Imagine if he learned the value and intrinsic satisfaction of facilitating happiness, respect, and connection to humanity, and made these the central tenets of the platform.
Imagine if profitability fell a little, but not enough to stop the new ethos.
And no, there is no possible argument you could make that says you must use Facebook because of anything Facebook has done except be extremely valuable and easy to use for its users.
Nobody has to use WhatsApp, nobody has to use Instagram, they choose to because other people decided to use them. It's not Facebook's fault entire governments decided to run out of WhatsApp, and those governments/your friends could switch to/add on a different platform if they wanted to, they just don't because what Facebook offers for free (the network) is a lot better than what other technology offers.
So yes, they may be completely-optional-to-my-life in terms of using it directly, and yet choosing to not use them often means disconnecting from people not just on those platforms but in life in general.
An example that's almost the opposite: I traveled a lot overseas and my close group of American friends would use an SMS chat group to stay in touch. While overseas, I'd use a local sim and couldn't receive the group texts. I wanted them to switch to Whatsapp or a similar platform that would work over the internet. A few of them refused. So they stayed on the platform and I felt myself becoming more distant from them, not just in texts but in general. I felt a very similar disconnect after I deleted my FB account a few years back, and then again, after I built a new FB account and muted all of my FB friends.
At some point, I think a company becomes so large and integrated into society that it becomes a pseudo-monopoly and often in the US we treat those as public utilities. Yes, I think I could live without electricity in my city, and yet the electric company would still impact my life.
The sad reality is that if it weren't Facebook, it'd be Twitter. If it weren't Twitter, it'd be TikTok, and so on. The people you're mad at aren't the companies making it easier to communicate, it's the people doing the communicating, and they're doing the communicating on whatever platform becomes most popular.
You may be mad at the users for not... I dunno, saying better things on these platforms, and you're seemingly taking it out on the platform. You're mad at society, and you channel it through to the services that society uses.
Facebook is not causing any of the problems you're upset about, it's just the platform where those problems are manifesting. It's still just a product, and if something better comes along, people will switch to the better thing. Network effects are real, but they're not permanent or impenetrable.
Once again, this is a very Western-centric point of view.
Again, your complaint is about people. You don't like a choice they made, but it was a choice those people made and continue to make.
But... you absolutely can. This is getting pointless. You're not going to be convinced, nor are you willing to engage in any meaningful dialogue here.
You could say the same thing about any addictive substance. And yet I doubt people would argue that controlling substance abuse is a bad thing.
For better or worse Facebook has made a thing that through the sum of its parts is harmful to society. I doubt any specific line-level engineer or product planner ever intentionally decided to end up with this end product, but here we are.
> hearing people bemoan a completely-optional-to-your-life social media company for being too good at getting people to talk to one another.
The issue isn't that it's getting people to talk with one another, it's that it encourages negative engagement.
The same thing happens with news - people are enraptured with gossip and death and will watch that more than something less salacious. But FB has scale and targeting unmatched by any other service. Google probably had a "and there but for the grace of god go we" moment - their search results probably has/had similar problems but hasn't incurred as much outrage. If Google Plus actually succeeded maybe they'd be the ones in the hot seat today.
Of course they do. They may have no legal duty to behave morally, but they, like everyone else, still have a moral duty to behave morally.
Not sure if you’ve been on FB in recent years, but people aren’t really talking to each other so much as they are spewing into a void. By far, the most common p2p interaction is arguing between strangers. Facebook is actually terrible at its initial premise of connecting people who know each other IRL, or those who might want to.
No, super duper no. People are shouting into the void because there's a burning need for humans to shout into voids. If it weren't Facebook's void, it'd be some other void. The common denominator here is people.
Human brains validate their existences by communicating, and Facebook built the most effective communication tool that's ever been created. It's not Facebook's fault that most people aren't able to create anything other than hateful shouting.
Further, this strikes me as a very Western-centric argument, particularly with WhatsApp. WhatsApp is nearly infrastructure in many countries outside the US, and your argument approaches saying "nobody has to use the Internet" -- which I suppose is true? But strikes me as being similar to saying "nobody has to have electricity."
You also seem to frame Facebook as somehow unwittingly finding itself in a position of power through WhatsApp, instead of that being a multi-year strategic campaign through marketing and their free-Internet push in the developing world (but only for FB's walled garden, which is clearly anti-competitive).
The U.S. is currently engaged in two major crises: is our democratic system of government legitimate, and how do we deal with a pandemic?
In both cases, Facebook’s algorithm is encouraging divisiveness in the name of engagement.
