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Mark Zuckerberg's manifesto for Facebook offers a social dystopia (bloomberg.com)
294 points by bsirkia on Feb 17, 2017 | hide | past | web | favorite | 212 comments

Have we reached peak Facebook yet? I started using Facebook quite early in my country and used it mostly as a social network, communicating and exchanging stuff with friends from all over the world. A couple years later I deleted my account, being disgusted by the potential abusive potential of all the information Facebook had. I came back years later as it became THE tool for ad hoc social initiatives and a way to follow news from things of importance to you, like the local climbing gym or a band I like. Though I did not use it as a social network, I nevertheless used it. That is currently changing and I experience Facebook fatigue.

The comment sections are either empty, used as a notifier for friends or are right-wing/left-wing troll battle fields. Everyone seems overly emotional to get the most likes and bubble to the top. I removed subscriptions for newspapers to not accidentally have to stumble upon the inanen comments, something I dreaded only with youtube comments so far. Have the social network aspects of Facebook (and youtube) been destroyed by fatigue, other ways (WhatsApp?) of exchanging stuff immediately and ideological troll battles?

If Google Trends is somewhat right, we've definitely reached peak Facebook: https://trends.google.com/trends/explore?date=all&q=Facebook

This is likely more indicative of society:

A. Becoming more computer-literate and going straight to sites as opposed to always Googling it before clicking, even once familiar with the URL, which won't correlate to usage

B. Visiting the site enough for AutoFill to take effect, which is ever-so-slightly inverse in correlation in terms of search popularity to site popularity

Here's a FB-related search term people will still use, even with AutoFill for Facebook, as some evidence. The rise is a similar pattern, but lacking the major drop: https://trends.google.com/trends/explore?date=all&q=Facebook...

[facebook] was the most common search query when I was at Google (roughly the period covered by this graph), and [facebook login] would alternate between #2 and #3. Neither of your options seem likely at all to me - over the time I was there, I witnessed people becoming more likely to navigate to sites via Googling them rather than clicking, not less. The trend is even more pronounced with mobile, where basically nobody types in a URL, they use voice search and speak the name of the site.

I would bet on the Facebook mobile app being a major cause, though. Instead of hitting the web version at all, they're opening the mobile app.

Do people really voice search for things like that? Aside from drivers going hands-free, I have never seen a colleague or friend use voice commands where it wasn't just for the novelty.

I do, and I've heard a bunch of my friends do it. On Android voice recognition is both fairly reliable and really easy, so why not?

Yeah it absolutely is reliable and easy. I just haven't seen it catch on among my circles. Interesting.

IME, the first people in my friend group who started doing it were the ones who weren't insecure about looking "uncool" (so a combination of unapologetic techies and people without low self-esteem). Afaict, that's the main reason that people don't use a feature that would otherwise save tons of time.

I'm not afraid of being seen as an uncool geeky, but I would never use it as I don't like to broadcast what I am looking for to all my neighbors, even when I am alone I prefer silence, typing now requires basically the same amount of time.

Yes, I like voice search.

I still won't use "OK Google", because it's the new Bluetooth headset, only douchebags use it in public. Come on Google, how much do you lose by allowing custom phrases?

More than one would be good, but it's probably hard to explain to layman how to choose a phrase for which they can create an accurate model that's so cheap it can run continuously.

Also consider that people are less likely to use voice search if they are around others. So that might explain why you haven't seen friends/colleagues do it.

I use voice search all the time, even in a desktop. It's much faster than typing.

With the native iOS app being released in 2012, the timeline would be perfect for that, yeah.

Does the mobile app take away that much usage from the web? I can see how it'll increase overall usage as people will use FB when they otherwise couldn't, but I imagine anyone who could be using it on a computer will still use the web version over a mobile app (web seems more functional, especially so with the recent Facebook/Messenger division).

A lot of workplace usage has shifted to mobile. Many workplaces will monitor all your Internet usage, and so once mobile became available, many people decided that rather than letting their employers know how much time they waste during the day, they'd use their own private Internet connection for that.

We saw a similar effect at Google with porn queries, particularly during the day. As soon as image search came to mobile Google, many porn queries moved to mobile; as of 2013 porn queries were twice as likely on mobile search as desktop.

80% of facebooks revenue comes from mobile, so i wouldnt be surprised if that contributed a lot.

however, i dont see how facebook being #2 and #3 among searches means anything against the fact that most people either dont close facebook or as soon as they type 'f' facebook.com is autocomplete. unless you get to see how many autocompleted hits they are getting, you are experiencing a selection bias

Was that also the case with people googling google.com? https://www.google.com/trends/explore?date=all&q=google.com

I agree with this... also the rise of predictive searching in browsers and the omnibar etc.

Also, why would you search for facebook anymore since everyone knows facebook.com site at this point.

Because search is the new navigation, whether you like it or not.

Yep, it's the new navigation because of search noted above and because of typo squatters with malware.

Not on mobile. Not to launch an app.

I never type in URLs directly. It is either a single click on the menu bar/blank tab, or else I go via a search engine to reduce the risk of landing on a typo squatter.

I've seen several ads on TV and billboards which just say "Search for $brandname $productname" instead of a URL.

If this were true, we'd see similar drops in other popular sites like Amazon and Apple and Google itself.


This shows the underlying utility of Facebook compared to other tech giants distilled in to a really generic scenario.

- You go to Google to research what to buy.

- You go to Amazon to give Amazon your hard earned money.

- You go to Facebook to brag what you bought.

Yet the market cap of Facebook rivals those two with far less revenue and highest multiplier.

This cannot last.

In theory the reason for this is that Facebook is "stickier" than Google or Amazon. If Google search isn't working for you, you can switch to something else in a heartbeat. If Facebook isn't working for you, you have to get all your friends to switch to something else before you can.

The problem is this is also going to be Facebook's downfall at some indeterminate future date. Because if some other social network ever becomes more popular than Facebook, Facebook is over.

if some other social network ever becomes more popular

This is why Facebook buys out anything new that looks like it might threaten Facebook's dominance.

Most people can't switch from google to something else in a heartbeat...

we can email our friends, text them or meet them in the bar though.

I cannot email my friends

I'm relatively tech savvy, but I'm not sure my significant other would know where to go if Google was down. DDG or even Bing are not top of mind. What else is there?

Not that it matters.

I can't be the only one who uses `httping www.google.com` to check if the internet is up?

bing is actually pretty good. sometimes google's selection bias to what it knows about me prevents me from getting to the results I want so i either search in incognito mode or search in bing.

There's precedent for this: MySpace.

