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Facebook CEO Mark ZuckerbergShutterstock

March 23, 2018  (LifeSiteNews) – In a stunning series of Tweets, a former Obama campaign official disclosed that Facebook permitted the campaign to ‘mine’ its users personal profile information because Facebook wanted Obama to win reelection.

The revelations came amid a furor which erupted when it was learned that Cambridge Analytica, a political consulting firm which combines data mining, data brokerage, and data analysis with strategic communication to influence election outcomes, had similarly mined information which was later used by the Trump campaign.  

While mainstream media expressed horror that the Republican candidate was able to perhaps exploit Facebook users’ profile information, it has become clear that the Trump campaign had only emulated what Obama for America had done previously.

In contrast, the Obama campaign was praised by media outlets for its ingenuity in digging into and manipulating social network information as a means of connecting with younger voters.  

And while the Trump campaign had access to the information because of a mistake–– Cambridge Analytica had failed to delete Facebook information it had gleaned back in 2007––the Obama Campaign had what amounted to unfettered realtime access to user’s personal information with the blessings of Facebook.

Carol Davidsen, the former Obama for America media director said Facebook officials “were very candid that they allowed us to do things they wouldn’t have allowed someone else to do because they were on our side.”

Davidsen admitted that the project “felt creepy,” adding, “even though we played by the rules, and didn’t do anything I felt was ugly, with the data.”

Facebook was surprised we were able to suck out the whole social graph, but they didn’t stop us once they realized that was what we were doing.

Amid all the unwanted attention Facebook is now receiving, the company’s founder, Mark Zuckerberg, is making the media rounds, doing damage control.  After all, Facebook users have suddenly become alarmed that their personal information is being picked through and exploited without their consent.  As a result of the recent data harvesting revelations, Facebook has lost roughly $50 billion in market value since the scandal broke several days ago.

According to an interview with Recode:

Zuckerberg admitted multiple times throughout the 20-minute interview that Facebook had made major mistakes in the building of its social platform — going as far back as 2007 — that ultimately led to Cambridge Analytica’s ability to misuse the personal profile information of some 50 million users. Unlike in his statement posted to his Facebook page on Wednesday, Zuckerberg even apologized.

“We let the community down and I feel really bad and I’m sorry about that,” he said. Earlier, and in this interview, he had called the mistakes a “breach of trust” with its users.

Zuckerberg comments, however, did not extend to Facebook’s granting permission to the Obama campaign’s similar exploitation of user data in 2012.  

In the wide-ranging Recode interview, Zuckerberg expressed concern about how his personal ideology might impact Facebook’s regulations.

“A lot of the most sensitive issues that we face today are conflicts between real values, right? Freedom of speech and hate speech and offensive content. Where is the line?” he wondered.

“[The] thing is like, ‘Where’s the line on hate speech?’ I mean, who chose me to be the person that did that?” Zuckerberg said in the Recode interview. “I guess I have to, because of [where we are] now, but I’d rather not.”

Facebook Censoring Conservative Content

While Zuckerberg says he experiences scruples over making editorial decisions about content appearing on Facebook, conservatives have plenty of reason to be concerned that he and other liberal Facebook officials are doing just that.

“Facebook is not a neutral host,” said Tucker Carlson on Thursday evening on his Fox News program. “It has a political agenda. Earlier this year, Facebook altered its algorithms for what news stories its users see, and the results conclusively have been devastating for conservatives online.”

According to a study conducted by Western Journalism, the findings were unequivocal: the left of center sites saw a nearly 14 percent increase in traffic, while the most popular conservative sites witnessed a 27 percent decrease.”

The Western Journalism report continued:

This algorithm change, intentional or not, has in effect censored conservative viewpoints on the largest social media platform in the world. This change has ramifications that, in the short-term, are causing conservative publishers to downsize or fold up completely, and in the long-term could swing elections in the United States and around the world toward liberal politicians and policies.