Published On: Fri, Feb 17th, 2017

What Zuck’s minute didn’t say

He competence not wish to run for bureau any time soon, though Mark Zuckerberg has polished a time-honored domestic art of articulate a lot though observant anything.

In a sprawling minute consisting mostly of feel-good mumbo jumbo and a light trace of underline ideas, a Facebook idealist laid out 5,700 difference value of nonspecific things that sounds nice. Like associate Facebook feel-gooder Sheryl Sandberg, Zuck was certain to expostulate home a warm/fuzzy summary of his ad dollar factory, attack removed tellurian seductiveness anecdotes with some-more magnitude than a dusk news.

While his enterprise for corporate self-reflection is softly excellent in an attention retiring to introspect, all of those difference don’t conduct to add adult to a sum of their parts. (Seriously, that’s kind of a lot of words.) Of course, Zuck is right that Facebook does have a singly outrageous event to do novel things during large scale. But what can we unequivocally lift off if your series one idea is to equivocate rocking a vessel full of scarcely dual billion people?

For a image of what a minute discussed, we pennyless down a few topics by series of mentions:

  • Social infrastructure: 15
  • Global: 26
  • Politics/Political: 10
  • Trump: 0
  • Harassment: 1
  • Fake news: 1
  • Hoax: 3
  • Propaganda: 1
  • Instagram: 0
  • WhatsApp: 3
  • Encryption: 2

 Zuck’s greater good

  • First off, the word “Trump” appears 0 times. Zuckerberg’s apolitical dissertation predictably creates no discuss of a U.S. president, opting instead for savoury allusions to a meridian of polarized viewpoints and a appearing hazard and/or guarantee of globalization. In lieu of enumerating specific policies, Zuck goes large here. Unfortunately, it’s some-more “undergrad sociology tenure paper big” than “compelling large ideas big.”
  • In a letter, Zuckerberg indulges in some uncanny exceptionalism around this impulse in time, abdicating shortcoming for Facebook’s purpose in formulating a impulse we’re vital through. Facebook’s modus operandi has always been to take credit for anything good achieved on a network and boot anything bad as an outmost phenomenon. This strategy proves fitting time and time again.
  • Zuck believes in something he calls “our common values and common humanity,” that appears to be shorthand for a watered-down kind of politics that isn’t about anything during all. He opines about “the vast scale of people’s intrinsic goodness aggregated across our community” though doing most to acknowledge humanity’s total badness.
  • Do a good actions done probable by a height (Red Cross donations, proffer mobilization) cancel out a bad (harassment, neo-Nazi affinity groups)? Zuck doesn’t ask this question, nor does he answer it.


  • Facebook wants to enhance a energy of a predictive reserve features regulating synthetic intelligence. That could impact all from disaster service to self-murder impediment to terrorism.
  • He remarkable a significance of “protecting sold confidence and liberty” though did not immediately offer a resolution to a risks fundamental in this indication over touting Facebook’s adoption of end-to-end encryption in a discuss apps. Encryption will do small to diminish a remoteness risk fundamental in AI, facial approval program and other kinds of algorithms that can envision user temperament and behavior.

Fake news

  • Zuckerberg suggests that providing a “range of perspectives” will fight feign news and marvellous calm over time, though this appears to naively assume users have some fundamental expostulate to find a truth. Most amicable scholarship suggests that people pursue information that concerns their existent biases, time and time again. Facebook does not have a resolution for how to incentivize users to act otherwise.
  • Even if we’re friends with people like ourselves, Zuckerberg thinks that Facebook feeds arrangement “more different content” than newspapers or promote news. That’s a large claim, one that seems to welcome Facebook’s temperament as a media company, and it’s not corroborated adult by anything during all.
  • Facebook explains that a proceed “will concentration reduction on banning misinformation, and some-more on surfacing additional perspectives and information.” For fear of backlash, Facebook will lay this one out, flattering much.
  • Zuckerberg thinks the genuine problem is polarization opposite not usually amicable media though also “groups and communities, including companies, classrooms and juries” that he clumsily dismisses as “usually separate to politics.” Basically, Facebook will simulate a systemic inequities found elsewhere in multitude rather and it shouldn’t unequivocally be approaching to do otherwise.
  • Zuck “[wants] to stress that a immeasurable infancy of conversations on Facebook are social, not ideological.” By design, so are a immeasurable infancy of conversations Facebook has about Facebook. The association continues to be shocked of appearing politically or ideologically aligned.


In one of a usually concrete bits, Zuckerberg owns adult to some of his platform’s new shortcomings:

“In a final year, a complexity of a issues we’ve seen has outstripped a existent processes for ruling a community. We saw this in errors holding down newsworthy videos associated to Black Lives Matter and military violence, and in stealing a chronological Terror of War print from Vietnam. We’ve seen this in misclassifying hatred debate in domestic debates in both directions — holding down accounts and calm that should be left adult and withdrawal adult calm that was horrible and should be taken down. Both a series of issues and their informative significance has increasing recently.”

You had us right adult until that final sentence.

Facebook’s raison d’être

Sure it’s good that Facebook wants to do Good Things, though it’d be nicer if a association didn’t kick us over a conduct with a possess pretended selflessness. It’s tough to find impulse in Facebook’s grand tellurian goal when a fact of a matter is that it stands to make a lot of income by expanding into countries it has nonetheless to conquer. This remains the apparent undercurrent behind a tellurian goal to nobly bond everybody everywhere.

This should go though saying, though a lot of users (and copiousness of reporters) seem unduly bewitched by Facebook’s charitable overtures. Facebook engages in a lot of vital philanthropy, though that doesn’t make a goal philanthropic. Its goal is creation money. It’s fine to contend that!

While Zuckerberg’s minute is not quite profound, his message is clear: Facebook, a good equivocator, is truly for everyone. The lowest common denominator of digital socialization works unusually good for no one in particular. By rallying around a cloudy notion of a larger good that flows by amiability during scale (miraculously alienating no one in a process!) Facebook can be some things to all people—and that’s unequivocally been a loyal goal all along.

Perhaps we should all put aside a differences and join hands on the next quarterly gain call?

Featured Image: Flickr UNDER A CC BY 2.0 LICENSE

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