Mark Zuckerberg's audios from The Verge do not bring any "bombs" against Facebook or the company president, but portray an executive overly confident in his own worldview. The justification? Your past hits.
Zuckerberg mentions, for example, that he lost the entire board of Facebook when he turned down Yahoo's $ 1 billion bid in 2006 because they disagreed with the social networking creator's stance. MySpace was bigger and growing bigger, and "a billion was a lot of money," so everyone thought the proposal was excellent.
But the president of Facebook reckons that, with the social network in Yahoo's hands, he himself would be fired and no one would be at that meeting where the audio was recorded. That is, Yahoo would have destroyed the service that Zuckerberg, apparently thanks to his conviction, managed to turn into one of the most important companies in the world.
The problem is that past hits do not always serve as a compass for future hits.
2019 Facebook is quite different from 2006 Facebook. Today, Facebook is a service whose direction transforms people's lives, either by creating or destroying opportunities.
And for Zuckerberg, the solution to any problem is apparently always the same: trust him and Facebook more.
In his personal account, Zuckerberg confirmed the audios and positioned himself over the leak. He said the audios are part of a question and answer session intended to be private rather than public.
"Now that it's there, you can see, if you're interested in a unfiltered version, what I think and I'm saying to employees on a set of topics like social responsibility, technology company regulation, (the cryptocurrency) Libra, computing neural interfaces and doing the right thing in the long run, "he wrote.
While this is a laudable vision, it does not explain what is "right." Any change adopted by technology companies can destabilize content creators and change the way people relate to friends and their services. "The algorithm" is not an entity with a life of its own – it is the result of the decisions of the developer. And you can't talk about the "right thing" without explaining who the losers are.
Less police, more Facebook
By the logic of the company's creator, it is a mistake to imagine that the social network should be broken into smaller parts (WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook, for example) to intensify competition between online services. Zuckerberg thinks that it is only as a giant that Facebook has the ability to monitor attacks and stop misinformation campaigns.
Only this is not the task of Facebook. This is the task of the police and the authorities of each country.
When Zuckerberg tries to ridicule Twitter – saying Facebook's security investment is greater than all of its competitor revenues – he ignores that Twitter has been much more transparent than his own social network, letting experts, researchers and authorities know what it's like. the content being removed.
This helps detect other attacks and gives visibility to the problem.
Meanwhile, Facebook has a policy of never commenting on specific cases, refusing to explain exactly why a page was removed or to show how any post violated its rules.
In addition, it was the same Zuckerberg who decided that Facebook services should use even more encrypted communication, which in practice will reduce the social network's ability to monitor and block messages. In the audios, the executive mentions that police authorities "will not be enthusiastic" about this change.
It seems that the executive suggests to all of us that it is better to rely on the monitoring and policies of the social network itself, rather than the democratic institutions we have created to take care of our security.
If this is what Facebook wants, it needs to be much more transparent. And that is not necessarily bad.
In audio, Zuckerberg explains that the social network's decision to prioritize friend content was based on research showing that interaction with friends had a positive influence on people's well-being.
However, a decision will not always align users' and Facebook's interests so well. Highlighting who is going to win with something is great, but Facebook could start by explaining, for example, how police will investigate crimes on the network when it is encrypted. Hence we can assess whether Zuckerberg wants "the right thing".
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Stamp Altieres Rohr – Photo: Illustration: G1