It wasn't a social network though.

In Germany only bands add musicians used it.

No social pressure to stay at MySpace.

It was a social network; just an inferior one to Facebook. They lost to Facebook because Facebook was a more pleasant site for social networking, which made it more popular.

If you were in Germany, you may not have seen this, because MySpace didn't enter Germany until 2006 or 2007. At that point, Facebook was already starting to beat them with new users. By 2008, the established user base of MySpace was fleeing in droves to Facebook. The network effects that would have created social pressure to stay actually caused it to collapse even faster.

There is nothing that would prevent this exact thing from happening to Facebook. If a better site were to come along (or if Facebook were to become vastly less competitive than they are now), the social pressure could actually cause them to collapse just as fast as MySpace did.

In fact it can last. Your information is wrong.

Amazon has a radically higher multiple than Facebook. About six times higher, being charitable with Amazon's flaky net income.

Facebook will hit $13 or $14 billion in net income for fiscal 2017. Explain to me how a 27 or 28 pe ratio is unsupportable when you're growing net income at 30% or higher.

Meanwhile Google is growing its net income at 18% with a PE of 30. A far more lopsided ratio than Facebook has now, and one that is going to get much worse in just the next four quarters.

So you're wrong on both counts. Facebook has the superior value proposition based on valuation to net income + factoring growth rate.

please provide souces

I knew those people where out there, but there are almost as many people googling "google" as "youtube". Why? How many just want to get to google, and how many or doing something intelligent?

I used to think this was dumb as well, until I realized that if you type "google" into the address bar of Chrome, Firefox, or Safari (possibly IE too, I haven't used it since IE6), it runs a Google search. Nobody ever bothers with the .com anymore; why should they, when just typing the name of the site in will get to it? So a sizable number of people who go to Google Search get there by running a Google Search.

Also, a surprisingly large fraction of users cannot touch-type. They've been trained to go to Google to search, so they type in g-o-o-g-l-e-ENTER and get where they intended, and never notice the autocomplete suggestions showing up in the Omnibox or the fact that they could just type their whole query in and get answers.

Agree. Another factor is mobile usage. The % of users that use Facebook _exclusively_ as an app is likely trending up as well.

According to Google Trends we reached "peak Google" in 2013:


What's actually happened is that fewer people are using search engines as their app launcher, because they are using the smartphone home screen instead.

Isn't that a plot of people who search Google for the term "google"? If so, I imagine it's something people who are familiar with computers and the internet do not do often.

No comparable web properties have the dropoff that Facebook has (twitter, eBay, craigslist, even Yahoo which seems to be fading faster into irrelevance by the day).

Maybe Google did peak and now people are treating search engines as some white-label service that they're utterly indifferent to the provider of.

That graph looks scary for Facebook. Yet the share prices have not corrected to reflect it.

1 Tunisia 100

2 Turkey 95

3 Venezuela 95

4 Ecuador 87

5 Peru 86

6 Algeria 84

7 El Salvador 81

8 Serbia 77

9 Colombia 75

10 Dominican Republic

Notice that none of the developed economies are showing up in the top 10. The dollar per user must be falling as users are increasingly coming from smaller economies which means less amount of ad revenue dollars.

It makes sense why Zuckerberg is crazy for China. Without another spurt of user base growth, Facebook's share price will not be sustainable.

Mobile, mobile, mobile. In 2010 everybody would hit Facebook multiple times a day from their workplace. In 2017 nobody in the developed world uses their work computer to access Facebook, they pop open the Facebook app on their phone or have it open 24/7 on their home computer. The people left doing the Google -> Facebook routine are those in developing countries who either don't have mobile phones or don't have app-capable mobile phones.

If they could make an official Facebook app less resource hogging, more user-friendly and usable on older mobile phones, they would be back in the game. But their app is probably the worst app you can have on your phone. It's terrible, slow and a joke. I would expect such an app from Verizon or GoDaddy, not from Facebook.

Not an app, it's a solution for some. Their official app sucks.

They have already had this for over a year, it's called Facebook Lite.

It's not main app, its secondary.

"are those in developing countries who either don't have mobile phones or don't have app-capable mobile phones."

As far as I know, they rather have a cheap smartphone, than a PC ...

There is no sign of average revenue per user decreasing. Even in US & Canada, ARPU increased from $13.7 in Q4 2015 to $19.81 in Q4 2016 [1].

[1] https://techcrunch.com/2017/02/01/facebook-q4-2016-earnings/

That is due to the mobile usage eating into desktop's. Zuckerberg realized it long before us and hence the whatsapp & Instagram acquisitions.

As an aside, I added Twitter to that for a sense of scale: https://trends.google.com/trends/explore?date=all&q=Facebook... (Short version: Facebook dwarfs Twitter.)

However, the "Interest by region" is amusingly topical.

Princeton researchers used the same flawed methodology: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/jan/22/facebook-...

This might be the phenomenon by which ubiquitous things become part of the setting rather than the focus/subject.

I've seen the point made with the railroad, and with the internet.

If you look at other tech terms, they are all "declining":


Nope, not even close. That just shows that people started accessing Facebook through Smartphone apps, where the decline starts is where mobile use exploded.

so funny, May 2012 = 100, now = 37. yet over that time frame FB claims to have doubled their monthly active user numbers. something does not add up.


More like it's become ubiquitous.

super interesting.

I unfollowed like 85% of my "friends" on facebook this past year... probably 75% of all the news sources I used to enjoy and left all the groups but the professional ones I still like and because I have FB Messenger... i don't miss any of it and people can message me. I have a youtube sub list and podcasts for "news" and if i wanna see my buddy's feed... i can just go look. It's a void; I'm enjoying meeting people for drinks or meals so much more now. Life is better.

I think one of the most perverse and increasingly popular reasons people are still stubbornly using FB is to look at images of their crushes. nothing more.

I am glad facebook exists, to keep all that garbage siloed and away from me. As a non-user, i enjoy a slightly cleaner web.

It's like being invited to a party you didn't want to go to because people were douchey and pleasantly finding out they ditched you to snort cocaine leaving you to enjoy the empty premise catering to your demand for solitude.

The silo leaks quite a bit. Every other website has Facebook logins and Facebook comment threads, or screenshots of conversations from Facebook. It's pretty bad.

Check out Fanboy lists for uBlock Origin: https://www.fanboy.co.nz/

Also, there are several extensions specifically for blocking social media tracking, which also block comment sections (and you can still go directly to Facebook)

Unfortunately, the silo leaks sentient radioactive waste that follows you home and rifles through your mail and personal effects for saleable data. And it may be making your neighbors in the silo slightly ill.

