Facebook

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Facebook is 3 things: bad interface, bad management, and biased policies. I want a social network that gives me control of what I see and share -- both to my friends and to advertisers. I realize they need to make a buck, and my information is their product, but the point is you can still give users the illusions of control. But Zuckerberg seems to have falling into the egocentric pit that many young billionaires do, they think because they timed things well, and worked hard, and got lucky that they're smarter than everyone else. This makes them arrogant, less mature, and slower to grow than the average human: Dunning-Kruger, inflated by being surrounded by yes-men.


Bad User Interface

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What do I want in a social network:

  • Ability to customize what I see: who and topics.
  • Ability to customize what I share, how it looks, and who sees.
  • Competent searching, organization, and management of my stuff
  • Competent feedback

Facebook fails at all that that. It doesn't give me control of the layout, easy management of people and what they see, what and who I get to see. Searching is shit, there's no grouping or reference for what I make available, and if I don't like something, I can't even put a thumbs down.

Each of these decisions has a reason, but they're wrong. Individually, they may increase stickiness, or prevent things like too many dislikes which might make them post less or resist the platform. But what the dimwitted geniuses miss, is that holds true for A|B testing of a feature in the short term, but not over time. Users will not put a dislike and that prevents the the recipient from getting their feelings hurt -- but then that also prevents them from growing. And the annoyed reader may go ahead and comment, which hurts the feelings more -- and may result in either side blocking the other. They prevented short term usage decrease, by increasing the odds of long term ones.

The most basic features like browsing everything you posted, is hard. The ability to auto-purge your posts after time. You do something simple like blocking someone, they remain in messenger panel. I turn off notifications, or unfollow someone, I still get notified.

In 2015 an Intern Candidate stupidly pointed out a security flaw in FB Messenger that he'd been trying to get them to fix for 3 years, and was fired (uninvited) for being public about it[1]. Don't get me wrong, the kid was an idiot to spit on the company that had just hired him. But FB was more stupid to have not fixed the bug, and lost the PR war by hiring him without fixing the bug first, or working with him to mitigate the damage and remedy the problem. Though, if he could do that much damage from the outside, I'm not sure I would have wanted him inside the fold either.

The point is either you believe that the politburo knows more than users, or you trust users to manage their own relationships.

Bad Management

Mark Zuckerberg

Main article: Mark Zuckerberg
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While I have no problem with Zuckerberg personally, he has a reputation as an arrogant, contemptuous (of his customers), man-child billionaire. Sort of a Steve Jobs " knows best" view of the world, without having the talent to back it up, and he lets it delve into politics and the bias of his company. (Even Steve knew better when to shut up and let their employees and customers disagree with him ideologically). I'm not sure if that view is fair, I am sure that it's out there and if he's trying to improve that image, he's doing a piss-poor job of it.


Bias

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Here's a few links on their anti-conservative bias.

  • They work with the far-left hate-group called SPLC and use that highly biased source to flag what is FakeNews or not. I guess ThinkProgress and HillaryForPresident.org was too busy and unbiased for them.
  • Facebook's political contributions (by party) is about 2:1 for Democrats (even when Republicans are running things), that's better than the 100:0% split for the first few years. [2]
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  • 2018.04.02 - Bans image of Jesus on the cross [3]
  • 2018.03.19 - According to Edward Snowden, Facebook is just a surveillance company branded as "Social Media" [4]
  • 2018.03.14 - FB Bans Britain First for being anti-immigration or "right wing". They claim for violating vague speech codes, but they do not lay out a case for it (other than Trump retweeted videos that seem to accurately claim that Muslim mob threw a kid off the roof and beat him, or stuff that the left claims is hate speech to expose). If they showed objective standards, and how the terms were violated, I might be sympathetic. (Or if they were banning those that retweeted CNN videos that were inflammatory against the right or gun owners), then maybe they'd have a moral position. But inferring that anti-immigration is the same as hate speech (while ignoring hate speech against conservatives/gun owners), and not being able to back it up with details, is just incompetence/bias, masquerading as snowflakes version of tolerance. [5]
  • 2017.08.10 blocked Trump supporters Diamond and Silk‘s page with 1.5 million Facebook followers after determining their content and brand were “unsafe to the community." The block only lasted 8 hours until it was appealed/reviewed, but the point is this never happens to left-of-center sites. [6]
  • 2016.05 - There are multiple employees that admit they "routinely suppress conservative views" [7] including the following next events had been secretly downgraded:
    • blocked stories about CPAC
    • blocked stories about Mitt Romney 

