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Kara Alaimo

Facebook's PR Crisis Is a Mess of Its Own Making

Transparency is the best policy for one simple reason: The truth always comes out.


Photographer: Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP/Getty Images

Facebook is dealing with one of the biggest crises in its history this week, after it admitted on Friday that it has known since 2015 that Cambridge Analytica, a consulting firm that worked on Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, improperly accessed data on 50 million of its users. On Monday, the company’s stock experienced its largest decline in four years; the social media giant lost a staggering $37 billion in market value in one day. The incident intensified on Tuesday, with Democratic and Republican senators calling on Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to testify before Congress, and Bloomberg News reporting that the Federal Trade Commission is investigating whether the company breached a consent decree. The European Union is also investigating. The founder of WhatsApp called on users to delete Facebook. And it’s only Wednesday.

The company’s executives are reportedly worried about how all of this will affect their personal reputations -- and they should be. Much of this damage has been self-inflicted.