Mark Zuckerberg launched Facebook

Hey there -- 

19 years ago today, Mark Zuckerberg launched Facebook.

What started as a platform to rate women at Harvard, Facebook has quickly mushroomed into a global platform used by a quarter of the world’s population that jeopardizes privacy, safety, truth, and democracy – all for profit and market dominance.

So, we wanted to take a moment to look back on Facebook’s “biggest achievements” in the past 19 years. Here are just some of the ways Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook have failed us: 

  • September 2015: Cambridge Analytica exploited Facebook to harvest data on over 50 million Americans to build profiles and hyper-target voters for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. [1]
  • November 2016: Facebook facilitated foreign interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election with Russian troll farms spewing election misinformation on the platform. [2]
  • March 2018: The United Nations found that Facebook played a “determining role” in the Rohingya genocide through the spread of fake news and misinformation in Myanmar. [3] 
  • March 2020: Anti-vax and pro-Ivermectin Facebook Groups fueled the spread of COVID disinformation on and offline. [4]
  • January 2021: Facebook turned off critical misinformation safeguards immediately after the 2020 U.S. presidential election, fueling the spread of the Stop the Steal movement [5] and enabling the organized attack on the U.S. Capitol. [6]
  • March 2021: Militias used Facebook in Ethiopia to incite violence against ethnic minorities in the Tigray region, fueling a civil war in the country. [7]
  • October 2021: Former Facebook employee Frances Haugen revealed that the company had been hiding internal research on Instagram’s harms to kids' mental health. [8]
  • January 2023: Facebook fueled the spread of election misinformation in Brazil and seeded the ground for the attack on the nation's capitol after the 2022 presidential election. [9]
  • January 2023: Meta decided to reinstate former president Donald Trump’s account, even though he remains a serious threat to public safety and democracy. [10] 

Yet, despite all the harm they’re causing, Meta’s stock price surged 20% after their quarterly earnings call this week. Facebook is likely not to slow down – continuing to increase their exploitation of personal data for hyper-targeted ads, allowing the spread of disinformation, and doing anything it takes to grow their record profits.

We’re on the frontlines of calling out Facebook for their failures. Help us hold Facebook accountable for putting profits over user safety and our democracy. Will you support this critical work by chipping in today?


We're grateful for your support in this critical fight to rein in Big Tech.

Thanks for being with us, 

Nicole Gill
Co-founder and Executive Director
Accountable Tech

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Democracy depends on common truths. Social media giants are eroding our consensus reality and pushing democracy to the brink. Accountable Tech is fighting back by urging social media companies to serve the public good by strengthening the integrity of their platforms and our democracy. Make a donation to fund our work →

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