Facebook Is Weaker Than We Knew

A trove of leaked documents, published by The Wall Street Journal, hints at a company whose best days are behind it.

One possible way to read “The Facebook Files,” The Wall Street Journal’s excellent series of reports based on leaked internal Facebook research, is as a story about an unstoppable juggernaut bulldozing society on its way to the bank.

The series has exposed damning evidence that Facebook has a two-tier justice system, that it knew Instagram was worsening body-image issues among girls and that it had a bigger vaccine misinformation problem than it let on, among other issues. And it would be easy enough to come away thinking that Facebook is terrifyingly powerful, and can be brought to heel only with aggressive government intervention.

But there’s another way to read the series, and it’s the interpretation that has reverberated louder inside my brain as each new installment has landed.

Which is: Facebook is in trouble.

To continue reading this New York Times report, go to:
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/10/04/technology/facebook-files.html

Also see:

Ex-Facebook employee bringing sharp criticisms to Congress
A former Facebook data scientist has stunned lawmakers and the public with revelations of the company’s awareness of apparent harm to some teens from Instagram and her accusations of dishonesty in its fight against hate and misinformation.
https://apnews.com/article/science-technology-business-congress-health-1daac7a76ca7bf0b0802cc46e732b51b

Whistle-Blower Says Facebook ‘Chooses Profits Over Safety’
John Tye, the founder of Whistleblower Aid, a legal nonprofit that represents people seeking to expose potential lawbreaking, was contacted this spring through a mutual connection by a woman who claimed to have worked at Facebook.
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/10/03/technology/whistle-blower-facebook-frances-haugen.html

Facebook putting profit before public good, says whistleblower Frances Haugen
A former Facebook employee has accused the company of putting profit over the public good, after coming forward as the whistleblower who leaked a cache of internal documents that have placed the tech firm in its worst crisis since the Cambridge Analytica scandal.
https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2021/oct/03/former-facebook-employee-frances-haugen-identifies-herself-as-whistleblower

Zuckerberg’s apologies have been a staple of Facebook scandals. Now, the company offers defiance.
After four years of almost continuous scandal, Facebook is approaching its latest controversy over political polarization and the toxic effects of social media in a more aggressive and defiant way than it has previously, say current and former employees, including executives who helped shape the company’s earlier responses.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2021/10/04/zuckerbergs-apologies-have-been-staple-facebook-scandals-now-company-offers-defiance/

Facebook urges court to dismiss latest F.T.C. antitrust suit.
Facebook filed a motion on Monday to dismiss the Federal Trade Commission’s revised antitrust lawsuit against the company, saying the agency’s complaint still lacked evidence that the company had violated antitrust laws.
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/10/04/technology/facebook-ftc-antitrust-suit.html

Facebook again asks judge to dismiss FTC antitrust complaint, arguing it lacks ‘valid factual basis’
Facebook on Monday again asked a federal judge to throw out the Federal Trade Commission’s antitrust lawsuit, arguing that the agency still has “no valid factual basis” showing that the social network is an illegal monopolist, in one of the most high-profile competition cases in decades.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2021/10/04/facebook-ftc-antitrust-dismiss/

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