Sarah Frier, in a cover story for Bloomberg Businessweek*:
Unfortunately, the reporting system they described, which relies
on low-wage human moderators and software, remains slow and
under-resourced. Facebook could afford to pay its moderators more
money, or hire more of them, or place much more stringent rules on
what users can post — but any of those things would hurt the
company’s profits and revenue. Instead, it’s adopted a reactive
posture, attempting to make rules after problems have appeared.
The rules are helping, but critics say Facebook needs to be much
“The whole concept that you’re going to find things and fix them
after they’ve gone into the system is flawed — it’s
mathematically impossible,” says Roger McNamee, one of Facebook’s
early investors and, now, its loudest critic. McNamee, who
recently published a book titled Zucked, argues that because the
company’s ability to offer personalized advertising is dependent
on collecting and processing huge quantities of user data, it has
a strong disincentive to limit questionable content. “The way
they’re looking at this, it’s just to avoid fixing problems
inherent with the business model,” he says.
I absolutely love the magazine cover. I despise the custom text selection color they’ve chosen for the article on the website, which is — I swear — only 10 percent lighter than the pure black background.
* Bloomberg, of course, is the publication that published “The Big Hack” in October — a sensational story alleging that data centers of Apple, Amazon, and dozens of other companies were compromised by China’s intelligence services. The story presented no confirmable evidence at all, was vehemently denied by all companies involved, has not been confirmed by a single other publication (despite much effort to do so), and has been largely discredited by one of Bloomberg’s own sources. By all appearances “The Big Hack” was complete bullshit. Yet Bloomberg has issued no correction or retraction, and seemingly hopes we’ll all just forget about it. I say we do not just forget about it. Bloomberg’s institutional credibility is severely damaged, and everything they publish should be treated with skepticism until they retract the story or provide evidence that it was true.
★ Thursday, 14 March 2019