Little did Mark Zuckerberg think when he set up Facebook 15 years ago that the adventure would make him wealthy beyond comprehension — something north of €50bn.
However, that tremendous sum pales into comparison when put beside how the social media platform has, by any traditional metric, changed the meaning of personal privacy for the 2bn people who use Facebook on a daily basis.
Long-established norms that protected privacy and individual dignity have been swept away by a tsunami of online comment offered anonymously. Facebook says it is investing billions to keep the platform secure, whatever that means.
They have been joined by Instagram which will introduce “sensitivity screens” to hide images of self-harm to protect young people. The Facebook-owned app promised change after the death of teenager Molly Russell, whose parents believe she took her life after seeing images of suicide on Instagram and Pinterest.
This is a neverending task and one that cannot be left to the kindness of the tech giants.