Facebook has been under fire for years, but in recent months the pressure on the company seems to be increasing.

Almost every week, the tech group is fined hefty and the company's top executives are held accountable to US policymakers for problems.

In Europe and the United States, policymakers are looking at ways to curtail Facebook's power.

The problems at Facebook that come out through the media are an almost constant stream.

Some of the news from the past few days:

  • Facebook will be fined almost 60 million euros in the United Kingdom, because the company withheld information during the acquisition of animation platform GIPHY.

  • In Washington, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is being held responsible by the justice minister for the major privacy scandal surrounding Cambridge Analytica, in which data from 87 million Facebook users in 2018 was thrown out.

  • Internal documents point to the way Facebook counts its user numbers.

    That method would not be correct, so the numbers may also be incorrect.

  • Facebook's own supervisory board calls it "unacceptable" that Facebook does not communicate transparently about why certain users did not have to follow all the rules of the platform.

Privacy issues for a long time

Facebook started in 2004 as a Zuckerberg student project to create a college face book.

He later revised his goals for Facebook: bringing millions or even billions of people closer through an online platform.

That seems to have worked.

Seventeen years later, Facebook is a giant company that the world can no longer ignore.

Almost everyone has an account on Facebook or its other apps, such as WhatsApp and Instagram.

Bringing people together is a noble pursuit, but the company has been criticized for years.

Privacy, in particular, appears to be a pain point.

For example, user profiles were public for a long time and Facebook was faced with several lawsuits because information from users was shared with advertisers without permission.

“When there was abuse, Facebook went through the dust again and again.

The company always apologized and promised to get better.”

Little has changed in that regard, because these kinds of things are still going on.

But there is more action, especially after the major privacy scandal surrounding Cambridge Analytica.

Data from 87 million users ended up on the street.

In the US, Facebook settled this case for a record $5 billion with trade watchdog FTC, over user privacy violations.

Zuckerberg and other people from the Facebook top also had to answer to American policymakers.

When abuses occurred, Facebook went through the dust time and again.

The company always apologized and promised to get better.

Whistleblower puts Facebook on edge

One reason the Facebook fire has flared up again in the last month is Frances Haugen, a former Facebook employee who decided to share thousands of internal company documents with

The Washington Post

.

That resulted in The Facebook Files, a series of news articles that highlighted problems at the company.

“According to European Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager, the failure showed that the power of big tech must be curbed quickly.”

According to Haugen, Facebook is choosing to make profits over public safety, putting lives at risk.

It would also encourage division between users so that they return more often.

Zuckerberg dismisses much of the coverage, calling Haugen's claims "not very logical."

'Failure is a reason to limit power quickly'

Facebook is now also fully on the radar in Europe.

In June of this year, the European Commission launched a formal investigation into the company for the first time, over possible abuse of power.

After the major disruption at Facebook earlier this month, in which Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp were down for hours, European Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager emphasized once again that the world should not be dependent on a handful of large tech companies.

According to Vestager, the outage showed that the power of big tech must be reined in quickly.

According to her, too much dependence on these companies makes them vulnerable.

Together with the US, Europe is looking at ways to limit the power and competitive position of companies such as Facebook.

However, there is no such concrete plan yet.

When it comes to whistleblower Haugen, two solutions have priority.

For example, Facebook must become more transparent about its working method, so that experts can watch and test the way it works against legislation.

In addition, Facebook's algorithms need to be overhauled to limit the creation of distribution among users and the spreading of disinformation and hate messages.

"Facebook may change, but clearly isn't going to do it itself," Haugen says.

"The US Congress can change Facebook's rules and end the harm it causes."

Keywords: facebook, privacy scandal, company, executives, pressure, mark zuckerberg, us, fines, fire, documents, frances haugen, interrogations, power, policymakers, problems