AI News, BBC TG May 2017

Criticism of Facebook

with its most prominent case concerning allegations that CEO Mark Zuckerberg broke an oral contract with Cameron Winklevoss, Tyler Winklevoss, and Divya Narendra to build the then-named 'HarvardConnection' social network in 2004, instead allegedly opting to steal the idea and code to launch Facebook months before HarvardConnection began.[39][40][41]

Instant Personalization was a pilot program which shared Facebook account information with affiliated sites, such as sharing a user's list of 'liked' bands with a music website, so that when the user visits the site, their preferred music plays automatically.

As soon as you visit the sites in the pilot program (Yelp, Pandora, and Microsoft Docs) the sites can access your name, your picture, your gender, your current location, your list of friends, all the Pages you have Liked—everything Facebook classifies as public information.

On December 27, 2012, CBS News reported that Randi Zuckerberg, sister of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, criticized a friend for being 'way uncool' in sharing a private Facebook photo of her on Twitter, only to be told that the image had appeared on a friend-of-a-friend's Facebook news feed.

A configuration problem on a Facebook server caused the PHP code to be displayed instead of the web page the code should have created, raising concerns about how secure private data on the site was.

On December 1, Facebook's credibility in regard to the Beacon program was further tested when it was reported that The New York Times 'essentially accuses' Mark Zuckerberg of lying to the paper and leaving Coca-Cola, which is reversing course on the program, a similar impression.[52]

In May 2010, Facebook added privacy controls and streamlined its privacy settings, giving users more ways to manage status updates and other information that is broadcast to the public News Feed.[59]

However, a user who presses 'like' or comments on the photo or status update of a friend cannot prevent that action from appearing in the news feeds of all the user's friends, even non-mutual ones.

The 'View As' option, used to show a user how privacy controls filter out what a specific given friend can see, only displays the user's timeline and gives no indication that items missing from the timeline may still be showing up in the friend's own news feed.

Government and local authorities rely on Facebook and other social networks to investigate crimes and obtain evidence to help establish a crime, provide location information, establish motives, prove and disprove alibis, and reveal communications.[61]

Facebook has willingly provided information in response to government subpoenas or requests, except with regard to private, unopened inbox messages less than 181 days old, which would require a warrant and a finding of probable cause under federal law under Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA).

One 2011 article noted that 'even when the government lacks reasonable suspicion of criminal activity and the user opts for the strictest privacy controls, Facebook users still cannot expect federal law to stop their 'private' content and communications from being used against them'.[62]

Indeed, Facebook's privacy policy states that 'We may also share information when we have a good faith belief it is necessary to prevent fraud or other illegal activity, to prevent imminent bodily harm, or to protect ourselves and you from people violating our Statement of Rights and Responsibilities.

Since the U.S. Congress has failed to meaningfully amend the ECPA to protect most communications on social-networking sites such as Facebook, and since the U.S. Supreme Court has largely refused to recognize a Fourth Amendment privacy right to information shared with a third party, there is no federal statutory or constitutional right that prevents the government from issuing requests that amount to fishing expeditions and there is no Facebook privacy policy that forbids the company from handing over private user information that suggests any illegal activity.[62]

The Assistant Commissioner found that Facebook did not do enough to ensure users granted meaningful consent for the disclosure of personal information to third parties and did not place adequate safeguards to ensure unauthorized access by third party developers to personal information.[65]

Two Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) students were able to use an automated script to download the publicly posted information of over 70,000 Facebook profiles from four schools (MIT, NYU, the University of Oklahoma, and Harvard University) as part of a research project on Facebook privacy published on December 14, 2005.[66]

Since then, Facebook has bolstered security protection for users, responding: 'We've built numerous defenses to combat phishing and malware, including complex automated systems that work behind the scenes to detect and flag Facebook accounts that are likely to be compromised (based on anomalous activity like lots of messages sent in a short period of time, or messages with links that are known to be bad).'[67]

second clause that brought criticism from some users allowed Facebook the right to sell users' data to private companies, stating 'We may share your information with third parties, including responsible companies with which we have a relationship.'

