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Facebook has had a terrible Fall, let alone full year. A number of high-profile controversies has caused the company to retreat and renege on a number of its decisions over the past few months, and ZDNet, CNET and CBS News has documented these failings in great detail.
But what has caused these major privacy fluff-ups, data retention issues or cookie-tracking problems? Is it all part of Facebook's ethos of taking on Google's "don't be evil" motto and somehow getting it oh-so-very wrong? Or is the social networking giant, close to 1 billion users, finally crippling itself under the weight of its own userbase? Is the company heading for secret global domination, and seeks to become the foremost hub for intelligence and information?
The cultural shift of Facebook's 2004 inception to its 2011 downfall days is clear. This gallery explores some of the worst controversies of this year, which threaten to bring the social networking giant to its proverbial knees.
- Facebook Porn and Gore Exploit Spiraling Out Of Control
- Congresswoman to probe Facebook over coordinated spam attack
- Between the Lines: SOPA: Why the 'broken web' should stay broken
- Facebook to make all sharing privacy settings 'opt-in'
- CIA monitors Facebook, Twitter: Five million tweets a day
- German state to sue Facebook over facial recognition feature
- European ‘right-to-delete’ law: How enforceable is Facebook?
Facebook was attacked by an exploit which perpetuated a wide array of out-of-control news stories on the News Feed, including violence, animal mutilation and in some cases, pseudo images of celebrities engaged in sexual activity.
ZDNet's Violet Blue broke the story, which explains the problem users' were having.
There was outrage by Facebook users, some for which threatened to leave the site altogether, either until it was gone or for good.
Facebook said that it had control of the situation after more than 24 hours of battling the exploit, some thought to be a virus or some kind of malware. The hacking collective Anonymous was blamed at first after seeking to 'destroy' the site on Guy Fawkes Day (November 5th). But Facebook said that it had identified 'who was behind' the attack.
Since then, the web erupted with anger, and even Congress wanted answers over Facebook's responsibility to its users.
Facebook and other social networks, along with businesses that operate within the confines of Europe, or have European users and customers 'must adhere' to European law, European Commissioner Viviane Reding said earlier this month.
While Facebook said that it was 'already compliant' with European law, particularly with the new 'right to delete' or 'right to be forgotten' feature of the new Directive, one had to wonder how compliant the social networking giant actually was, or currently is.
The European bureaucrats already have it in for Facebook after a number of high-level privacy battles and data protection matters. Since Facebook opened up a datacenter on European soil in Dublin, Ireland, it has been a target for more focused criticism over the past couple of years. Europe's 'mission' against Facebook will not go away, seeing as it was the same Commissioner who said that Facebook had "nowhere to hide" over its data protection policies.