Apparently, Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp experienced a massive outage today – just days after a huge whistleblower report confirmed what we already knew – Facebook is sleazy, destructive, negligent, and as close to actual evil as an inanimate entity can be.
Facebook Inc. knows, in acute detail, that its platforms are riddled with flaws that cause harm, often in ways only the company fully understands. That is the central finding of a Wall Street Journal series, based on a review of internal Facebook documents, including research reports, online employee discussions and drafts of presentations to senior management.
Time and again, the documents show, Facebook’s researchers have identified the platform’s ill effects. Time and again, despite congressional hearings, its own pledges and numerous media exposés, the company didn’t fix them. The documents offer perhaps the clearest picture thus far of how broadly Facebook’s problems are known inside the company, up to the chief executive himself.
It really sucks when all your friends and family use WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, since getting entire countries to switch messaging applications simply isn’t going to get you anywhere.
It is interesting to have better insight into some companies. However nuance and actual truth is lost in these discussions.
I wish there was a better and more open discourse, however, to simplify:
* The companies can never go beyond “corp speak”. Any open discussion with pros and cons of trade-offs will be taken as “admission of guilt”. So basically they will keep their mouth shut, or parrot useless propaganda
* The press, expecting ratings will avoid nuance. They might say “Facebook found such and such harm”, but would rarely say “and they found a mitigation by doing X”. It will be a non-story, and will not be published. Just like “negative research” is rarely published in academia, it is unlikely to see it here. “We had these 9 concerning points, but we found that at 14 other issues, Facebook actually had a good stand”. It will not sell.
* The employees who has most access to the nuance will never be able to speak. They have most likely done the research, analysis, and prepared alternate choices. But speaking for a current or even a past employee is a non-starter (except for extreme cases where employment ended in bad terms. Then we are back to square 1).
“It really sucks when all your friends and family use WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, since getting entire countries to switch messaging applications simply isn’t going to get you anywhere.”
How did you stay in touch with friends and family before WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger? Social media have created a need for something that did not exist.