In September 2007, Facebook drew criticism after it began allowing search engines to index profile pages, though Facebook's privacy settings allow users to turn this off.[71]

However, there is barely any personal information presented to non-friends - if users leave the privacy controls on their default settings, the only personal information visible to a non-friend is the user's name, gender, profile picture, networks, and user name.[73]

An article in The New York Times in February 2008 pointed out that Facebook does not actually provide a mechanism for users to close their accounts, and raised the concern that private user data would remain indefinitely on Facebook's servers.[74]

an account allows it to be restored later, while deleting it will remove the account 'permanently', although some data submitted by that account ('like posting to a group or sending someone a message') will remain.[75]

Media outlets considered the app to effectively be spyware due to its behavior, adding that the app's listings did not readily disclaim Facebook's ownership of the app and its data collection practices.[80][81]

Since 2016, Facebook has also run 'Project Atlas'—publicly known as 'Facebook Research'—a market research program inviting teenagers and young adults between the ages of 13 and 35 to have data such as their app usage, web browsing history, web search history, location history, personal messages, photos, videos, emails, and Amazon order history, analyzed by Facebook.

In the wake of a January 2019 report by TechCrunch on Project Atlas, which alleged that Facebook bypassed the App Store by using an Apple enterprise program for apps used internally by a company's employees, Facebook refuted the article but later announced its discontinuation of the program on iOS.[85][86]

Notably, on January 1, 2008, one such memorial group posted the identity of murdered Toronto teenager Stefanie Rengel, whose family had not yet given the Toronto Police Service their consent to release her name to the media, and the identities of her accused killers, in defiance of Canada's Youth Criminal Justice Act, which prohibits publishing the names of the under-age accused.[97]

While police and Facebook staff attempted to comply with the privacy regulations by deleting such posts, they noted difficulty in effectively policing the individual users who repeatedly republished the deleted information.[98]

The number one reason for users to quit Facebook was privacy concerns (48%), being followed by a general dissatisfaction with Facebook (14%), negative aspects regarding Facebook friends (13%), and the feeling of getting addicted to Facebook (6%).

National Journal Daily claims 'Facebook is facing new scrutiny over its decision to automatically turn on a new facial recognition feature aimed at helping users identify their friends in photos'.[105]

Zuckerberg showed no worries when speaking about Facebook's AIs, saying, 'Unsupervised learning is a long-term focus of our AI research team at Facebook, and it remains an important challenge for the whole AI research community' and 'It will save lives by diagnosing diseases and driving us around more safely.

Some of the information not included was 'likes', data about the new face recognition function, data about third party websites that use 'social plugins' visited by users and information about uploaded videos.

In spring 2012, Facebook had to undertake many changes (e.g., having an extended download tool that should allow users to exercise the European right to access to all stored information or an update of the worldwide privacy policy).

Relying on tracking cookies to keep track of pages visited, the United States Congress and the World Wide Web Consortium are attempting to set new guidelines to deal with Internet privacy concerns, potentially giving users the ability to limit or stop technology companies from tracking their activities.[122]

Arguing that the cookies provided better security, Facebook said in a statement: 'We're disappointed we were unable to reach an agreement and now people will be required to log in or register for an account to see publicly available content on Facebook.'[124][125]

Social networks, like Facebook, can have a detrimental effect on marriages, with users becoming worried about their spouse's contacts and relations with other people online, leading to marital breakdown and divorce.[126]

Stalking is not only limited to SNS stalking, but can lead to further 'in-person' stalking because nearly 25% of real-life stalking victims reported it started with online instant messaging (e.g., Facebook chat).[137][138]

Performative surveillance is the notion that people are very much aware that they are being surveiled on websites, like Facebook, and use the surveillance as an opportunity to portray themselves in a way that connotes a certain lifestyle—of which, that individual may, or may not, distort how they are perceived in reality.[139]

Facebook said that 'While knowledge of user ID does not permit access to anyone’s private information on Facebook, we plan to introduce new technical systems that will dramatically limit the sharing of User ID’s'.

A blog post by a member of Facebook's team further stated that 'press reports have exaggerated the implications of sharing a user ID', though still acknowledging that some of the apps were passing the ID in a manner that violated Facebook's policies.[140][141]

Facebook was also criticized for allowing the 2012 Barack Obama presidential campaign to analyze and target select users by providing the campaign with friendship connections of users who signed up for an application.

