Tag: facebook

A recurrent theme in stories about Facebook is the privilege which Mark Zuckerberg accords for himself which his radical transparency denies for others. My favourite example had been the opaque meeting room hidden away at the back of his glass fronted office, allowing him to retreat into privacy while everyone around him stands exposed. But […]

My notes on Caplan, R., & Boyd, D. (2018). Isomorphism through algorithms: Institutional dependencies in the case of Facebook. Big Data & Society, 5(1), 2053951718757253. Are data-driven technologies leading organisations to take on shared characteristics? This is the fascinating question addressed in this paper by Robyn Caplan and danah boyd which they begin with the […]

There’s an interesting extract in Roger McNamee’s Zucked about how strategically Facebook have reduced the significance of organic reach (i.e. unpaid distribution of content) on the platform. The promise of being able to communicate directly to a vast audience through Facebook pages has been central to the motivation of individuals, networks and organisations who have […]

On the subject of the collapse of the tech mythology, a wonderful Slate headline succinctly conveys the significance of what is taking place: Facebook is a normal sleazy company now.  As Siva Vaidhyanathan puts it, “Facebook is now just another normal sleazy American company run by normal sleazy executives, engaged in normal sleazy lobbying and […]

An important idea offered by Mike Caulfield. The embrace of frictionless sharing and the relentless pursuit of engagement have created the problems which are now being naturalised by the emerging ‘did Facebook lead to Trump’ discourse: We have prayed at the altar of virality a long time, and I’m not sure it’s working out for us […]

A fascinating article on the LSE’s Media Policy Blog about the global ambitions of contemporary technology giants and the corporate structures which facilitate them: The folks who run these companies understand this. For if there is one thing that characterises the leaders of Google and Facebook it is their determination to take the long, strategic […]

A slogan more frequently encountered on pro-police demos has been repeatedly daubed inside the Facebook headquarters, creating embarrassment for a corporation whose staff are overwhelmingly white and male: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has reprimanded employees following several incidents in which the slogan “black lives matter” was crossed out and replaced with “all lives matter” on the walls […]

This interesting article (HT Nick Couldry) explores the challenge faced by Facebook in imposing standards on a user base distributed around the globe: As Facebook has tentacled out from Palo Alto, Calif., gaining control of an ever-larger slice of the global commons, the network has found itself in a tenuous and culturally awkward position: how to […]

An absolutely fascinating account of developments in the newsfeed algorith at Facebook since its introduction: Adam Mosseri, Facebook’s 32-year-old director of product for news feed, is Alison’s less technical counterpart—a “fuzzie” rather than a “techie,” in Silicon Valley parlance. He traffics in problems and generalities, where Alison deals in solutions and specifics. He’s the news […]

From The Boy Kings, by Katherine Losse, pg 201. Losse was asked to write blog posts about Mark Zuckerberg’s philosophy, something which he outlined to her in general terms: “It means that the best thing to do now, if you want to change the world, is to start a company. It’s the best model for […]

From The Boy Kings, by Katherine Losse, pg 200: Most employees I talked with seemed not to be particularly bothered by the company’s decision to forcibly adjust people’s expectations of privacy, preferring instead to focus on the light and almost childlike- sounding goals of sharing and connecting people. “She just doesn’t get it,” a user […]

One final snippet from The Boy Kings, by Katherine Losse, that I can’t resist posting. It seems that Mark Zuckerberg has a secret back room in his private Facebook office, allowing him to retreat into opacity while sustaining the glass fronted and open plan layout of the corporate offices: Mark’s office sat adjacent to our […]

From The Boy Kings, by Katherine Losse, pg 194: The floor around Sheryl’s desk was piled with the endless gifts that she received from business contacts in lofty positions at Fortune 500 companies. People sent her Louboutin heels and Frette candles the diameter of dinner plates, which she unpacked while on speakerphone with some CEO […]

From The Boy Kings, by Katherine Losse, pg 191-193: The catch for Facebook was that the more successful we became (and we were still, despite all the competition, dominant), the more likely employees were to be distracted by money and the new pastimes it enabled: fine dining, bar hopping, five- star vacations, expensive cars. In […]

From The Boys, by Katherine Losse, pg 146: My career upgrade from dungeon department to quasi- technical role meant, along with a better salary and more respect from the technical echelon of the company, that I was now on engineering time. This meant that while I could come to work later, as late as lunchtime, […]

A fascinating snippet from The Boy Kings, by Katherine Losse, describing the approach of a new operations director joining Facebook in 2007. From pg 144: The next week, Chamath asked me and my management colleagues in customer support to do an evaluation exercise in which we ranked everyone on the Customer Support Team from highest […]

From The Boy Kings, by Katherine Losse, pg 134: That Sunday, after I’d slept off our long night, I logged in to Facebook to see an endless stream of videos that the boys had filmed at the club. In them, the boys were not chatting up or kissing girls they had met, as I had […]

From The Boy Kings, by Katherine Losse, pg 25: For example, on Mark’s birthday, in May 2006, I received an email from his administrative assistant telling me that it would be my job that day, along with all the other women in the office, to wear a T- shirt with Mark’s picture on it. Wait, […]