The Facebook Management Play: Not Much to Change

November 22, 2018

I read two articles this morning. I came away with the thought that Facebook is not eager to change.

The first article is “As Problems Pile Up, Mark Zuckerberg Stands His Ground in Exclusive CNN Business interview.” The main idea appears to be:

Zuckerberg resisted growing calls for changes to Facebook’s C-suite, reiterated Facebook’s potential as a force for good, and pushed back at some of the unrelenting critical coverage of his company after a year of negative headlines about fake news, election meddling and privacy concerns.

The second article is “The Punctured Myth of Sheryl Sandberg.” Yep, the lean in thinker and doer. The main idea struck me as:

Sandberg played a central role in nearly every misdeed at Facebook that’s described in the Times piece. Singularly focused on the company’s stock price and its advertising-based business model, she worked to minimize data abuse and election interference.

So what?

Three observations:

  1. Facebook is not likely to change without some outside encouragement
  2. Ethical behavior appears to be a dynamic concept. Expedient behavior may be a suitable synonym.
  3. A company founded on getting info about potential dates has morphed into an organization capable of taking down carefully constructed social assemblies.

Change may be difficult. Habit, momentum, and money can be barriers. We may have a digital turkey to monitor.

Stephen E Arnold, November 22, 2018


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