Summary of “Stop reading what Facebook tells you to read”

It’s why Facebook is filled, mostly, with the things you agree with, or are seemingly helpless against clicking on.
It’s to say that Facebook’s outsmarted you, and outsmarted the idea that you have some choice about what you are and aren’t reading when you’re getting it from Facebook.
So! Facebook created the newsfeed, and then turned to publishers/media outlets, and said: Guess what? Everyone’s on Facebook.
You’ll participate in our Facebook Instant Articles program.
You hate video on the internet? Tell that to Facebook, which realized it could charge advertisers more money for running video ads.
It was because that’s what Facebook wanted: A way to make more money, for Facebook.
If you want them to keep existing, let alone keep acting as an independent voice that isn’t a machine built just to write things to get you to click on or share on Facebook?
You’ll be taking more control, and opting less for the control Facebook takes from you, and everyone else.

The orginal article.

Summary of “In 2017, key Facebook builders disowned their creation”

Even as the cultural influence of Facebook and Twitter has grown, though you might throw in YouTube, Snapchat and Facebook-owned Instagram as well, their core mechanics of posting, liking, and sharing have been a background concern despite the rise of eerily effective advertising tools.
The monomaniacal focus on social platforms’ influence on the election had the effect of drawing out some of Facebook’s earliest champions and builders.
Roger McNamee, an early Facebook investor, said the company is directly responsible for the misuse of its platform by Russians.
“It was the result of countless Facebook decisions, all made in pursuit of greater profits. In order to maximize its share of human attention, Facebook employed techniques designed to create an addiction to its platform.”
Is Facebook ripping apart the social fabric, to use Palihapitiya’s words, or isn’t it?
It’s fair to ask why these former employees are speaking out only now, after they have reaped millions helping bring Facebook to a position of global dominance.
None have said what they would have done differently at Facebook, knowing what they know now.
Almost as important as what the company’s researchers said is what they only suggested: that Facebook itself cannot predict the effects it will have on us, either at the individual or societal level.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Facebook admits it poses mental health risk”

Facebook has acknowledged that social media use can be bad for users’ mental health, a sign the company is feeling pressure from a growing chorus of critics raising alarms about the platform’s effect on society.
Researchers for the social network admitted in a blogpost Friday that studies have found that spending time on Facebook “Passively consuming information” can leave people “Feeling worse”, but also argued that part of the solution is to engage and interact more with people on the platform.
Studies have repeatedly found that Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites can damage the emotional wellbeing of heavy users, particularly younger people.
The new post from Facebook’s director of research, David Ginsberg, and the research scientist Moira Burke painted the literature on the subject as mixed and inconclusive, arguing that Facebook use can also have positive mental health impacts.
The authors also pointed to a study finding that people who clicked on four times as many links as the average person on Facebook reported worse mental health.
On Friday, Facebook launched a new feature called Snooze, which allows users to hide a person, page or group for 30 days without having to unfollow or unfriend them: “This will give people more control over their feed and hopefully make their experience more positive.”
The new feature gives people control over what they can see of their exes on Facebook and what their exes can see on their pages.
“In sum, our research and other academic literature suggests that it’s about how you use social media that matters when it comes to your well-being,” the blog authors wrote, adding a quote from Zuckerberg, saying: “We want the time people spend on Facebook to encourage meaningful social interactions.”

The orginal article.

Summary of “Facebook Conceded It Might Make You Feel Bad. Here’s How to Interpret That.”

Another is what Facebook might be doing to our psychology and social relationships – whether it has addicted us to “Short-term, dopamine-driven feedback loops” that “Are destroying how society works,” to quote Chamath Palihapitiya, one of several former Facebook executives who have expressed some version of this concern over the last few months.
The company pointed to a study published this year in the American Journal of Epidemiology – by researchers who weren’t affiliated with Facebook – that showed that people who clicked on more “Likes” and links than the typical Facebook user reported worse physical and mental health.
Another study – this one conducted in partnership with Facebook by Robert E. Kraut, a professor at Carnegie Mellon University who has long studied how computers affect users’ psychology – had a more upbeat finding.
You can see the issue here: Facebook is saying that if you feel bad about Facebook, it’s because you’re holding it wrong, to quote Steve Jobs.
The cure for your malaise may be to just use Facebook more.
The post pointed out several recent and coming changes to Facebook that the company said encouraged active interactions on the service.
That’s the real message: Once you discover how much more you can get out of Facebook with this new stuff, you’ll feel super.
If you think Facebook is ruining the world, you should be a little glad that even Facebook agrees that we need a better Facebook – and that it is pledging to build one.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How 2017 Became a Turning Point for Tech Giants”

