Facebook: Fine Thinking

September 26, 2020

I read “Former Facebook Manager: We Took a Page from Big Tobacco’s Playbook.” The main idea is that a former Facebook professional revealed how the gears meshed within the Facebook distributed intelligence machine. For me, the allegedly truthful revelations add some color to my understanding of what I call high school science club thinking.

The write up quotes the actual factual testimony of Facebook’s former director of monetization (good title that), quoting a certain Tim Kendall as saying:

“We sought to mine as much attention as humanly possible… We took a page form Big Tobacco’s playbook, working to make our offering addictive at the outset.”

What’s interesting is the way in which Ars Technica approached the story. The article lets Mr. Kendall’s own words and some facts about Facebook’s fine manager-employee relations beef up the write up.

What’s interesting is the way in which Ars Technica approached the story. The article lets Mr. Kendall’s own words and some facts about Facebook’s fine manager-employee relations beef up the write up.

Facebook continues to capture the attention of the savvy US elected officials. The social media company opened for business in 2004. That works out to more than 15 years ago. Now after controversies with alleged “co-founders”, the pompous Etonian, and interactions with the clear-minded European union officials, Facebook is getting scrutinized by the US government.

What if Mr. Kendall is making Facebook look different like a reflection in a fun house mirror? What if Facebook is a happy, happy place? What if Facebook has contributed to social comity?

What if Facebook is the best thing one can say about 2020?

Stephen E Arnold, September 26, 2020

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