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The 10 Most Controversial Companies Of 2018

Businesses sometimes find themselves in the news for the wrong reasons. Here are 10 companies that made headlines this year – but not in a good way.

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1. Facebook

Facebook was in the news in 2018 – a lot – and generally not in a favorable light. Over the course of the year the social media giant came under fire a number of times for its business practices and its seeming inability to protect users' data. By year's end, for many, Facebook had become Exhibit A for what can go wrong when millions of users trust their personal data to an all-powerful IT company.

Facebook found itself in the midst of a firestorm in March when published reports said that Cambridge Analytica, a London-based political consulting firm, had harvested data from Facebook users and used the information to target those and their friends. Initial reports said data on 50 million users was used, a number later increased to 87 million. News of the incident was swift and angry. Compounding the problem was the slow response from Facebook and founder/CEO Mark Zuckerberg to address the incident.

Facebook's disclosure in September that a code vulnerability in its "View As" feature allowed attackers to potentially take over nearly 50 million user accounts only reinforced the view that Facebook was more concerned with its growth and bottom line than with protecting user data.

Through 2018 Facebook faced a stream of questions about how Russia used Facebook ads and social media accounts to influence the 2016 election – seemingly without Facebook's being aware of what was happening. And in December documents surfaced that showed that Zuckerberg and other senior executives discussed strategies to cut off business customers' access to Facebook's user data unless they bought digital advertising.

 
 
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