Facebook v Cambridge

You almost certainly will not have seen this.

10 April: Mark Zuckerberg testifies to US Congress – covered widely in US and UK media. Amongst other things, he said: “What we do need to understand is whether there is something bad going on at Cambridge University overall that will require a stronger action from us”. Zuckerberg, with probably no facts, tries to deflect the blame from Facebook to a third party, in this case Cambridge University.


Yesterday: Aleksandr Kogan appears before Parliament Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee. He told the Committee all his academic work was reviewed and approved by the University. Got this from parliament.uk.


A few hours earlier: Correspondence emerged that a Cambridge Ethics Committee had rejected a proposal by Kogan in the same field of data mining back in 2015. A member of the Ethics Committee said Facebook’s approach fell “far below the ethical expectations of the University”.

In other words:

  1. Zuckerberg cast false aspersions against Cambridge University to protect his own skin;
  2. Aleksandr Kogan omitted a key piece of evidence yesterday to Parliament.

A Google search at 14:30 today revealed only one place where this was reported: here in the Guardian.

Certainly the BBC, who published Zuckerberg’s speech fully, hasn’t picked this up. I’ve looked.

I thought you might like to know.


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