Although, the U.S government has yet to pass a national law protecting prospective employees and their social networking sites, from employers, the fourth amendment of the US constitution can protect prospective employees in specific situations.[155][156]

According to a survey of hiring managers by, the most common deal breakers they found on Facebook profiles include references to drinking, poor communication skills, inappropriate photos, and lying about skills and/or qualifications.[157]

2011 study in the online journal First Monday examines how parents consistently enable children as young as 10 years old to sign up for accounts, directly violating Facebook's policy banning young visitors.

This policy is in compliance with a United States law, the 1998 Children's Online Privacy Protection Act, which requires minors aged 13 or younger to gain explicit parental consent to access commercial websites.

Of the 1,007 households surveyed for the study, 76% of parents reported that their child joined Facebook at an age younger than 13, the minimum age in the site's terms of service.

The findings of the study raise questions primarily about the shortcomings of United States federal law, but also implicitly continue to raise questions about whether or not Facebook does enough to publicize its terms of service with respect to minors.

The Journal of Education for Business states that 'a recent study of 200 Facebook profiles found that 42% had comments regarding alcohol, 53% had photos involving alcohol use, 20% had comments regarding sexual activities, 25% had seminude or sexually provocative photos, and 50% included the use of profanity.'[161]

Bugeja, author of the Oxford University Press text Interpersonal Divide (2005), quoted representatives of the American Association of University Professors and colleagues in higher education to document the distraction of students using Facebook and other social networks during class and at other venues in the wireless campus.

This same study found that certain Facebook activities like commenting and creating or RSVPing to events were positively related to student engagement while playing games and checking up on friends was negatively related.

The term phishing is one kind of online fraud in which criminals try to trick people into revealing passwords, credit card information, and other sensitive information.

Phishing takes the form of a message or Wall post that appears to come from someone on the user's Friend List but in actuality the message was sent by phishers using the friend's login information.

In September 2018, a software bug meant that photos that had been uploaded to Facebook accounts, but that had not been 'published' (and which therefore should have remained private between the user and Facebook), were exposed to app developers.[174]

In December 2018, it emerged that Facebook had, during the period 2010–2018, granted access to users' private messages, address book contents, and private posts, without the users' consent, to more than 150 third parties including Microsoft, Amazon, Yahoo, Netflix, and Spotify.

In December 2018, it emerged that Facebook's mobile app reveals the user's location to Facebook, even if the user does not use the 'check in' feature and has configured all relevant settings within the app so as to maximize location privacy.[176]

In February 2019, it emerged that a number of Facebook apps, including Flo, had been sending users' health data such as blood pressure and ovulation status to Facebook without users' informed consent.[178][179][180][181]

New York governor Andrew Cuomo called the practice an 'outrageous abuse of privacy', ordered New York's department of state and department of financial services to investigate, and encouraged federal regulators to step in.[182]

Such highlights include, but are not limited to, journal posts, videos, and photos that depict or reference such positive or otherwise outstanding activities, experiences, and facts.

This effect is caused mainly by the fact that most users of Facebook usually only display the positive aspects of their lives while excluding the negative, though it is also strongly connected to inequality and the disparities between social groups as Facebook is open to users from all classes of society.

state that this kind of envy has profound effects on other aspects of life and can lead to severe depression, self-loathing, rage and hatred, resentment, feelings of inferiority and insecurity, pessimism, suicidal tendencies and desires, social isolation, and other issues that can prove very serious.

joint study conducted by two German universities demonstrated Facebook envy and found that as many as one out of three people actually feel worse and less satisfied with their lives after visiting the site.

Causes of stress included fear of missing important social information, fear of offending contacts, discomfort or guilt from rejecting user requests or deleting unwanted contacts or being unfriended or blocked by Facebook friends or other users, the displeasure of having friend requests rejected or ignored, the pressure to be entertaining, criticism or intimidation from other Facebook users, and having to use appropriate etiquette for different types of friends.[194]

It is caused by the extent of usage, number of friends, subjective social support norms, and type of relationship (online-only vs offline friends) while age has only an indirect effect.

