TWIFT | Digital | 17 years of Facebook. Major Successes and Scandals

17 years of Facebook. Major Successes and Scandals

17 years ago, on February 4, 2004, the world’s largest social network Facebook was founded. Over these 17 years, the number of people who regularly log into the social network Facebook has reached 2.5 billion ‒ about a third of the total population of the planet. This number of users log into the social network at least once a month.

According to Facebook, in December 2019, 1.66 billion people used the social network at least once a day.

Over these 17 years, Facebook has repeatedly found itself at the center of scandals.


How it all began

The first version of the social network was more like the Harvard University dating portal.

The site appeared in 2003 and was closed two days later, because its founder, Mark Zuckerberg, did not quite legally obtain a database of everyone who studied at Harvard.

On Facemash, students chose which of their fellow students they liked the most. The site got 450 users who voted 22 thousand times.

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Facebook’s creators are Mark Zuckerberg, Edward Saverin, Dustin Moskowitz, and Chris Hughes.

Facebook’s blue has been chosen as the primary color due to Zuckerberg’s poor differentiation between red and green.

“Blue is the most saturated color for me, I can distinguish many of its shades,” said Zuckerberg in an interview with the American media.



Facebook crossed the 1 billion user threshold on August 24, 2015. At the moment, the site is one of the five most visited websites in the world.

Mark Zuckerberg at 23 became the youngest billionaire in the world.

Facebook supports over 70 languages ​​worldwide.

It was on Facebook that the word “Unfriend” was first used, which translates as “remove from friends.”

Facebook stores about 300 petabytes of user data on its servers. There are 1 million gigabytes in a petabyte.

More than 2.5 billion photos are uploaded to Facebook every month.

The average Facebook user has 130 friends and sends eight friend requests per month.

In Australia, subpoenas come to the user’s profile, and ignoring them is punishable.

The corporation also acquired such popular services as Instagram, WhatsApp, workplace (corporate messenger), and Oculus VR.


In 2017, it became known that the British analytical organization Cambridge Analytica received personal data of about 50 million Facebook users.

Cambridge Analytica was accused of interfering in elections around the world, stealing the personal data of potential voters on social networks, and manipulating their opinions.

In March 2018, the results of several investigations appeared, which confirmed the manipulations of Cambridge Analytica and the transfer of private data of Facebook users to the company. These investigations led to a 4.4% drop in Facebook shares. The social network also suffered serious reputational losses.

Shortly after the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Facebook made changes to its privacy policy and allowed users to download all information collected about them. Then it turned out that the social network can track calls and the history of correspondence in SMS messages. Some users found that Facebook was storing data three years ago.

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Besides, the Facebook archive stored the user’s phone numbers, including those that had already been deleted from the phone’s memory.

In its defense, the company stated that users themselves gave permission to collect such information.

However, according to user reports, Facebook has been collecting data for many years.

But despite these scandals, Facebook remains one of the most popular social networks that unites millions of people around the world.

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