteorological Organization The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) is a List of specialized agencies of the United Nations, specialized agency of the United Nations responsible for promoting international cooperation on atmospheric science, climatology, hydrology and ...
(WMO), with relevant news posts. After the 2020 U.S. presidential election, Facebook temporarily increased the weight of ecosystem quality in its news feed algorithm.


2020–present: FTC lawsuit, corporate re-branding, shut down of facial recognition technology, ease of policy

Facebook was sued by the
Federal Trade Commission The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is an independent agency of the United States government whose principal mission is the enforcement of civil (non-criminal) antitrust law and the promotion of consumer protection. The FTC shares jurisdiction ...
as well as a coalition of several states for illegal monopolization and antitrust. The FTC and states sought the courts to force Facebook to sell its subsidiaries WhatsApp and
Instagram Instagram is a photo and video sharing social networking service owned by American company Meta Platforms. The app allows users to upload media that can be edited with Social media camera filter, filters and organized by hashtags and Geotaggi ...
. The suits were dismissed by a federal judge on June 28, 2021, who stated that there was not enough evidence brought in the suit to determine Facebook to be a monopoly at this point, though allowed the FTC to amend its case to include additional evidence. In its amended filings in August 2021, the FTC asserted that Facebook had been a monopoly in the area of personal social networks since 2011, distinguishing Facebook's activities from social media services like
TikTok TikTok, known in China as Douyin (), is a Video clip, short-form video Online video platform, hosting service owned by the Chinese company ByteDance. It hosts user-submitted videos, which can range in duration from 15 seconds to 10 minutes. T ...
that broadcast content without necessarily limiting that message to intended recipients. In response to the proposed bill in the Australian Parliament for a News Media Bargaining Code, on February 17, 2021, Facebook blocked Australian users from sharing or viewing news content on its platform, as well as pages of some government, community, union, charity, political, and emergency services. The Australian government strongly criticised the move, saying it demonstrated the "immense market power of these digital social giants". On February 22, Facebook said it reached an agreement with the Australian government that would see news returning to Australian users in the coming days. As part of this agreement, Facebook and Google can avoid the News Media Bargaining Code adopted on February 25 if they "reach a commercial bargain with a news business outside the Code". Facebook has been accused of removing and shadow banning content that spoke either in favor of protesting Indian farmers or against
Narendra Modi Narendra Damodardas Modi (; born 17 September 1950) is an Indian politician serving as the List of Prime Ministers of India, 14th and current Prime Minister of India since 2014. Modi was the List of chief ministers of Gujarat, Chief Minist ...
's government.
India India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a country in South Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by area, seventh-largest country by area, the List of countries and dependencies by population, second-most populous ...
-based employees of Facebook are at risk of arrest. On February 27, 2021, Facebook announced Facebook BARS app for rappers. On June 29, 2021, Facebook announced Bulletin, a platform for independent writers. Unlike competitors such as
Substack Substack is an American Online platforms for collaborative consumption, online platform that provides publishing, payment, analytics, and design infrastructure to support subscription newsletters. It allows writers to send digital newsletters dir ...
, Facebook would not take a cut of subscription fees of writers using that platform upon its launch, like
Malcolm Gladwell Malcolm Timothy Gladwell (born 3 September 1963) is an English-born Canadian journalist, author, and public speaker. He has been a staff writer for ''The New Yorker'' since 1996. He has published seven books: ''The Tipping Point: How Little Th ...
and Mitch Albom. According to ''
The Washington Post ''The Washington Post'' (also known as the ''Post'' and, informally, ''WaPo'') is an American daily newspaper published in Washington, D.C. It is the most widely circulated newspaper within the Washington metropolitan area and has a large nati ...
'' technology writer Will Oremus, the move was criticized by those who viewed it as an tactic intended by Facebook to force those competitors out of business. In October 2021, owner Facebook, Inc. changed its company name to Meta Platforms, Inc., or simply "Meta", as it shifts its focus to building the " metaverse". This change does not affect the name of the Facebook social networking service itself, instead being similar to the creation of
Alphabet An alphabet is a standardized set of basic written graphemes (called letter (alphabet), letters) that represent the phonemes of certain spoken languages. Not all writing systems represent language in this way; in a syllabary, each character ...
as
Google Google LLC () is an American Multinational corporation, multinational technology company focusing on Search Engine, search engine technology, online advertising, cloud computing, software, computer software, quantum computing, e-commerce, ar ...
's parent company in 2015. In November 2021, Facebook stated it would stop targeting ads based on data related to health, race, ethnicity, political beliefs, religion and sexual orientation. The change will occur in January and will affect all apps owned by Meta Platforms. In February 2022, Facebook's daily active users dropped for the first time in its 18-year history. According to Facebook's parent Meta, DAUs dropped to 1.929 billion in the three months ending in December, down from 1.930 billion the previous quarter. Furthermore, the company warned that revenue growth would slow due to competition from TikTok and YouTube, as well as advertisers cutting back on spending. Analysts predict a "death spiral" for facebook stock as users leave while ad impressions increase, as the company chases revenue. On March 10, 2022, Facebook announced that it will temporarily ease rules to allow violent speech against 'Russian invaders'. Russia then banned all Meta services, including
Instagram Instagram is a photo and video sharing social networking service owned by American company Meta Platforms. The app allows users to upload media that can be edited with Social media camera filter, filters and organized by hashtags and Geotaggi ...
.


October 4, 2021, global service outage

On October 4, 2021, Facebook had its worst outage since 2008. The outage was global in scope, and took down all Facebook properties, including
Instagram Instagram is a photo and video sharing social networking service owned by American company Meta Platforms. The app allows users to upload media that can be edited with Social media camera filter, filters and organized by hashtags and Geotaggi ...
and WhatsApp, from approximately 15:39 UTC to 22:05 UTC, and affected roughly three billion users. Security experts identified the problem as a BGP withdrawal of all of the IP routes to their Domain Name (DNS) servers which were all self-hosted at the time. The outage also affected all internal communications systems used by Facebook employees, which disrupted restoration efforts.


Shutdown of facial recognition

On November 2, 2021, Facebook announced it would shut down its facial recognition technology and delete the data on over a billion users. Meta later announced plans to implement the technology as well as other biometric systems in its future products, such as the metaverse. The shutdown of the technology will reportedly also stop Facebook's automated alt text system, used to transcribe media on the platform for visually impaired users.


Website


Technical aspects

The website's primary color is blue as Zuckerberg is red–green colorblind, a realization that occurred after a test undertaken around 2007. Facebook is built in
PHP PHP is a general-purpose scripting language geared toward web development. It was originally created by Danish-Canadian programmer Rasmus Lerdorf in 1993 and released in 1995. The PHP reference implementation is now produced by The PHP Gr ...
, compiled with HipHop for PHP, a "source code transformer" built by Facebook engineers that turns PHP into C++. The deployment of HipHop reportedly reduced average CPU consumption on Facebook servers by 50%.


