It's time to solve Facebook "Chris Hughes, A businessman and co-founder of Facebook " - NirokaTech


Wednesday, May 15, 2019

It's time to solve Facebook "Chris Hughes, A businessman and co-founder of Facebook "

Privacy Project

The last time I saw Mark Zuckerberg was in the summer of 2017, several months before the Cambridge Analytica scandal broke out. We met at the Facebook office in Menlo Park, California, and we drove home in a quiet, leafy residential neighborhood. We spent an hour or two together, while his little daughter wandered around, talking about politics, a little about Facebook, and a little about our families. When the curtain of night fell, I had to go, hugged his wife Priscilla, and called Mark.

Since then, Mark's reputation and Facebook reputation have suffered a setback. The discarded practices of privacy that put the tens of millions of users in the hands of a political consulting firm, the slow response of Russian clients, the violent rhetoric, the false news, the boundless tendency to occupy an ever-increasing amount of our time and attention. It's been 15 years since I joined Facebook at Harvard, and I have not worked in the company for a decade, but I have a sense of anger and responsibility.

Mark is still the same person I saw hugging his parents goodbye to the common room in our dormitory at the beginning of our second year. He is still the same person who was absent in the exam for exams and fell in love with his future wife while he was standing in a toilet queue at a party. Arranged on the ground in a small apartment after years of wealth making it possible to live in much better conditions. Bogeys is a human being, but it is his humanity that makes his power, which has no deterrent, extremely dangerous.

Mark has enormous influence, much more than anyone else in the private sector or the government. He controls three basic platforms for communication - Facebook, Instagram and Wassab - used by billions of people every day, and the Facebook board plays a supervisory role as a supervisory authority, Controls about 60% of voting shares. Mark alone can decide how to set Facebook's algorithms to determine what people see on their home pages, what privacy settings they can use, and even the messages they get. It sets the rules for how to differentiate violent and seditious rhetoric from what is offensive, and can choose to close a competitor by buying, blocking or imitating it.

Mark is a good person, but I am annoyed that his focus on development has led to his sacrifice of security and urbanization for the sake of ad views. I am disappointed with myself and the Facebook team in its infancy because we have not thought for a long time about how the home algorithm can change our culture, , And I fear that Mark has surrounded himself with a team that supports his beliefs rather than challenges them.

The government has to put Mark in front of accountability, lawmakers have spent a very long time in the fascination with the growth of Facebook rocket, and their responsibility to ensure the protection of the American people and maintain competitiveness in markets. It is expected in the coming period that the US Federal Trade Commission impose a fine of $ 5 billion on the company, but that is not enough, and not enough to offer Facebook to appoint a director of privacy. After Mark's testimony to Congress last year, there should have been voices calling for his true mistakes to be made, but instead, the legislators who questioned him were ridiculed for their old age and were ignorant of how technology worked. That is the impression that Mark wanted to leave to the American people, because it meant that there was no change except on a limited scale.

We are a country that used to reduce monopoly, no matter how good the heads of these companies, so Mark power is unprecedented and non-American.
It's time to solve Facebook.

We already have the tools to deter Facebook's dominance, but we seem to have forgotten it.

America founded on the idea that power should not be concentrated in one person. None of us is immune to error, so the founders created a system of control and balance. They did not have to predict the rise of Facebook to realize the threat posed by giants to democracy. Jefferson and Madison were close readers of Adam Smith, who believed that monopolies hampered competition that encouraged innovation and led to economic growth.

A century later, in response to the renaissance of oil and railroads and monopolies in the era of doctrine, Ohio State Representative John Sherman said in Congress Hall: "If we do not accept the king as a political force, we should not accept the king on production and transport and the sale of any supplies of life, If we refuse to bow to the emperor, we should not yield to an autocrat in trade, who has the ability to prevent competition and fix the price of any commodity. " Monopoly was banned under the Sherman Anti-Monopoly Act of 1890. This was followed by more legislation in the 20th century, creating legal and regulatory structures to encourage competition and accountability of major corporations. The Ministry of Justice ruled monopolies such as Standard Oil and AT & T.

