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Facebook now bigger than Jesus and the Beatles, claims Digital Media expert Barry O’Sullivan at Institute of European Affairs seminar

Facebook now bigger than Jesus and the Beatles, claims Digital Media expert Barry O’Sullivan at Institute of European Affairs seminar

Facebook now bigger than Jesus and the Beatles, claims Digital Media expert Barry O’Sullivan at Institute of European Affairs seminar
May 15
09:57 2018

FACEBOOK is now bigger than Jesus and the Beatles, an expert claimed today.

John Lennon once claimed the Fab Four were bigger than the Son of God, but Digital Media expert Barry O’Sullivan, who is Director of Data Analytics at University College Cork, believes Facebook alone could be bigger than both.

O’Sullivan says Facebook’s role in society is as big as Christianity

The Professor made his claim at an Institute of European Affairs seminar where, speaking on the role of social media in society, he said: “In terms of size scale and influence, Facebook is akin to Christianity.”

Panellists considered the possibility of regulation in this area in the context of increased public scrutiny concerning the use, or misuse, of consumers’ personal data and following the recent Cambridge Analytica scandal.

Amidst controversy over the role of Google and Facebook in the abortion referendum, Fianna Fail TD James Lawless also said the withdrawal of advertisements on the forthcoming referendum was only the beginning of a long war.

He said: “Politics will have to fight to preserve the democratic principle that you can’t buy an election.”

James Lawless says laws need to be passed in online political advertising

James Lawless says laws need to be passed in online political advertising

Mr Lawless pledged that his Social Media Transparency Bill would “finally bring legislation to the last outpost of cowboy campaigning”.

“But we need the Government to stop prevaricating and join us in making it happen.”

He added: “Legislators must pass laws to regulate the online world of political advertising in the same way print, and then radio and TV have been regulated.

“The changing nature of social media meant tackling Facebook alone is not enough. Facebook is today’s Bebo and in the future, something else might be along that is the new thing.”

Digital lawyer Fred Logue echoed the TD’s concerns, noting that “the revelations that social media platforms have been used to micro-target voters in elections is the canary in the coal mine.”

He added: “It indicates our system of regulating the use of personal data is not working to protect us from harmful exploitation of our personal data.”

But, he said this was the tip of an iceberg that included “junk-food companies micro-targeting children or gambling companies targeting vulnerable people”.

And he warned that a Big Brother-style scenario where “platforms which began as ways to bring people together — and still serve that purpose — have essentially morphed into mass surveillance tools’’ was here.

Source: Facebook now bigger than Jesus and the Beatles, claims Digital Media expert Barry O’Sullivan at Institute of European Affairs seminar

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Martin Nethercutt

Martin Nethercutt

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