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Home / Business / As long as Mark Zuckerberg thinks Facebook is the Internet, he will never be sorry

As long as Mark Zuckerberg thinks Facebook is the Internet, he will never be sorry

Photo: AP

Happy Zuckerversary! Facebook was officially 1

5 years old on Monday, and the founder has blessed us with another blog post explaining how he sees his own creation in his horrible teenagers. After all this time, Mark Zuckerberg cannot or does not accept that he runs a platform, not the internet.

From the very first sentence of Zuckerberg's gaze back on Facebook's past and dreaming to his current, 34-year-old CEO cannot help but reinforce his own self-founded mythology. "Fifteen years ago today, I launched the first version of the Facebook website from the college's dorm," writes Zuckerberg. I have to check the archives more thoroughly, but there may have been a record for the quickest mention of the old college dorm room where a boy with a dream single-handedly launched a revolution.

Zuckerberg describes his younger self looks out over the landscape on the internet and notices that you can "find almost everything – books, music, news, information, businesses – except what really matters most: people." While MySpace was founded a year earlier and many similar social networks pre-dated Facebook, it is not denied that the simple interface and connectivity tools such as Zuckerberg and its employees ended up linking more people than any platform ever. In the post, he celebrates the astonishing fact that "today, about 2.7 billion people are connected by our services."

According to Internet World Stats, there are currently around 4.2 billion people connected to the internet. Facebook's network includes WhatsApp and Instagram, and it has managed to draw more than half of all of us using at least one of them. While most companies will be totally excited about having a user base larger than any nation on earth, it is important to remember that Zuckerberg does not even halfway to the goal of connecting everyone.

The problem is, Zuckerberg makes it seem like Facebook, with its already huge scale, is the internet. But that notion lets him off the hook for the right police thing he's created because the internet has no master. It is a separate ecosystem that requires the decentralized control to work properly. The deviation from decentralization is that there is no one to blame for an upset place that the internet really is. But Zuckerberg does not control the internet; He controls Facebook and everything that comes with it. Until he begins to fully grasp the difference, he will continue to demand that we just give him more time while he looks at how he clears up the roots of his creation.

Reading Zuckerberg's recent communication from the Facebook war room feels a bit like going back in time. Over the past two years, the company has faced more public violence and political pressure than throughout history, and it has given a similar number of excuses in turn. Just excuse the breeze over our heads because we have heard them for 15 years. Today, Facebook is best known for losing control of millions of users of data, getting hacked, monitoring children who are probably too young to really consent to such a thing, and being an exceptional tool for conveying political propaganda. It is also known for providing incredible breeding opportunities for mob violence in India and ethnic cleansing in Myanmar. The list of bad marks on the Facebook record is huge, and you're probably familiar with a lot of it.

But before it was contradictory to Russian trolls, it was accused of facilitating housing discrimination, and allegedly advertising for illegal opioids, there was fear that Facebook would take over the internet. The concern was mainly that Facebook would centralize the majority of the activities we do on the internet and gain unstoppable control over our online activity. We would all be gracious to their lungs unless we wanted to go out into the wild and lonely internet where only the rebates live. There is still reason to be afraid of this type of control, but it does feel a little more distant these days.

At the same time as Facebook began to look like a legitimate threat to the internet, there was much optimism about the power of social networks as an organizational force. The Arab Spring and Occupational Movement showed the world that these networks could be used for powerful grassroots organizations. And to read Zuckerberg's latest post, it feels as if he is still living in the vision of the future that is about relying on the public's wisdom. From the post:

As a network of people, traditional hierarchies replace and transform many institutions in our society – from government to business to media to society and more – there is a tendency for someone to complain about this change, to emphasize the negative, And in some cases going as far as saying that the shift to empowering people in ways the internet and these networks do, is mostly detrimental to society and democracy.

On the contrary, while any rapid change in society creates uncertainty, I believe what we see is that people have more power, and a long-term trend turns society into more open and responsible over time. We are still in the early stages of this transformation, and in many ways just getting started. But if the last 15 years were about people building these new networks and starting to see their influence, the next 15 years will be about people using their power to restore society in ways that have the potential to be deeply positive for decades. forward.

Zuckerberg acknowledges that there has been some growing pain in recent years. Today's blog post follows yesterday's release from the company's corporate newsroom explaining what "Facebook is doing to tackle the challenges it faces." It contained weary talk points about being faster responding and investing in new tools. Two weeks ago, Zuckerberg wrote an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal where he published "The Facts About Facebook." In other words, Zuckerberg and his team spend a lot of time explaining what Facebook is about to reorganize the deck chairs by saying they should focus on "engagement" and change the corporate model to bring the world closer. "

But in this author's opinion, it is very easy to understand how Zuckerberg looks at Facebook: He apparently wants to be the Internet an intrinsically scary, decentralized smorgasbord of digitized human activity, where pretty much anything that is not illegal is fair play And no one has ever had the boss in the internet responsible since the boss doesn't exist.

In 2014, the Time magazine took us "into Facebook's plan to tie the world." It outlined Zuckerberg's "philanthropic" mission to get everyone online At least a little bit of basic internet service with Facebook. The only cost would be the user's personal data. In 2018, Wired asked "what happened to Facebook's big plan to tie the world?" In short, what happened is people in places like India woke up to the potential cruelties of the Facebook free "basics" plan and rejected "digital colonialism" that came with it, but what happened was that Facebook jus tart their plans and hunkered down to be the storm as it always does. It is planning to launch an internet satellite this year, and the effort to build a Facebook-powered web is apparently just humming along behind the scenes.

It's just how Facebook scrolls. It tried to start the "next generation email" with less friction between message platforms and found that no one was interested. It took a step back, grew three gigantic messaging platforms (WhatsApp, Instagram messages and Facebook Messenger) and plans to merge them in the near future. Facebook currently offers video services, eBay-like markets, home businesses, photo sharing services, AR and VR, and virtually everything in between. Controversy-condemned, Facebook will find a way to build an internet on the internet.

But Facebook is not the internet, and Zuckerberg does not run the internet. He is the CEO of a private company that should reasonably be held responsible for what happens when people use the product. The problem is Facebook is too big to possibly do it. Zuckerberg maintains the same type of libertarian / anarcho-ish view of Facebook that the pioneers online kept for the internet as a whole. That is, through his actions and statements, Zuckerberg shows that he will only be neutral about what happens on Facebook and cash controls. The problem is that Facebook's algorithms manipulate and amplify content based on choices made by Facebook's team, eliminating the chance of neutrality and guaranteeing that not everyone is working on the same hunt.

Mark Zuckerberg has an unparalleled level of control over listed companies after negotiating a smart power event that gave him final words about everything. He may feel a bit chastened over all the recent criticisms he received, but last week the company reported its record revenue in the quarterly revenue. His view of locking the users into their own small, wall-mounted garden seems to be quite stable. He has a long way to go before using every corner of the net as a flip-flop wearing galactus, but he does a lot of progress. Facebook is not the internet. Not yet, at least. And if it was the internet, we would be in a lot of trouble.

The things that make Facebook such a disaster will never be "fixed" unless Zuckerberg gives the idea of ​​treating Facebook as if it is the internet. Until then, you expect more blog postings, utopian statements and happy shareholders.

[Mark Zuckerberg]

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