Facebook’s role in Brexit – and the threat to democracy

Investigative journalist Carole Cadwalladr speaks at TED.

Facebook's role in Brexit - and the threat to democracy

British investigative journalist Carole Cadwalladr gave a passionate speech at the TED conference in Vancouver this week.

Carole, you may remember, is the Observer journalist who helped expose Cambridge Analytica’s use of Facebook user data despite the social network’s threat to sue her newspaper if it published the story.

In her speech, she challenges Facebook to acknowledge the extent to which it has become a tool for the spread of misinformation, and calls out Mark Zuckerberg specifically for refusing to testify before parliaments around the world.

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“Our democracy is broken, our laws don’t work anymore, and it’s not me saying this, it’s our parliament published a report saying this. This technology that you have invented has been amazing. But now, it’s a crime scene. And you have the evidence. And it is not enough to say that you will do better in the future. Because to have any hope of stopping this from happening again, we have to know the truth.”

It’s a brave and emotional speech. Not only because she calls out Zuckerberg and other technology bosses by name, but also because Facebook is actually a sponsor of the TED conference she was speaking at.

There’s a lot going on in the news today, but you should really make time to watch the speech: “Facebook’s role in Brexit — and the threat to democracy”.

Graham Cluley is an award-winning keynote speaker who has given presentations around the world about cybersecurity, hackers, and online privacy. A veteran of the computer security industry since the early 1990s, he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows, makes regular media appearances, and is the co-host of the popular "Smashing Security" podcast. Follow him on Twitter, Mastodon, Threads, Bluesky, or drop him an email.

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