We can just call it the "alternate-web".

Fake web.

Imagine memes on Hacker News.

Today's Facebook experience feels like the 1998 AOL silo if it had a 'Friends' keyword.

I deleted my Facebook account when I started tracking my time for productivity reasons. For me it was a MASSIVE destruction of man hours just idling around reading nonsense. Against my worries meaningful social interactions haven't suffered and I still keep in touch with people all over the world...

have we reached 'peak car' 'peak operating system' yet or 'peak computer'? I think Facebook is going to be with us for a very long time and will continue to thrive. Yeah, the comments and posts suck sometimes (I don't use it) but hundreds of millions are addicted to it.

We've seen a number of peaks, at least on a temporary basis.

"Peak air travel" by aircraft departures occurred in 2001, and by total passenger miles, I believe hit around 2007. There's some wiggling around that, in that load factors and seat pitches allow for aircraft to carry more passenger miles on average. But the US DOT's 2000 forecasts for aviation fuel were high by a factor of 50% or so for ~2013. (I've not checked the data since.)

"Peak car", by passenger miles driven seems to have hit much of the US also around the 2007-8 financial crisis. But if you look at underlying trends, as early as 1990 or thereabouts ownership and miles driven were softening markedly particularly in the Pacific Northwest.

"Peak Computer", in terms of traditional desktop (and laptop) sales is well behind us. Mid-to-late 2000s IIRC. Several factors at play, including market saturation, a stagnation in computer capabilities (CPU speed, RAM, disk, and a bunch of other factors have more-or-less been in a holding pattern, though energy usage has fallen markedly), and the increased convenience of the Internet in your pocket making mobile devices far more attractive. We may be seeing backlash to that (security, privacy, burnout, etc.). There remains the point that computing devices are fundamentally difficult for much of the population to use.

Social networks can grow quickly, but also crash with devastating speed. Understanding just what it is which makes them attractive ... and unattractive ... is a key point to understanding their strength. Or weakness.

yeah, myspace, friendster, digg


Users migrated to Facebook from other popular social networks.. it doesn't take much to gain critical mass

Some migrated from Myspace and other networks, but Facebook was able to capture the invaluable older demographic who had never used social networking before and are less inclined to switch. Facebook was able revolutionize communication much in the same way the car did for transportation.

Facebook was able to capture the invaluable older demographic

Yes and no. It captured people while they were 20-somethings and has so far managed to hold onto many of them into their 30s and even 40s via its networking effect. But the last thing the next generation want to use is something that the previous generation used. So it's a blessing and a curse.

Largely by being "The Harvard Network". A point I've long made, and recently discoverd that dana boyd has hammered as well.

Facebook is no longer Harvard.

Facebook is not an industry. It's a product in an industry.

A similar question would read "Have we reached peak AOL?" or "Have we reached peak Windows?"

Peak AOL happened a while back, and peak Windows has already happened, it's getting murdered by non-PC devices.

Anything can peak, products and industries alike.

All my friends, immediate and extended family communicate over Signal. <50% use Facebook, login once a week and are horrified by the posts, log back out. We are probably not typical users of technology, but Signal is our core communication tool now.

It's probably now worth thinking about Facebook more as a giant advertising VC house more than as 'Facebook.com'.

Facebook's main asset is its social graph and cross device map, which only Google currently has anything comparable too.

Any time a new type of app, ad unit or social trend becomes popular (group chat replacing FB groups for instance), they will buy it before it gets traction. Instagram has a much nicer ad unit format than Facebook, and appeals to a more upscale audience.

> Have the social network aspects of Facebook been destroyed by fatigue

Combating this is partly why Facebook bought WhatsApp and spun out Messenger into its own app.

Facebook is so big it can just buy anything that competes with it ,but Whats App may be too big

Correct me if I'm wrong, but it owns WhatsApp

FB aquired WhatsApp in 2014 for 19Bn. WeChat however, could be too big for anyone of the US giants to swallow.

Considering I have yet to hear of WeChat, I doubt that.

meant snapchat is too big

This is disingenuous critism that reiterates canned talking points, while failing to cover much of the manifesto's content. Zuck's document in question is actually fairly substantive and raises some intriguing questions that Facebook's leadership has to grapple to retain relevance in a diverse world that isn't all fairies and unicorns, but where people actually oppose each other politically, culturally, and along other axes.

While he frames it in terms of being a good actor as opposed to making a profit, I can't fault him for this in what is essentially a PR post. At least it acknowledges common criticisms of Facebook's moderation, content policy, and editorial behavior, and displays an awareness that hurried knee-jerk hotfixes won't allay all concerns, but that they need a strategies to stay relevant.

I'm no fan of Facebook the product, or their business model being an elaborate data harvesting scheme, but place criticism where it's due, not on long-form PR blog posts that admit they fucked up a few times and they can do better -- even if they play up examples where FB being in the right place at the right time with the right marketshare has has helped people.

While I live in Silicon Valley and mostly agree with the prevailing morality, it's alarming to see Facebook (and others like Reddit/Twitter) move so aggressively towards social engineering the entire world.

Arguably, Facebook has been very cautious on how it moves towards social engineering the world, though. Which is what has allowed things like Cambridge Analytica to do so instead. The whole point of this manifesto is not "lets take over the world!", it is "we have a huge influence in the world, that much is a fact, let us take some measure of responsibility about it". Could there be a better alternative to Facebook being the one which has this power? Sure. But that's not for Facebook to change. The best you can hope is them taking their current power seriously and trying to wield it responsibly and that's what the manifesto is about. You want to take that power from them and build something better... well, feel free to give it a go.

I agree that Facebook doesn’t socially engineer users as much as it could, but I think this is more a testament to its immense power than its kind intentions. Facebook is no stranger to unethical behaviors—its actions only seem ethical in comparison to what is possible with that amount of power. Remember a couple years ago when Facebook published a blatantly unethical psychological experiment that manipulated the emotions of unconsenting, unaware users? Zuckerberg didn’t think of it as a shady A/B test to keep private within the company, he allowed it to be published in PNAS.

Let’s not forget, Facebook isn’t exactly being exploited by shady actors like Cambridge Analytica—it's profiting from them.




I don't just mean that as a snarky crack. It's worth pondering the idea a bit. They've been headed in this direction for a while, but it's becoming undeniable.

(Remember, Facebook is more than just America. They and their stock valuation aspire to be global.)

Or cybergovernment. Internet giants are becoming fundamental services for millions of people. They're not just too big to fail -- they are essential, which makes them comparable to governments.