2012 architecture

Facebook is developed as one monolithic application. According to an interview in 2012 with Facebook build engineer Chuck Rossi, Facebook compiles into a 1.5 GB binary blob which is then distributed to the servers using a custom BitTorrent-based release system. Rossi stated that it takes about 15 minutes to build and 15 minutes to release to the servers. The build and release process has zero downtime. Changes to Facebook are rolled out daily. Facebook used a combination platform based on HBase to store data across distributed machines. Using a tailing architecture, events are stored in log files, and the logs are tailed. The system rolls these events up and writes them to storage. The user interface then pulls the data out and displays it to users. Facebook handles requests as AJAX behavior. These requests are written to a log file using
Scribe A scribe is a person who serves as a professional copyist, especially one who made copies of manuscripts before the invention of Printing press, automatic printing. The profession of the scribe, previously widespread across cultures, lost mos ...
(developed by Facebook). Data is read from these log files using Ptail, an internally built tool to aggregate data from multiple Scribe stores. It tails the log files and pulls data out. Ptail data are separated into three streams and sent to clusters in different
data center A data center (American English) or data centre (British English)See American and British English spelling differences#-re, -er, spelling differences. is a building, a dedicated space within a building, or a group of buildings used to house comp ...
s (Plugin impression, News feed impressions, Actions (plugin + news feed)). Puma is used to manage periods of high data flow (Input/Output or IO). Data is processed in batches to lessen the number of times needed to read and write under high demand periods. (A hot article generates many impressions and news feed impressions that cause huge data skews.) Batches are taken every 1.5 seconds, limited by memory used when creating a
hash table In computing, a hash table, also known as hash map, is a data structure that implements an associative array or dictionary. It is an abstract data type that maps Unique key, keys to Value (computer science), values. A hash table uses a hash ...
. Data is then output in PHP format. The backend is written in
Java Java (; id, Jawa, ; jv, ꦗꦮ; su, ) is one of the Greater Sunda Islands in Indonesia. It is bordered by the Indian Ocean to the south and the Java Sea to the north. With a population of 151.6 million people, Java is the world's List ...
. Thrift is used as the messaging format so PHP programs can query Java services. Caching solutions display pages more quickly. The data is then sent to
MapReduce MapReduce is a programming model and an associated implementation for processing and generating big data sets with a Parallel computing, parallel, distributed computing, distributed algorithm on a Cluster (computing), cluster. A MapReduce program ...
servers where it is queried via Hive. This serves as a backup as the data can be recovered from Hive.


Content delivery network (CDN)

Facebook uses its own
content delivery network A content delivery network, or content distribution network (CDN), is a geographically distributed network of proxy servers and their data centers. The goal is to provide high availability and performance by distributing the service spatially rel ...
or "edge network" under the domain fbcdn.net for serving static data. Until the mid 2010s, Facebook also relied on Akamai for CDN services.


Hack programming language

On March 20, 2014, Facebook announced a new open-source programming language called Hack. Before public release, a large portion of Facebook was already running and "battle tested" using the new language.


User profile/personal timeline

Each registered user on Facebook has a personal profile that shows their posts and content. The format of individual user pages was revamped in September 2011 and became known as "Timeline", a chronological feed of a user's stories, including status updates, photos, interactions with apps and events. The layout let users add a "cover photo". Users were given more privacy settings. In 2007, Facebook launched Facebook Pages for brands and celebrities to interact with their fanbases. 100,000 Pages launched in November. In June 2009, Facebook introduced a "Usernames" feature, allowing users to choose a unique nickname used in the
URL A Uniform Resource Locator (URL), colloquially termed as a web address, is a reference to a web resource that specifies its location on a computer network A computer network is a set of computers sharing resources located on or provide ...
for their personal profile, for easier sharing. In February 2014, Facebook expanded the gender setting, adding a custom input field that allows users to choose from a wide range of gender identities. Users can also set which set of gender-specific pronoun should be used in reference to them throughout the site. In May 2014, Facebook introduced a feature to allow users to ask for information not disclosed by other users on their profiles. If a user does not provide key information, such as location, hometown, or relationship status, other users can use a new "ask" button to send a message asking about that item to the user in a single click.


News Feed

News Feed On the World Wide Web The World Wide Web (WWW), commonly known as the Web, is an information system enabling documents and other web resources to be accessed over the Internet. Documents and downloadable media are made available to ...
appears on every user's homepage and highlights information including profile changes, upcoming events and friends' birthdays. This enabled spammers and other users to manipulate these features by creating illegitimate events or posting fake birthdays to attract attention to their profile or cause. Initially, the News Feed caused dissatisfaction among Facebook users; some complained it was too cluttered and full of undesired information, others were concerned that it made it too easy for others to track individual activities (such as relationship status changes, events, and conversations with other users). Zuckerberg apologized for the site's failure to include appropriate privacy features. Users then gained control over what types of information are shared automatically with friends. Users are now able to prevent user-set categories of friends from seeing updates about certain types of activities, including profile changes, Wall posts and newly added friends. On February 23, 2010, Facebook was granted a patent on certain aspects of its News Feed. The patent covers News Feeds in which links are provided so that one user can participate in the activity of another user. The sorting and display of stories in a user's News Feed is governed by the EdgeRank algorithm. The
Photos A photograph (also known as a photo, image, or picture) is an image An image is a visual representation of something. It can be two-dimensional, three-dimensional, or somehow otherwise feed into the visual system to convey information. ...
application allows users to upload albums and photos. Each album can contain 200 photos. Privacy settings apply to individual albums. Users can " tag", or label, friends in a photo. The friend receives a notification about the tag with a link to the photo. This photo tagging feature was developed by Aaron Sittig, now a Design Strategy Lead at Facebook, and former Facebook engineer Scott Marlette back in 2006 and was only granted a
patent A patent is a type of intellectual property that gives its owner the legal right to exclude others from making, using, or selling an invention for a limited period of time in exchange for publishing an sufficiency of disclosure, enabling disclo ...
in 2011. On June 7, 2012, Facebook launched its App Center to help users find games and other applications. On May 13, 2015, Facebook in association with major news portals launched "Instant Articles" to provide news on the Facebook news feed without leaving the site. In January 2017, Facebook launched Facebook Stories for iOS and Android in Ireland. The feature, following the format of
Snapchat Snapchat is an American multimedia instant messaging app and service developed by Snap Inc., originally Snapchat Inc. One of the principal features of Snapchat is that pictures and messages are usually only available for a short time before the ...
and Instagram stories, allows users to upload photos and videos that appear above friends' and followers' News Feeds and disappear after 24 hours. On October 11, 2017, Facebook introduced the 3D Posts feature to allow for uploading interactive 3D assets. On January 11, 2018, Facebook announced that it would change News Feed to prioritize friends/family content and de-emphasize content from media companies. In February 2020, Facebook announced it would spend $1 billion ($ in dollars) to license news material from publishers for the next three years; a pledge coming as the company falls under scrutiny from governments across the globe over not paying for news content appearing on the platform. The pledge would be in addition to the $600 million ($ in dollars) paid since 2018 through deals with news companies such as ''
The Guardian ''The Guardian'' is a British daily newspaper. It was founded in 1821 as ''The Manchester Guardian'', and changed its name in 1959. Along with its sister papers ''The Observer'' and ''The Guardian Weekly'', ''The Guardian'' is part of the Gu ...
'' and ''
Financial Times The ''Financial Times'' (''FT'') is a British daily newspaper A newspaper is a Periodical literature, periodical publication containing written News, information about current events and is often typed in black ink with a white or gray ba ...
''. In March and April 2021, in response to Apple announcing changes to its iOS device's Identifier for Advertisers policy, which included requiring app developers to directly request to users the ability to track on an opt-in basis, Facebook purchased full-page newspaper advertisements attempting to convince users to allow tracking, highlighting the effects targeted ads have on small businesses. Facebook's efforts were ultimately unsuccessful, as Apple released iOS 14.5 in late April 2021, containing the feature for users in what has been deemed "App Tracking Transparency". Moreover, statistics from
Verizon Communications Verizon Communications Inc., commonly known as Verizon, is an American multinational telecommunications Telecommunication is the transmission of information by various types of technologies over wire, radio Radio is the technolog ...
subsidiary Flurry Analytics show 96% of all iOS users in the United States are not permitting tracking at all, and only 12% of worldwide iOS users are allowing tracking, which some news outlets deem "Facebook's nightmare", among similar terms. Despite the news, Facebook has stated that the new policy and software update would be "manageable".


