When George Soros warned at the beginning of 2018 that social media had become a "menace" to society and "obstacles to innovation", he could scarcely have known his admonitions would be proved so correct, as Facebook imploded in a privacy storm and he himself would became a target. By the end of this year, whatever positives were left in our opinion of Facebook, the largest communications network the world has yet seen, have long been seared out of us. Facebook, like humanity, is open to manipulation, deceit, shaming and all our other awful traits. Except it is "at scale". Facebook has enabled us to "connect" with anyone anywhere, but it has also enabled cyberbullying, anti-Semitism and election manipulation — all on an unprecedented scale. This is the year social media turned nasty — or when we realised the problem has been there for years. As Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the world wide web, put it, the big online firms have been able "to weaponise the web at scale". In his testimo...

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