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We live our lives by the telephone. Whether it be to phone a loved one or check reviews for that new restaurant, it seems to be even the most innocent of encounters that prove to ultimately be the most sinister.
From social media giants capitalizing on ways to generate ad revenue to targeting innocent children in violent pursuits, there is no shortage for the amount of social media companies that are wrapped up in scandal.
This is one of the more recent scandals that have stirred worry in the hearts of parents as technology becomes more accessible to younger demographics. As game streaming becomes more popular, audiences continue to grow amongst the adolescent, and there's a lot of content that isn't properly marked as mature. Young users can watch these things with relative ease on this platform. MOMO is a character that has been said to resemble classic urban legends such as Bloody Mary.
While seemingly harmless, these urban legends take on another level of power when it comes to the untamed wildfires of the internet. Children are exposed to violent suggestions as MOMO dares viewers to perform acts of violence and suicide. While some may take this as a joke, there are vulnerable communities who might fall victim to these videos. Youtube has taken precaution by deleting these videos and stepping up their video flagging system.
This wouldn’t be a social media scandal list without Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. It seems they are in a revolving door when it comes to Cambridge Analytica scandal struggling with user data, privacy, and more. Recently, Apple pulled Facebook’s enterprise certificate from the app store due to the misuse of data. Zuckerberg told news outlets that they were going to protect user data, but that didn't happen.
What was originally meant for internal employee use became a way for Facebook to prompt its users to allow access to messages, photos, and other information they wouldn’t typically have access to. As we continue to catch improper use of information, the ways Facebook will change in the near future must have a focus on better regulation. What makes this even more disturbing is the fact that Facebook tried to bypass the employee rule by paying users $20 in exchange for information.
Huawei is a tech company based in China, and while their products have been banned in other countries for espionage claims, it seems they are finding themselves in new scandals. In a recent campaign, Huawei has been criticized for faking images and not securing proper rights for use. This only seems to add to their poor reputation in privacy and security. If a company is willing to hide the truth of something so minor, what else are they willing to compromise?
Huawei isn't terribly popular in the United States, but there are a lot more of their products floating around in Europe. While the company is based in China, their products are fairly common in France and other European nations.
Social networks are supposed to be fun, but it doesn't always end up being secure fun. A handful of high-ranking Snapchat employees have recently been let go due to inappropriate behavior and sexual misconduct. Francis Racipopi, former head of security, has been fired for having an affair with a contracted worker while other employees have also been let go for instigating conversation revolving around sexual acts and orgasms.
More and more people are craving a social media detox, and with social media companies that are wrapped up in a scandal like this, it's no wonder why.
While Apple seems to have positioned themselves as a consumer favorite in the realm of user privacy, they are still facing issues with the recent Facetime scandal. This flaw in design causes eavesdroppers to listen in through the phone’s audio system.
When making a Facetime call, users were able to insert another number before the other line answered. This tricked the system into thinking it was a group call—whether or not the other party answered. iPhone users have been advised to activate the “Do Not Disturb Mode” to block microphone access and protect user data. It has also been said that Apple is working on getting rid of the group Facetime feature.
It seems Facebook is suing quiz apps like Fquiz for using services to steal consumer information by incorporating the Facebook login for limited access to profiles. However, these quiz applications took it a step further by prompting users to install an extension to grant themselves access to private information.
Facebook is going after Slucheveshy and Gblobovoch for selling private Facebook messages. Quizzes that seem harmless, such as tracing your royal bloodline, tend to have a more sinister result.
Privacy is a major theme here. Android apps like Yelp and Duolingo, are under watch for providing user data and personal information to Facebook media giant for ad purposes. Users are slowly beginning to understand the importance of ensuring privacy online after Facebook's crisis.
It hasn’t been disclosed as to what data is specifically being shared besides use frequency, but it has been noted that Facebook collected call log history and location via Android devices.
Instagram is nothing short of being a social media giant. While Instagram is known for its relationship to promoting the failure of a festival that was Fyre, it is being speculated that users might soon consider deleting Instagram as the social app’s qualities are said to soon mirror Facebook’s model.
While Instagram seems to be the “cool mom” of social media platforms to over 77 million users, it can’t be denied that it is being backed by one of the most popular companies involved with privacy scandals. If you are someone who has deleted their Facebook account, Instagram might be worth your consideration as well. Unless, of course, you don’t mind having your every move tracked via Insta story and hashtag mention.
When you're online, you want your personal information to be protected. Most of the scandals on this list originated within the walls of the company. In this case, HQ's recent scandal was all user based. During a live game show event at SXSW, users released access to outside players by leaking the link to join.
Participants who weren't on location joined the game, resulting in a financial loss to players who had the opportunity to win $5,000 in prizes. HQ responded by taking a fresh perspective as to how they plan to host live game shows in the future.
The 2016 election might be long gone, but its repercussions are still well and alive. Election scandals are an ongoing story that played a major role in some of the biggest tech scandals of 2018. Roger Stone, an alleged president Trump ally, was arrested earlier this year. Stone's relationship with Wikileaks resulted in further email hacking investigations while the founder of Wikileaks was known to be hiding during a sexual assault claim posed against him.
It's a big question if companies are doing enough to protect user data. As the social media companies that are wrapped up in scandal continue to rise, it poses an important question when it comes to the hands of the consumer. The modern conveniences different apps provide us with on a daily basis makes them nearly impossible to give up. However, there is power in knowledge, and the standards we should hold these companies to.