In the eyes of many people today, it is difficult to imagine that the government would do anything correctly, let alone dissolve a company like Facebook, not coincidentally.

Since the seventies, a small, but dedicated group of economists, lawyers and policy makers have sown the seeds of our dark age. Over the next 40 years, they funded a network of research teams, newspapers, social clubs, academic centers and the media to teach the rising generation that special interests should take precedence over public interests. Their ideology was simple: "free" markets were dynamic and productive, while the government was bureaucratic and ineffective. By the mid-1980s they had largely managed to exclude antitrust enforcement forces from history books.

This shift, along with regulatory policies and non-deterrent taxes for business, authorized a period of mergers and acquisitions that led to the emergence of giant enterprises. Over the past 20 years, more than 75 percent of American industries, from airlines to pharmaceutical companies, have gone through increasing concentration, and the average size of public companies has tripled. The result has been a decline in entrepreneurship, disruption of productive growth, rising prices and limited consumer choices.

The same is true of social networking and digital communication. Because of Facebook's dominance of social networks, it does not face any market accountability. This means that whenever Facebook makes a mistake, we repeat an unfinished pattern: first anger, then frustration, and ultimately compromise.

In 2005, I was in Facebook's first office, on Emerson Street in downtown Palo Alto, when I read news that the Robert Murdoch news agency was capturing Myspace for $ 580 million. The ceiling lights were turned off, and a group of us were typing on their keyboards, and our 21-year-old faces were half a beacon with the light of our screens. I heard someone say, "Wow," and then the news spread silently across the place, through AOL instant messages, my eyes really widened. 580 million dollars?

Facebook was competing with Myspace, though indirectly, we were focusing on college students at the time, but we had real identities while the Myspace identities were fictional. Our users were more interested, and visited the site every day, if not every hour. We believed that Facebook surpasses Myspace in quality, and it is easy for him to cut the race with time and money. If Myspace is $ 580 million, At least twice that.

Since our first days, Mark has used the word "hegemony" to describe our ambitions, with no sign of ridicule or humility. At that time we were competing for a team of social networks, not Myspace alone, but also Friendster, Twitter, Tumblr, LiveJournal and other networks. And encouraged the pressure we had to overcome creativity, and led to many features that characterize Facebook: simple beautiful interfaces, home page, link with real identities, etc.

This competitive motivation has prompted Mark to acquire dozens of other companies over the years, including ING and WASAB in 2012 and 2014, respectively. In my opinion, these steps were not immoral or suspicious.

One night during the summer when Myspace was sold, I remember that I was on my way home in the car with Mark, to the house we shared with many engineers and designers. I was on the right passenger seat of the Infiniti, which was bought by our investor Peter Thiel for Mark instead of the unsecured Jeep used by him.

As we swung right out of the Valparaiso Avenue, Mark acknowledged the terrifying pressure he felt. "Now we're hiring so many people," he said. "We can not really fail."

Facebook turned from a developer project in our dorm room to an anarchist summer house to a law firm and a human resources department. We had about 50 employees who depend on Facebook to earn their day. I looked out the window and thought to myself: This will never stop. We have to work harder to keep growing.

After more than a decade, Facebook has won the benefits of hegemony, which is worth half a trillion dollars, and I estimate that controls more than 80% of the profits of social networks in the world. It's a powerful monopoly that covers all of its opponents and eliminates competition in social networking. That explains why Facebook's revenue per share has increased by an impressive 40% even during the terrible year 2018 compared to the previous year (I sold my Facebook shares in 2012, I do not invest directly in any social contact company. "

The Facebook monopoly also shows its usage statistics. About 70% of American adults use social networking sites, the vast majority of whom use Facebook products, more than two-thirds use the original site, one-third use Intgram, five use Wattab. By comparison, fewer than a third are using Pinterest, LinkedIn, or Snapchat. What started as a means of light entertainment has become the primary means of communication between people of all ages.