For years, despite their growing power, tech platforms rarely garnered much scrutiny, and they were often loath to accept how much their systems affected the real world.
It might as well be the slogan of Silicon Valley: We just make the tech, how people use it is another story.
A whistle-blowing blog post by Susan Fowler, an engineer who detailed a culture of harassment and misogyny at the ride-hailing company Uber, sparked a women’s movement in tech that was then subsumed by the global #MeToo movement.
Many tech titans were obviously unprepared for the serious questions that began coming their way a year ago.
Tech giants last month stopped fighting a bill in Congress that would allow victims of sex trafficking to sue websites that supported the sex trade.
In another time, this would have been a gimme for tech companies – they aren’t responsible for how people use their services, remember?
If the big shift of 2017 is that tech companies now accept some responsibility for how their platforms impact the world, the big mystery of 2018 and beyond is what, exactly, that responsibility will look like.
Yeah, 2017 was a terrible year for the tech industry.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Former Facebook exec says social media is ripping apart society”

Another former Facebook executive has spoken out about the harm the social network is doing to civil society around the world.
Chamath Palihapitiya, who joined Facebook in 2007 and became its vice president for user growth, said he feels “Tremendous guilt” about the company he helped make.
“I think we have created tools that are ripping apart the social fabric of how society works,” he told an audience at Stanford Graduate School of Business, before recommending people take a “Hard break” from social media.
Palihapitiya’s criticisms were aimed not only at Facebook, but the wider online ecosystem.
Palihapitiya’s remarks follow similar statements of contrition from others who helped build Facebook into the powerful corporation it is today.
In November, early investor Sean Parker said he has become a “Conscientious objector” to social media, and that Facebook and others had succeeded by “Exploiting a vulnerability in human psychology.” A former product manager at the company, Antonio Garcia-Martinez, has said Facebook lies about its ability to influence individuals based on the data it collects on them, and wrote a book, Chaos Monkeys, about his work at the firm.
In the past year, concerns about the company’s role in the US election and its capacity to amplify fake news have grown, while other reports have focused on how the social media site has been implicated in atrocities like the “Ethnic cleansing” of Myanmar’s Rohingya ethnic group.
In his talk, Palihapitiya criticized not only Facebook, but Silicon Valley’s entire system of venture capital funding.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Do We Want to Live in Facebook’s Utopia?”

Zuckerberg does not attend every important company event; he sent a lawyer when Facebook was called to testify before Congress about its role in compromising the 2016 election.
Facebook’s vice president of social good, Naomi Gleit, joined Zuckerberg to announce the company’s slate of new and improved do-gooder tools, which ranged from simpler crowdfunding-Facebook eliminated the transaction fees for campaigns aimed at nonprofits-to the expansion of a pilot program that helps people donate blood.
Zuckerberg enthused about the company’s suicide prevention program, which now uses artificial intelligence to identify Facebook users who might be in danger.
A Facebook employee stressed to me that this happens only “In the minority of cases.” If the suicide-prevention AI is as efficient at predicting behavior from big data as the company says it is, this means Facebook is capable of accurately predicting human behavior and running the real-world interference it deems appropriate.
What is stopping Facebook from using its predictive AI to tell police officers who is most likely to commit a crime or to help ICE find undocumented workers? Facebook would not do either of those things right now because a large swath of users would revolt.
During Zuckerberg’s keynote, he spoke of how Facebook changed its mission statement in 2017, which sounded more impressive than it is.
The roadblocks with Internet.org have not chastened Zuckerberg, who continues to imagine Facebook as a sort of global fascia, intimately connecting and supporting all aspects of society.
Facebook is an incredibly successful for-profit company, and Mark Zuckerberg has customers: the advertisers.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How 41 People in Lithuania Took Over Your Facebook Feed”

