Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Notations On Our World (Weekly Edition): The Four Horsemen: Amazon/Apple/Facebook

It has been quite a week for Facebook especially as we wanted to share some "random thoughts" for all to reflect upon:

MARCH 22, 2018
Good morning.
When I wrote last month that Facebook would be the biggest loser in the Russian melee, I didn’t imagine it would be this bad. But over the last week—while I was enjoying a break from this newsletter—the social network company lost about 10% of its value, or $50 billion.
Mark Zuckerberg weighed in yesterday afternoon with a blog post that you can read here. “We have a responsibility to protect your data,” he wrote, “and if we can’t, then we don’t deserve to serve you.” Problem is, that’s a responsibility Facebook has had since day one, and Zuckerberg’s increasingly frequent mea culpas keep coming days late and mega-dollars short. If your memory needs refreshing, the folks at Fast Company did a nice summary of 15 years’ worth of Zuckerberg apologies here.
Most of yesterday’s post was devoted to defending Facebook’s response over the last three years to abuses by Cambridge Analytica. But of course, Facebook didn’t ban Cambridge Analytica from its platform until Friday—and then only in response to newspaper inquiries. That’s not likely to convince anyone that the CEO has turned over a new leaf, or to slow the anti-Facebook bandwagon. As one commenter on the post put it: “So basically you knew this shit was going on years ago and NOW since you’ve been caught with your pants down, this is your response? Pathetic.”
If Zuckerberg really has had a change of heart, and wants to be taken seriously, he’ll have to do more than write a defensive-sounding blog post. Among other things, he’s going to be called to testify to Congress, and he would be wise not to send his lawyer in his place, as he did last year.
The bigger problem is that Facebook’s entire business model is based on selling peoples’ data—and not always in ways that those people approve of, or have agreed to. A true ”fix” to the problem could also tank the company’s revenue. That’s why this week’s stock price swoon probably will not be the last.
By the way, among those joining the #deletefacebook campaign this week was Brian Acton, who made a fortune cofounding and then selling WhatsApp to Facebook.

This is as the big players continue to get even bigger:   

(Update:  Facebook launched a PR Blitz to begin the promise to "repair" things after this including buying full page ads in Newspapers over the week-end in the aftermath of the interview he had with CNN and the resulting fall out--It will be interesting to see how it all plays out: 

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