• Thousands of pages of internal Facebook documents were published on Wednesday, shedding new light on how the company profited from user data and grappled with rivals.
  • The documents were collected as part of a lawsuit involving Facebook and a developer it took action against, and subsequently leaked.
  • Facebook has fought vigorously against the release of the documents, arguing that they presented an unbalanced picture of the company.
  • Here are the key details you need to know about the unprecedented leak.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

An explosive trove of nearly 4,000 pages of confidential internal Facebook documents has been made public, shedding unprecedented light on the inner workings of the Silicon Valley social-networking giant.

On Wednesday, the investigative reporter Duncan Campbell released a vast swathe of internal emails, reports, and other sensitive documents from the early 2010s that detail Facebook’s internal approach to privacy and how it worked with app developers and handled their access to user data.

The documents were originally compiled as part of a lawsuit that the startup Six4Three brought against Facebook for cutting off its bikini-photo app’s access to the developer platform. The documents were supposed to remain under seal – but they were leaked.

Some of the documents had already been made public before Wednesday. The British Parliament’s Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport Committee published hundreds of pages in a report in December; they were seized from Six4Three’s founder, Ted Kramer, when he visited the UK.

And in the months before he put the entire trove of documents into the public domain, Campbell shared them with journalists at NBC News and other outlets, who then published several stories about them. (Campbell said that he was sent the documents in February, the same day that the committee published its final report, and that the sender was anonymous.)

Facebook has fought vigorously against the release of the documents, arguing that they do not paint a balanced picture of its activities. In an emailed statement, a company representative told Business Insider: "These old documents have been taken out of context by someone with an agenda against Facebook, and have been distributed publicly with a total disregard for US law."

Business Insider is combing through the documents and will update this story with our findings.

Here are some of the key revelations from the document dump, including from reports published from earlier leaks:

The leak includes nearly 4,000 pages of internal Facebook documents, nearly 3,000 pages of other exhibits from the case, and hundreds of pages of other pieces of legal documentation.

This story is developing...

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