I love the silicon valley hyperbole. Lets rank facebook being down for 2 weeks with:

Shut down all the banks 2 weeks, eg no access to any money.

Shut down all Gasoline for 2 weeks. Eg no personal transit (shut up you smug Tesla drivers I'm getting you next).

Shut down all electricity for 2 weeks. No Power. (All you with power on your roofs and teslas... this gets your grocery store fridges).

I think you need to re-evaluate what is "essential".

I agree, "essential" is maybe too strong of a word.

But I do like to ponder the thought of all Google services, or all Amazon services shutting down for 2 weeks. Clearly not as essential, but the impact on the daily life of at least most of the US would at least be noticeable.

I believe these are still the early days of "internet giants". They seem giant now, but with MS, Google, Amazon, and other "giants" aiming to provide much of the structure of not only the internet, but also some of our daily lives (delivery, web, phone, internet access, information/news), I can imagine twenty years from now the reach of these "giants" to be far closer to "essential" then we feel they are now.

Who knows, maybe we will forever be in a cycle of "giants" growing, evolving, and failing without ever becoming essential. I don't know how it will work haha, but interesting to consider.

Wouldn't giants just imply monopolies? I suspect to a point we are going to see the pendulum swing away from far-right politics towards far left politics. It'll be sexy to break up these giants for political points. Some talk has already be muttered here and there about Trump possibly targeting Amazon. After the Trump presidency, if we manage to get a far left progressive with the intention on breaking up other giants it works to be seen then that under neither political wing are giants protected from witch hunts.

I've long been in favor of ending the Sherman act for this reason. You can target companies that are politically opposed to you by just a bit of rhetoric and government over reach. One interesting way to think about what good breaking up companies do is think of Standard Oil's breakup leading to a butterfly affect so to speak that encouraged the increase usage of carbon base fuels. There were relatively crappy electric car models in the 1900s, there was actually a point where the electric car worked better than gas (1). If Standard Oil was to remain together and lack of competition meant higher oil prices this could have led Ford and others to research ways to make the electric model more capable for the masses as consumer demand would seek such alternatives. 100 years later, we may be in a much better position environmentally..maybe. Just a butterfly effect thought nonetheless. All that said, the best thing to do in order to combat monopolies in the free market is to legalize insider trading and spoofing. The markets will figure it out. Insiders acting on information they know without having to go through SEC hoops would be able to react more quickly and damage firms in ways that could work to destabilize such giants.

1.) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_electric_vehicl...

you are using 'worked better' very generously. people choose the combustion engine because overall it was the best engine at the time, and for many many decades later.

the consumption of oil was going to skyrocket from 1911 no matter what due to technology, during a time where people primarily traveled by boat and train.

Notice I wrote "could have led Ford and others to research ways to make the electric model more capable for the masses as consumer demand would seek such alternatives."

I think if oil was of a higher price due to lack of competition there would have been more incentives by car companies to try to figure a way to make the costs of running a car go down to appeal to the emerging middle class. There would have been more money in R&D at those earlier times trying to solve problems that were not really considered or kept to the side because they were too difficult. I believe for the most part discoveries could be made even then that would build up to suitable electric cars. Of course we wouldn't have had them by 1911.. as one would need to take into consideration the break up of Standard Oil. It would have been interesting to see what the military would have came up with during WWI/WWII if oil was too costly and battles needed to be won with the usage of vehicles and how that would translate over to private business and civilian life.

we have a hundred years of additional research, and tesla alone is putting billions in research and batteries still aren't there. I think you need to picture what life was back at that time, and remember the price of gas wasnt the price point that prevented car ownership. Ford was type-A about getting prices down in all possible ways, but if for some reason standard oil ridiculously increased the price of gas and nobody was able to stop them (I dont buy into the argument standard oil keeping its monopoly would have increased the price of oil so much that an alternative would have been needed), they would have used coal.

I agree essential is too strong, but I think the danger is not "what if they go away", but the fact of (nearly) everybody using them is a problem when that's selectively denied.

E.g. a sibling comment mentions Facebook pages for small businesses: if Facebook went away or stopped offering them generally, that would fix itself within less than two weeks. If the vast majority assumes they can find all businesses on Facebook, but yours isn't because Facebook doesn't like your name or some aspect of your business, that's a long-term issue.

There is no company that controls 90% of banks, or 90% of gasoline, or 90% of electricity. Shutting down a single company won't affect availability of neither of the basic utilities. But there is Google that is 90% of internet search, and maybe 50% of email. Shutting it down for couple weeks would be a disaster for millions. Facebook or Twitter are less significant in this regard.

First, I said facebook, not google. Second, I still think you don't understand the word "Disaster".

These are disasters: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2004_Indian_Ocean_earthquake_a... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2011_T%C5%8Dhoku_earthquake_an... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hurricane_Katrina

Those are disasters.

If google was down for 2 weeks, there would be some big problems for some companies and some people. But there are plenty of work arounds: phones still work just fine, amazon would be up, etc. If it was the whole information grid down, yes that'd be a large hit to the economy. But 9/11 essentially shut down business for 2 weeks as well. Google going down, not really a disaster. 9/11... Disaster.

> I think you need to re-evaluate what is "essential".

It is essential for small bussinesses all over the world that rely on fb pages instead of investing in creation of their own web pages

you could swap to any one of a hundred companies in a few hours. 2 of them I can't even stop hearing about on every single podcast. Again, its about risk mitigation.

Remind me how many armored divisions Facebook has, again?

It's like everyone builds a political army from its user base, steering it by manipulation with algorithms and bots.

This works since the beginning of humanity, I don't see why it surprises people that new technology resorts to proven methods.

> The algorithm prioritizes what it shows a user based, in large measure, on how many times the user has recently interacted with the poster and on the number of "likes" and comments the post has garnered.

FB has changed so much for the better for me since I've joined an AutoRetro group featuring cars at least 25 years old and since I've started like-ing that group's posts. Now almost half of my feed is filled with photos of old Trabant, Lada or Opel Kadett cars, and I love that. The other half is indeed filled by mothers sharing their kids' stuff, which I don't give a crap about, and some fiery political stuff, which I care about but which I generally ignore, the reason being that there's not that much that I can change, politically-wise, by commenting on the Internet.

I've also found out that I've been a lot more relaxed and generally better off since I've stopped checking my feed on the phone when in public places (tramway, waiting in line at the Post office or at a general store). For those situations I always carry a magazine (the Economist folds really well) or a pocket book with me, and it's been for the best.

