One Big Thing
Leave me alone, Mark
Zuckerberg in 2017: "For the past decade, we've focused on making the world more open and connected."
Zuckerberg in 2019: "I believe a privacy-focused communications platform will become even more important than today's open platforms."
BLUF: Mark Zuckerberg has always been unintentionally naive but is now deliberatively full of shit.
It started at the beginning.
Zuckerberg had a grand vision: use technology to make the world more open and connected. Sounds good, right?
But behind his transformational vision was an original sin: he wanted to connect a thing -- the world in all its complexity -- that he did not and could not understand.
Facebook's ravenous business model compounded Zuckerberg's naivety.
The compact is straightforward: in exchange for the absolute pleasure of "connecting" you with the kid from your high school English class, Facebook tracks, captures, and sells all of your online activities.
And with billions of users and brilliant acquisitions, it has worked. Facebook has a market cap of $480 billion, and Zuckerberg is worth $50 billion.
But don't get it twisted. Facebook's pivot is bullshit. Zuckerberg doesn't care about privacy.
Three days before his trust-me manifesto, reporters revealed that Facebook sells the phone number that it prompts you to provide for security purposes. Worse, Facebook -- the benevolent connector -- won't let its users opt-out of this giant security loophole. If you were wondering how you ended up on the radar of the heavy-breathing phone spammers, now you know.
The technology industry should and will move in the direction of default-privacy. This trend will be led by companies -- like Apple -- whose business models don't require them to track, harvest, and sell your data. Facebook isn't one of them.
Zuckerberg's latest ah-ha statement -- about a world where "people can speak privately and live freely" -- reminds me of a classic family line: don't piss down my back and tell me it is raining.