The once popular social network Facebook has been involved in another scandal. This time it’s not about Zuckerberg making money by selling your private messages, pictures and videos to dictators in Myanmar or (porn) companies. Or because they have patents to watch you on webcam without the light turning on. No, it’s about Article 13 now.
As if breaking every single barrier regarding privacy was not enough for the company, it seems they have been secretly lobbying in favour of the proposed “uploadfilter”, part of the widely criticized EU copyright directive that will be either approved or stopped by the European council on April 15. This caused outrage all over the internet, resulting in a huge number of “SaveYourInternet” activists deleting their accounts from the network. For good reasons, we feel.
Though Facebook’s lobbying associations spent the debate over the EU Copyright Directive arguing (correctly) that algorithmic filters to catch copyright infringement would end up blocking mountains of legitimate speech (while still letting through mountains of infringement), Facebook secretly told the EU Commission that it used filters all the time, had utmost confidence in them, and couldn’t see any problems with their use.
In particular, Facebook endorsed Audible Magic’s audio filters. Audible Magic also secretly lobbied the EU to mandate the use of its products, like a private prison company lobbying for harsher sentences. Its lobbying materials were an Orwellian masterpiece of doublespeak and deception. Audible Magic even introduced the words “open and fair”, while they were talking about forcing a damaging and automated form of internet censorship upon the historically proud Europeans.
The Facebook lobbying documents were carefully uncovered by Corporate Europe Observatory, the same investigators who unravelled the lobbying spending over the Directive; they were then analysed and released by Laura Kayali working for Politico.
The leak couldn’t have come at a worse time for Zuckerberg’s website. Since the Cambridge Analytica scandal, news of the company being involved in more privacy abuses appears online almost every month, resulting in the company losing over 28% of stock market value since 2018.
Recent polls state that over 50% of people below 18 have already left the social network. Other research says that among people with an education in technology, over 35% have left the collapsing social network.
And what happens now, will the “SaveYourInternet” activists give the website the final blow? Will the #DeleteFacebook hashtag go viral again? Will people choose not be part of a network that is involved with this type of corrupt behavior, just because they like sharing their cat memes?
We certainly hope so.
Source: Boing Boing