Like button

The "like" button, stylized as a "thumbs up" icon, was first enabled on February 9, 2009, and enables users to easily interact with status updates, comments, photos and videos, links shared by friends, and advertisements. Once clicked by a user, the designated content is more likely to appear in friends'
News Feed On the World Wide Web The World Wide Web (WWW), commonly known as the Web, is an information system enabling documents and other web resources to be accessed over the Internet. Documents and downloadable media are made available to ...
s. The button displays the number of other users who have liked the content. The like button was extended to comments in June 2010. In February 2016, Facebook expanded Like into "Reactions", choosing among five pre-defined emotions, including "Love", "Haha", "Wow", "Sad", or "Angry". In late April 2020, during the
COVID-19 pandemic The COVID-19 pandemic, also known as the coronavirus pandemic, is an ongoing global pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The novel virus was first identif ...
, a new "Care" reaction was added.


Instant messaging

Facebook Messenger is an
instant messaging Instant messaging (IM) technology is a type of online chat allowing real-time text transmission over the Internet or another computer network. Messages are typically transmitted between two or more parties, when each user inputs text and trigge ...
service and software application. It began as Facebook Chat in 2008, was revamped in 2010 and eventually became a standalone mobile app in August 2011, while remaining part of the user page on browsers. Complementing regular conversations, Messenger lets users make one-to-one and group
voice The human voice consists of sound Voice production, made by a human being using the vocal tract, including Speech, talking, singing, Laughter, laughing, crying, screaming, shouting, humming or yelling. The human voice frequency is specifically ...
and video calls. Its Android app has integrated support for SMS and "Chat Heads", which are round profile photo icons appearing on-screen regardless of what app is open, while both apps support multiple accounts, conversations with optional
end-to-end encryption End-to-end encryption (E2EE) is a system of communication where only the communicating users can read the messages. In principle, it prevents potential eavesdroppers – including telecom providers, Internet providers, malicious actors, and eve ...
and "Instant Games". Some features, including sending money and requesting transportation, are limited to the United States. In 2017, Facebook added "Messenger Day", a feature that lets users share photos and videos in a story-format with all their friends with the content disappearing after 24 hours; Reactions, which lets users tap and hold a message to add a reaction through an
emoji An emoji ( ; plural emoji or emojis) is a pictogram, logogram, ideogram or smiley embedded in text and used in electronic messages and web pages. The primary function of emoji is to fill in emotional cues otherwise missing from typed conv ...
; and Mentions, which lets users in group conversations type @ to give a particular user a notification. Businesses and users can interact through Messenger with features such as tracking purchases and receiving notifications, and interacting with customer service representatives. Third-party developers can integrate apps into Messenger, letting users enter an app while inside Messenger and optionally share details from the app into a chat. Developers can build chatbots into Messenger, for uses such as news publishers building bots to distribute news. The M virtual assistant (U.S.) scans chats for keywords and suggests relevant actions, such as its payments system for users mentioning money. Group chatbots appear in Messenger as "Chat Extensions". A "Discovery" tab allows finding bots, and enabling special, branded
QR code A QR code (an initialism for quick response code) is a type of Barcode#Matrix (2D) barcodes, matrix barcode (or two-dimensional barcode) invented in 1994 by the Japanese company Denso#Denso Wave, Denso Wave. A barcode is a machine-readable optic ...
s that, when scanned, take the user to a specific bot.


Privacy policy

Facebook's data policy outlines its policies for collecting, storing, and sharing user's data. Facebook enables users to control access to individual posts and their profile through privacy settings. The user's name and profile picture (if applicable) are public. Facebook's revenue depends on targeted advertising, which involves analyzing user data to decide which ads to show each user. Facebook buys data from third parties, gathered from both online and offline sources, to supplement its own data on users. Facebook maintains that it does not share data used for targeted advertising with the advertisers themselves. The company states:
"We provide advertisers with reports about the kinds of people seeing their ads and how their ads are performing, but we don't share information that personally identifies you (information such as your name or email address that by itself can be used to contact you or identifies who you are) unless you give us permission. For example, we provide general demographic and interest information to advertisers (for example, that an ad was seen by a woman between the ages of 25 and 34 who lives in Madrid and likes software engineering) to help them better understand their audience. We also confirm which Facebook ads led you to make a purchase or take an action with an advertiser."
, Facebook claims it uses the following policy for sharing user data with third parties:
Apps, websites, and third-party integrations on or using our Products. When you choose to use third-party apps, websites, or other services that use, or are integrated with, our Products, they can receive information about what you post or share. For example, when you play a game with your Facebook friends or use a Facebook Comment or Share button on a website, the game developer or website can receive information about your activities in the game or receive a comment or link that you share from the website on Facebook. Also, when you download or use such third-party services, they can access your public profile on Facebook, and any information that you share with them. Apps and websites you use may receive your list of Facebook friends if you choose to share it with them. But apps and websites you use will not be able to receive any other information about your Facebook friends from you, or information about any of your Instagram followers (although your friends and followers may, of course, choose to share this information themselves). Information collected by these third-party services is subject to their own terms and policies, not this one. Devices and operating systems providing native versions of Facebook and Instagram (i.e. where we have not developed our own first-party apps) will have access to all information you choose to share with them, including information your friends share with you, so they can provide our core functionality to you. Note: We are in the process of restricting developers' data access even further to help prevent abuse. For example, we will remove developers' access to your Facebook and Instagram data if you haven't used their app in 3 months, and we are changing Login, so that in the next version, we will reduce the data that an app can request without app review to include only name, Instagram username and bio, profile photo and email address. Requesting any other data will require our approval.
Facebook will also share data with law enforcement. Facebook's policies have changed repeatedly since the service's debut, amid a series of controversies covering everything from how well it secures user data, to what extent it allows users to control access, to the kinds of access given to third parties, including businesses, political campaigns and governments. These facilities vary according to country, as some nations require the company to make data available (and limit access to services), while the European Union's
GDPR The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a European Union regulation on data protection and privacy in the EU and the European Economic Area (EEA). The GDPR is an important component of EU privacy law and of human rights law, in partic ...
regulation mandates additional privacy protections.


Bug Bounty Program

On July 29, 2011, Facebook announced its Bug Bounty Program that paid security researchers a minimum of $500 ($ in dollars) for reporting security holes. The company promised not to pursue "white hat" hackers who identified such problems. This led researchers in many countries to participate, particularly in India and Russia.


Reception


Userbase

Facebook's rapid growth began as soon as it became available and continued through 2018, before beginning to decline. Facebook passed 100 million registered users in 2008, and 500 million in July 2010. According to the company's data at the July 2010 announcement, half of the site's membership used Facebook daily, for an average of 34 minutes, while 150 million users accessed the site by mobile. In October 2012, Facebook's monthly active users passed one billion, with 600 million mobile users, 219 billion photo uploads, and 140 billion friend connections. The 2 billion user mark was crossed in June 2017. In November 2015, after skepticism about the accuracy of its "monthly active users" measurement, Facebook changed its definition to a logged-in member who visits the Facebook site through the web browser or mobile app, or uses the
Facebook Messenger Messenger is a proprietary software, proprietary instant messaging app and platform developed by Meta Platforms. Originally developed as Facebook Chat in 2008, the company revamped its messaging service in 2010, released standalone iOS and Andro ...
app, in the 30-day period prior to the measurement. This excluded the use of third-party services with Facebook integration, which was previously counted. From 2017 to 2019, the percentage of the U.S. population over the age of 12 who use Facebook has declined, from 67% to 61% (a decline of some 15 million U.S. users), with a higher drop-off among younger Americans (a decrease in the percentage of U.S. 12- to 34-year-olds who are users from 58% in 2015 to 29% in 2019).Abrar Al-Heeti
Facebook lost 15 million US users in the past two years, report says
CNET (March 6, 2019).
Nick Statt
Facebook's US user base declined by 15 million since 2017, according to survey
''The Verge'' (March 6, 2019).
The decline coincided with an increase in the popularity of Instagram, which is also owned by Meta. The number of daily active users experienced a quarterly decline for the first time in the last quarter of 2021, down to 1.929 billion from 1.930 billion, but increased again the next quarter despite being banned in Russia. Historically, commentators have offered predictions of Facebook's decline or end, based on causes such as a declining user base; the legal difficulties of being a
closed platform A closed platform, walled garden, or closed ecosystem is a software system A software system is a system of intercommunicating software component, components based on software forming part of a computer system (a combination of Computer hardwar ...
, inability to generate revenue, inability to offer user privacy, inability to adapt to mobile platforms, or Facebook ending itself to present a next generation replacement; or Facebook's role in
Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections The Russian government interfered in the 2016 U.S. presidential election with the goals of harming the campaign of Hillary Clinton, boosting the candidacy of Donald Trump, and increasing political and social discord in the United States. Acco ...
. File:Population pyramid of Facebook users by age.png,
Population pyramid A population pyramid (age structure diagram) or "age-sex pyramid" is a graphical illustration of the distribution of a population (typically that of a country or region of the world) by age groups and sex; it typically takes the shape of a pyramid ...
of Facebook users by age


