Zuckin and Duckin: Socialmania at Facebook

July 19, 2021

I read “Zuck Is a Lightweight, and 4 More Things We Learned about Facebook from ‘An Ugly Truth’.” My initial response was, “No Mashable professionals will be invited to the social Zuckerberg’s Hawaii compound.” Bummer. I had a few other thoughts as well, but, first, here’s couple of snippets in what is possible to characterize a review of a new book by Sheera Frenkel and Cecilia Kang. I assume any publicity is good publicity.

Here’s an I circled in Facebook social blue:

Frenkel and Kang’s careful reporting shows a company whose leadership is institutionally ill-equipped to handle the Frankenstein’s monster they built.

Snappy. To the point.

Another? Of course, gentle reader:

Zuckerberg designed the platform for mindless scrolling: “I kind of want to be the new MTV,” he told friends.

Insightful but TikTok, which may have some links to the sensitive Chinese power plant, aced out the F’Book.

And how about this?

[The Zuck] was explicitly dismissive of what she said.” Indeed, the book provides examples where Sandberg was afraid of getting fired, or being labeled as politically biased, and didn’t even try to push back…

Okay, and one more:

Employees are fighting the good fight.

Will I buy the book? Nah, this review is close enough. What do I think will happen to Facebook? In the short term, not much. The company is big and generating big payoffs in power and cash. Longer term? The wind down will continue. Google, for example, is dealing with stuck disc brakes on its super car. Facebook may be popping in and out of view in that outstanding vehicle’s rear view mirrors. One doesn’t change an outfit with many years of momentum.

Are the book’s revelations on the money. Probably reasonably accurate but disenchantment can lead to some interesting shaping of non fiction writing. And the Mashable review? Don’t buy a new Hawaiian themed cabana outfit yet. What about Facebook’s management method? Why change? It worked in high school. It worked when testifying before Congress. It worked until a couple of reporters shifted into interview mode and reporters are unlikely to rack up the likes on Facebook.

Stephen E Arnold, July xx, 2021

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