FRONTLINE Presents “The Facebook Dilemma” | October 29 & 30

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FRONTLINE Presents “The Facebook Dilemma”

The Facebook Dilemma – A Two Part FRONTLINE Series
Part One – Monday, October 29 at 9
Part Two -Tuesday, October 30 at 10

The promise of Facebook was to unite the world. But a series of recent scandals – from the proliferation of fake news and disinformation on Facebook, to the company’s failure to protect millions of users’ data – have raised the question: Is Facebook more harmful than helpful?

The scandals seemed to take Facebook by surprise. But the warning signs have been there all along.

In The Facebook Dilemma, FRONTLINE investigates a series of warnings from insiders and outsiders that went unattended by Facebook as the company grew from a dorm room project to a global empire.

“Being a whistleblower isn’t any fun, but I felt that I had a responsibility as someone who had…more of a sense of what was going on,” former Facebook platforms operations manager Sandy Parakilas tells FRONTLINE. Parakilas says he raised red flags to Facebook executives more than five years ago about the risks that users’ personal data could be inappropriately obtained and misused, but said his warnings went unheeded.

“Having worked at Facebook and having seen how they operate, I was just concerned that they weren’t going to be held accountable in the way that they had to be if the country was going to move forward,” says Parakilas.

With insider accounts, The Facebook Dilemma tells the story of how decisions made by the company as it sought increased wealth and new users transformed Facebook into a surveillance company, a media company and a player in social movements and elections around the world.

“Facebook systematically went from interconnecting people to essentially having a surveillance system of their whole lives,” Facebook investor and venture capitalist Roger McNamee tells FRONTLINE.