Demographics

The highest number of Facebook users as of October 2018 are from India and the United States, followed by Indonesia, Brazil and Mexico. Region-wise, the highest number of users are from Asia-Pacific (947 million) followed by Europe (381 million) and US-Canada (242 million). The rest of the world has 750 million users. Over the 2008–2018 period, the percentage of users under 34 declined to less than half of the total.


Censorship

In many countries the social networking sites and mobile apps have been blocked temporarily or permanently, including
China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the world's List of countries and dependencies by population, most populous country, with a Population of China, population exceeding 1.4 billion, slig ...
,
Iran Iran, officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, and also called Persia, is a country located in Western Asia. It is bordered by Iraq and Turkey to the west, by Azerbaijan and Armenia to the northwest, by the Caspian Sea and Turkmeni ...
,
Vietnam Vietnam or Viet Nam ( vi, Việt Nam, ), officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam,., group="n" is a country in Southeast Asia, at the eastern edge of mainland Southeast Asia, with an area of and population of 96 million, making it ...
,
Pakistan Pakistan ( ur, ), officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan ( ur, , label=none), is a country in South Asia. It is the world's List of countries and dependencies by population, fifth-most populous country, with a population of almost 24 ...
,
Syria Syria ( ar, سُورِيَا or سُورِيَة, translit=Sūriyā), officially the Syrian Arab Republic ( ar, الجمهورية العربية السورية, al-Jumhūrīyah al-ʻArabīyah as-Sūrīyah), is a Western Asian country loc ...
, and
North Korea North Korea, officially the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), is a country in East Asia. It constitutes the northern half of the Korea, Korean Peninsula and shares borders with China and Russia to the north, at the Yalu River, Y ...
. In May 2018, the government of
Papua New Guinea Papua New Guinea (abbreviated PNG; , ; tpi, Papua Niugini; ho, Papua Niu Gini), officially the Independent State of Papua New Guinea ( tpi, Independen Stet bilong Papua Niugini; ho, Independen Stet bilong Papua Niu Gini), is a country i ...
announced that it would ban Facebook for a month while it considered the impact of the website on the country, though no ban has since occurred. In 2019, Facebook announced it would start enforcing its ban on users, including influencers, promoting any vape,
tobacco Tobacco is the common name of several plants in the genus ''Nicotiana'' of the Family (biology), family Solanaceae, and the general term for any product prepared from the curing of tobacco, cured leaves of these plants. Nicotiana#Species, M ...
products, or
weapon A weapon, arm or armament is any implement or device that can be used to deter, threaten, inflict physical damage, harm, or kill. Weapons are used to increase the efficacy and efficiency of activities such as hunting, crime, law enforcement, s ...
s on its platforms.


Criticisms and controversies

Facebook's importance and scale has led to criticisms in many domains. Issues include
Internet privacy Internet privacy involves the right or mandate of personal privacy concerning the storing, re-purposing, provision to third parties, and displaying of information pertaining to oneself via Internet. Internet privacy is a subset of data privacy. Pri ...
, excessive retention of user information, its facial recognition software,
DeepFace DeepFace is a deep learning facial recognition system created by a research group at Facebook, Inc., Facebook. It identifies human faces in digital images. The program employs a nine-layer neural network with over 120 million connection weights and ...
its addictive quality and its role in the workplace, including employer access to employee accounts. Facebook has been criticized for electricity usage, tax avoidance, real-name user requirement policies, censorship and its involvement in the United States PRISM surveillance program. According to ''
The Express Tribune ''The Express Tribune'' is a daily English language, English-language newspaper based in Pakistan. It is the flagship publication of the ''Daily Express (Urdu newspaper), Daily Express'' media group. It is Pakistan's only internationally affiliat ...
'', Facebook "avoided billions of dollars in tax using offshore companies". Facebook is alleged to have harmful psychological effects on its users, including feelings of jealousy and stress, a lack of attention and social media addiction. According to Kaufmann et al., mothers' motivations for using social media are often related to their social and mental health. European antitrust regulator
Margrethe Vestager Margrethe Vestager (; born 13 April 1968) is a Danish politician currently serving as Executive Vice President of the European Commission for A Europe Fit for the Digital Age since December 2019 and European Commissioner for Competition ...
stated that Facebook's terms of service relating to private data were "unbalanced". Facebook has been criticized for allowing users to publish illegal or offensive material. Specifics include
copyright A copyright is a type of intellectual property that gives its owner the exclusive right to copy, distribute, adapt, display, and perform a creative work, usually for a limited time. The creative work may be in a literary, artistic, education ...
and
intellectual property Intellectual property (IP) is a category of property that includes intangible creations of the human intellect. There are many types of intellectual property, and some countries recognize more than others. The best-known types are patents, ...
infringement,
hate speech Hate speech is defined by the ''Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary, Cambridge Dictionary'' as "public speech that expresses hate or encourages violence towards a person or group based on something such as race, religion, sex, or sexual or ...
, incitement of rape and terrorism,
fake news Fake news is false or misleading information presented as news. Fake news often has the aim of damaging the reputation of a person or entity, or making money through advertising revenue.Schlesinger, Robert (April 14, 2017)"Fake news in reality ...
, and crimes, murders, and livestreaming violent incidents.
Sri Lanka Sri Lanka (, ; si, ශ්‍රී ලංකා, Śrī Laṅkā, translit-std=ISO (); ta, இலங்கை, Ilaṅkai, translit-std=ISO ()), formerly known as Ceylon and officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, is an ...
blocked both Facebook and WhatsApp in May 2019 after anti-Muslim riots, the worst in the country since the Easter Sunday bombing in the same year as a temporary measure to maintain peace in Sri Lanka. Facebook removed 3 billion fake accounts only during the last quarter of 2018 and the first quarter of 2019; in comparison, the social network reports 2.39 billion monthly active users. In late July 2019, the company announced it was under
antitrust Competition law is the field of law Law is a set of rules that are created and are law enforcement, enforceable by social or governmental institutions to regulate behavior,Robertson, ''Crimes against humanity'', 90. with its precise defi ...
investigation by the
Federal Trade Commission The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is an independent agency of the United States government whose principal mission is the enforcement of civil (non-criminal) antitrust law and the promotion of consumer protection. The FTC shares jurisdiction ...
.


