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Blink and it was gone, but on Sunday night, HBO’s Silicon Valley referenced the ongoing tumult at Facebook.
The title sequence of the season-five opener showed familiar tech giant logos like Airbnb, Uber, Oracle, HP, Intel, Twitter and YouTube — and also a flickering Facebook logo that briefly appeared in Russian Cyrillic script lettering.
The episode, “Grow Fast or Die Slow,” which centered on the Pied Piper team’s effort to staff up its tech startup to compete with established player Hooli, didn’t appear to have any more Easter egg references to Facebook. The episode was also the first without former regular T.J. Miller, who was written out of the show after season four.
Facebook, of course, is under increased media (and congressional) scrutiny over its role in Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election cycle after multiple intelligence agencies concluded in a report last year that the country aimed to “undermine public faith in the US democratic process.”
The tech giant has also been criticized after an outside data firm contracted by the Trump campaign, Cambridge Analytica, gained access to the profiles of more than 50 million individuals without permission.
On March 21, founder Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg both spoke out about the latest scandal. “We have a responsibility to protect your data, and if we can’t then we don’t deserve to serve you. I’ve been working to understand exactly what happened and how to make sure this doesn’t happen again,” Zuckerberg said.
March 26, 11:05 am Updated to specify the logo in the intro was using Cyrillic script lettering to spell out Facebook.
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