How Facebook tried to quell backlash to data loss

The social media giant is working to allay fears and mollify watchdogs who say it allowed illicit access to users’ personal information that helped sway the 2016 election. Can it silence critics?

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Ragan Insider Content

Facebook really doesn’t want another conversation about user data.

The social media platform, which has built its business model on the unique collection and use of personal information for advertising, is having to answer for how it allowed a third-party company access to user data that could have been used to influence the 2016 election.

The New York Times reported:

As the upstart voter-profiling company Cambridge Analytica prepared to wade into the 2014 American midterm elections, it had a problem.

The firm had secured a $15 million investment from Robert Mercer, the wealthy Republican donor, and wooed his political adviser, Stephen K. Bannon, with the promise of tools that could identify the personalities of American voters and influence their behavior. But it did not have the data to make its new products work.

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