This sounds a lot like what I tell people who don't like using reddit. I love using reddit because I follow the subs that are related to my interests and as a result I find a lot of really, really awesome content. I think if you approach a massive social network as a passive or casual user you will be subjected to worst that network has to offer.

Even in the hobbies, particularly sports, subreddits I see a lot of narrow mindedness that I don't see in other forums for the same activities. Like asking how to do X type of cycling, the top comment will be some exhortation on how you must do ABC with Z bike or you will die. Versus bikeforums.net, where people will chime in with a more "anything goes" attitude, and seem to have greater depth and breadth of experience.

Indeed. I had plenty of positive experiences on Reddit, but many subreddits are very chaotic relative to how popular the subject is and who ended up there. The voting system just doesn't scale well in my opinion.

> Now almost half of my feed is filled with photos of old Trabant, Lada or Opel Kadett cars, and I love that.

This is why some of my friends prefer Instagram as their primary social network. It's mostly hobbies, food, very little politics.

I think The Register's take does a way better job of describing this manifesto.


>> If you type "how to leave" into the Google search window, "how to leave Facebook" will be the first suggestion.

Am I being too critical for thinking someone writing an article like this should know that Google searches / suggestions are personalized? Just because its suggested for them does not mean its universal.

Just try it in private browsing mode, it removes personalization, "how to leave facebook" is then top for me.

Does it?

If IP address X does a query, then a moment later the same IP does the same query but just doesn't send any cookies, I am pretty sure Google knows it's the same person.

I have nothing to hide, but I think the age when incognito and privacy options started being celebrated by the browsers was the worst period for me as a web obsessed teenager. Mozilla would have spent some energy highlighting in simple ways how the private mode is a gimmick that has uses but does not protect web privacy. In fact web privacy is not attainable for this and that reasons.

I blame myself for being stupid for believing that the web was about helping people reach progress through minimal harm. Sigh. Innocence !

You're not. It really annoys me when people cite google search suggestions as meaningful.

In my google search suggestions, it falls behind "how to leave a group chat" and "how to leave a meetup group". Therefore it must be true that more people are trying to figure out how to get out of group chats or break it off with their meetup group than leaving facebook. This also must be a sign of the demise of group chat.

I use Google infrequently and block google-analytics, so I believe I'm mostly outside the search bubble. I get "how to leave group chat", "how to leave your wife", "how to leave a review on etsy", and "how to leave group text". The questions about chat and text both give answers about iOS. Is Google the default search engine for Siri?

The other questions, hmm.

Another way to bypass customized results is to use StartPage. The only suggestion I get from there is "how to leave town"


> how to leave a group text on iphone

> how to leave a google review

> how to leave a review on etsy

> how to leave a group chat

Love me my ad/cookie/tracking blocking. I get:

> how to leave facebook

> how to leave a club in lol (??)

> how to leave ashran (??)

> how to leave a discord server (??)

Seems Google has me pegged as a gamer... (I'm not, had to DDG all the suggestions marked with a question mark)

You are right, but I am supposed to have personalization off and it is still in the 7th position for me. ("How to leave your wife" and "how to leave a group chat" being ahead among others)... But if I type "How to quit", Facebook is 6th... Who knows what would happen if you combined all synonyms and excluded unrelated topics...

Not to be overly melodramatic and totally dodging the contents of the article, but aren't we already in a social dystopia? Is there any way of qualifying "how dystopic" a society is?

I think a recent Black Mirror episode dealt with this exact subject.

"an imagined place or state in which everything is unpleasant or bad, typically a totalitarian or environmentally degraded one."

where the hell do you live? remind me to never visit.

Probably the US! /s

Like all megalomaniacs, Zuckerberg fancies himself as some kind of messiah. He won't stop believing that, not even after his machine explodes in all our faces.

If you truly think that, then why don't we apply the same sort of "machine" criticism to any company that collects data online? There's an awful lot of them. Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, ESPN, etc etc. I mean the whole web is really one big data collection machine and that started long before the advent of Facebook though they definitely helped exacerbate it.

To play the devils advocate, the criticism of the article is misdirected. None of the problems mentioned were created or exacerbated by facebook. Addiction : just like any other addiction , filter bubble: people not making friends on the other side, right winger's followers: the shunning from mainstream media brought that.

Facebook makes the most obvious choice of algorithms. An alternative choice of algorithms (e.g. deliberately exposing you to views you don't like) would create a much bigger backlash.

Anyway facebook has a long history of "huuuge outcry" every time they make a change, but its users have the attention span of a fruitfly.

> In France, rationalist Emmanuel Macron has 165,850 likes, while far-right Marine Le Pen boasts 1.2 million.

"Rationalist"?? What's rational about him? The guy did not have any political existence 6 months ago, has no party, has no program, tells everyday the opposite of what he told the previous day because the audience is different, and yet gets more than 20% in opinion polls. That's a rationalist, uh?

The only thing on your list that has anything to do with rationalism is this: "tells everyday the opposite of what he told the previous day," and it's entirely rational.

If you want to persuade someone, telling them what they want to hear is an essential first step. It would be irrational to do othwise given his goals.

Sure, but if you name the solution to this problem "virtual identity suicide" (I had to look it up too) you're not going to get many adopters. That's like naming marriage "single status suicide". It's not even accurate. What things are named matters a lot because most people cannot tell the difference between the name and the thing named nor can they easily remove implied yet unintended meaning from text.

I agree; it’s a terrible name for it. I also googled it and found a website whose lead image is a hangman’s noose – seriously, come on. Let’s call it online identity liberation, retaking, protection, or whatever.

I have stopped using Facebook as a source of information, unfollowed all friends and pages and stopped posting about me eating outside (I did post about my travels which I'm planning not to redo). After a while of doing that, I don't feel any urge to visit facebook and check again. I even get no more urge to see my friends profiles and what is going on with them.

However, I have found it is not practical to remove Facebook because I use Messenger to talk with friends (either chat or voice). Much easier and cheaper than doing it with text (and it's way too easier for international friends). I removed the Messenger App from my phone though because it is abusive. I'm trying to find a way to communicate (P2P) with friends without facebook but it is too hard to convince them to install something else.

I have the exact same feelings.

FYI you can deactivate Facebook without deactivating messenger. That is what I did. My messenger still works (although oddly, sharing links with friends has become a little worse ) and my Facebook profile is deactivated.

Why is it that every little single-purpose-at-best company nowadays acts like they are out to save the world in the most noble way possible?

Mark, please! You're a spam-your-friends-with-fake-news-and-baby-photos service at best. The world will go on long after Facebook ceases to exist. Please stop pretending that you're Mother Teresa here.