Privacy

Facebook has faced a steady stream of controversies over how it handles user privacy, repeatedly adjusting its privacy settings and policies. In 2010, the US
National Security Agency The National Security Agency (NSA) is a national-level intelligence agency of the United States Department of Defense, under the authority of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI). The NSA is responsible for global monitoring, collectio ...
began taking publicly posted profile information from Facebook, among other social media services. On November 29, 2011, Facebook settled
Federal Trade Commission The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is an independent agency of the United States government whose principal mission is the enforcement of civil (non-criminal) antitrust law and the promotion of consumer protection. The FTC shares jurisdiction ...
charges that it deceived consumers by failing to keep privacy promises. In August 2013 High-Tech Bridge published a study showing that links included in Facebook messaging service messages were being accessed by Facebook. In January 2014 two users filed a lawsuit against Facebook alleging that their privacy had been violated by this practice. On June 7, 2018, Facebook announced that a bug had resulted in about 14 million Facebook users having their default sharing setting for all new posts set to "public". On April 4, 2019, half a billion records of Facebook users were found exposed on
Amazon Amazon most often refers to: * Amazons, a tribe of female warriors in Greek mythology * Amazon rainforest, a rainforest covering most of the Amazon basin * Amazon River, in South America * Amazon (company), an American multinational technology co ...
cloud servers, containing information about users' friends, likes, groups, and checked-in locations, as well as names, passwords and email addresses. The phone numbers of at least 200 million Facebook users were found to be exposed on an open online database in September 2019. They included 133 million US users, 18 million from the UK, and 50 million from users in
Vietnam Vietnam or Viet Nam ( vi, Việt Nam, ), officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam,., group="n" is a country in Southeast Asia, at the eastern edge of mainland Southeast Asia, with an area of and population of 96 million, making it ...
. After removing duplicates, the 419 million records have been reduced to 219 million. The database went offline after TechCrunch contacted the web host. It is thought the records were amassed using a tool that Facebook disabled in April 2018 after the
Cambridge Analytica Cambridge Analytica Ltd (CA), previously known as SCL Group, SCL USA, was a British political consulting firm that came to prominence through the Facebook–Cambridge Analytica data scandal. It was started in 2013, as a subsidiary of the privat ...
controversy. A Facebook spokeswoman said in a statement: "The dataset is old and appears to have information obtained before we made changes last year...There is no evidence that Facebook accounts were compromised." Facebook's privacy problems resulted in companies like Viber Media and
Mozilla Mozilla (stylized as moz://a) is a free software community founded in 1998 by members of Netscape. The Mozilla community uses, develops, spreads and supports Mozilla products, thereby promoting exclusively free software and open standards, wi ...
discontinuing advertising on Facebook's platforms.


Racial bias

Facebook was accused of committing "systemic" racial bias by EEOC based on the complaints of three rejected candidates and a current employee of the company. The three rejected employees along with the Operational Manager at Facebook as of March 2021 accused the firm of discriminating against Black people. The EEOC has initiated an investigation into the case.


Shadow profiles

A " shadow profile" refers to the data Facebook collects about individuals without their explicit permission. For example, the "like" button that appears on third-party websites allows the company to collect information about an individual's internet browsing habits, even if the individual is not a Facebook user. Data can also be collected by other users. For example, a Facebook user can link their email account to their Facebook to find friends on the site, allowing the company to collect the email addresses of users and non-users alike. Over time, countless data points about an individual are collected; any single data point perhaps cannot identify an individual, but together allows the company to form a unique "profile." This practice has been criticized by those who believe people should be able to opt-out of involuntary data collection. Additionally, while Facebook users have the ability to download and inspect the data they provide to the site, data from the user's "shadow profile" is not included, and non-users of Facebook do not have access to this tool regardless. The company has also been unclear whether or not it is possible for a person to revoke Facebook's access to their "shadow profile."


Cambridge Analytica

Facebook customer Global Science Research sold information on over 87 million Facebook users to Cambridge Analytica, a political data analysis firm led by Alexander Nix. While approximately 270,000 people used the app, Facebook's API permitted data collection from their friends without their knowledge. At first Facebook downplayed the significance of the breach, and suggested that Cambridge Analytica no longer had access. Facebook then issued a statement expressing alarm and suspended Cambridge Analytica. Review of documents and interviews with former Facebook employees suggested that Cambridge Analytica still possessed the data. This was a violation of Facebook's consent decree with the
Federal Trade Commission The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is an independent agency of the United States government whose principal mission is the enforcement of civil (non-criminal) antitrust law and the promotion of consumer protection. The FTC shares jurisdiction ...
. This violation potentially carried a penalty of $40,000 ($ in dollars) per occurrence, totalling trillions of dollars. According to ''The Guardian'', both Facebook and Cambridge Analytica threatened to sue the newspaper if it published the story. After publication, Facebook claimed that it had been "lied to". On March 23, 2018, The English High Court granted an application by the Information Commissioner's Office for a warrant to search Cambridge Analytica's London offices, ending a standoff between Facebook and the Information Commissioner over responsibility. On March 25, Facebook published a statement by Zuckerberg in major UK and US newspapers apologizing over a "breach of trust". On March 26, the
Federal Trade Commission The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is an independent agency of the United States government whose principal mission is the enforcement of civil (non-criminal) antitrust law and the promotion of consumer protection. The FTC shares jurisdiction ...
opened an investigation into the matter. The controversy led Facebook to end its partnerships with data brokers who aid advertisers in targeting users. On April 24, 2019, Facebook said it could face a fine between $3 billion ($ in dollars) to $5 billion ($ in dollars) as the result of an investigation by the Federal Trade Commission. The agency has been investigating Facebook for possible privacy violations, but has not announced any findings yet. Facebook also implemented additional privacy controls and settings in part to comply with the European Union's
General Data Protection Regulation The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a European Union regulation on data protection and privacy in the EU and the European Economic Area (EEA). The GDPR is an important component of EU privacy law and of human rights law, in partic ...
(GDPR), which took effect in May. Facebook also ended its active opposition to the
California Consumer Privacy Act The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) is a state statute intended to enhance privacy rights and consumer protection for residents of California, United States. The bill was passed by the California State Legislature and signed into law by Jer ...
. Some, such as
Meghan McCain Meghan Marguerite McCain (born October 23, 1984) is an American television personality, columnist, and author. She has worked for ABC News, Fox News, and MSNBC. The daughter of politician John McCain and diplomat Cindy McCain, she has been ...
have drawn an equivalence between the use of data by Cambridge Analytica and the Barack Obama's 2012 campaign, which, according to ''
Investor's Business Daily ''Investor's Business Daily'' (''IBD'') is an American newspaper and website covering the stock market, international business, finance and economics. Founded in 1984 by William O'Neil as a print news publication, it is owned by News Corp and is ...
'', "encouraged supporters to download an Obama 2012 Facebook app that, when activated, let the campaign collect Facebook data both on users and their friends."Why Are We Only Now Talking About Facebook And Elections?
. ''
Forbes ''Forbes'' () is an American business magazine owned by Integrated Whale Media Investments and the Forbes family (publishers), Forbes family. Published eight times a year, it features articles on finance, industry, investing, and marketing ...
''. March 19, 2018.
Former Facebook staffer, Obama campaign boss reveal concerns about Facebook data
. News.com.au. March 21, 2018.
Carol Davidsen, the Obama for America (OFA) former director of integration and media analytics, wrote that "Facebook was surprised we were able to suck out the whole social graph, but they didn't stop us once they realised that was what we were doing."
PolitiFact PolitiFact.com is an American Nonprofit organization, nonprofit project operated by the Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg, Florida, with offices there and in Washington, D.C. It began in 2007 as a project of the ''Tampa Bay Times'' (then the ' ...
has rated McCain's statements "Half-True", on the basis that "in Obama's case, direct users knew they were handing over their data to a political campaign" whereas with Cambridge Analytica, users thought they were only taking a personality quiz for academic purposes, and while the Obama campaign only used the data "to have their supporters contact their most persuadable friends", Cambridge Analytica "targeted users, friends and lookalikes directly with digital ads."


