Time to ‘Break Facebook Up,’ Sanders Says After Leaked Docs Program Social Media Giant ‘Treated User Information as a Bargaining Chip’

After NBC News on Wednesday released a trove of leaked files that show how Facebook “treated user information as a bargaining chip with external app designers,” White Home hopeful Sen. Bernie Sanders stated that it is time “to break Facebook up.”

Facebook has unbelievable power over the economy and our political life. It harvests the information of 228 million Americans and, over and over, utilizes this sensitive details in hazardous methods. What we need is energetic antitrust action and to break Facebook up. https://t.co/Wawjlff1o6

— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) November 6, 2019

When British investigative reporter Duncan Campbell first shared the trove of documents with a handful of media outlets including NBC News in April, journalists Olivia Solon and Cyrus Farivar reported that “Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg managed plans to combine the social network’s power and control rivals by treating its users’ data as a bargaining chip, while openly declaring to be securing that information.”

With the publication Wednesday of almost 7,000 pages of records– that include internal Facebook e-mails, web chats, notes, discussions, and spreadsheets– journalists and the general public can now have a closer look at exactly how the company was using the large quantity of data it collects when it concerned bargaining with 3rd parties.

Technically still under protective order in a California state civil claim that the start-up app developer Six4Three submitted against Facebook in 2015, the dripped files from the case include 3,799 pages of sealed displays, 2,737 pages of exhibits, 415 pages of related notes and summaries, and a 20-page memorandum (pdfs). More than 1,000 pages are identified “highly personal.”

According to Solon and Farivar of NBC:

Taken together, they demonstrate how Zuckerberg, together with his board and management group, found methods to tap Facebook users’ information– including information about good friends, relationships, and photos– as take advantage of over the business it partnered with. In many cases, Facebook would reward partners by providing them preferential access to specific kinds of user information while rejecting the exact same access to competing business.

For instance, Facebook provided Amazon special access to user data since it was investing money on Facebook marketing. In another case the messaging app MessageMe was cut off from access to data because it had actually grown too popular and might take on Facebook.


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All the while, Facebook planned to openly frame these relocations as a method to protect user privacy, the documents reveal.

Open Markets Institute fellow Matt Stoller tweeted in action to NBC‘s report Wednesday: “As I have actually been stating the personal privacy frame is bullshit. Facebook is all about criminal habits to monopolize advertisement money.”

The file dump comes as Facebook and Zuckerberg are dealing with extensive criticism over the company’s political advertising policy, which permits prospects for elected workplace to lie in the ads they pay to flow on the platform. It likewise comes as 47 state attorney generals of the United States, led by Letitia James of New York City, are investigating the social media giant for antitrust violations.

The Week‘s nationwide correspondent Ryan Cooper, who also responded to NBC‘s report on Twitter, wrote that “there are some useful (however not overwhelming) problems with putting antitrust regulations on say, Amazon. [] Facebook you could simply shut it down and the world would be a far better location.”

The call from Sanders (I-Vt.) Wednesday to break up Facebook follows similar however less definitive declarations from the senator.

One of Sanders’ competitors in the 2020 Democratic governmental primary race, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), launched her plan to “Separate Huge Tech” in March. Zuckerberg is amongst the opponents of Warren’s proposal, which likewise targets other significant technology companies like Amazon and Google.

This content was originally published here.

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