PEOPLE OR PROFIT? FACEBOOK PAPERS SHOW DEEP CONFLICT WITHIN
Techlife News|October 30, 2021
Facebook the company is losing control of Facebook the product — not to mention the last shreds of its carefully crafted, decade-old image as a benevolent company just wanting to connect the world.
Thousands of pages of internal documents provided to Congress by a former employee depict an internally conflicted company where data on the harms it causes is abundant, but solutions, much less the will to act on them, are halting at best.

The crisis exposed by the documents shows how Facebook, despite its regularly avowed good intentions, appears to have slow-walked or sidelined efforts to address real harms the social network has magnified and sometimes created. They reveal numerous instances where researchers and rank-and-file workers uncovered deep-seated problems that the company then overlooked or ignored.

Final responsibility for this state of affairs rests with CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who holds what one former employee described as dictatorial power over a corporation that collects data on and provides free services to roughly 3 billion people around the world.

“Ultimately, it rests with Mark and whatever his prerogative is — and it has always been to grow, to increase his power and his reach,” said Jennifer Grygiel, a Syracuse University communications professor who’s followed Facebook closely for years.

Zuckerberg has an ironclad hold on Facebook Inc. He holds the majority of the company’s voting shares, controls its board of directors and has increasingly surrounded himself with executives who don’t appear to question his vision.

But he has so far been unable to address stagnating user growth and shrinking engagement for Facebook the product in key areas such as the United States and Europe. Worse, the company is losing the attention of its most important demographic — teenagers and young people — with no clear path to gaining it back, its own documents reveal.

Young adults engage with Facebook far less than their older cohorts, seeing it as an “outdated network” with “irrelevant content” that provides limited value for them, according to a November 2020 internal document. It is “boring, misleading and negative,” they say.

In other words, the young see Facebook as a place for old people.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM TECHLIFE NEWSView All

David Bowie's Extensive Music Catalog Is Sold to Warner

The extensive music catalog of David Bowie, stretching from the late 1960s to just before his death in 2016, has been sold to Warner Chappell Music.

1 min read
Techlife News
08, January 2022

After Wave of Cancellations, Delta Sees Recovery in 2022

Delta Air Lines lost $408 million in the final quarter of 2021, dragged down by a COVID-19 surge that rocked the airline in December, and the carrier predicted Thursday that it will suffer one more quarterly loss before travel perks up in spring and summer.

3 mins read
Techlife News
15, January 2022

19-year-old Woman Sets Record For Solo Global Flight

Home! And no longer alone.

3 mins read
Techlife News
January 22, 2022

RED CROSS: HACK EXPOSES DATA ON 515,000 VULNERABLE PEOPLE

The International Committee of the Red Cross, which is best known for helping war victims, says hackers broke into servers hosting its data and gained access to personal, confidential information on more than a half-million vulnerable people.

1 min read
Techlife News
January 22, 2022

LAWSUIT: GOOGLE, FACEBOOK CEOS COLLUDED IN ONLINE AD SALES

Newly unredacted documents from a state-led antitrust lawsuit against Google accuse the search giant of colluding with rival Facebook to manipulate online advertising sales. The CEOs of both companies were aware of the deal and signed off on it, the lawsuit alleges.

2 mins read
Techlife News
January 22, 2022

NETFLIX UPPING US, CANADA PRICES WITH COMPETITION GROWING

Netflix is raising prices for its video streaming customers in the U.S. and Canada, less than a year and a half since its last price increase, as competition from other streaming services increases.

1 min read
Techlife News
January 22, 2022

WHY AIRLINES FEAR 5G WILL UPEND TRAVEL THIS WEEK

AT&T will postpone new wireless service near some airports planned for this week after the nation’s largest airlines said the service would interfere with aircraft technology and cause massive flight disruptions.

3 mins read
Techlife News
January 22, 2022

MICROSOFT BUYS GAME MAKER ACTIVISION BLIZZARD FOR ABOUT $70B

Microsoft is paying nearly $70 billion for Activision Blizzard, the maker of Candy Crush and Call of Duty, to boost its competitiveness in mobile gaming and virtual-reality technology.

4 mins read
Techlife News
January 22, 2022

AMERICAN AIRLINES REPORTS $931 MILLION FOURTH-QUARTER LOSS

American Airlines lost $931 million in the fourth quarter and the omicron variant of COVID-19 is delaying its recovery from nearly two years of pandemic.

2 mins read
Techlife News
Techlife News #534

HOW TO CRUSH YOUR HOLIDAY DEBT

The holidays have left without a trace. Well, almost. Long after the decorations have come down, you still have debt hanging around.

3 mins read
Techlife News
Techlife News #534
RELATED STORIES

What Do Electric Vehicles Mean for the Future of Hot Rodding?

Electric vehicles are gaining in popularity and EV swaps are starting to show up in hot rods. Will this spell the end of traditional hot rodding?

3 mins read
Hot Rod
March 2022

PARADIGM SHIFTERS

Globalizing Streaming Content

7 mins read
Newsweek
December 24, 2021

EU PLAN FOR SWEEPING UPDATE OF BIG TECH RULES GAINS MOMENTUM

The European Union’s ambitious plan to update its pioneering internet rules gained momentum Tuesday after a key committee passed measures requiring technology companies to better police content and lawmakers prepared to vote on regulations to rein in Big Tech.

2 mins read
AppleMagazine
December 17, 2021

INSTAGRAM LAUNCHES TOOL URGING TEENS TO TAKE A BREAK

Instagram launched a feature that urges teenagers to take breaks from the photo-sharing platform and announced other tools aimed at protecting young users from harmful content on the Facebook-owned service.

2 mins read
AppleMagazine
December 10, 2021

ROHINGYA SUE FACEBOOK FOR $150B, ALLEGING ROLE IN VIOLENCE

Rohingya refugees sued Facebook parent Meta Platforms for more than $150 billion over what they say was the company’s failure to stop hateful posts that incited violence against the Muslim ethnic group by Myanmar’s military rulers and their supporters.

2 mins read
AppleMagazine
December 10, 2021

Facebook Shuts Down Its Facial-Recognition System

Facebook doesn’t point to a single incident that prompted the decision, but it comes as facial-recognition systems (and the social network in general) have come under fire.

2 mins read
PC Magazine
December 2021

TWITTER ROLLS OUT REDESIGNED MISINFORMATION WARNING LABELS

Twitter users will soon see new warning labels on false and misleading tweets, redesigned to make them more effective and less confusing.

1 min read
AppleMagazine
November 19, 2021

Congress Just Can't Quit Facebook

Lawmakers of both parties assail the tech giant but are hooked on its core product

6 mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
November 15, 2021

FACEBOOK WHISTLEBLOWER FEARS THE METAVERSE

Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen warned that the “metaverse,” the all-encompassing virtual reality world at the heart of the social media giant’s growth strategy, will be addictive and rob people of yet more personal information while giving the embattled company another monopoly online.

4 mins read
AppleMagazine
November 12, 2021

Facebook to Shut Down Face-Recognition System, Delete Data

Facebook said it will shut down its face-recognition system and delete the faceprints of more than 1 billion people amid growing concerns about the technology and its misuse by governments, police and others.

5 mins read
AppleMagazine
November 05, 2021