“At the same time, it’s impossible – Facebook is the place where people share their ideas.”
Last month, for example, Facebook began testing a new design for its news feed.
In this version, which is being tested in six countries, Facebook posts from pages were removed from the regular news feed.
Facebook told me it planned to continue testing the Explore Feed changes for several more months.
In a blog post, Adam Mosseri, Facebook’s head of news feed, wrote that the test was meant to “Understand if people prefer to have separate places for personal and public content,” but that the company had “No plans to roll this test out further.”
Rafat Ali, a digital publishing veteran and chief executive of the travel media company Skift, said that while these particular algorithmic changes might not come to pass, sites like Bored Panda could still be easily crushed by a future Facebook experiment.
Mr. Banisauskas knows that Facebook can be a fickle landlord, and he worries that as a small foreign company that specializes in aggregated entertainment content, Bored Panda is in a more precarious position than most.
Roughly half of Bored Panda’s Facebook audience is American, and Mr. Banisauskas worries that the site could be punished inadvertently by efforts to combat fake news and Russian-style influence campaigns.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The End of the Social Era Can’t Come Soon Enough”

After witnessing Trump’s use of social networks, Mark Suster of Upfront Ventures wrote last month that he had deleted Facebook and Twitter from his phone.
“Whether the tech industry can move beyond mining our social anxieties to sell ads, or feeding our anger to increase engagement, may require renegotiating a new relationship between the Bay Area and the rest of the country,” she aptly pointed out.
Yes, it’s true that we’ve heard this all before-that people are abandoning social media, that the platforms are doomed.
Sean Parker, one of Facebook’s earliest investors and the company’s first president, came right out and said what we all know: the whole intention of Facebook is to act like a drug, by “[giving] you a little dopamine hit every once in a while, because someone liked or commented on a photo or a post or whatever.
We’ve all watched the way Donald J. Trump used social media to drive a wedge between us all, the way he tweets his sad and pathetic insecurities out to the world, without a care for how calling an equally insecure rogue leader a childish name might put us all on the brink of nuclear war.
Years ago, a Facebook executive told me that the biggest reason people unfriend each other is because they disagree on an issue.
The executive jokingly said, “Who knows, if this keeps up, maybe we’ll end up with people only having a few friends on Facebook.” Perhaps, worse of all, we’ve all watched as Russia has taken these platforms and used them against us in ways no one could have comprehended a decade ago.
As one government official told me recently, “Putin’s surreptitious propaganda campaign has been one of the most successful in modern history.” All he needed, the official said, was social media.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Education of Mark Zuckerberg”

The world’s social fabric seems to be fraying at an accelerating pace, and while some people point to Facebook as a causal force in that unraveling, Mark Zuckerberg has come to the opposite conclusion over the last two years.
Facebook began, Mark Zuckerberg said in spring 2005, with the goal of being “a mirror for the real community that existed in the real life.” It was, he said later that year, not a social network but “An online directory,” a utility that “People use in their daily lives to look people up and find information about people.” In other words, Facebook began as a database of human beings.
As long as people kept “Sharing things about their real lives,” as Zuckerberg put it in late 2011, the community would keep growing.
“The Facebook community has also shown us that simply through sharing and connecting, the world gets smaller and better,” wrote Zuckerberg and his lieutenant, COO Sheryl Sandberg, in May of 2012.
Then the 2016 American election happened, and Zuckerberg found himself in a defensive posture, having to explain why his “Community” seemed to lubricate the spread of disinformation.
When 2017 arrived, Zuckerberg immediately began talking about Facebook “Building community.” In February, he wrote a massive post detailing his vision to “Develop the social infrastructure to give people the power to build a global community that works for all of us.”
This marks the first mention of “Meaningful communities” from Mark Zuckerberg.
“The philosophy of everything we do at Facebook is that our community can teach us what we need to do,” Zuckerberg said in late 2016.

The orginal article.