Massive Facebook Internal Document Leak

English

Massive Facebook internal document leak, with seven thousand pages leaked,this is great for investigators, but very bad for Facebook.

Facebook is facing a new round of intense scrutiny worldwide after 7,000 pages of confidential files stemming from a lawsuit were made public yesterday.

Those documents are not the ones California's attorney general needs, though, so separately, the company is also facing a court challenge demanding it produce more documentation for an investigation amid allegations of stonewalling.

Massive Facebook internal document leak.

The piles of leaked documents, which directly reference the company's questionable position on competition, are likely to be extremely helpful to the dozens of entities currently investigating Facebook on antitrust grounds.

The state of California, however, is conducting a privacy investigation.

State Attorney General Xavier Becerra yesterday took to court, seeking to have a subpoena against Facebook enforced.

The petition (PDF) alleges Facebook failed to respond to repeated subpoenas and other legal requests for information related to the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

The 7,000 pages of leaked information spring from a 2015 lawsuit, filed against Facebook by a company called Six4Three.

Six4Three, long since defunct, basically operated an unmemorable app, that scraped Facebook looking for pictures of women in bikinis.

Facebook in 2014 changed the way a key API worked, effectively breaking Six4Three's app.

The developer sued, alleging breach of contract and "fraudulent and anti-competitive schemes."

U.K regulators were also conducting a probe into Facebook at the time.

A Six4Three executive was brought into a meeting with a member of Parliament in November 2018, where he reportedly "panicked" and suddenly handed over confidential files from the case, despite a warning from a California judge not to.

Needless to say, he should have listened to the Californian judge advice.

The new leaked documents shows, that Facebook worked hard to split up apps and services it didn't own, into one of three categories:

  • Current competition
  • Potential future competition
  • Developers that we have alignments, with on business models.

A series of email exchanges from 2013 also discuss in detail the choices Facebook made to prohibit potential competitors from advertising on its apps.

Ultimately, company leadership seemed to settle on messenger apps being more of a threat than other types of services.

"I think we should block WeChat, Kakao, and Line ads," company CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote in a 2013 email. "Those companies are trying to build social networks and replace us. The revenue is immaterial to us compared to any risk. I agree we should use ads to promote our own products, but I'd still block companies that compete with our core from gaining any advantage from us."

MessageMe, a messaging startup, launched in 2013 and was acquired by Yahoo in 2014. Right out of the gate, Facebook leadership considered MessageMe to be too much of a competitive threat to allow the company to access its data. But Facebook was keenly aware of how restricting MessageMe's access would look from the outside.

"In the first week after launch, MessageMe actually didn't make any friends.get calls," Osofsky wrote. "However, MessageMe is now up to ~350K [monthly active users] and made 333K friends calls last week. We will restrict their access to friends.get shortly."

Osofsky added that the company would also "see if there are any other messenger apps which have hit the growth team's radar recently. If so, we'd like to restrict them at the same time to group this into one press cycle."

Amazon, for example, was allowed in because it spent money on advertising with Facebook.

For once, the leaks was their own....

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