Breaches

On September 28, 2018, Facebook experienced a major breach in its security, exposing the data of 50 million users. The data breach started in July 2017 and was discovered on September 16. Facebook notified users affected by the exploit and logged them out of their accounts. In March 2019, Facebook confirmed a password compromise of millions of Facebook lite application users also affected millions of Instagram users. The reason cited was the storage of password as plain text instead of encryption which could be read by its employees. On December 19, 2019, security researcher Bob Diachenko discovered a database containing more than 267 million Facebook user IDs, phone numbers, and names that were left exposed on the web for anyone to access without a password or any other authentication. In February 2020, Facebook encountered a major security breach in which its official
Twitter Twitter is an online social media and social networking service owned and operated by American company Twitter, Inc., on which users post and interact with 280-character-long messages known as "tweets". Registered users can post, like, and ...
account was hacked by a
Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabia, officially the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), is a country in Western Asia. It covers the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula, and has a land area of about , making it the List of Asian countries by area, fifth-largest country in Asia ...
-based group called " OurMine". The group has a history of actively exposing high-profile social media profiles' vulnerabilities. In April 2021, ''The Guardian'' reported approximately half a billion users' data had been stolen including birthdates and phone numbers. Facebook alleged it was "old data" from a problem fixed in August 2019 despite the data's having been released a year and a half later only in 2021; it declined to speak with journalists, had apparently not notified regulators, called the problem "unfixable", and said it would not be advising users.


Phone data and activity

After acquiring Onavo in 2013, Facebook used its Onavo Protect
virtual private network A virtual private network (VPN) extends a private network across a public network and enables users to send and receive data across shared or public networks as if their computing devices were directly connected to the private network. The be ...
(VPN) app to collect information on users' web traffic and app usage. This allowed Facebook to monitor its competitors' performance, and motivated Facebook to acquire WhatsApp in 2014. Media outlets classified Onavo Protect as
spyware Spyware (a portmanteau A portmanteau word, or portmanteau (, ) is a Blend word, blend of words In August 2018, Facebook removed the app in response to pressure from Apple, who asserted that it violated their guidelines. The
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is the chief competition regulator of the Government of Australia, located within the Department of the Treasury (Australia), Department of the Treasury. It was established in 1995 with ...
sued Facebook on December 16, 2020, for "false, misleading or deceptive conduct" in response to the company's use of personal data obtained from Onavo for business purposes in contrast to Onavo's privacy-oriented marketing. In 2016, Facebook Research launched Project Atlas, offering some users between the ages of 13 and 35 up to $20 per month ($ in dollars) in exchange for their personal data, including their app usage,
web browsing history Web browsing history refers to the list of web pages a user has visited, as well as associated metadata such as page title and time of visit. It is usually stored locally by web browsers in order to provide the user with a history list to go back ...
,
web search Web most often refers to: * Spider web, a silken structure created by the animal * World Wide Web or the Web, an Internet-based hypertext system Web, WEB, or the Web may also refer to: Computing * WEB, a literate programming system created by ...
history, location history, personal messages, photos, videos,
email Electronic mail (email or e-mail) is a method of exchanging messages ("mail") between people using electronic devices. Email was thus conceived as the electronics, electronic (digital media, digital) version of, or counterpart to, mail, ...
s and
Amazon Amazon most often refers to: * Amazons, a tribe of female warriors in Greek mythology * Amazon rainforest, a rainforest covering most of the Amazon basin * Amazon River, in South America * Amazon (company), an American multinational technology co ...
order history. In January 2019, ''TechCrunch'' reported on the project. This led Apple to temporarily revoke Facebook's Enterprise Developer Program certificates for one day, preventing Facebook Research from operating on iOS devices and disabling Facebook's internal iOS apps. ''
Ars Technica ''Ars Technica'' is a website covering news and opinions in technology, science, politics, and society, created by Ken Fisher and Jon Stokes in 1998. It publishes news, reviews, and guides on issues such as computer hardware and software, sci ...
'' reported in April 2018 that the Facebook Android app had been harvesting user data, including phone calls and text messages, since 2015. In May 2018, several Android users filed a
class action lawsuit A class action, also known as a class-action lawsuit, class suit, or representative action, is a type of lawsuit where one of the parties is a group of people who are represented collectively by a member or members of that group. The class action ...
against Facebook for invading their privacy. In January 2020, Facebook launched the Off-Facebook Activity page, which allows users to see information collected by Facebook about their non-Facebook activities. ''The Washington Post'' columnist Geoffrey A. Fowler found that this included what other apps he used on his phone, even while the Facebook app was closed, what other web sites he visited on his phone, and what in-store purchases he made from affiliated businesses, even while his phone was completely off. In November 2021, a report was published by Fairplay, Global Action Plan and Reset Australia detailing accusations that Facebook was continuing to manage their ad targeting system with data collected from teen users. The accusations follow announcements by Facebook in July 2021 that they would cease ad targeting children.


Public apologies

The company first apologized for its privacy abuses in 2009. Facebook apologies have appeared in newspapers, television, blog posts and on Facebook. On March 25, 2018, leading US and UK newspapers published full-page ads with a personal apology from Zuckerberg. Zuckerberg issued a verbal apology on
CNN CNN (Cable News Network) is a multinational cable news channel headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S. Founded in 1980 by American media proprietor Ted Turner and Reese Schonfeld as a 24-hour cable news channel, and presently owned by ...
. In May 2010, he apologized for discrepancies in privacy settings. Previously, Facebook had its privacy settings spread out over 20 pages, and has now put all of its privacy settings on one page, which makes it more difficult for third-party apps to access the user's personal information. In addition to publicly apologizing, Facebook has said that it will be reviewing and auditing thousands of apps that display "suspicious activities" in an effort to ensure that this breach of privacy does not happen again. In a 2010 report regarding privacy, a research project stated that not a lot of information is available regarding the consequences of what people disclose online so often what is available are just reports made available through popular media. In 2017, a former Facebook executive went on the record to discuss how social media platforms have contributed to the unraveling of the "fabric of society".


Content disputes and moderation

Facebook relies on its users to generate the content that bonds its users to the service. The company has come under criticism both for allowing objectionable content, including conspiracy theories and fringe discourse, and for prohibiting other content that it deems inappropriate.


