Mark Zuckerberg has been deleting his past messages on Facebook — and you can't

In the middle of the Cambridge Analytica data harvesting controversy, the Facebook founder has been erasing his private chats from Facebook servers. So why isn't this an option for anyone else?

Depending on who you ask, Mark Zuckerberg is either the boy-wonder billionaire of the tech world or a shark-eyed sociopath who will sell your digital persona to nefarious Russian oligarchs. Either way, he's a 33-year-old tech dude with too much money and a penchant for Ayn Rand, therefore you can't expect too much from him in the way of empathy. 

So when it came to light this week that he's been deleting his own sent messages from Facebook — something that users themselves can't do — nobody was exactly surprised. But the news comes in the middle of a category-5 shitstorm for Zuckerberg thanks to the 87 million accounts affected by the Cambridge Analytica scandal, and it has only made Facebook's problems worse.

What happened is: if you'd had a chat with Mark Zuckerberg on Facebook and went back to look at it recently, you would've noticed that it appeared like a one-sided conversation as Zuck's answers were cleared. This is a feature only available to Facebook's top brass: regular users don't have that feature. Indeed, quite the opposite is true: every single click you've ever made on Facebook is recorded. So this action sends the message to regular users (and everyone else) that Zuck and crew are somehow above everyone else.

Facebook was quick to say that the reason for Zuck's missing messages was due to increased security after the 2014 Sony hack where the South Korean tech behemoth's private emails and communication — some of which was definitely not meant for public consumption — was aired out to dry by North Korean hackers objecting to the release of the Seth Rogen and James Franco movie The Interview, the plot of which focuses on killing North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. It's fair to say that if Facebook wasn't embroiled in the Russiagate scandal that this ol' "message erasing" thing probably wouldn't be big news. But in the context of today's headlines, it couldn't come at a worse time for both Facebook and Zuckerberg as it makes both Mark... and his company... look like they have something shady to hide precisely at the point when all the world is watching. 

Lest we forget, this is the same Mark Zuckerberg who, in 2004, called users who gave him their data "dumb fucks". And while it's safe to say we've all moved on spiritually and intellectually from 2004, perhaps some regulation is in order. 

'Upstreamism': Your zip code affects your health as much as genetics

Upstreamism advocate Rishi Manchanda calls us to understand health not as a "personal responsibility" but a "common good."

Sponsored by Northwell Health
  • Upstreamism tasks health care professionals to combat unhealthy social and cultural influences that exist outside — or upstream — of medical facilities.
  • Patients from low-income neighborhoods are most at risk of negative health impacts.
  • Thankfully, health care professionals are not alone. Upstreamism is increasingly part of our cultural consciousness.
Keep reading Show less

Meet the Bajau sea nomads — they can reportedly hold their breath for 13 minutes

The Bajau people's nomadic lifestyle has given them remarkable adaptions, enabling them to stay underwater for unbelievable periods of time. Their lifestyle, however, is quickly disappearing.

Wikimedia Commons
Culture & Religion
  • The Bajau people travel in small flotillas throughout the Phillipines, Malaysia, and Indonesia, hunting fish underwater for food.
  • Over the years, practicing this lifestyle has given the Bajau unique adaptations to swimming underwater. Many find it straightforward to dive up to 13 minutes 200 feet below the surface of the ocean.
  • Unfortunately, many disparate factors are erasing the traditional Bajau way of life.
Keep reading Show less

Golden blood: The rarest blood in the world

We explore the history of blood types and how they are classified to find out what makes the Rh-null type important to science and dangerous for those who live with it.

Abid Katib/Getty Images
Surprising Science
  • Fewer than 50 people worldwide have 'golden blood' — or Rh-null.
  • Blood is considered Rh-null if it lacks all of the 61 possible antigens in the Rh system.
  • It's also very dangerous to live with this blood type, as so few people have it.
Keep reading Show less

Scientists create a "lifelike" material that has metabolism and can self-reproduce

An innovation may lead to lifelike evolving machines.

Shogo Hamada/Cornell University
Surprising Science
  • Scientists at Cornell University devise a material with 3 key traits of life.
  • The goal for the researchers is not to create life but lifelike machines.
  • The researchers were able to program metabolism into the material's DNA.
Keep reading Show less