I'm no fan of FB but it's absurd to say their algorithms encourage divisiveness. Their algorithms have no concept of divisiveness, they are simply fitting their cost function which is engagement (well, proxies for engagement). It just so turns out that a lot of people in society want echo chambers where their pre-existing views can be strengthened and validated...that's what is causing divisiveness.
I'm not really sure what FB is supposed to do. Does a fast food company have a responsibility to ensure that people are eating a healthy diet? Where do we draw the line?
Which can absolutely be a proxy for divisiveness.
Network effects are real. I would not continue to use Whatsapp unless other people were on it. It got big before Facebook bought them and has dwindled (in my book) ever since. The network effect applies to a lot of things, from the internet to telephones to bars.
Addictive dark patterns are a thing. Facebook is armed with a metric asston of computational power that is all dedicated to getting you to keep hanging out on it, feeding your dopamine cycles, coaxing you in with candy, and distorting reality around you. It is in fact, these myriad reality distortion fields that is its primary path to ad revenue.
> what Facebook offers for free
Because it has hundreds of billions in its bank and sucks in tens of billions of ad revenue. Little competitors cannot do either of those.
No one HAS to look at gore or CP in their feed, they can block that "friend". So why does Facebook bother to remove such content (rhetorical question, i realise the implications of them allowing CP)?
During the fires last year, my county used their Facebook page as the official place to get current info about fire status. The info on the actual county website was copy/pasted from Facebook, with a significant time lag.
But, yeah, sure, we choose to use Facebook...
A FB recruiter contacted me a few years ago to ask me about leading a "new anti-abuse team." At the time, I merely had a bad taste in my mouth for the company, but I figured if they were trying to combat abuse, it was worthy of having a conversation.
TLDR, the interview was a standard normal ML loop with no talk about abuse reduction. When I brought it up, they just talked up my experience and wanted to focus on that. Nice bait-and-switch. One interviewer raved about how awesome it was that he got to do ML at work (??), and it was all in video recommendations to keep eyeballs on the site.
That was a big (but not the biggest) turning point for me in my perspective of the company. I'm convinced they don't intrinsically care to fix the problems of abuse, and we need regulation to make them extrinsically motivated.
"Facebook is not dying as a business, but they’ve died as a brand. The company needs to move on to ‘what’s next’ as quickly as possible to distance themselves from the social network. This is nothing new, of course — I wrote this over six years ago. They’ve more or less been trying to do this for years. But even in creating an umbrella company, they called it ‘Facebook’, which was dumb. It was the exact opposite of what they should have done. Because, again, Facebook, the brand, is over."
Does anyone really think though that Fb the company has what it takes to produce another world beating product? Call me pessimistic, but their best shot is buying up innovative companies and not strangling the cool out of them (ie Oculus)
Is what they are trying with the Metaverse stuff. Kinda weird considering that buying "the next big thing" has worked so well for them before.
Edit: yeah, what you said.
Tech companies already sit in the middle of so much of our relationships with each other and each one of them delivers a terrible low-bandwidth experience. I believe Facebook's end game here is no less than digital teleportation. Put on a pair of sunglasses and you can be in the room with anyone in the world. It will be radically personal and intimate after decades of impersonal, disconnected, inhumane and isolating tech.
And anyway, regardless of outcome, it will surely be more entertaining to watch a trillion dollar company go fully down the rabbit hole of some kind of cyberpunk fantasy than to watch them continue to dig the hole deeper on their society destroying social media tech.
And how will that makes them money? The only thing that's going to be more "personal and intimate" is the way in which they deliver ads and the same divisive and polarizing content. It'll be be way worse that it is now. Imagine how bad things got simply by inserting text and pictures into your social media feed. What happens when you're fully immersed in the "metaverse" with ads and divisive content literally be all around you. And no two people get the same content either. It's horrifying.
I've spent time playing Poker Stars, Table Tennis, Rec Room and Alt Space interacting with adults. The interactions I've had are nothing like posting void-screaming updates to your feed and are everything like being there with a real person. People are kinder too, this is after all a real person in front of you and it is just as intensely embarrassing to make a fool out of yourself as it would be in real life. I recently had a nice conversation with a man about his partner's cancer diagnosis and was able to offer him real human empathy in a moment where the headset and avatars fell away. It reminds me of the intimacy that old POTS telephone lines had, like whispering into each other's ears. The potential is all there and the execution lies in the decade ahead. We will see, but I am paying attention.
The value in VR is easy to see. Most kids I've seen that get to try out VR come out of it like a meth addict that wants to dive back in for the next high. It's insane.
I think VR has a huge natural appeal and Facebook will just buy everything so they can own an entire growth industry. They'll keep the HMDs locked down and will destroy all competition with anti-competitive practices while regulators continue to look the other way. The entire VR industry will end up reaching a fraction of it's potential, but it'll still be profitable for Facebook so everyone will consider it a success.