Misinformation and fake kews

Facebook has been criticized as a vector for
fake news Fake news is false or misleading information presented as news. Fake news often has the aim of damaging the reputation of a person or entity, or making money through advertising revenue.Schlesinger, Robert (April 14, 2017)"Fake news in reality ...
, and has been accused of bearing responsibility for the conspiracy theory that the United States created
ISIS Isis (; ''Ēse''; ; Meroitic language, Meroitic: ''Wos'' 'a''or ''Wusa''; Phoenician language, Phoenician: 𐤀𐤎, romanized: ʾs) was a major ancient Egyptian deities, goddess in ancient Egyptian religion whose worship spread throughou ...
, false anti-
Rohingya The Rohingya people () are a stateless Indo-Aryan ethnic group An ethnic group or an ethnicity is a grouping of people who identity (social science), identify with each other on the basis of shared attributes that distinguish them from ...
posts being used by
Myanmar Myanmar, ; UK pronunciations: US pronunciations incl. . Note: Wikipedia's IPA conventions require indicating /r/ even in British English although only some British English speakers pronounce r at the end of syllables. As John C. Wells, Joh ...
's military to fuel
genocide Genocide is the intentional destruction of a people—usually defined as an Ethnic group, ethnic, nationality, national, race (classification of humans), racial, or Religion, religious group—in whole or in part. Raphael Lemkin coined the term ...
and
ethnic cleansing Ethnic cleansing is the systematic forced removal of ethnic, racial, and religious groups from a given area, with the intent of making a region ethnically homogeneous. Along with direct removal, extermination, deportation or population transfer ...
, enabling
climate change denial Climate change denial, or global warming denial, is Denial (Freud), denial, dismissal, or doubt that contradicts the scientific consensus on climate change, including the extent to which it is Attribution of recent climate change, caused by hum ...
and
Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting The Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting occurred on December 14, 2012, in Newtown, Connecticut, United States, when 20-year-old Adam Lanza shot and killed 26 people. Twenty of the victims were children between six and seven years old, and th ...
conspiracy theorists, and anti-refugee attacks in Germany. The government of the
Philippines The Philippines (; fil, Pilipinas, links=no), officially the Republic of the Philippines ( fil, Republika ng Pilipinas, links=no), * bik, Republika kan Filipinas * ceb, Republika sa Pilipinas * cbk, República de Filipinas * hil, Republ ...
has also used Facebook as a tool to attack its critics. In 2017, Facebook partnered with fact checkers from the
Poynter Institute The Poynter Institute for Media Studies is a non-profit journalism school and research organization in St. Petersburg, Florida, United States. The school is the owner of the ''Tampa Bay Times'' newspaper and the International Fact-Checking Netwo ...
's International Fact-Checking Network to identify and mark false content, though most ads from political candidates are exempt from this program. As of 2018, Facebook had over 40 fact-checking partners across the world, including ''
The Weekly Standard ''The Weekly Standard'' was an American neoconservative political magazine of news, analysis and commentary, published 48 times per year. Originally edited by founders Bill Kristol and Fred Barnes (journalist), Fred Barnes, the ''Standard'' had ...
''. Critics of the program have accused Facebook of not doing enough to remove false information from its website. Facebook has repeatedly amended its content policies. In July 2018, it stated that it would "downrank" articles that its fact-checkers determined to be false, and remove misinformation that incited violence. Facebook stated that content that receives "false" ratings from its fact-checkers can be demonetized and suffer dramatically reduced distribution. Specific posts and videos that violate community standards can be removed on Facebook. In May 2019, Facebook banned a number of "dangerous" commentators from its platform, including
Alex Jones Alexander Emerick Jones (born February 11, 1974) is an American far-right and alt-right radio host, radio show host and prominent conspiracy theorist. He hosts ''The Alex Jones Show'' from Austin, Texas, which the Genesis Communications Networ ...
,
Louis Farrakhan Louis Farrakhan (; born Louis Eugene Walcott, May 11, 1933) is an American religious leader, Black supremacy, black supremacist, Racism, anti-white and Antisemitism, antisemitic Conspiracy theory, conspiracy theorist, and former singer who hea ...
,
Milo Yiannopoulos Milo Yiannopoulos (; born Milo Hanrahan, 18 October 1984), who has also published as Milo Andreas Wagner and the mononym Milo, is a British alt-right political commentator. His speeches and writings often ridicule Criticism of Islam, Islam, An ...
, Paul Joseph Watson, Paul Nehlen,
David Duke David Ernest Duke (born July 1, 1950) is an American white supremacy, white supremacist, Antisemitic canard, antisemitic conspiracy theorist, far-right politician, convicted felon, and former Grand Wizard of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. ...
, and Laura Loomer, for allegedly engaging in "violence and hate". In May 2020, Facebook agreed to a preliminary settlement of $52 million ($ in dollars) to compensate U.S.-based Facebook content moderators for their psychological trauma suffered on the job. Other legal actions around the world, including in Ireland, await settlement. In September 2020, the
Government of Thailand The Government of Thailand, or formally the Royal Thai Government (Abbreviation, Abrv: RTG; th, รัฐบาลไทย, , ), is the Unitary state, unitary government of the Thailand, Kingdom of Thailand. The country emerged as a modern n ...
utilized the Computer Crime Act for the first time to take action against Facebook and
Twitter Twitter is an online social media and social networking service owned and operated by American company Twitter, Inc., on which users post and interact with 280-character-long messages known as "tweets". Registered users can post, like, and ...
for ignoring requests to take down content and not complying with court orders.


Threats and incitement

Professor
Ilya Somin Ilya Somin (born 1973) is a law professor at George Mason University, an adjunct scholar at the Cato Institute, a blogger for the Volokh Conspiracy, and a former co-editor of the ''Supreme Court Economic Review'' (2006–2013). His research focuse ...
reported that he had been the subject of death threats on Facebook in April 2018 from Cesar Sayoc, who threatened to kill Somin and his family and "feed the bodies to Florida alligators". Somin's Facebook friends reported the comments to Facebook, which did nothing except dispatch automated messages. Sayoc was later arrested for the October 2018 United States mail bombing attempts directed at Democratic politicians.


Hate speech

In October 2020, Pakistani Prime Minister
Imran Khan Imran Ahmed Khan Niazi ( ur}; born 5 October 1952) is a Pakistani politician and former International Cricket Captain, Cricket captain who served as the 22nd Prime Minister of Pakistan from August 2018 to until April 2022, when he was N ...
urged Mark Zuckerberg, through a letter posted on government's
Twitter Twitter is an online social media and social networking service owned and operated by American company Twitter, Inc., on which users post and interact with 280-character-long messages known as "tweets". Registered users can post, like, and ...
account, to ban Islamophobic content on Facebook, warning that it encouraged
extremism Extremism is "the quality or state of being extreme" or "the advocacy of extreme measures or views". The term is primarily used in a politics, political or religion, religious sense to refer to an ideology that is considered (by the speaker or b ...
and violence. In October 2020, the company announced that it would ban
Holocaust denial Holocaust denial is an antisemitic conspiracy theory that falsely asserts that the Nazi genocide of Jews, known as the Holocaust, is a myth, fabrication, or exaggeration. Holocaust deniers make one or more of the following false statements: * ...
. In October 2022, Media Matters for America published a report that Facebook and Instagram were still profiting off advertisements using the slur " groomer" for
LGBT ' is an Acronym, initialism that stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender. In use since the 1990s, the initialism, as well as some of its common variants, functions as an Hyponymy and hypernymy, umbrella term for Sexuality and gende ...
people. The article reported that Meta had previously confirmed that the use of this word for the LGBT community violates its hate speech policies. The story was subsequently picked up by other news outlets such as the ''
New York Daily News The New York ''Daily News'', officially titled the ''Daily News'', is an American newspaper based in Jersey City, NJ. It was founded in 1919 by Joseph Medill Patterson as the ''Illustrated Daily News''. It was the first U.S. daily printed in Ta ...
'', ''
PinkNews ''PinkNews'' is a UK-based online newspaper An online newspaper (or electronic news or electronic news publication) is the electronic publishing, online version of a newspaper, either as a stand-alone publication or as the online version of ...
'', and '' LGBTQ Nation''.


Violent Erotica

There are ads on Facebook and Instagram containing sexually explicit content, descriptions of graphic violence and content promoting acts of self harm. Many of the ads are for webnovel apps backed by tech giants Bytedance and
Tencent Tencent Holdings Ltd. () is a Chinese Multinational corporation, multinational technology and entertainment Conglomerate (company), conglomerate and holding company headquartered in Shenzhen. It is one of the highest grossing multimedia companie ...
.


''InfoWars''

Facebook was criticized for allowing ''
InfoWars ''InfoWars'' is an American far-right conspiracy theory A conspiracy theory is an explanation for an event or situation that invokes a conspiracy by sinister and powerful groups, often political in motivation, when other explanations ...
'' to publish falsehoods and conspiracy theories. Facebook defended its actions in regards to ''InfoWars'', saying "we just don't think banning Pages for sharing conspiracy theories or false news is the right way to go." Facebook provided only six cases in which it fact-checked content on the ''InfoWars'' page over the period September 2017 to July 2018. In 2018 ''InfoWars'' falsely claimed that the survivors of the Parkland shooting were "actors". Facebook pledged to remove ''InfoWars'' content making the claim, although ''InfoWars'' videos pushing the false claims were left up, even though Facebook had been contacted about the videos. Facebook stated that the videos never explicitly called them actors. Facebook also allowed ''InfoWars'' videos that shared the Pizzagate conspiracy theory to survive, despite specific assertions that it would purge Pizzagate content. In late July 2018 Facebook suspended the personal profile of ''InfoWars'' head Alex Jones for 30 days. In early August 2018, Facebook banned the four most active ''InfoWars''-related pages for
hate speech Hate speech is defined by the ''Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary, Cambridge Dictionary'' as "public speech that expresses hate or encourages violence towards a person or group based on something such as race, religion, sex, or sexual or ...
.


