Human technology

Facebook is not scandal proof – The New York Times


All of this is, at least in part, the price Facebook is already paying for its bad reputation.

Let me come back to Instagram as it helps show the weight of Facebook’s baggage.

Almost the minute the news broke this year on Facebook’s plans for a tweens version of the app, there have been cries of “NOPE! ” attorneys general and some children’s advocates. Facebook now says it will hear criticism.

Instagram Kids isn’t necessarily a bad idea. american law places limits on online accounts for children under 13, but many lie about their age. Facebook was partly trying to recognize the reality and lure tweens to a version of Instagram with more protections. Facebook underline Monday that YouTube and TikTok adapted their apps for kids. (And they have attracted criticism sometimes.) All of this is complicated for parents, regulators, internet companies and children.

The biggest problem was that Instagram Kids came from Facebook, which people didn’t trust to create a safe space for kids. Many don’t trust the company, period. It was at least the second high profile product that Facebook walked away from after the pushback. Last year, Facebook also changed its mind about launching its own virtual currency, called Libra, after its trading partners hesitated and some US government officials worried about potential disruptions in the financial system.

If a more reliable company like General Motors, or even Apple, had been behind Libra or a children’s app, there might have been a backlash to those proposals. But American senators may not have criticized the work of the company using an expletive Where compared him to a toddler arsonist, as they did with Facebook.

I know it’s like a lot of people say they don’t like Facebook but still use the social network or one of its other apps. There are some weak spots in Facebook’s popularity, however, which may be the result of Americans feeling like they have to cover their noses when going online.

The number of people in the United States and Canada who use Facebook or its Messenger app at least once a month has only increased by around 8% since the end of 2017 – before the Cambridge Analytica scandal over collection user information does not reveal the lax handling of personal data by Facebook. .

Facebook may simply have peaked now that two-thirds of the combined population of the United States and Canada are using the social media network. These figures do not include people who use Instagram or WhatsApp, belonging to the same company. Facebook does not regularly reveal the figures for these applications.

You could look at these facts and come to the opposite conclusion: nothing matters. On the money and power dashboard, Facebook is winning.

Yeah, I hear you. The cynical devil on my shoulder is screaming that some projects are delaying, politicians are screaming, rejections of job applicants and armies of public relations specialists and lawyers are just the costs of doing business for a big company.

Maybe Facebook can overcome mistrust forever and stay hated but rich. But I wonder if at some point the burden of a bad reputation gets too heavy and starts to hurt Facebook where it counts – in its wallet. Or maybe I just wish it was true because businesses shouldn’t be able to mess up over and over and face little consequence.


Your lead

I wrote last week that we could all be better off if Facebook pulled out of many less wealthy countries. The company has repeatedly failed to devote enough money, attention and cultural skills to many countries outside of the United States and Western Europe, resulting in a terrible human toll, including ethnic violence and harassment of citizens by the government.

An On Tech reader in Sofia, Bulgaria, Antoniya Staneva, disagreed with me and made a good point. I wanted to share part of the email, edited slightly for clarity:

Yes, it’s absolutely clear to me that there are places where Facebook is a tool for disinformation, manipulation, propaganda, and other dangerous practices (isn’t that the same even in the United States when think about it?), but being from a smaller, unimportant country (Bulgaria), I can assure you that these things would happen in those places with or without Facebook present there. They would perform through (social) media channels and networks at the local level.

The big difference, however, for people in countries like these would be that they would lose an important window to the bigger world, which is very often what Facebook is in smaller, non-Western countries and not so. well developed.

  • Check out Amazon’s latest invention: It’s called Astro, and it’s basically a $ 1,000 Alexa screen on wheels, with googly eyes.

  • More from Amazon! For years, the company mainly failed to make a successful video game for hardcore gamers. One executive told my colleague Kellen Browning that the latest version from Amazon “has to be our game-changing game – there’s no doubt about it.”

    Related: Video game company Activision Blizzard has agreed to pay $ 18 million in a settlement with a federal employment agency. The agency had accused Activision of discriminating against pregnant employees, paying female workers less than their male counterparts because of their gender, and retaliating against female employees who complained of unfair treatment.

  • Have a great Meg Ryan cozy sweaters season! TikTok looks have been inspired by the characters of the actress in “You’ve Got Mail”, “When Harry Met Sally” and “Sleepless in Seattle”. It’s another twist on our obsession with hating or loving anything in the fall, writes Vox’s Rebecca Jennings.

Have you ever seen a baby ride a robot vacuum? Now you have.


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