The snowball that was ‘fake news’ turned into an avalanche for Facebook after the information about data harvesting by the English company Cambridge Analytica” became public. The controversy even gave life to a ‘delete Facebook’ movement. Even though there are different opinions about whether Facebook did something wrong, and who else harvested social media information, the whole affair had negative effects for the social media leader. In an attempt to sway off the negative impact of the matter, Facebook is introducing some changes that are intended to make the use of information available on the social media more transparent and useful for the users.

Bulk data removal, sources of fake news, whose data was used…

The damage done recently to Facebook by fake news and Cambridge Analytica controversies did not inflict only moral, but also a severe financial loss to the company. After the Delete Facebook movement gained momentum, Facebook's valuation on the stock market dropped by around $60 billion, which is around 12 percent of the company’s market valuation. To repair its image and regain momentum, the company has introduced at least three new changes in the use of the information by and from its users, with possibly more to come soon.

The first was the capability that allows Facebook users to bulk-remove third-party apps and deletion of all the posts these apps might have posted in the name of the users.

Previously, each user was able to delete one such app at the time, but now, accessing their Facebook settings, each user can remove as many of these apps as the user sees fit.

The second change is introduced to Facebook’s News Feed feature. The company added an extension to the Feed this week. Scrolling down the newsfeed, each story will now show a small letter ‘i” on the right of the headline, which will enable the user to identify, among other things, who were the user’s friends who shared the article.

This information is particularly useful if the users are continually receiving news that they feel are fake.

The third change announced by Mike Schroepfer, Facebook’s chief technology officer, which will come into effect on Monday, April 9, is a link that will be located at the top of the newsfeed. It will allow each user the possibility to check whether their information was at any time used by Cambridge Analytica.

Will the problems go away?

While Facebook users will welcome these and possibly other changes, doubts will probably remain in what measure they will be able to repair both moral and financial damage inflicted on the company. This particularly concerns the third named change, as it is stated that over 70 million people based in the US might have been affected by the Cambridge Analytica data harvesting.