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    • In this article, the author asks about leadership of the company and whether they'll be able to manage the company through today's challenges.

      In the "Is Democracy still possible in the internet age" conversation, Facebook comes under fire for privacy issues. The article rightly points out that Facebook management needs a little introspective and perhaps even changes in the e-staff if they are to continue their success. The author also draws an interesting parallel with Blackberry & Nokia and the advent of the iPhone and how it wasn't taken seriously enough-this seems more for effect but at some level, it's an interesting comparison.

      What do you think?

    • yaypie

      Facebook is in no danger of failing as a business any time soon, but their growth is slowing and they seem to be at an awkward transition point where their core business is no longer "cool" and isn't attracting younger users. They're also finally reaping the consequences of their growth-at-all-costs attitude (and it turns out those consequences suck for all of us).

      Slow growth might as well be failure as far as Wall Street is concerned. But it turns out Facebook has this massive superweapon — their platform's ability to influence the thoughts and actions of literally billions of people — and, like the Death Star, nobody quite realized how powerful it was until we saw its full destructive force unleashed on an unsuspecting populace.

      The question now for Facebook's leadership is where their priorities lie. They can choose to do the responsible thing and try to limit the destructive power of their superweapon and refocus it in ways that are less harmful and more beneficial to society (but also less profitable). Or they can prioritize the business and do everything possible to exploit their power for profit, including waging legal and PR battles to prevent government regulations that would limit that power.

      I think at least some of Facebook's leadership does want to do the right thing, but they seem to have a major case of cognitive dissonance. They seem to think there's a way to have their cake and eat it too by somehow doing the right thing and continuing to grow rapidly and make lots of money. But there isn't, and until they realize that and make a real decision, they won't really be able to do either effectively.

    • I think that’s a pretty accurate assessment. The title is misleading and for attention only.

      I do agree that slow growth is perceived as a bad thing. I do wish Wall Street would get over this 30% growth thing. It’s sriffling innovation and forcing companies to focus on the “wrong” things.

    • Us

      Someone should tell the construction crew, they are full force on the next phase of the giant building monopoly down by me on the frontage to the bay.

    • I wonder how the CA thing will play out in the theater of collusion?

    • This morning’s news talked about the UK Parliament wanting to speak to Zuckerberg about a “catastrophic failure of process” in regards to Cambridge Analytica. Facebook has lost about fifty billion in market cap according to some reports.

      They’ve issued a statement saying they’re “moving aggressively” and are “committed to enforcing our policies to protect people’s information” both of which seem more of an effort to distance themselves from Cambridge Analytica.

      And then Congress has been suggesting they’d like to speak to Zuck as well.

      I wonder if this will have any affect on privacy law in the US? In my opinion (and aside from severity), this has been no different than other instances where irregularities are discovered and mea culpas issued.

      Finally, they talked about fines. Holy cow! If it gets that far, they said thousands per occurance per day. Wonder what users will get?

    • Us

      I agree something should be done about the limited use of information and FB will claim the we are just a platform excuse. Messy all around. But how many leak tests on private info do we need to do?

    • yaypie

      I'd like to retract what I said before about at least some of Facebook's leadership wanting to do the right thing.

      It turns out Alex Stamos, the loudest voice of sanity and the person I most trusted and respected on Facebook's executive team, has been shouted down by the other execs and is being pushed out of the company.

      I'm now convinced that Facebook's executive team doesn't want to do the right thing.

    • flei

      I'm not at all tech-savvy like a lot of you other Cake-ers..... so can someone tell me if what occurred is all Facebook's fault (for not protecting private info., etc.) or is it Cambridge Analytica's fault (for grabbing data that was not protected and then misusing it)? My uninformed opinion is that Facebook seems to be getting most of the blame but IMO Cambridge Analytica is worse. Set me straight please.

    • yaypie

      Great question. They're both at fault, but in my opinion Facebook deserves a lot of the blame for carelessly building a system with extremely lax privacy controls.

      The functionality Cambridge Analytica used to get all that information was standard, fully supported functionality that Facebook made available to anyone who wanted to use it. Cambridge Analytica wasn't supposed to use it the way that they did, but there was nothing to stop them. Facebook also tried to keep CA's misuse a secret once they found out about it.

      Facebook has since added more restrictions to what information third party apps have access to, but they added those restrictions primarily to prevent competitors from being able to use Facebook's user data to bootstrap their own social networks, not because they wanted to protect user privacy.

    • There have been companies for whom “better to seek forgiveness” has been more of a mantra lately. FB being one of them.

      They seem to prefer themselves when it comes to questions about user privacy nd will often placate the masses with “improved security features giving you more control”, clearly that doesn’t extend to third parties or “partners”. And clearly, user’s privacy isn’t a concern of legislators either-and not just for things like FB. Look at the number of serious data breaches over the last few years and what action has been taken by legislative bodies.

    • ji

      There will of course be a "big" uprising over this, but that will amount to what, 2% of their subscriber base signing off. People have already shown that they don't actually care about their privacy. I doubt they care about being manipulated.

    • I feel it might be more of a generational thing. Just like owning a car or "settling down" for Boomers was; Millennials don't put much into privacy-at least not until their trust is broken.

      Hacking and privacy have spawned a whole new industry too. :)

    • Eddieb

      Aside from how Facebook is doing at a company level, I know of quite a few people in New Zealand who have deleted their accounts recently as they are sick of it. Of course there's always a certain amount of people quitting FB that but the regularity of it in my group of contacts, mostly late 30s to early 60s, seems to increased quite a bit recently.

    • yaypie

      “I feel fundamentally uncomfortable sitting here in California in an office making content policy decisions for people around the world.”

      “[The] thing is like, ‘Where’s the line on hate speech?’ I mean, who chose me to be the person that did that?,” Zuckerberg said. “I guess I have to, because of [where we are] now, but I’d rather not.”

      It’s like this is the first time he’s actually thought about this. That scares me.

    • Seems more of a contrived interview. Why would he not have done that in the first place If it was important (rather than avoiding the whole thing)? Or his comments about Congress-how he wants to make sure the right people to answer the questions are there. Congress didn’t ask for the “right” people, they asked for him and he didn’t show.

      You can chalk it up to naiveté. And yes, the company’s explosive growth has probably made a lot of things difficult to keep track of but I think he’s been more calculated in his decision making. Whether that’s his own decision or those of the folks he trusts, I cannot say since I don’t know him other than what’s been written about some of his personal decisions over the years.

    • Chris

      Huh. Until that interview, there were a lot of questions about where Sheryl and Zuck were. They were missing from an all-hands meeting, they were publicly mute. Then comes the Alex Stamos deleted tweets and unclear walkbacks about whether he's leaving and has a fraught relationship with Sheryl.

      Then The New York Times took a rare swipe at Sheryl for not wanting to be open and then zapped that paragraph and then seemingly replaced it with another, later. Here's the newsdiff:
      http://newsdiffs.org/diff/1652560/1652801/https%3A/www.nytimes.com/2018/03/19/technology/facebook-alex-stamos.html

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