Thoughts on entrepreneurship, startups, and tech.


Who Knew About Facebook's Antics

More bad news about Facebook.

It was once every month, then a week, now every day.

My question is; why are we only hearing about it now?

Things like we're hearing don't just happen. Given the complexity of the tasks, processes, and data sets because of the sheer size of the platform(s), takes time, effort and some serious talent & teamwork (yes, I do believe there are some remarkable people "unfortunately" still working at Facebook Corp). So this debunks that these wrongdoings aren't the result of some isolated skunkworks in secret basement labs. They were deliberate projects with sizeable resources and broad ramifications both inside and outside the company.

So, who "knew" about this all the time?

There are a number of people and organizations that have benefitted (and continue to) from the collective ignorance of this shit. And they go about their daily routines, distilling their expertise and wisdom privately, collectively and to the media, unbeknownst to the general public.

Let's see.

In the tiny (but growing) Internet industry, here are some culprits that serve a mutual interest with the behemoth:
- all the professional forms of investment (both individuals, VC, PE, funds, banks, etc) - ever wonder why the stock continues to perform so well?
- vendors of equipment and software (that they use)
- security
- telecom
- lobbies
- politicians
- advertisers (and their clients)
- research (individual, private and university)
- Apple (until recently) & Google, no doubt more to come...
- app developers (individual, SMB, majors)
- travel & tourism
- gaming
- media (tv, radio, print, web)
- corporate (via Workplace)
- education (hope not)

Probably missing some, but that's not the point.

Who "wasn't" in on it?

We're probably following a roughly similar set of people, and they're spinning us their insight, advice, and wise words, and we take their words symbolically, almost divinely, like some sort of Tech Grail.

Hmmm. Maybe they knew. And they probably still use it.

Which is why I'm very cautious of who I listen to today. And you should be too.

Who has stepped forward? Any well-known tech figures?

Only ones I've personally seen planting a flag are Jason and David (there are probably others).

And what have I done about it?

Well, I put in a lot of effort into informing my minuscule following and network of family and friends last year to tell them I was leaving all FB Corp apps (Facebook, Messenger, Instagram & WhatsApp) as of Dec 31st. Why do I say effort? Because I went into detail, provided context and objective elements of proof and most of all, explained in my own words why I was making the switch. I did that because as a digital native and having worked in this industry for 15 years, defending specific values and ethics along the way, I believe it's my responsibility to show them by leading.

I don't know anyone else, personally, who have done the same around me.

So does that make us a minority? Probably. Hypochondriacs? That's your call, but I'd prefer pioneers.

And what if anyone wants to send me their selfies around the pool tomorrow? Well, they still can (and with all the fun effects), on a thing called "SMS" or Telegram.

But hey, I could be right or wrong in the minds of different people, and I respect that, but at least everyone knows my stance. And if more people took a position maybe Facebook could have actually been something better, or not at all.

What's your posture on this? I'm keen to hear your thoughts.