Even when people want to give up Facebook, they find no valuable alternative, as we have seen in the aftermath of the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Concerned about their privacy and lack of confidence in Facebook's good intentions, some users from around the world have established a Facebook wipe. According to the Pew Research Center, a quarter of users deleted their accounts from their phones, but many did so on a temporary basis. I heard more than one friend say, "I'll stop using Facebook completely, thank God for Instagram, not realizing that Integram is a Facebook plug-in. In the end, people did not get out of the company platform in the end, where would they go?

Facebook's dominance is not a historical one. It was the company's strategy to conquer all competitors in the eyes of all, with the covert and sometimes public approval of the government and regulators. In one of the few attempts by the government to downsize the company, the Federal Trade Commission issued in 2011 an acceptance decree that Facebook should not share any private information, except as approved by users. Facebook largely ignored the decree. Last month, April, a day after the company predicted at a revenue conference that it would have to pay as much as $ 5 billion for negligence - just a mild punishment - Facebook shares rose 7 percent to $ 30 billion, Six times the value of the fine.

The biggest mistake of the Federal Trade Commission was that Facebook was allowed to take over Instagram and Wassab. In 2012, the relatively new platforms were narrowing competition on Facebook, because they were designed specifically for smartphones, where Facebook was still struggling to attract attention. Mark's response was that they bought them, with the approval of the Federal Trade Commission.

They did not have an entragment or a profit of any value, but both were incredibly popular. The acquisition of Entragam secured Facebook's dominance in image-based social networking, while Wattab provided it with instant messaging on mobile phones. Now, the founders of ING and Wassab resigned from the company, following a clash with Mark over his management of their portfolios, but their former assets are still owned by Facebook and are fueling a large proportion of their recent growth.

In cases where Facebook did not gain dominance through takeover, it used its monopoly to eliminate rival companies or imitate their technologies.

Reports indicate that the Facebook homepage algorithm gives priority to videos made by Facebook for upcoming clips from competitors, such as YouTube and Vimeo. In 2012, Twitter announced a video network called Vine with six-second clips. On the same day, Facebook Vine was prevented from hosting a tool that allowed its users to search for their friends on Facebook while they were on the new network, which was blocked by Vine, which was closed four years later.

Snapchat posed a different threat, with Snapchat and its non-permanent messaging options making it an attractive alternative to Facebook and Instagram. Unlike Vine, there was no interaction between Snapchat and Facebook Ecosystem; there was no obvious way to disrupt or eliminate the company, so Facebook simply mimicked it.

The Facebook version of the Snapchat stories and the hidden messages was a resounding success, with a loss to Snapchat. At a meeting of all parties in 2016, Mark ordered Facebook employees not to allow themselves to be granted permission without giving users what they wanted. According to Wired magazine, "Zuckerberg's message has become an informal slogan on Facebook: it does not stop you from being proud of tradition."

(Regulators can not react to this tactic, and although Snapchat recorded its "ephemeral message fairs" as a patent, the literary and artistic property law does not apply to the abstract concept itself).

As a result of this whole, potential competitors can not raise funds to face Facebook. Investors are aware that if a company draws attention, Facebook will copy, close or acquire its innovations for a relatively modest amount. So, despite strong economic expansion, increased interest in high-tech startups, the bursting of investment capital and rising public discontent with Facebook, A major social contact company since fall 2011.

As markets become more focused, the number of new start-ups declines, and this applies to other high-tech domains under the control of individual companies, such as Google-controlled research and e-commerce (controlled by Amazon). (Such as Slack, Trello and Asana), civil transport (Lyft, Uber, Lime, Bird) and the Ripple, Coinbase and Circle trading platforms.

I do not blame Mark for his quest for hegemony. His behavior is outrageous, except that he is a talented businessman who has a decent sense of humor. But he has created a monster that fights small businesses and limits consumer choices. It is our responsibility to ensure that we never lose the magic of the invisible hand, how have we allowed this to happen?

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