Facebook expressed outrage Tuesday over the misuse of its data as Cambridge Analytica, the British firm at the centre of a major scandal rocking the social media giant, suspended its chief executive.
The move to suspend CEO Alexander Nix came as recordings emerged in which he boasts his data company played an expansive role in Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign, doing all of its research, analytics as well as digital and television campaigns. In undercover filming captured by Britain’s Channel 4 News, he is also seen boasting about entrapping politicians and secretly operating in elections around the world through shadowy front companies.
Lawmakers on both sides of the Atlantic have demanded answers after it was revealed at the weekend that Cambridge Analytica improperly harvested information from 50 million Facebook users. Cambridge Analytica has denied using Facebook data for the Trump campaign, but the scandal has ratcheted up the pressure on the social media giant — already under fire for allowing fake news to proliferate on its platform during the US campaign.
Cambridge Analytica’s board said meanwhile that Nix would stand aside immediately pending an investigation into the snowballing allegations against him.
“In the view of the Board, Mr. Nix’s recent comments secretly recorded by Channel 4 and other allegations do not represent the values or operations of the firm and his suspension reflects the seriousness with which we view this violation,” the company said.