Even though I’m on semi-permanent hiatus from Facebook, my criticism of the social-network giant is pulling all-nighters.
Frequent CY contributor Rob “Reenage” O’Connor passed along the above clip from Jo Ling Kent with NBC Nightly News and it encapsulates what I’ve been reporting in this space for many months: Facebook is a crime scene.
True statement, with important distinctions. Traditional crime scenes have the flashing lights of squad cars; investigators interviewing victims and gathering information; and those bright neon physical evidence markers that piece together what happened.
COMPANIES BEHAVING BADLY: WHY I WENT DARK ON FB (CY ORIGINAL)
None of that is happening on Facebook. In fact, Mark Zuckerberg’s recently announced “fix” is nothing of the sort. Zuck’s solution is to allow FB’s users to rank the respectability of news sites using a two-question survey. According to his former mentor Roger McNamee, if Zuck had implemented these changes prior to the 2016 election it would’ve thrown gasoline on a blazing fire.
“It’s total nonsense,” he said. “If he had made this change in 2015 it would have had the effect of magnifying the effect of Russia on our election.”
Any public company needs to show year-over-year growth. For FB, that means two things: ad revenue and user numbers. Even though FB had knowledge of Russia trying to meddle in our election through its network long before 2016, they appeared to turn a blind eye.
‘ZUCKERBERG HAS TO COME CLEAN’ (USA TODAY)
– didn’t happen
– happened, but was small
– ok, semi-big
– ok, it reached 126 million, but no evidence it influenced them https://t.co/U84JdHjvF5
— Dylan Byers (@DylanByers) October 30, 2017
“The company continuously prioritized user growth and making money over protecting users,” says Sandy Parakilas, a former Facebook manager, speaking to NBC.
Since my hiatus began, I’ve been posting stories to my FB wall that pushes people to use the site with open eyes. In my post, “All The President’s Tech,” I asked “What did these companies know or suspect about Russia’s involvement with the election in 2016?”
At some point in the future social-media companies are going to have to answer that question, under oath, to congress. This will not end well for Facebook and perhaps a few other companies if it’s determined—by an actual investigation, mind you—that they ignored the threat against our country.
We should demand that it happens, too, because our democracy depends on making sure this never happens again. 🔵
He is the author of two books (Pizza for Good & Leaving Triscuit), with more on the way. Sign up for the mailing list, follow on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram–and check out the book links below. Make sure to comment often–cranky loves company.
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