The psychological and behavioral consequences of social overload include perceptions of SNS exhaustion, low user satisfaction, and high intentions to reduce or stop using SNS.[196]

Another study conducted in 2012 by researchers from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business in the United States found that drugs like alcohol and tobacco could not keep up with social networking sites regarding their level of addictiveness.[198]

Many studies have attempted to discover whether Facebook has a positive or negative effect on children’s and teenagers’ social lives, and many of them have come to the conclusion that there are distinct social problems that arise with Facebook usage.

When that self is then broken down by others by badmouthing, criticism, harassment, criminalization or vilification, intimidation, demonization, demoralization, belittlement, or attacking someone over the site it can cause much of the envy, anger, or depression.[200][201][202][203]

The researchers concluded that they had found 'some of the first experimental evidence to support the controversial claims that emotions can spread throughout a network, [though] the effect sizes from the manipulations are small.'[207]

Shortly thereafter, on July 3, 2014, USA Today reported that the privacy watchdog group Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) had filed a formal complaint with the Federal Trade Commission claiming that Facebook had broken the law when it conducted the study on the emotions of its users without their knowledge or consent.

In its complaint, EPIC alleged that Facebook had deceived it users by secretly conducting a psychological experiment on their emotions: 'At the time of the experiment, Facebook did not state in the Data Use Policy that user data would be used for research purposes.

(2014) found a 0.07%—that's not 7 percent, that's 1/15th of one percent!!—decrease in negative words in people's status updates when the number of negative posts on their Facebook news feed decreased.

In the UK, the study was also criticised by the British Psychological Society which said, in a letter to The Guardian, 'There has undoubtedly been some degree of harm caused, with many individuals affected by increased levels of negative emotion, with consequent potential economic costs, increase in possible mental health problems and burden on health services.

In November 2017, the Irish Independent recorded that for the 2016 financial year, Facebook had paid €30 million of Irish corporation tax on €12.6 billion of revenues that were routed through Ireland, giving an Irish effective tax rate of under 1%.[220]

In 2015, some Facebook pages were accused of plagiarizing videos from YouTube users and re-posting them as their own content using Facebook's video platform, and in some cases, achieving higher levels of engagement and views than the original YouTube post.

Videos hosted by Facebook are given a higher priority and prominence within the platform and its user experience (including direct embedding within the News Feed and pages), giving a disadvantage to posting it as a link to the original external source.[225][226]

In August 2015, Facebook announced a video-matching technology aiming to identify reposted videos, and also stated its intention to improve its procedures to remove infringing content faster.[227]

Having previously refused to delete such clips under the guideline that users have the right to depict the 'world in which we live', Facebook changed its stance in May, announcing that it would remove reported videos while evaluating its policy.[229]

further stating that 'Sometimes, those experiences and issues involve graphic content that is of public interest or concern, such as human rights abuses, acts of terrorism, and other violence.

Two days later, Facebook removed a video of a beheading following 'worldwide outrage', and while acknowledging its commitment to allowing people to upload gory material for the purpose of condemnation, it also stated that it would be further strengthening its enforcement to prevent glorification.[231]

and brought the government to rapidly issue a law that would force Internet service providers to deny access to entire websites in case of refused removal of illegal contents.

Facebook criticized the government's efforts, telling Bloomberg that it 'would be like closing an entire railway network just because of offensive graffiti at one station', and that 'Facebook would always remove any content promoting violence and already had a takedown procedure in place.'[261]

Shortly after the suicide of high school student Alexis Pilkington, anonymous posters began trolling for reactions across various message boards, referring to Pilkington as a 'suicidal CUSS', and posting graphic images on her Facebook memorial page.