I'd pay to see MarkVR where once a month the community gets to vote to put Zuckerberg into a VR community on the Facebook platform and he live streams the experience for 1h. I think that's one way you can tell the difference between a visionary/enthusiast and someone that's just buying things they think will make money. One loves the idea of participating in the community they're building and wants to build a healthy community with enjoyable experiences. The other would do everything in their power to avoid it because making money is the only goal and it doesn't matter if the community and experiences are terrible. Which one do you think Zuckerberg is?
Regulation would further entrench Facebook as the only social network able to implement everything legally required to be a social network. Facebook wants legislation the same way Amazon and Walmart want increases in minimum wages: so they can push out smaller competitors and upstarts easier.
I think the problem is that they seem to be headed towards doing both.
I once had a short consulting engagement with a VR company that spun out of Second Life and had to be "in world" the entire time. They had made a VR office space for the dev team to congregate in. The first time I beamed into a meeting room and saw a dozen blank faced avatars staring back at me I got filled with anxiety. I've been working remote for 13 years and I can't remember another time I felt anxious like that running a remote meeting.
The people were great and the spatial audio was interesting, but I found it really distracting to have to be in a VR world when really I just wanted to be in emacs coding. I felt mentally drained by the end of every day, worse than being in an office working a full day. I felt "always on" in a way I don't in an office (and certainly don't when remote). Maybe there's a niche here, but it's really not for me.
Some branding consultant has calculated that it will be cheaper for them simply re-brand than to try to recover the existing brand.
Did we just accidentally cross over into Shadowrun lore? Everyone's talking about the whole corporate dystopia thing but I didn't think we'd be this literal about it, they could just take the slogan as well while they're at it
Instagram as a way to share moments I can understand, and WhatsApp is a utility not a social network.
When people say that their Facebook stream is "very angry", it seems to me that it is mainly a reflection of the network that they happen to be part of.
Now it's at least half your feed if you don't trim the groups and your actual friends get lost in the noise. I'm sure FB has some data about engagement or some such, but they should remember why people use their service and refocus.
It's awesome if your network is still like that. For me, it becomes hard to filter out the widely shared & "angry" content some people share - it just propagates so easily.
Here's a link. I highly recommend it.
What I'd use Facebook for is keeping up with friends - for that it doesn't have to be the largest social network around. It would probably be better at that purpose if it was smaller.
This does nothing to help the people that enjoyed the functionality of the early Facebook and would like to configure their page to return to that, rather than dropping it entirely.
That's progressive to try to enact change from within via the market. Keep complaining on HN until they become what you want them to be...which is what they used to be. I honestly think you're angry and things wont get better for you.
It's the same for me on Twitter - spending time muting words & blocking some people made it a lot more valuable.
Ultimate Arbiter of Reality?
Can Zuck resist the urge to proclaim himslef a God? How about High Pontiff of the new Holy SanFransican Church?
Hopefully this also allows Zuckerberg to stay technologically strategic, where his gifts want him to be, as opposed to mired in questions of ethical standards for platforms used by teens and children.
(Ideally an ethical platform could then also be cultivated through some of that technological power given back to community as well...In some ways one of the biggest hurdles to jump in the future is IMO allowing for such ethics systems to develop in a standardized, yet diverse fashion. If everybody has to use the same admin and moderation system the same way, for example, it incentivizes abuse by power users. Each new community or group will have its own psychological dynamic and deserves the opportunity to get off the ground without being pulled down into platform-sameness by a possibly angry or bitter set of power users.)
No, really! I know the tricks of AI and even I, sometimes, get tricked into thinking that Zuckerberg is an actual and real human being, not just an AI bot faking empathy, decency and ethics.
They pass the Turing test, with honors. That's how well they do it! :)
- Don Draper.
The metaverse is open, collaborative, privacy focused, and free by default. It should be a public good. The walled gardens, and efforts to control are really part of the metaverse, rather than the entire metaverse itself.
There are so many other orgs and people working hard on ensuring that it can't be owned. They can hire 100,000 more people, and they still can't own it. It's bigger than that.
This isn't quite like the Internet in the early days, which was born free and decentralized because it was invented by highly motivated hackers.
>Virtual Reality and the Pioneers of Cyberspace:
25 years before Oculus, John Perry Barlow described what it was like “being in nothingness.”
>[...] And they were ready to make a product. They’d made a promo video starring Timothy Leary. Gullichsen had even registered William Gibson’s term “cyberspace” as an Autodesk trademark, prompting an irritated Gibson to apply for trademark registration of the term “Eric Gullichsen.” By June, they had an implementation which, though clearly the Kitty Hawk version of the technology, endowed people with an instantaneous vision of the Concorde level. [...]
