Facebook’s Dereliction of Duty

Almost like a tribal drumbeat, there is now a predictable rhythm to how often we hear about Facebook’s many challenges. Every week or so, the media glare brings out more corporate secrets. But while they are titillating and make for great reading, the gripes of the media —who have their own axe to grind with Facebook for what it did to their business — often distract from Facebook’s real failure: dereliction of duty.

At some point, like many people, I became okay with the idea that Facebook will suck in more and more of our data until we are living in a perpetual motion machine of hyper-personalized advertising. But this acceptance was premised on the assumed agreement that, even as it treated us like the passive citizens in Wall-E, Facebook would be able to keep its platform clean. It would protect its treasure — our personal information — with the vigilance of a medieval emperor. The borders of its data empire would be guarded with a ferocity befitting Genghis Khan.

The company has clearly failed to hold up its side of this bargain. Continue reading “Facebook’s Dereliction of Duty”

Facebook’s Second Life

“Once it was clear how bad it was and how mismatched they were, everybody had this awakening: We have made some mistakes, but these guys know even less,” an anonymous executive told Nicholas Thompson, editor in chief of Wired who reported on Facebook’s internal reaction to Mark Zuckerberg’s visit to Washington D.C., which was (as my readers know) a predictable bit of pantomime and theater. Continue reading “Facebook’s Second Life”