In April 2011, Bradley Paul Hampson was sentenced to three years in jail after pleading guilty to two counts of using a carriage service, the Internet, to cause offense, for posts on Facebook memorial pages, and one count each of distributing and possessing child pornography when he posted images on the memorial pages of the deceased with phalluses superimposed alongside phrases such as 'Woot I'm dead'.[266][267]

Rape Is No Joke (RINJ), a group opposing the pages, argued that removing 'pro-rape' pages from Facebook and other social media was not a violation of free speech in the context of Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the concepts recognized in international human rights law in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.[269] RINJ

The campaign highlighted content that promoted domestic and sexual violence against women, and used over 57,000 tweets and more than 4,900 emails to create outcomes such as the withdrawal of advertising from Facebook by 15 companies, including Nissan UK, House of Burlesque and Nationwide UK.

but then agreed to take action on May 29, 2013 after it had 'become clear that our systems to identify and remove hate speech have failed to work as effectively as we would like, particularly around issues of gender-based hate'.[273]

However, when presented with the images, Facebook cancelled the interview, and told the BBC that it had been reported to the National Crime Agency for illegally distributing child exploitation images (the NCA could not confirm whether the BBC was actually being investigated).[275]

In July 2017, GMA News reported that 'a number' of secret Facebook groups that had been engaging in illegal activity of sharing 'obscene' photos of women had been exposed, with the Philippine National Bureau of Investigation warning group members of the possibility of being liable for violating child pornography and anti-voyeurism laws.

Senator Risa Hontiveros responded to the incidents with the proposal of a law that would impose 'stiff penalties' on such group members, stating that 'These people have no right to enjoy our internet freedom only to abuse our women and children.

They said the page inciting against Palestinians was closed by Facebook (on the same day that it was reported) for 'containing credible threat of violence' which 'violated our [Facebook's] community standards', but not the page inciting against Israelis.

Israeli politicians have complained that Facebook does not comply or assist with requests from the police for tracking and reporting individuals when they share their intent to kill or commit any other act of terrorism on their Facebook pages.

In June 2016, following the murder of Hallel Ariel, 13, by a terrorist who posted on Facebook, Israeli Minister of Public Security Gilad Erdan charged that 'Facebook, which has brought a positive revolution to the world, has become a monster...The dialogue, the incitement, the lies of the young Palestinian generation are happening on the Facebook platform.'

In July 2016, a civil action for $1 billion in damages was filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York on behalf of the victims and family members of four Israeli-Americans and one US citizen killed by Hamas terrorists since June 2014.[284][285]

The plaintiffs claimed that Facebook knowingly provided its social media platform and communication services to Hamas in violation of provisions of US Anti-Terrorism laws which prohibits US businesses from providing any material support, including services, to designated terrorist groups and their leaders.

The suit claims that Hamas 'used and relied on Facebook's online social network platform and communications services to facilitate and carry out its terrorist activity, including the terrorist attacks in which Hamas murdered and injured the victims and their families in this case'.[284][285]

The terror cells received Hezbollah funding and planned to conduct suicide bombings and ambushes and had begun preparing explosive devices for attacks, said the security service, which claimed credit for preventing the attacks.

Currently, legislation is being prepared in Israel, allowing fines of 300,000 shekels for Facebook and other social media like Twitter and YouTube for every post inciting or praising terrorism that isn't removed within 48 hours, and could possibly lead to further acts of terrorism.[289]

The company claimed that the majority of the terrorism accounts that are found are discovered by Facebook itself, while it reviews reports of terrorism content 'urgently', and, in cases of imminent harm, 'promptly inform authorities'.

It also develops new tools to aid in its efforts, including the use of artificial intelligence to match terrorist images and videos, detecting when content is shared across related accounts, and developing technologies to stop repeat offenders.

In June 2017, The Guardian reported that a software bug had exposed the personal details of 1,000 Facebook workers involved in reviewing and removing terrorism content, by displaying their profiles in the 'Activity' logs of Facebook groups related to terrorism efforts,.

In Facebook's Dublin, Ireland headquarters, six individuals were determined to be 'high priority' victims of the error, after the company concluded that their profiles were likely viewed by potential terrorists in groups such as ISIS, Hezbollah and the Kurdistan Workers' Party.

A Facebook spokesperson stated that 'Our investigation found that only a small fraction of the names were likely viewed, and we never had evidence of any threat to the people impacted or their families as a result of this matter', and Craig D’Souza, Facebook's head of global investigations, said: 'Keep in mind that when the person sees your name on the list, it was in their activity log, which contains a lot of information [...] there is a good chance that they associate you with another admin of the group or a hacker'.

