If one morning I walked on top of the water across the Potomac River, the headline that afternoon would read "President Can't Swim."
- Lyndon B. Johnson
Facebook is in trouble.
Not financial trouble, or legal trouble, or even senators-yelling-at-Mark-Zuckerberg trouble. What I’m talking about is a kind of slow, steady decline that anyone who has ever seen a dying company up close can recognize. It’s a cloud of existential dread that hangs over an organization whose best days are behind it, influencing every managerial priority and product decision and leading to increasingly desperate attempts to find a way out. This kind of decline is not necessarily visible from the outside, but insiders see a hundred small, disquieting signs of it every day — user-hostile growth hacks, frenetic pivots, executive paranoia, the gradual attrition of talented colleagues.
Why Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp All Went Down Today Wired. When Wired writes the “Facebook family of apps,” they are genteelly failing to mention that Facebook, a ginormous monopoly, purchased the firms that created those apps. Then Wired writes: “The … is that Facebook has withdrawn the so-called Border Gateway Protocol route that contains the IP addresses of its DNS nameservers.” No. What’s “fundamental” is Facebook assimilating Instagram and WhatsApp. The technical failure is a mere artifact of Facebook doing business. Obviously, if Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp were three separate firms, Facebook couldn’t bring the other two down. AWS, on the other hand….
The mainstream critique of Facebook is surprisingly compatible with Facebook's own narrative about its products. FB critics say that the company's machine learning and data-gathering slides disinformation past users' critical faculties, poisoning their minds.
Meanwhile, Facebook itself tells advertisers that it can use data and machine learning to slide past users' critical faculties, convincing them to buy stuff.
- Facebook thrives on criticism of "disinformation": They'd rather be evil than incompetent.
New York Times op-ed: The Dangerous Politics of ‘We Will Not Forgive’, by Esau McCaulley (Wheaton):
Future Fund worth $250bn says FoI requests ‘administratively burdensome’ Guardian. “The $250bn Future Fund says receiving 10 to 20 freedom of information requests a year is “administratively burdensome” and has confirmed proposed changes by the Morrison government would have shielded it from the kind of request that exposed investments in a company linked to the Myanmar military.”