Facebook: A Fascinating Assertion

October 28, 2021

A Facebook professional named Monika Bickert, who is the “head” of global policy management is quoted as offering some insight into the Zuckbook’s approach to content. This information comes from “Facebook Exec Pushes Back on Whistleblower Claims,” published by US News & World Report, which I did not know was still in business.

Monika Bickert, Facebook’s head of global policy management, says the social media giant does not prioritize engagement and user growth over safety.

Everyone is entitled to his or her opinion.

The write up states:

Facebook has pushed back on Haugen’s claims but hasn’t pointed to any factual errors in her testimony or in a series of reports that outlined massive shortcomings at the social network, identified by its own internal research.

The write up is an interview with the “head” of global policy management, and I found her summary of her background interesting; for example, the article quotes her as saying:

We do not and we have not prioritized engagement over safety. I’ve been at this company for more than nine years. I’m a mother. I also was a criminal prosecutor and worked on child safety for more than 10 years. And I can tell you I wouldn’t be at this company if we weren’t prioritizing safety.

The implication is that a former criminal prosecutor would know what algorithms are up to 24×7. I am not sure I am 100 percent confident in this “head’s” ability to address message amplification, the interaction of user inputs and content outputs, or the unexpected signals smart software makes available to other platform components.

How do I know this?

  1. Google knee jerked and dumped staff who were poking around the behavior of the vaunted Snorkel method
  2. Twitter said in effect, “Hey, we don’t know why certain messages are augmented. Mystery, right? Let’s grab a latte and do some thinking.”
  3. The interesting “drift” which manifests itself when Bayesian centric systems like the venerable Autonomy neuro linguistic programming black box chugs away. Retrain or get some fascinating outputs.

Your mileage may vary, but in lawyer speak, Facebook is nothing but a bunch of great folks producing outstanding products.

Believe that?

I don’t.

Stephen E Arnold, October 28, 2021


One Response to “Facebook: A Fascinating Assertion”

  1. Meta Covets Kiddie Instagrams : Stephen E. Arnold @ Beyond Search on January 5th, 2022 5:05 am

    […] CEO Adam Mosseri’s recent testimony before Congress shows Facebook continues to deny truths revealed by whistleblower Frances Haugen: The company’s own research demonstrates […]

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