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Activity 1: Analyzing the Purpose of Public Communication
Instructions: In class, we discussed how public communication is used to achieve a specific
purpose. For this activity, you will apply your knowledge about the different purposes of public
communication to analyze the purpose of public statement released by Facebook CEO Mark
Zuckerberg in response to the 2016 Cambridge Analytica data hacks. Refer to class notes and
course readings from Unit 1 (Introduction to Public Communication) to help you complete this
Read Mark Zuckerberg’s public statement in the article attached to this online activity.
(1) Identify which one of the three general purposes of public communication (to inform, to
persuade, to entertain) you believe that Mark Zuckerberg is using in his public statement.
Consider this carefully and explain your answer using at least 3 pieces of evidence from
his public statement.
(2) Based on your answer to (1), identify Mark Zuckerberg’s specific purpose (e.g., Mark
Zuckerberg was informing Facebook users about ____; Mark Zuckerberg was persuading
Facebook users to _____; or Mark Zuckerberg was entertaining Facebook users by ____).
Explain your answer using at least 3 pieces of evidence from the email.
(3) In 2-3 sentences, explain why it is important for an audience to be able to identify the
purpose of a speech/email/essay/etc.
This activity must be submitted to eCampus as either a text submission or an attached file no
later than 11:59pm.
Read Mark Zuckerberg’s full Facebook statement on Cambridge Analytica — Quartz
Read Mark Zuckerberg’s full Facebook statement on
Cambridge Analytica
By Molly Rubin • March 21, 2018
Too li tle, too late?
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg nally broke his silence today (March 21) following the
revelation that Cambridge Analytica, a consultant for the 2016 Trump presidential
campaign, harvested the data of 50 million Facebook users without permission.
“We have a responsibility to protect your data, and if we can’t then we don’t deserve to
serve you,” Zuckerberg said in a statement posted to his Facebook page.
Facebook says it became aware of the misuse in 2015, but failed to notify the public
until The Observer and The New York Times published bombshell reports this past
Zuckerberg’s statement comes as his company’s stock has lost some $50 billion in market
value since the scandal broke. Despite setting a goal for 2018 to run the company more
Read Mark Zuckerberg’s full Facebook statement on Cambridge Analytica — Quartz
effectively and kick abusive behavior off its platform, it took the Facebook CEO ve full
days to release a statement, which notably, does not include an apology.
Here is Mark Zuckberg’s full statement on the Cambridge Analytica scandal:
I want to share an update on the Cambridge Analytica situation—including the
steps we’ve already taken and our next steps to address this important issue.
We have a responsibility to protect your data, and if we can’t then we don’t
deserve to serve you. I’ve been working to understand exactly what happened
and how to make sure this doesn’t happen again. The good news is that the
most important actions to prevent this from happening again today we have
already taken years ago. But we also made mistakes, there’s more to do, and we
need to step up and do it.
Here’s a timeline of the events:
In 2007, we launched the Facebook Platform with the vision that more apps
should be social. Your calendar should be able to show your friends’ birthdays,
your maps should show where your friends live, and your address book should
show their pictures. To do this, we enabled people to log into apps and share
who their friends were and some information about them.
In 2013, a Cambridge University researcher named Aleksandr Kogan created a
personality quiz app. It was installed by around 300,000 people who shared their
data as well as some of their friends’ data. Given the way our platform worked at
the time this meant Kogan was able to access tens of millions of their friends’
In 2014, to prevent abusive apps, we announced that we were changing the
entire platform to dramatically limit the data apps could access. Most
importantly, apps like Kogan’s could no longer ask for data about a person’s
friends unless their friends had also authorized the app. We also required
developers to get approval from us before they could request any sensitive data
from people. These actions would prevent any app like Kogan’s from being able
to access so much data today.
In 2015, we learned from journalists at The Guardian that Kogan had shared
data from his app with Cambridge Analytica. It is against our policies for
developers to share data without people’s consent, so we immediately banned
Kogan’s app from our platform, and demanded that Kogan and Cambridge
Analytica formally certify that they had deleted all improperly acquired data.
provided these
certi cations. Obsessions
Read Mark Zuckerberg’s full Facebook statement on Cambridge Analytica — Quartz
Last week, we learned from The Guardian, The New York Times and Channel 4
that Cambridge Analytica may not have deleted the data as they had certi ed.
We immediately banned them from using any of our services. Cambridge
Analytica claims they have already deleted the data and has agreed to a forensic
audit by a rm we hired to con rm this. We’re also working with regulators as
they investigate what happened.
This was a breach of trust between Kogan, Cambridge Analytica and Facebook.
But it was also a breach of trust between Facebook and the people who share
their data with us and expect us to protect it. We need to x that.
In this case, we already took the most important steps a few years ago in 2014 to
prevent bad actors from accessing people’s information in this way. But there’s
more we need to do and I’ll outline those steps here:
First, we will investigate all apps that had access to large amounts of
information before we changed our platform to dramatically reduce data access
in 2014, and we will conduct a full audit of any app with suspicious activity. We
will ban any developer from our platform that does not agree to a thorough
audit. And if we nd developers that misused personally identi able
information, we will ban them and tell everyone affected by those apps. That
includes people whose data Kogan misused here as well.
Second, we will restrict developers’ data access even further to prevent other
kinds of abuse. For example, we will remove developers’ access to your data if
you haven’t used their app in 3 months. We will reduce the data you give an app
when you sign in—to only your name, pro le photo, and email address. We’ll
require developers to not only get approval but also sign a contract in order to
ask anyone for access to their posts or other private data. And we’ll have more
changes to share in the next few days.
Third, we want to make sure you understand which apps you’ve allowed to
access your data. In the next month, we will show everyone a tool at the top of
your News Feed with the apps you’ve used and an easy way to revoke those
apps’ permissions to your data. We already have a tool to do this in your privacy
settings, and now we will put this tool at the top of your News Feed to make
sure everyone sees it.
Beyond the steps we had already taken in 2014, I believe these are the next steps
we must take to continue to secure our platform.
I started Facebook, and at the end of the day I’m responsible for what happens
on our platform. I’m serious about doing what it takes to protect our
While Featured
this speci c issue involving
Analytica should no
Read Mark Zuckerberg’s full Facebook statement on Cambridge Analytica — Quartz
longer happen with new apps today, that doesn’t change what happened in the
past. We will learn from this experience to secure our platform further and make
our community safer for everyone going forward.
I want to thank all of you who continue to believe in our mission and work to
build this community together. I know it takes longer to x all these issues than
we’d like, but I promise you we’ll work through this and build a better service
over the long term.

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