As a result of the data leak, Facebook is reportedly testing the use of alternative, administrative accounts for workers reviewing content, rather than requiring workers to sign in with their personal profiles.[292][293]

on October 26, 2018 social network Facebook announced that it has deleted 82 accounts created in Iran that included posts advocating harsh issues such as race, immigration, and U.S. President Donald Trump, .

Facebook has been criticized for not doing enough to limit the spread of fake news stories on their site, especially after the 2016 United States presidential election, which some have claimed Donald Trump would not have won if Facebook had not helped spread what they claim to have been fake stories that were biased in his favor.[295]

Although Facebook initially denied claims of issues with fake new stories and their algorithms, they fired the entire trending team involved with a fake news story about Megyn Kelly being a 'closeted liberal'.[300]

has removed hundreds of additional pages and groups linked to the Military, this includes 425 pages, 17 groups, and 135 accounts for “for engaging in coordinated inauthentic behavior on Facebook.”[306]

A user claimed responsibility via the anonymous Android and iOS app Secret for reporting 'fake names' which caused user profiles to be suspended, specifically targeting the stage names of drag queens.[310]

On October 1, 2014, Chris Cox, Chief Product Officer at Facebook, offered an apology: 'In the two weeks since the real-name policy issues surfaced, we've had the chance to hear from many of you in these communities and understand the policy more clearly as you experience it.

We owe you a better service and a better experience using Facebook, and we're going to fix the way this policy gets handled so everyone affected here can go back to using Facebook as you were.'[311]

The site is developing a protocol that will allow members to provide specifics as to their 'special circumstance' or 'unique situation' with a request to use pseudonyms, subject to verification of their true identities.

At that time, this was already being tested in the U.S. Product manager Todd Gage and vice president of global operations Justin Osofsky also promised a new method for reducing the number of members who must go through ID verification while ensuring the safety of others on Facebook.

The fake name reporting procedure will also be modified, forcing anyone who makes such an allegation to provide specifics that would be investigated and giving the accused individual time to dispute the allegation.[314]

Some users have complained that this policy allows Facebook to empower abusive users to harass them by allowing them to submit reports on even benign comments and photos as being 'offensive' or 'in violation of Facebook Rights and Responsibilities' and that enough of these reports result in the user who is being harassed in this way getting their account blocked for a predetermined number of days or weeks, or even deactivated entirely.[316]

The automated emailing system used when filling out a support form often refers users back to the help center or to pages that are outdated and cannot be accessed, leaving users at a dead end with no further support available.

On September 18, 2009, Facebook went down for the second time in 2009, the first time being when a group of hackers were deliberately trying to drown out a political speaker who had social networking problems from continuously speaking against the Iranian election results.[322]

Australian technologist Nik Cubrilovic discovered that when a user logs out of Facebook, the cookies from that login are still kept in the browser, allowing Facebook to track users on websites that include 'social widgets' distributed by the social network.

As of December 2015, to comply with a court order citing violations of the European Union Directive on Privacy and Electronic Communications—which requires users to consent to tracking and storage of data by websites, Facebook no longer allows users in Belgium to view any content on the service, even public pages, without being registered and logged in.[328]

On March 27, 2016, following a bombing in Lahore, Pakistan, Facebook activated its 'Safety Check' feature, which allows people to let friends and loved ones know they are okay following a crisis or natural disaster, to people who were never in danger, or even close to the Pakistan explosion.

Images have been removed from user pages on topics such as breastfeeding, nudes in art, apparent breasts, naked mannequins, kisses between persons of the same sex and family photos.[343]

Although photos that show an exposed breast violate Facebook's decency code, even when the baby covered the nipple, Facebook took several days to respond to criticism and deactivate a paid advertisement for a dating service that used a photo of a topless model.[348]

Around July 1, 2015 Facebook started to automatically ban accounts that use the word 'moskal', which is a widely used historical slang term for people of Russia (formerly Moskovia until 1721), which may be seen offensive by some individuals.

