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Cheers and Jeers

Jeer

Facebook is a behemoth of a tech company. It started as a social media platform, but it’s evolved into something much more powerful. Sure, you can still keep up with your out-of-town family and provide a like (or love) when your friend gets engaged. But it’s also a platform for news delivery, a data hoarder and an encourager of the echo chambers that have driven a stake into the once-strong centrists of American politics.

Of course, we at the Times-News use Facebook too. We post daily on the site, and it’s a fantastic channel for engaging with readers and getting our stories in front of people who might not otherwise read them. But Facebook outgrew its fishbowl, and its leaders, starting with CEO Mark Zuckerberg, have shown themselves incapable or unwilling to grow responsibly.

In late March, a two-year-old memo from Facebook vice president Andrew Bosworth leaked. In the memo, Bosworth hinted that the tech company was determined to grow at all costs, even at the risk of endangering lives. He has since said the memo was intended to spark discussion, but consider the kind of discussion that would arise from such an assertion: “Should we continue to grow without considering the potential safety fallout for users, or should we take a step back and consider the responsibility that comes with the great power we’ve amassed?” If Facebook’s leaders were just asking these questions in 2016, that means they spent almost a decade with their heads in the sand.

Earlier this week, Facebook acknowledged perhaps the least surprising betrayal of all: The tech company did a terrible job of protecting the data that users so willingly turned over to Zuckerberg and Co. According to Zuckerberg, most of the site’s 2.2 billion users have had their data scraped at some point by “malicious actors.”

In the beginning, Facebook’s premise was the same idea that made the internet so exciting in the first place: You can connect with anyone, anywhere, on an open platform. But like so many fresh ideas, it’s been perverted into something else entirely. It has driven a wedge into our civil discourse while its gatekeepers played fast and loose with users’ data. Now its massive user base has a choice to make: Is using this thing really worth all the trouble?

Cheer

Lighthouse Christian School is in the third and final phase of a $2.1 million renovation project that started back in 2014. The final phase, which includes adding two science labs, 11 new classrooms and a fine arts center, is set to be finished in June.

As a private school, Lighthouse Christian can’t bring bond or levy requests to voters. Instead, the school raised money through a major capital campaign, auctions, donations and grants.

As Twin Falls and the Magic Valley continue to grow, so too will Lighthouse Christian. And having options like Lighthouse Christian and Xavier Charter School, in addition to two large public high schools, will help the valley remain an attractive relocation site for businesses and residents alike.

It’s been a long trek for the Christian school, but the lighthouse is finally on the horizon.

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