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Criticism of Facebook

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Facebook[2], the primary entity in this text, is a widely-used social media[1] platform that has been subjected to various criticisms due to its practices and effects on users and society. These criticisms span across ethical concerns, privacy[3] and data issues, psychological and sociological impacts, workplace concerns, and societal impacts and legal issues. Ethical concerns revolve around selective censorship, misuse of user data, and designing addictive platforms for children. Privacy issues include unauthorized data selling and violation of privacy laws. Psychologically, Facebook has been linked to mental disorders and addictive behaviors. Workplace criticisms range from media influence to the treatment of employees. Lastly, societal criticisms touch on Facebook’s role in shaping behaviors, lack of control over harmful content, and its influence on social prestige.

Terms definitions
1. social media. Social media is a broad term encompassing a variety of digital tools and platforms that facilitate the sharing of information and the creation of virtual communities. Emerging from early systems like PLATO and ARPANET, it has evolved into modern platforms like Facebook and Twitter. These platforms offer unique features that differentiate them from traditional media, including the ability for users to generate content and engage in dialogic communication. They cater to over 100 million users globally and offer different forms of services, such as messaging apps and collaborative content creation platforms. The use of social media has far-reaching impacts on individuals, society, and businesses, influencing everything from marketing practices to political processes. However, it's also associated with ethical concerns, such as the spread of misinformation and potential addiction.
2. Facebook ( Facebook ) Facebook, now known as Meta Platforms, is a major internet company that started as a social networking platform. Founded by Mark Zuckerberg in 2004, Facebook expanded rapidly from Harvard to other universities and later to the general public, becoming a global phenomenon. It is known for its user-friendly interface and various features such as Groups, the Developer Platform, and Facebook Dating. Despite facing criticism for issues like privacy breaches and the spread of fake news, Facebook has remained a dominant player in the online world. It has made significant strides in the field of technology, including the development of its unique data storage system, the use of PHP for its platform, and the launch of the Hack programming language. In recent years, the company has shifted its focus to the metaverse, a virtual reality space where users can interact with a computer-generated environment.

Facebook (and parent company Meta Platforms) has been the subject of criticism and legal action since it was founded in 2004. Criticisms include the outsize influence Facebook has on the lives and health of its users and employees, as well as Facebook's influence on the way media, specifically news, is reported and distributed. Notable issues include Internet privacy, such as use of a widespread "like" button on third-party websites tracking users, possible indefinite records of user information, automatic facial recognition software, and its role in the workplace, including employer-employee account disclosure. The use of Facebook can have negative psychological and physiological effects that include feelings of sexual jealousy, stress, lack of attention, and social media addiction that in some cases is comparable to drug addiction.

Facebook's operations have also received coverage. The company's electricity usage, tax avoidance, real-name user requirement policies, censorship policies, handling of user data, and its involvement in the United States PRISM surveillance program and Facebook–Cambridge Analytica data scandal have been highlighted by the media and by critics. Facebook has come under scrutiny for 'ignoring' or shirking its responsibility for the content posted on its platform, including copyright and intellectual property infringement, hate speech, incitement of rape, violence against minorities, terrorism, fake news, Facebook murder, crimes, and violent incidents live-streamed through its Facebook Live functionality.

The company and its employees have also been subject to litigation cases over the years, 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. The original lawsuit was eventually settled in 2009, with Facebook paying approximately $20 million in cash and 1.25 million shares. A new lawsuit in 2011 was dismissed. Some critics point to problems which they say will result in the demise of Facebook. Facebook has been banned by several governments for various reasons, including Syria, China, Iran and Russia.

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