It's the tech delusion. I don't know a start-up that doesn't have some grandiose vision of themselves as the future saviors of humanity. Uber, Tesla, Facebook, Airbnb, you name it... it's all the same "save the world" rhetoric.

The scary thing is, I think a lot of people on the industry actually believe their own BS...

It's much easier to do hard or risky things (and convince others to do hard things) if you believe that doing so will save the world.

Whether it's true or not, it's a useful illusion. People who believe that it's all meaningless tend to sit on message boards and shit on others instead.

Instead of what? Buying into the BS?

I'd rather take an honest, measured view of these companies. Many have the potential to change our lives, for both good and ill. Buying into the BS is a great way to short circuit healthy skepticism.

Selling the BS is a fantastic smokescreen.

Who are the ones actually building the products that everybody else (and probably you, too) are using, though, and getting rich off it? They're the delusional folks who buy the BS.

This is something I've wrestled with a lot in my personal life: you can have an accurate self-image and never really accomplish anything, or you can have an inflated self-image and achievements that probably don't quite justify it but come a lot closer than the achievements of the people with accurate self-images. Empirically, there doesn't seem to be a middle ground, except for a few rare folks who seemingly have no self-image (they just don't think about it much). That sort of delusional megalomania seems to be a necessary motive force for tackling hard, risky problems. And if you don't have it, then some other delusional megalomaniac will be the one who actually attempts it, and gets resources simply because he's the only one trying.

Second-order survivorship bias. The vast majority of delusional megalomaniacs are abject failures (at least when compared to their own ambitions), and the number of them who live in the gutter and eat out of trashcans is at least four orders of magnitude higher than the number who find success.

People who find success often become delusional megalomaniacs after achieving that success, when they see their success as evidence of their own greatness, not before. The idea that it's the megalomania (or a black turtleneck) that makes you successful, or even makes you brave enough to attempt the things that might make you successful, is an illusion.

A defining commonality of delusional megalomaniacs is their destructiveness and their danger to the people around them and themselves. Worse, they tend to attract followers who both amplify the reach of that destructiveness and who create an echo chamber that reflects back and amplifies the megalomania that attracted them, making the situation worse.

> That sort of delusional megalomania seems to be a necessary motive force for tackling hard, risky problems.

There's no evidence of this. Everything difficult was not solved by assholes, and Zuckerberg didn't solve anything difficult.

I think reality is much much much more complicated (we humans don't even know enough collectively to make such statements with any accuracy), and there certainly is a middle ground. I think people with inflated self worth are more likely to "succeed" because they will run right over others and maybe not even stop to justify the horror they just committed to improve their own lot in life, due to their sense of entitlement complex (which I guess you did allude to a little). Either way, I like your comment, it made me think.

Great comment. I just want to point out the obvious you can believe you're great & be a nice, humble person.

The self-image comes into play when you're trying to act in a certain accordance with what's in your head. If you think you're bound for great things, you'll look for great things to tackle and you won't be satisfied until you're at whatever version of success you have in your head. If your self-image is happy & settled-down, you'll similarly stress over this. Eventually though, you'll probably get what you wanted because the law of attraction is quite real.

When you talk about accomplishment, it's a relative term though I understand you mean money in this case. Self-image is self-directed, and typically comes from a desire, which naturally comes from a lack. You will see many buy into the trap that money = happiness, and they will thus imagine themselves as some rich, successful tech CEO. After that, self-image has to match up with real-world, so work. The ones who truly believe they are will eventually succeed, and the ones with little willpower will fail. This goes for every facet of life.

That's why it's good to ponder "who am I?" because it's actually a step after "what do I want?" If you can see it, you can be it. Some will call it megalomania and others will call it dedication. Without knowing the person intimately, it's hard to understand which it is, but I'm an optimist and lean on the side of most successful people got there through a lot of hard work -- where their self-image was tested again & again.

The truth is nobody can tell you that you are or aren't successful. Ultimately, it's a personal decision and comes down to if your ideal version of yourself is staring back at you in the mirror.

I'm very split on this.

I very much agree with the first sentence.

But I don't know if I agree with the second. People who believe that something is meaningless, or hard to do, are at least not doing any damage, while saviors of the world have done plenty of damage. We humans seem to have an inherent bias for powerful persons, in that we tend to like them even if they're a terrible influence.

It's much easier to do hard or risky things (and convince others to do hard things) if you believe that doing so will save the world

I think you mean "easier to get convince others to work 80-hour weeks for illusory stock options".

Hey, some people sit on messages boards and shit on others AND manage to build successful businesses that let them live the lives they want. I'd rather choose them as models than the douchebags drinking kombucha in their Tesla.

(i <3 u 'idlewords)

Linus Trovalds come to minD :)

I <3 you too!

I think there's truth in what you're saying, it's just a bit dubious when that illusion is also used to generate billions in personal wealth. It raises the cynic in some observers.

Why leave out the option that some things are meaningless and some things are not? Why divide the world into conquering self-deluded bullshit artists and lazy cynical moaners?

At least Tesla's one thing is inherently important because of the climate change implications.

Yea I have to say Elon's actions seem to really be for the overall benefit of society unlike most other tech / business leaders

I like to remain skeptical about Elon's vision, he seems like a great guy, but he is still a business man, maybe he isn't able to see that for himself.

Just remember we're not just getting free lithium, aluminum and copper from another dimension to build all those cars, and when we're done with the cars, they're not just going to biodegrade back into forrests and coral reefs. Mining those minerals can have a pretty serious environmental impact.

There is some cognitive dissonance going here, we see a solution to climate change, but we don't want to observe the other side of the coin.

Oh come on. You do realize "recycling" exists, right? Cars don't just go into a landfill when they reach the end of their useful life. They're salvaged for parts, and once all the useful parts are removed the rest is used for scrap metal. Lead-acid batteries have been recycled for decades now, with extremely high efficiency. Lithium is much more valuable than anything in a lead-acid battery, so of course it's going to be recycled as well.

Yes, mining has an environmental impact, but 1 ton of aluminum used in a car does not necessarily mean 1 ton of aluminum was mined for it.

Try not to forget it often takes energy to recycle things, and what do we do with a huge surplus of Lithium when its no longer required, we don't exactly have free energy either.

But hey, let's not get that get in the way of a great response, right?

What in the hell are you talking about? The energy needed to recycle almost anything is usually orders of magnitude less than that needed to mine it and refine it in the first place, not to mention not having to transport it halfway across the planet from some remote place in Bolivia or wherever.