    • blocked the posts of a FOXNews reporter

    • blocked over two dozen Catholic pages

    • blocked stories about the Lois Lerner IRS scandal

    • blocked stories about Glenn Beck 

  • 2016.01 - Israel Project did an experiment where they showed equally offensive anti-Israel and anti-Palestine videos, and of course the anti-Palestine one was taken down. Only after it caused a stink, did Facebook take down the anti-Israel one. Now no one would confuse something called Israel Project with an unbiased source. But their evidence was pretty obvious. They later pulled the story and examples. No one is sure why, but FB demonetizing or deleting conservative pages they don't like is a pretty strong hint. Whether that was through direct threats, or just Israel Project seeing the writing on the walls, doesn't change the point. [8]
  • 2014.02 - If you want to see if they're stupid-left, to what absurd degrees they'll go to appease the intersectional marxist, you need look no further than their 57 genders -- which confuse sexual preference with gender [9]. Physical gender isn't that hard. Male (XY), Female (XX), Both (XXY, XYY). Done. The rest is sexual preference. While I think people's uniqueness should be respected, FB proved they're close-minded by only using the sexual preferences as seen by SF/Seattle LBGT communities instead of being fully inclusive and adding in: experimenting, drunken mistake, glory-holer, Frotteurist, Pederast, Objektophilie, Necrophiliac, Coprophagiac, Beastiality (each animal or group should be called out), Celibate, Banjee, Voyeur, Exhibitionist, autoerotic asphyxiation, crush videos, and so on. The point is, I don't care. You can do whatever you want to among consenting adults, but your kink isn't your gender. And if you're dumb enough to think it is, then list all possibilities, instead of the politically correct subset and pretend that's tolerance.
  • 2012 - Facebook actively worked to help get Obama elected/re-elected and give them more data than anyone else. This raises issues with unfair practices, and the value of the support they offered (and campaign finance law). It certainly shows evidence of collusion to subvert an election. [10] Carol Davidson (head of Obama's re-election media analytics team) said at the time, "Facebook was very candid that they allowed us to do things they wouldn’t have allowed someone else to do because they were on our side."... to this day, Zuckerberg refused to admit any political bias or that he’s been suppressing conservative speech (despite evidence of both). He lies every time he claims they are evenhanded.
  • 2012.07 - shut down the Chick-fil-A appreciation day page
 (later restored, after damage done)[11]

The point is that Facebook and Zuckerberg pull out the excuse, "just a bug with our algorithms", "automation bug", or something like that. But the facts are that while Zuckerberg was prepared for the question (as he's been getting it for 5+ years), he was unable to point to a single Liberal candidate or notable left-wing poster that was blocked or saw a drop in traffic. That means either they're idiots who can't code, or their assumptions aren't valid in writing the "algorithms". In other words, they trust hard-left places like ThinkProgress, SPLC or PolitiFact as vetting truth, when all they really show is proof of bias.

Instagram

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Facebook bought Instagram, so what they do, Facebook does. And Instagram withholds likes from people, to get them to post more often[12].

Support of criminality

I have some second hand knowledge of FB doing what they can to dick with law enforcement (back in 2010), who had government granted warrants to go after pedophiles, stalkers and other abusers. I don't know if that came from the top, or the middle, but they were endangering people's lives by giving LEO's (Law Enforcement Officers) the run-around. But warrants can go too far, and not sure secret warrants are tolerable.

Russians buying ads on Facebook and that swung the election

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There was like $6.8B spent on the election versus you have like $50,000 - $100,000 spent on a few troll ads on FB-- most of them were before/during the primaries (or after the election) and they were spent on things the Democrats usually support (Black Lives Matter, anti-America, anti-interventionism, etc). All things the Democrats support. They weren't campaigning for Trump, they were slamming everything, or trying to insight unrest, and undermine confidence in everything.

