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On the Media: What the Facebook flap really means

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A Facebook employee walks past a sign at Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif.
Jeff Chiu | AP 2013

Cambridge Analytica claims that, with the help of 50 million Facebook users' data, it was able to target ads so specifically and so effectively that it helped swing the election for Donald Trump.

The media have been more than happy to boost the claim, but many experts are skeptical.

"On the Media" takes a look at what exactly went on with Cambridge Analytica and whether we shouldn't be focusing more on Facebook.

Plus, how social media works to undermine free will and what the future might hold for Facebook.

Hosted by Bob Garfield and Brooke Gladstone, their guests were: 

Antonio Garcia Martinez, columnist at WIRED and former tech entrepreneur, on Cambridge Analytica's "psychographic" techniques. 

Siva Vaidhyanathan, director of University of Virginia's Center for Media and Citizenship, on past regulatory efforts to reign in Facebook.

Franklin Foer, staff writer at The Atlantic, on what he sees as Facebook's war on free will.

Clay Shirky, author, educator and tech writer, on what real change for Facebook might look like and why he is still an optimist when it comes to the internet. 

Produced by WNYC on March 23, 2018. "On the Media" is heard regularly on Sundays at 3PM on Minnesota Public Radio News.

To listen to the program, click the audio player above.