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    • Virginia Heffernan has known Sheryl since her book tour for Lean In which cemented her star status. Here she is weighing in 5 years later in the midst of a stunning turnaround in Sheryl's reputation.

      She’s been reticent and even defensive when confronted about the extent of Facebook’s complicity in the rise of authoritarianism across the world. She’s delayed in cleaning up the mess, stepping down, or proposing serious reforms.

      Empires vanish. The memes that kept them glued together for a short time—from "Dieu et mon droit" to "Bring the world closer together"—are exposed as fictions of state. And the leaders are, surprise, mortals with Napoleon complexes.

      Sheryl Sandberg’s maxim for running her world-historical empire—one more dangerous to psyches, tribes, and governments than even France’s or England’s empires ever were—has been the enigmatic “Lean In.”

      “Lean In—that shit doesn’t work,” said Michelle Obama last Sunday. She then apologized for the obscenity. But not for the truth.

      Wow. Do you think Sheryl deserves this?

    • The only thing that surprises me about Facebook is that some people are still surprised by Facebook's business practices.

      I thought it was obvious a very long time ago that if you handed over your information to Zuckerberg (and, by extension, Sandberg) you had chosen to place your private life into the marketplace for someone else to trade on and profit on.

      Promises to the contrary were as dishonest as Facebook's founder.

    • It's not obvious to people who simply want to use Facebook to connect with their friends, loved ones and community what exactly Facebook is doing. There's always been a common feeling of surrender among those who value Facebook as a free connection tool that the tradeoff was some personal data that the company used in some roundabout way to deliver advertisements. What isn't clear to most people is how targeted that advertising is, how Facebook appropriates (or, in some cases, misappropriates) that data, and just how valuable the data people willfully give Facebook is.

      There's also the argument that people aren't willfully giving Facebook data. When people log off Facebook, they're not expecting to be tracked — but we know Facebook is doing this. When people download Facebook's mobile apps, they're not expecting to surrender their personal text messages and contact lists to the company — but we now know Facebook did this, too. And we now know that Facebook has been doing all of this under the guise of consumer protection, security, whatever when in reality they're exploiting data that customers aren't always aware they're giving, and sometimes using that data to undermine emerging business platforms.

    • Great post, Matthew, I'm sorry I missed it when you first posted. I read your tribute on Medium of Chris Burrows, though, and was really moved by it.

      I'm terribly sorry for your loss. I know their initial guess for cause is drug overdose, but I'm pretty familiar with this epidemic and it usually turns out to be opioid painkillers taken as prescribed with maybe a cocktail before bed, having no idea that could trigger the lights to go out. It's heartbreaking.

    • Re: Sheryl... I skimmed through Option B (her more recent book) and was completely underwhelmed. I have to agree with Michelle O. Sheryl leads a charmed life and has no concept of the realities most women face. Even though she admits this up front, she still seems to believe that losing her husband due to unexpected circumstances gave her extraordinary insights. And she ropes in a co-author (ghost writer?) to help her share them? Hmmm. She’s not alone in being out of touch and writing a self-help book or two, though, so...meh.

    • Oh my God. I'm so glad you told me about this because I literally have Roger McNamee on my list of people to contact and talk to about Cake.