All VR devs are entirely focused on the visual/audio output of devices but one very important detail that is missing is the illusory sixth sense, the kinesthetic receptors.
You can solve x-y axis movement with treadmills, but how do you simulate z axis movement without anyone getting sick ?
This is why a lot of people get nauseous on VR roller-coasters. I personally cannot use a VR device for more than 30 minutes without getting ill.
Personally, I think the steps of XR evolution will go like this:
(1) VR restricted to stationary games that don't require a lot of movement. The stage we're at right now.
(2) AR goggles/glasses are most likely to be more desirable than VR within the next 100 years because they're improvements on the existing world rather than replacements. Workplace tools, heart rate metrics, etc. Basically the first working versions of these will be porting the main apps of iWatch to a glasses interface.
(3) Lateral (x-y axis) VR could be improved to provide more immersive entertainment and games. Still nothing groundbreaking, and you're going to be restricted to using a very expensive treadmill.
(4) Once brain/computer interfaces are successfully developed and approved by government regulating bodies for production and release, then people can plug into the "metaverse". I'm guessing this is at least 100 years or more away (that might be optimistic too)
Also an important thing to note is that the infrastructure needed to support a living metaverse is very important. There is a big question mark on what this is going to look like coming out of a megacorp (especially one as greedy as FB). The internet had the luxury of being open/free/ad-free in the beginning, and had a strong developer community. Apple was successfully able to build a dev community for their iPhone but them and Android are really the only good examples I can think of.
People even avoid developing on Microsoft's OS for less restrictive open-source alternatives.
Nothing to see here. Just another Alphabet-type holding company.
Because after an Apple whacked them on the head, they started coming to grips with the gravity of the situation :P
How about Verizon? That's a creative name.
Maybe some people will finally see through media propaganda, and conformism to realize how much value Facebook brings to their life and how is (US based) facebook is better than other alternatives. These users will hopefully embrace metaverse to have even better interaction will other human beings across the world for business, please and joy, which will allow the to have reacher more meaningful life experiences
I believe I do know how facebook operates to a good approximation, how ranking system operate, and how users data is used for ads targeting and content ranking. Based off my knowledge I think what you write here is a gross misrepresentation of the situation, I do try to be unbiased.
I wonder just how bad the stuff they're trying to hide is.
I mean, it's probably necessary for corporate structure or whatever, but no matter what they rebrand as, it'll still be "Facebook".
Virtual Reality as a concept is always going to fail.
This is what oil companies do. British Petroleum --> BP.
You rebrand because people have a bad taste in their mouth about you.
That's beyond ridiculous.
Probably no other option of FB at this point.
Google did it because they were structuring businesses that matured out of Google X - like Verily & Waymo. Facebook doesn't have such a similar business reason. Instagram, WhatsApp, Facebook are all in the social media space and all relate to each other. The alleged reason "to rebrand under a Metaverse umbrella" makes it clear this is a very different reason compared to what Google did.
Facebook hasn't even announced their reasons, they haven't announced anything at all. You fail to mention their plays in the VR and AR space which to me makes this pretty clear and similar to the google reasons.
In an age of ethical consumerism, it's undeniable that not breaking with the past would've had a significant impact on their profits.
Some entries in the table of contents sound a bit embarrassing, like "Banana massacre" and "Aiding and abetting a terrorist organization". Description of a coup is to be found if someone reads the entry about Guatemela.
Various other top DDG results are about the same three things, dictionary entries and Pablo Neruda's poem.
Does anyone really think clothing brands are avoiding Xinjiang cotton if their product still comes from China or another south/east Asian country?
People will continue to associate Facebook stuff and some of the parent-company shenanigans when they hit big news events, but it gives them another name for news releases and forcefully correcting news outlets that "Alphabet did X, and Alphabet is not Google".
"Comcast Cable is the cable television division of Comcast Corporation, providing cable television, broadband internet, and landline telephone under the Xfinity brand."
Blackwater => Xe Services => Academi
Popular English has taken a real hit in the last few years.
I would guess that if you were to split up FB into FB business pages, FB personal pages, Instagram, and Whatsapp, that FB personal pages would be the lowest-used product by a sizeable margin. If they rebrand along those lines, I'm guessing they could convince the public of that as well and lawmakers wouldn't be able to get their grubby regulating hands on it.
"Maybe she'll be flattered!"
Twitter won't be too far behind.
Fecebook - Steve Jobs.
Aliens would ask “wait it’s not a book with faces in it?”