So when someone claims the Russians swung the election because of their Facebook ad spending, they are claiming that a few Russian trolls throwing random shit-memes are 68,000 times more effective in their ad spends than the entire American political system at swaying voters? If so, then they deserve to win.

Facebook Russian-Collusion scandal

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The media is acting like there's some big scandal around Facebook allowing a micro-fraction of their ads, or some fake accounts, impacted the 2016 election. It's all garbage (💩). (1)Scale makes this irrelevant (2) There's no evidence it mattered at all in the election (3) It was done mostly before the primary or after election (4) Most of the ads weren't against Hillary or supported DNC causes. So this is flim-flamming excuses by her troll army, or those unwilling to admit that she was just a bad candidate.

Facebook data scandal

Main article: Facebook data scandal
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The media is acting like there's some big scandal around Facebook data releases, which helped Trump win an election through Cambridge Analytica. It's all garbage (💩). (1) Obama did worse in 2012, Hillary in 2016, and the media ignored or celebrated it (2) CA's claims were overhyped and there's no evidence their research mattered at all in the election (3) Trump only used them during the primary, and once he got support of RNC's superior analytics, they dumped CA, and stuck with the RNC data (4) User concerns are about privacy, not technicalities on terms (whether it was for politics or research). So most of this is hand-waiving excuses by those trying to figure out why Hillary lost, and still unable to face facts that her criminality, unlikability, or that the public was tired of Obamanomics and the DNC might have had something to do with it.

However, there are bigger issues at play on whether Facebook has a monopoly on your social graph, contacts, and by over-mining your data (and not giving users control, or building trust), then being caustic/hypocritical asshats with agendas (bias), many are arguing they should be regulated.

Facebook & Congress

Main article: Facebook & Congress
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Mark Zuckerberg got called before congress... he got bullied by congress, for all the wrong things. He dodged and lied about censorship and bias. He looked like a robot, which didn't help with the meme folks. And in the end, he defended the Internet, Freedom of speech, the gig-economy, and advertising, pretty poorly. Fortunately, the Congress was even less focused, so it may have been "good enough".

#DeleteFacebook

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There is a movement starting called #DeleteFacebook... and some prominent names like Apple Co-Founder Steve Wozniak decided to lead by example and delete his presence. It doesn't have much momentum yet, despite some upstarts like http://mewe.com trying to encroach on Facebook turf. But the point is that many customers aren't thrilled. Whether that's enough to ruin Facebook today, is irrelevant to me. It shows that Facebook is like Quark: a tech company that made a hugely successful desktop publish (Page Layout) app, that was the dominant player for 10+ years -- but were such asshats that when Adobe finally made InDesign to compete with it, Quark's entire market moved over in a few years because they were so tired of Quark. Facebook is desperately trying to re-live the Quark-Effect.

References

  1. Intern firing: https://medium.com/faith-and-future/stalking-your-friends-with-facebook-messenger-9da8820bd27d
  2. Facebook Political Contributions: https://www.opensecrets.org/orgs/totals.php?id=D000033563
  3. Banned Cross: http://www.wnd.com/2018/04/facebook-now-bans-image-of-jesus-on-cross/
  4. Snowden: https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/edward-snowden-facebook-is-a-surveillance-company-rebranded-as-social-media
  5. https://www.yahoo.com/news/facebook-bans-far-group-britain-first-inciting-hatred-120303192--finance.html
  6. Diamond & Silk:
  7. Suppression: http://gizmodo.com/former-facebook-workers-we-routinely-suppressed-conser-1775461006
  8. Israel Project:
  9. 57 genders: http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2014/02/13/facebook_custom_gender_options_here_are_all_56_custom_options.html
  10. https://ijr.com/2018/03/1077083-ex-obama-campaign-director-fb/
  11. Chick-fil-A:
  12. Instagram: https://twitter.com/AndreaCoravos/status/951894779570376704/photo/1

More Links

Bad UI

Bad Management

Backlash

A drop of goodness? - not everything they do is bad.