And why would Lithium no longer be required? In some hypothetical future that doesn't exist? It's needed now, and that's all that's important. Moreover, its great performance in batteries is directly related to fundamental physics and the position of Li on the periodic table, and that's not going to change.

>But hey, let's not get that get in the way of a great response, right?

Let what get in the way of a great response? Your nonsensical predictions?

I think Elon means well somewhere down the line, but he seems to be completely blind to ethical/social effects as opposed to the purely technological ones.

I.e., his solution to employment issues caused by automation is to merge with machines as opposed to addressing it on a social, political, economic, etc., level.

More and more I find this approach detrimental to society and likely to amplify all existing problems.

But compared to Mark Elon is much more pro-current president, so he gets much less respect.

I worked for a company that was basically a hosting service for online advertisements. They too thought they were saving the world somehow.

Parodied perfectly by Silicon Valley in their bit about the Disrupt conference: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J-GVd_HLlps

Each of those companies has the potential to significantly impact the world. Whether that change is for better or worse depends on your values. But given that they will likely have a big impact on society, I'd rather have them thinking through the ethical implications of what they do even superficially and grandiosely than not at all. A hypocritically preachy Facebook corporation is much better than an absolutely cynical one.

A hypocritically preachy Facebook corporation is much better than an absolutely cynical one.

If you ask me, for a lot of these tech companies, this is a false dichotomy: they're outwardly preachy and inwardly cynical. How better to justify bad behaviour than to dress it up in grandiosity?

Most of the ones I have been on the inside of (I am not currently inside of any of those) are fairly preachy internally and do discuss the ethics of what they are doing. Sure, that discussion is more "realist" than what their PR pushes out, but it is still not even close to absolute cynicism. They don't always pick the ethical choice when push comes to shove if there is a lot of money on doing the wrong thing, but it depends somewhat on the level of wrong (for the record, I am talking about perfectly legal actions here, just with possible ethical externalities). In as much as they justify things, they justify them to themselves too. You can argue that they are more cynical as you go closer to the center, but I have no evidence for it either way, and the ones actually designing and implementing the features are not in that center. I'd rather deal with someone who has to rationalize their unethical actions and thus at least consider the downsides than someone who just doesn't care. In my experience, S.V. companies are more often full of the former than the later.

One of those is not the like others (Facebook). Facebook is the only one that wasn't a huge next step in the progression of an established industry. It was an incremental improvement in a fledgling social network industry, and it's questionable how much value it actually adds to (or detracts from) society. Compare this to Google which is indeed a force of good (not just their main product, but the numerous free technologies they have given to society like Chrome, Golang, QUIC, Tensorflow, etc.) and Uber/Airbnb, which have made people 'freer' in the sense that it is much cheaper to travel and get out now, and then Tesla of course is ushering in an eco-friendly transportation revolution.

The grandiose self-vision is annoying PR, but at least some of the companies have a fair amount to back it up with. Facebook is just the next iteration of Microsoft in my opinion -- they took a huge early lead with a superior product in a new industry, but now they're kind of evil and they will ride their market share for many decades.

It was an incremental improvement in a fledgling social network industry

And even then, it was only because Friendster was crippled by scaling problems and MySpace was snowed under with self-promotion that Facebook even had a path out of the university populations to which they initially restricted themselves.

I think one thing that FB got right was disallowing any customisation of your own profile. That made MySpace completely unusable.

Very good point. MySpace had zero consistency of experience.

>Please stop pretending that you're Mother Teresa here.

The funny part is that Mother Teresa wasn't a good person, but made a lot of money from her image of nicety. I think its the same way with these individuals who are trying to act 'noble'. The most noble thing you could do is bring consumer trust back and invest into people.

I would argue that a lot of problems that companies have, like when Tim Cook was going around giving presentations on why encryption is important, is solved by bringing consumer trust back by working in the best interest for everyone, and not just for money.

Mother Teresa wasn't a good person? That's news. Why?

Not OP, don't think she was, but her image is very controversial due to her questionable ethics. There is plenty of material about this on the internet.

I read somethings years ago about how she didn't allow the hospitals that she oversaw use pain medication for some religious reason. There were also claims that she personally profited off of her likeness. I can't recall if any of those claims were credible however.

I think the gist of it was that "suffering brings one closer to God"...

She worked for over 4 decades (!) with orphans, poor, the sick and dying.

Four. Freaking. Decades.

It's not right to say, "Mother Teresa was not a good person because [minor thing I disagree about]."

Her views do not cancel 45 years of service. I wish more people would be "bad" like Mother Teresa. There would be fewer depressed, fewer lonely, fewer suicidal, fewer addicts, fewer outcasts.

The atheist Hitchens wrote several hit pieces on the religious Teresa due to her views on abortion, suffering, women's rights, and more. But the world is not made better by spilling rivers of ink about perceived imperfections in the laborers helping society's outcasts. The world is made better by the good things people do for others.

I'd rather live in a world with 1 imperfect laboring Mother Teresa than 1000 babbling do-nothings.

The criticism is not that she didn't work with the sick and the dying for decades, it's that she maximized their suffering and sickness to glorify herself and to aid in fund-raising.

She raised billions of dollars and very little of it ended up helping the people she was supposed to be caring for.

> I wish more people would be "bad" like Mother Teresa.

Don't worry, there are people like Benny Hinn, like Peter Popov, like Creflow Dollar who are out there taking mountains of money from people in the name of faith to spend on their gold-plated jets.

Mother Theresa did more damage to the world than you can possibly imagine. If instead of celebrating misery she worked to mitigate, instead of being staunchly opposed to birth control she had encouraged family planning, if instead of using the sick and dying as a fund-raising tool instead of helping them get back on their own feet to lift themselves up the world would be a better place.

Mother Theresa clearly didn't give a shit about women's rights.

> The world is made better by the good things people do for others.

Especially if those good things help others pay it forward. She kept her flock just sick and miserable enough they didn't escape. She's like someone with Munchausen syndrome by proxy in a monstrous scale: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Munchausen_syndrome_by_proxy

> "She kept her flock just sick and miserable enough they didn't escape"

Where's the evidence for that? I read Hitchens' utterly biased hit piece on her, I didn't see real evidence, just accusations and editorializing.

> "She raised billions of dollars and very little of it ended up helping the people she was supposed to be caring for."

Be specific. She raised billions, but very little helped the people? Give us numbers, and show us original sources. Hitchens' hit pieces didn't contain these. (As I recall, even Hitchens acknowledged that Mother Teresa didn't live luxuriously herself.)

>> There are plenty of others like Benny Hinn...

