Facebook had a terrible year in 2021. Here are some of the highlights. Hopefully in 2022, we can wrest this company away from its incompetent leadership (#FireZuck) and stop it from harming health, safety, human rights and democracy.
If anyone can do it, it’s Facebook users.
1. Facebook’s key role in the January 6th insurrection is revealed
- Tech Transparency Project: Capitol Attack Was Months in the Making on Facebook
- Forbes: Sheryl Sandberg Downplayed Facebook’s Role In The Capitol Hill Siege—Justice Department Files Tell A Very Different Story
2. ProPublica exposes Sheryl Sandberg “is fine with” Facebook silencing opponents of authoritarian governments
- ProPublica: Sheryl Sandberg and Top Facebook Execs Silenced an Enemy of Turkey to Prevent a Hit to the Company’s Business
3. Facebook Admits its Most Viewed Article in Early 2021 Raised Doubt About COVID Vaccines
- New York Times: Facebook, fearing public outcry, shelved earlier report on popular posts
- US News & World Report: Use Facebook a Lot? You’re More Likely to Be Unvaccinated
4. Biden Administration Tells Facebook its COVID Lies are Killing People
- Reuters: White House slams Facebook as conduit for COVID-19 misinformation
- CNN: Surgeon general issues warning over vaccine misinformation as White House turns up the heat on Facebook
5. Facebook critic, Maria Ressa of the Philippines, Wins Nobel Peace Prize
- Reuters: Philippine Nobel winner Ressa calls Facebook ‘biased against facts’
- Washington Post: Why the Nobel Peace Prize award is a huge blow to Facebook
6. Wall Street Journal releases the bombshell “Facebook Files”
Instagram is toxic for teenage girls; high-profile FB users are exempt from the site’s rules; Facebook is used for human trafficking; and more
7. Facebook Whistleblower Speaks Out, Files SEC Complaint
- CBS: The 60 Minutes Interview: Facebook Whistleblower Frances Haugen
- FrancesHaugen.com: Opening Statement to Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation
- CBS News: Whistleblower’s SEC complaint: Facebook knew platform was used to “promote human trafficking and domestic servitude”
8. News Consortium Publishes “Facebook Papers” Based on Leaked Documents
- New York Magazine: What Is Being Leaked in the Facebook Papers? A guide to the biggest revelations.
- Protocol: Here are all the Facebook Papers stories
9. Rohingya Muslims Sue Facebook for Amplifying Hate Speech That Incited Violence in Myanmar
- Guardian: Rohingya sue Facebook for £150bn over Myanmar genocide
- Facebook/BSR: Human Rights Impact Assessment: Facebook in Myanmar
10. Facebook Voted Worst Company of the Year
Have any other bad Facebook moments you want to add? Post a comment.
More background on Facebook’s really bad 2021
Center for Countering Digital Hate: The Disinformation Dozen: Why platforms must act on twelve leading online anti-vaxxers
Global Project Against Hate and Extremism: Democracies Under Threat — How Loopholes for Trump’s Social Media Enabled The Global Rise of Far-Right Extremism