The recent Facebook scandals weren’t the first and probably won’t be the last, suggests The Guardian’s Observer. The social media giant’s business model and incredibly large cashflow is built on extracting its users’ information and using it to target them with ads. The essence of this process cannot be dismantled without significantly hurting the company’s income. Its CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, has often dealt with controversies by apologizing, saying it won’t happen again, changing things negligibly and then still allowing big issues to persist. Drawing in more users and more information, and the problems that come with this, are an essential part of Facebook.
Facebook has a strong possibility to eliminate the misuse of the data that it collects, argues Jonathan Zittrawin of The New York Times. Reforming the way that users share their information and allowing them to see with whom it was shared would be a step forward. Social media platforms that process large amounts of sensitive data should be held responsible, like doctors or lawyers, and seen as fiduciaries. They should prioritize their users’ interests over their own. A new model based on transparency and protecting users might cost the company some of its revenue, but it would revolutionize Facebook in a way that makes it more of a positive force again.