Hinn, Popov and others shysters aren't caring for the sick, feeding the hungry. Red herring.

>The atheist Hitchens wrote several hit pieces on the religious Teresa due to her views on abortion, suffering, women's rights, and more.

Actually, the piece he wrote was about how she would deny medicine to those who needed it, and reused needles between patients, along with putting down 'modern' equipment and anything non-religious. All while she received millions in funding she did not invest into her 'homes'. The 'houses' poor people went to where she said she would take care of them, were actually houses of death for them, even if it was treatable.

45 years of service means nothing, if your 45 years of service includes purposefully making people suffer and denying them of care they need, while making money for yourself and trying to look like a saint.

Also related:


The late Christopher Hitchens wrote a book and spoke extensively on that topic. Here's a video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=65JxnUW7Wk4

I thoroughly enjoyed Geek Heresy by Kentaro Toyama, which is precisely about taking that trope apart. The book goes over a number of case studies about technocrats thinking their purely technological solutions would "make the world a better place", and how they failed. It also goes over examples where no/low tech approaches succeeded. It's a quick, recommended read.


Holy crap, I didn't even know I felt this way, but seeing it spelled out in front me I totally, 100% agree here.

Google, FB, etc. are a bit pretentious. You are world saving because you can afford it - you run companies with huge margins that rake in billions of dollars per QUARTER.

Let's keep it in perspective - you do it because you can, you're not successful because you do it.

It's because people want to feel like they have a purpose.

It's the same reason you see Hollywood actors being outspoken political activists. Because if they stay out of politics, they're "only" insignificant entertainers.

It's the same reason you see comedians and TV shows getting political. Saturday Night Live (SNL) is just a show for laughs. But if it takes a political stance, suddenly the writers/producers/actors can feel good about making a positive change. (Whether it's actually positive is beside the point; it only matters they think it's positive.)

And so, Facebook is doing something to enact positive change. (For various definitions of positive.)

Facebook is only different in that it has enough money and influence to actually change things in the world. Whereas comedians, actors, TV shows can only offer political opinions and try to influence people, Facebook can actually change things thanks to its financial status and its staggeringly user base.

I might be inclined to believe it if it weren't only so many words.

Where are the actions to back up the argument? Internet.org? India would like to kick internet.org in the nutsack. Giving money to charity? Where are the results from that investment?

Without any evidence, Mark Zuckerberg is just another king of spin. Aren't there enough cockroaches in the world already? Not saying Mark is one, but I'd like to see someone else point to the good FB is doing in the world and hear nothing at all from its CEO.

Facebook on the whole hasn't done much to improve the world. (It's greatest accomplishment in my mind is keeping geographically-separated family in contact with one another.)

While this manifesto was a little over-the-top, and probably amplifies globalism as a cure-all, he does appear sincere in his desire to do good. Time will tell.

"Save the world" type narratives are a huge part of American culture and have been for quite awhile. It has especially ramped up in the last decade and a half or so since 9/11, usually coupled with yet another post-apocalyptic plot. Look at TV, movies, and popular culture. The theme even appears where it doesn't make any sense whatsoever. I assume it must be really popular. Is it any surprise that businesses use this theme to drum up business, regardless of whether it makes sense or not? And let's face it, it doesn't make sense for any of them. No business has ever saved the world and no business ever will. The idea is beyond ludicrous but I assume it's fun for simple minds.

He is clearly delusion and a huge megalomaniac. Facebook in it's current form will not exist in 10 years. If they do, they will be similar to what AOL is today.

being long Facebook stock since the IPO, I take the opposite side of that bet . Facebook will be a bigger company even if it's slightly different. It's so huge and ubiquitous. It's not anything that can simply be a 'fad'. It's like a new medium of consciousness or fundamental integration with the world. The internet 10 years from now probably will not be too much different (the browser will continue to take over the desktop).

Also, isn't this the same guy who very recently tried to evict people from his estate in Hawaii? He also literally built a wall around his home after buying off neighbors homes for a premium. Is he taking down that wall?

It's because he is launching a political career. As simple as that.

These are some of the most profitable and largest companies in the world. It's like laughing at google, 'just a web search engine company', for expanding into maps, self driving cars, a mobile operating system that dominates the world and so on. This is how you expand from 'just' a 'spam your friends' service to something that is a lot more. It's called having goals.

Almost half of the US gets their news from links posted on Facebook. Let's not pretend that it doesn't have a real, tangible impact on the world just because all you see are baby pictures.

They'd get half there news from somewhere else if FB wasn't around, FB is milking it.

yes, notice how Elon Musk, someone who IMO has added magnitudes more value to humanity than Zuck, doesn't parade around acting like an almighty preacher

Is it fair to call Facebook a single-purpose-at-best company? They are the top social networking company in the world. Within social media is encompassed global communication, local communities, news and information sharing, etc.

Sure, there are a ton of negative externalities of that such as fake news spam. But it also puts them in a unique position to tailor their site to encourage the behaviors and enforce the values they want. I think the focus on local communities is an important example. Obviously local communities can create groups now, but there is a lot that can be done to encourage those kinds of communities and groups and discover existing ones.

<Please stop pretending that you're Mother Teresa here.

"The joy of reading" is coming under great fire.

In fact I am beginning to realize that I no longer enjoy reading from a phone. Never before in my reading experience did I get so worked up until now

Your comment not just includes fake news or junk reading but simply anything written in an opinion fashion.

This manifesto is an example of why reading has gone sour.

> Please stop pretending that you're Mother Teresa here.

Humorously, Teresa caused a lot of pain and suffering all the while self-righteously convincing herself and others that she was doing god's work.

More similarities than one may think.

Totally agree and glad other people feel the same way

Because it's a great PR angle.

I bless whoever hides those substantive titles in the URLs.

I think this happens when the URL is assigned based on the title first entered, then the title is changed later. At least I think I've seen that happen on Wordpress. It's a fun little easter egg though.

Did you kill your own comment?

It was marked [dead], not [flagged]... I just vouched for it to reply, I'm a bit surprised that users can hide a mod's post...

I did kill it, because even though I'd marked it off topic (which ranks it lower), it was a poor way to start the thread.

Makes sense :-)

You made a throwaway to post a huge defense of facebook? Color me skeptical.

Edit: Correction, you are a sockpuppet, as you admit to in your 1st post, pointing out its primary use to manipulate discussion. Go away troll.

You can't attack other users like this on HN, regardless of how wrong you think they are. We ban accounts that do so, and already warned you about it twice. Please fix this.

We detached this comment from https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=13672409 and marked it off-topic.

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