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Facebook Could Be Facing a Historically Large Fine

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In the past few weeks, the announcements that Facebook used and sold millions of users’ data as well as the Federal Trade Commission’s investigation into the report have had some members of the community picking up their calculators.

“I mean, Mark Zuckerberg has like so so much money,” said Melody Scales, junior. “I think he should lose at least half of it because of what he did to the people who trusted his company. He doesn’t need that much anyway.”

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s CEO, will be going to a few Senate hearings on Tuesday, April 10, to discuss the transgressions that his company has committed.

The Washington Post published an article on Monday, April 9, that looked at the highest theoretical numbers that Facebook could be facing after the FTC finishes its investigation. To find this, the Washington Post found the number of people who Facebook said had their data collected by Cambridge Analytica (71 million). Then, they added 110 million to that number, which is the total number of Americans affected by the recently-acknowledged issue where “malicious actors” collected data using loopholes in Facebook’s algorithms.

Facebook actually said that “most” of its users had their data stolen, so 110 million affected is actually a low estimate. Even though the 71 million users whose data was collected probably overlaps with the other 110 million, the FTC could say that they are two separate offenses and charge them as such. Now, multiply 181 million by the maximum possible fine for these offenses: $41,484.

The total number is over seven and a half trillion dollars.

“I hope they do it. I want Facebook to go under,” said Carly Hopkins, sophomore. “They have abused their power too much, and they should learn a lesson.”

However, the FTC is not going to fine Facebook more money than there is in physical U.S. bills in the world. In reality, the FTC has a chance to fine Facebook an absurd amount of money as well as set a standard for other companies, while also not putting Facebook completely out of business. In the coming weeks or months, we will find out how much exactly this will be.

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Facebook Could Be Facing a Historically Large Fine