Political manipulation

As a dominant social-web service with massive outreach, Facebook have been used by identified or unidentified political operatives to affect public opinion. Some of these activities have been done in violation of the platform policies, creating "coordinated inauthentic behavior", support or attacks. These activities can be scripted or paid. Various such abusive campaign have been revealed in recent years, best known being the
Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections The Russian government interfered in the 2016 U.S. presidential election with the goals of harming the campaign of Hillary Clinton, boosting the candidacy of Donald Trump, and increasing political and social discord in the United States. Acco ...
. In 2021, former Facebook analyst within the ''Spam'' and ''Fake Engagement'' teams, Sophie Zhang, reported more than 25 political subversion operations and criticized the general slow reaction time, oversightless, laissez-faire attitude by Facebook.


Influence Operations and Coordinated Inauthentic Behavior

In 2018, Facebook stated that during 2018 they had identified "coordinated inauthentic behavior" in "many Pages, Groups and accounts created to stir up political debate, including in the US, the Middle East,
Russia Russia (, , ), or the Russian Federation, is a List of transcontinental countries, transcontinental country spanning Eastern Europe and North Asia, Northern Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by area, largest country in the ...
and the UK." Campaigns operated by the British intelligence agency unit, called Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group, have broadly fallen into two categories; cyber attacks and propaganda efforts. The propaganda efforts utilize "mass messaging" and the "pushing fstories" via social media sites like Facebook. Israel's Jewish Internet Defense Force,
China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the world's List of countries and dependencies by population, most populous country, with a Population of China, population exceeding 1.4 billion, slig ...
's 50 Cent Party and
Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Türkiye ( tr, Türkiye Cumhuriyeti, links=no ), is a transcontinental country located mainly on the Anatolia, Anatolian Peninsula in Western Asia, with a East Thrace, small portion on th ...
's AK Trolls also focus their attention on social media platforms like Facebook. In July 2018, Samantha Bradshaw, co-author of the report from the
Oxford Internet Institute The Oxford Internet Institute (OII) is a multi-disciplinary department of social and computer science dedicated to the study of information, communication, and technology, and is part of the Social Sciences Division of the University of Oxford ...
(OII) at
Oxford University Oxford () is a city in England. It is the county town and only city of Oxfordshire. In 2020, its population was estimated at 151,584. It is north-west of London, south-east of Birmingham and north-east of Bristol. The city is home to the Un ...
, said that "The number of countries where formally organised social media manipulation occurs has greatly increased, from 28 to 48 countries globally. The majority of growth comes from political parties who spread
disinformation Disinformation is false information deliberately spread to deceive people. It is sometimes confused with misinformation, which is false information but is not deliberate. The English word wikt:disinformation, ''disinformation'' comes from the ...
and junk news around election periods." In October 2018, ''The Daily Telegraph'' reported that Facebook "banned hundreds of pages and accounts that it says were fraudulently flooding its site with partisan political content – although they came from the
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...
instead of being associated with
Russia Russia (, , ), or the Russian Federation, is a List of transcontinental countries, transcontinental country spanning Eastern Europe and North Asia, Northern Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by area, largest country in the ...
." In December 2018, ''The Washington Post'' reported that "Facebook has suspended the account of Jonathon Morgan, the chief executive of a top social media research firm" New Knowledge, "after reports that he and others engaged in an operation to spread disinformation" on Facebook and Twitter during the 2017 United States Senate special election in Alabama. In January 2019, Facebook said it has removed 783
Iran Iran, officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, and also called Persia, is a country located in Western Asia. It is bordered by Iraq and Turkey to the west, by Azerbaijan and Armenia to the northwest, by the Caspian Sea and Turkmeni ...
-linked accounts, pages and groups for engaging in what it called "coordinated inauthentic behaviour". In May 2019,
Tel Aviv Tel Aviv-Yafo ( he, תֵּל־אָבִיב-יָפוֹ, translit=Tēl-ʾĀvīv-Yāfō ; ar, تَلّ أَبِيب – يَافَا, translit=Tall ʾAbīb-Yāfā, links=no), often referred to as just Tel Aviv, is the most populous city in the G ...
-based private intelligence agency Archimedes Group was banned from Facebook for "coordinated inauthentic behavior" after Facebook found fake users in countries in sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and Southeast Asia. Facebook investigations revealed that Archimedes had spent some $1.1 million ($ in dollars) on fake ads, paid for in Brazilian reais, Israeli shekels and US dollars. Facebook gave examples of Archimedes Group political interference in
Nigeria Nigeria ( ), , ig, Naìjíríyà, yo, Nàìjíríà, pcm, Naijá , ff, Naajeeriya, kcg, Naijeriya officially the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a country in West Africa. It is situated between the Sahel to the north and the Gulf of G ...
,
Senegal Senegal,; Wolof language, Wolof: ''Senegaal''; Pulaar language, Pulaar: 𞤅𞤫𞤲𞤫𞤺𞤢𞥄𞤤𞤭 (Senegaali); Arabic language, Arabic: السنغال ''As-Sinighal'') officially the Republic of Senegal,; Wolof language, Wolof: ''R ...
,
Togo Togo (), officially the Togolese Republic (french: République togolaise), is a country in Western Africa, West Africa. It is bordered by Ghana to Ghana–Togo border, the west, Benin to Benin–Togo border, the east and Burkina Faso to Burkina ...
,
Angola , national_anthem = " Angola Avante"() , image_map = , map_caption = , capital = Luanda , religion = , religion_year = 2020 , religion_ref = , coordina ...
,
Niger ) , official_languages = , languages_type = National languagesTunisia ) , image_map = Tunisia location (orthographic projection).svg , map_caption = Location of Tunisia in northern Africa , image_map2 = , capital = Tunis , largest_city = capital , ...
. The Atlantic Council's Digital Forensic Research Lab said in a report that "The tactics employed by Archimedes Group, a private company, closely resemble the types of information warfare tactics often used by governments, and the Kremlin in particular." On May 23, 2019, Facebook released its Community Standards Enforcement Report highlighting that it has identified several fake accounts through artificial intelligence and human monitoring. In a period of six months, October 2018-March 2019, the social media website removed a total of 3.39 billion fake accounts. The number of fake accounts was reported to be more than 2.4 billion real people on the platform. In July 2019, Facebook advanced its measures to counter deceptive political propaganda and other abuse of its services. The company removed more than 1,800 accounts and pages that were being operated from
Russia Russia (, , ), or the Russian Federation, is a List of transcontinental countries, transcontinental country spanning Eastern Europe and North Asia, Northern Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by area, largest country in the ...
,
Thailand Thailand ( ), historically known as Siam () and officially the Kingdom of Thailand, is a country in Southeast Asia, located at the centre of the Mainland Southeast Asia, Indochinese Peninsula, spanning , with a population of almost 70 mi ...
,
Ukraine Ukraine ( uk, Україна, Ukraïna, ) is a country in Eastern Europe. It is the List of European countries by area, second-largest European country after Russia, which it borders Russia–Ukraine border, to the east and northeast. Ukraine ...
and
Honduras Honduras, officially the Republic of Honduras, is a country in Central America. The republic of Honduras is bordered to the west by Guatemala, to the southwest by El Salvador, to the southeast by Nicaragua, to the south by the Pacific Ocean ...
. After Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, it was announced that the internet regulatory committee would block access to Facebook. On October 30, 2019, Facebook deleted several accounts of the employees working at the Israeli NSO Group, stating that the accounts were "deleted for not following our terms". The deletions came after WhatsApp sued the Israeli surveillance firm for targeting 1,400 devices with
spyware Spyware (a portmanteau A portmanteau word, or portmanteau (, ) is a Blend word, blend of words