The face behind the Facebook papers tells how she became Mark Zuckerberg’s nightmare—and thinks people can still make a positive impact at the company.
#facebook #mark #meta #papers #the #zuckerberg
There's a thing that most people don't understand. Every other similarly powerful industry in the world, or even a general market in the world, is radically more transparent than Facebook is. It’s like there was a factory producing a widget, and around that factory, kids were getting cancer. A scientist could go and put up a detector and independently validate that there was pollution from the factory that was making those cancer cases. But with Facebook, most people aren't aware of the idea that we have no transparency into the system. They may understand subjectively that Facebook makes them feel bad [but they don’t have the data]. And not only do we not have transparency, but Facebook actively gaslights us and lies to us repeatedly. Facebook does not want us to see what happens; they don't want to give out even aggregate data. When they have given out some aggregate data, like the academic consortium a couple months ago, they literally gave false data.
Even with more transparency at a moderate level, we would have very different conversations. Facebook has lots of solutions—this is not an intractable problem. But they are all solutions that require sacrifices of slivers of profit. Does Facebook deserve to have 17 percent profit margins, or, heaven forbid, 12 percent profit margins? [Note: Meta’s most recent operating margin was 36 percent.] That conversation has distracted people. It's not a question of whether we have Facebook or not, but whether we deserve to have a Facebook that is safe. I totally understand that journalists need to be objective and fair. But I think sometimes we're getting lost in the forest because of the trees. I haven't seen reporting on that as much as I would have liked.