A human rights group superimposed pellet injuries similar to those inflicted on Kashmiri people on the faces of popular Indian actors, famous people including Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and even Prime Minister Narendra Modi as a response, which went viral.[358][359]

In May 2016, Facebook and other technology companies agreed to a new 'code of conduct' by the European Commission to review hateful online content within 24 hours of being notified, and subsequently remove such content if necessary.[366][367][368]

A year later, Reuters reported that the European Union had approved proposals to make Facebook and other technology companies tackle hate speech content on their platforms, but that a final agreement in the European Parliament is needed to make the proposals into law.[369][370]

2010, the Office of the Data Protection Supervisor, a branch of the government of the Isle of Man, received so many complaints about Facebook that they deemed it necessary to provide a 'Facebook Guidance' booklet (available online as a PDF file), which cited (amongst other things) Facebook policies and guidelines and included an elusive Facebook telephone number.

This number when called, however, proved to provide no telephone support for Facebook users, and only played back a recorded message advising callers to review Facebook's online help information.[376]

After a UNM user signed into Facebook from off campus, a message from Facebook said, 'We are working with the UNM administration to lift the block and have explained that it was instituted based on erroneous information, but they have not yet committed to restore your access.'

Advanced users cannot limit the amount of information anyone can access in their profiles, but Facebook promotes the sharing of personal information for marketing purposes, leading to the promotion of the service using personal data from users who are not fully aware of this.

On April 12, 2011, a three-judge panel of a federal appeals court in San Francisco ruled that the Winklevoss brothers, whose fight over Facebook's origins was a major narrative arc of the film The Social Network, cannot back out of a settlement they signed with the company in 2008.

According to Ceglia, he and Zuckerberg signed a contract on April 28, 2003, that for an initial fee of $1,000, entitles Ceglia to 50% of the website's revenue, as well as additional 1% interest per each day after January 1, 2004, until website completion.

In addition to this statement Zuckerberg explained the paradox created when people want to share their information (phone number, pictures, email address, etc.) with the public, but at the same time desire to remain in complete control of who has access to this info.[436]

Because 'Facebook is still in the business of introducing new and therefore potentially disruptive technologies', Zuckerberg explains, users need to adjust and familiarize themselves with the products before they can adequately show their support.[439]

However, the new terms were harshly criticized in a report by computer scientists from the University of Cambridge, who stated that the democratic process surrounding the new terms is disingenuous and significant problems remain in the new terms.[441]

claiming that Facebook's new policy of sharing users' home address and mobile phone information with third-party developers were 'misleading and fail[ed] to provide users clear and privacy protections', particularly for children under age 18.[445]

Facebook’s team believed that through the Beacon system people could inspire their friends to buy similar products, however, users did not like the idea of sharing certain online purchases with their Facebook friends.[453]

As of December 2010[update], the 36-month running count of complaints about Facebook logged with the Better Business Bureau is 1136, including 101 ('Making a full refund, as the consumer requested'), 868 ('Agreeing to perform according to their contract'), 1 ('Refuse [sic] to adjust, relying on terms of agreement'), 20 ('Unassigned'), 0 ('Unanswered') and 136 ('Refusing to make an adjustment').[457]

Marcy Scott Lynn, of Facebook's sustainability program, said it looked forward 'to a day when our primary energy sources are clean and renewable' and that the company is 'working with Greenpeace and others to help bring that day closer'.[471][472]

Despite the significant increase in likes, Muller noticed his page has actually decreased in engagement – there were fewer people commenting, sharing, and liking his posts and updates despite the significant increase in 'likes'.

Furthermore, there are lots of work which try to detect fake profile using automated means, in one such work machine learning techniques are used to detect fake users.[488]

The best way for your stories to appear in the News Feed filter is to create stories that are highly engaging, as high quality, interesting stories are most likely to garner likes and comments by the user's friends.[436]

Following a difficult 2017, marked by accusations of relaying Fake news and revelations about groups close to Russia which tried to influence the 2016 US presidential election (see Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections) via advertisements on his service, Mark Zuckerberg, announced in his traditional January post:

To this end, the new algorithm is supposed to determine the publications around which a user is most likely to interact with his friends, and make them appear higher in the News Feed instead of items for example from media companies or brands.

This change which seems to be just another update of the social network, is widely criticized because of the heavy consequences it might lead to “In countries such as the Philippines, Myanmar and South Sudan and emerging democracies such Bolivia and Serbia, it is not ethical to plead platform neutrality or to set up the promise of a functioning news ecosystem and then simply withdraw at a whim”.[508] Indeed,

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