Facebook: Cracking the Code

Synopsis: What Facebook really knows about you.
Director(s): Peter Greste
41 min


In 2014, Facebook scientists

published the results

of one of the biggest

psychological experiments

ever conducted.

They took almost 700-thousand

Facebook profiles

and deliberately skewed

their news feeds

to be either more positive

or more negative.

Then, they used the company's

sophisticated algorithms

to measure any shift

in people's mood.

Their findings?

The more positive the feed,

the happier Facebook users

seemed to be.

The more negative,

the more depressed they became.

It proved the power of Facebook

to affect what we think

and how we feel.

Facebook has very cleverly

figured out

how to wrap itself

around our lives.

It's the family photo album.

It's your messaging

to your friends.

It's your daily diary.

It's your contact list.

It's all of these things

wrapped around your life.

This is the story of how

one of the World's biggest

and most powerful

private corporations

is turning our lives and

our data into vast profits,

and in ways we have

no control over.

They are the most

successful company

arguably in human history

at just gathering people's time

and turning that time

into money.

Like his company,

Facebook's founder

hardly needs introducing.

Mark Zuckerberg started

the social media platform

13 years ago when he was just 19

as a site for Harvard

undergraduate students.

When we first launched,

we were hoping

for maybe 400 to 500 people.

Harvard didn't have a Facebook

so that was the gap

that we were trying to fill

and now we're at 100,0000 people

so who knows

where we are going next.

Within its first month,

more than half the students

had joined, setting the trend

for the membership explosion

that followed.

Now, almost a quarter

of the world's population

has signed on.

It is bigger than any country.

Facebook is now

a global colossus.

It is one of the world's

most valuable corporations,

worth over 400 billion dollars.

Mark Zuckerberg

is an international powerbroker

in his own right.

He's like a king, right?

He's like a monarch.

He's making decisions

about your life on Facebook,

what the rules are,

and he's a benevolent dictator.

You can't say this is

accountable governance

or a participatory governance

in any particular way.

But almost two billion users

still isn't enough for Facebook.

Mark Zuckerberg is aiming

for the next billion.

There is a limit to how much

they can grow

in established markets like

North America and Australia.

But the 32-year-old businessman

sees huge potential

in the developing world.

There are a billion people

in India

who do not have access

to the internet yet

and if what you care about is

connecting everyone in the world

then you can't do that

when there are so many people

who don't even have access

to basic connectivity.

There's a term that's being used

by folks connected to

Facebook and Google

called the last billion

where they're basically trying

to figure out a way

to spread internet access,

but the internet

that they're going to spread

is an internet that's shaped by

Facebook and Facebook's agendas.

That's actually part

of the long game here.

Most people in a lot

of the developing world

are accessing the internet

through their mobile phones

and there are these programs

that are known as zero rating

or Facebook Zero

so when you get you smartphone,

you get free data

if you're using Facebook

and so people stay on Facebook.

They don't go anywhere else,

so that their whole world

on the internet

becomes very much the same

as, you know...

they don't know

any other kind of internet.

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Peter Greste

Peter Greste (born 1 December 1965) is a Latvian-Australian journalist and correspondent. He has worked as a correspondent for Reuters, CNN and the BBC, predominantly in the Middle East, Latin America and Africa. On 29 December 2013, Greste and two other Al Jazeera English journalists, Mohamed Fadel Fahmy and Baher Mohamed, were arrested by Egyptian authorities. On 23 June 2014, Greste was found guilty by the court, and sentenced to seven years of incarceration.On 1 February 2015, a month after a retrial of Greste, Fahmy and Mohammad was announced, Greste was deported and flown to Cyprus. His colleagues were released on bail on 12 February 2015. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "Facebook: Cracking the Code" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 24 Sep. 2021. <https://www.scripts.com/script/facebook:_cracking_the_code_7919>.

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