In other words, a classic non-apology. The issue is that people did understand the true goal of the presentation: self-promotion.
Also, why public figures could not apologize for real? Like "I am sorry, this was not a great communication campaign after all. We'll do better next time." Is this really difficult?
I prefer actions and we should incentivize the right actions from companies. Apologies are worthless, what people actually believe is worthless. Behavior is the only thing that matters.
>Why is integrity such a concern these days?
It's phony integrity. Social media has turned the entire world into gabbing Sunday churchgoers where everyone has to pretend to think and act in acceptable ways otherwise they'll incur the wrath of church gossip.
It would be nice if there was some kind of way to signal true remorse, like a way of speaking with our bodies, a "body language".
No one says the behavior doesn't matter - but without an expectation of social cost (apologies, and further criticism and reputation loss when the apology is tone deaf and insincere), why would anyone care about behaving well? Demanding apologies isn't worthless - it's a power thing.
People follow incentives, and this goes even moreso for amoral corporations. The most effective way to change the behavior of corporations is to create the right incentives such that its in their best interests to behave in ways that are in all of our best interests. Insisting on "true belief", which this obsession over genuine apologies seem to indicate is the goal, just isn't needed. The behavior will follow when the incentives are aligned. But this shows its less about behaviors and more about the feeling of righteousness people get from moral indignation.
So if he were to apologize, Red Cross could then potentially sue over a down tick in donations due to the join campaign, etc.
Again, not a lawyer, have no real interest in law, but this has played out on TV shows a few times.
I am also not a lawyer, but for my sins all of my first-order relatives are.
Of course there is a rubbernecking feeling to it, but it's not all that different from the NYT sending Nachtwey ot someone of equal caliber to a devastation zone to bring viewers closer to the action.
I'm sure we'd be outraged if it happened with regard to the ongoing North Bay fires, but you know what, five years hence, this will be an ordinary way to bring the news to your environment.
People are "shocked" because they are not used to the medium. One day they will be and this reporting will be ordinary.
Regardless of if the criticism is justified, my point here is that there was no apology made for the planning/execution of the presentation itself -- just for the offense it caused to those who misunderstood the goals of the presenter.
It's one thing to believe an apology wasn't necessary. It's another thing to believe it's OK for "journalists" to massage this corporate non-apology into something more palatable.
The adults in the room want more Facebook in your life at any cost, totally rational goal for the organization to live on.
I would bet a day or two of bad press from Mark's VR stunt is probably worth the bump in engagement and publicity.
But to do this in VR, not even taking the effort to actually go there... it's a bit. I don't know. I guess tone-deaf is a good word for it.
Just feels like those pictures where people pose for a selfie next to the homeless people they just handed €1 to.
Don't worry, the next release will have Snapchat filters instead.
Perhaps you've been misled by partisan claims that Trump is failing to respond.
These kinds of responses are completely bone-headed. You know why Puerto Rico hasn't received the kind of awareness (and hence resources) that Texas and Florida received? It's because people are so disconnected to the devastation. Anything that makes the devastation more real to the rest of the country is doing genuine good for Puerto Rico. Facebook uses their technology to do just that and people can't wait admonish Zuckerberg when they get the chance.
That's completely false. Puerto Rico received 10x as much coverage as Texas and Florida.
I really do wonder if Zuck is a functional sociopath, and not in a 'jokey' way but in a clinical fashion. Many of his top level decisions seem to show a complete lack of empathy and his reputation like calling Facebook users "dumb fucks" for trusting him, really seem to fit the bill. Perhaps we can excuse a lot of this for his relatively young age he found success at, or even just write him off as on the spectrum and tone-deaf as opposed to sociopathic, but its something to consider and worry about considering his vast influence.
Sadly, in the world of US executives, a certain level of sociopathy seems to be the norm. Or at least, learned pseudo-sociopathy (The Gervais Principle) . There's many critical writings about what under-regulated capitalism leads to and the type of people who end up the most successful in such environments, but I'm not sure if HN is the place to have this conversation considering its ultimately a forum for entrepreneurs. But there are pressing questions and ones I imagine that will be more important as income inequality and automation begin to eat the world.
Here are timestamps of the quotes from the article:
People are pretty good at detecting superficial niceness. It's something even babies are good at, it's hard-wired so to speak and it's basically the answer to the important question "does this person really care, or are they just pretending". Sure, some become really good manipulators and can fool others.
Somebody else could have done pretty much the same VR tour and it would have had a different effect. The technology itself here wasn't the main problem.
> Facebook is generally pretty careful to isolate its CEO from opportunities for bad press, Zuckerberg has an extensive team helping him maintain his manicured public image on the social media site.
The manicuring part is the fake niceness. "Someone is making him look like what he is not, what are they really hiding..." kind of idea. That is it is contrasted with his or his company's action, what he did and said in the past (ex. "They trust me — dumb fucks") and then it becomes unsettling and has a negative effect.
Cringekotau M. Zuckerberg
As someone who worked in an environment like this, its very frustrating to see good judgment tossed out the window because the boss's ego or social blindness overrides all.
Worse, executive culture in the US is elitist culture. After a while, when you push 7 figures for years, fly your own plane, spend weekends on the yacht, have four homes, etc you just simply fall out of the mainstream and one's judgment on what is appropriate PR simply is off-kilter. Its funny how well we understand this with, say, royalty of old, but somehow our capitalistic 'royalty' get a free pass. Its the same human brain at work here be it today or 18th century versailles. People who are elevated to a certain point will simply become out of touch. Adding being on the spectrum to this only makes it worse.
Could go either way; seemed to work well for Jobs and Apple for example. Lots of CEO's seem to be on the sociopath spectrum.
> you just simply fall out of the mainstream and one's judgment on what is appropriate PR simply is off-kilter.
And then they become president. Dun dun dunnnn.
One of Cook's first significant acts was cutting back on the patent warfare between Apple and Google/Samsung. Jobs dying young saved us from this war, a war that would have damaged the smartphone and wearable market significantly.
The problems with Jobs is that he fought for his customers, which was nice if you're a customer, but if you're not, you're now a victim of Jobs. Why should Android buyers be assaulted by him? What did they do wrong other than buy into a more open-ish ecosystem? The patent system and courts are wholly corrupt and/or incompetent, so its not like there's a moral avenue for jobs to attack Android. Just everyday business sociopathy.
Worse, a lot of Jobsian logic has been tossed out the window recently. The whole "the human thumb is so long so smartphones must be 3.5" maximum" and a variety of other cargo-cult wisdom. The iphone and mac lines of today most likely would not have been possible with Jobs at the helm. iOS is more Android-like than ever and recent decisions with MacOS seem un-Jobsian to me.
I think Jobs died at the perfect time. Enough to bring in the mobile revolution but not long enough to run it into the ground over a scorched earth war with competitors. That doesn't exactly make him a great example of sociopathy for 'good' as much as it makes him a good example of dying relatively young.
The above also ignores unexcusable sins like fighting "poaching" from his competitors with a gentlemen's deal (enforced by the threat of patent lawsuits - again) which only kept engineer salaries lower than they should be.
Does "on a spectrum" mean "autistic" the way you used it?
I'm taking the contrarian stance that "visiting" a disaster zone in VR is more engaged than just reading about it in the news, which is more engaged than not taking any interest at all, which is the default.
"When you’re in VR yourself, the surroundings feel quite real. But that sense of empathy doesn’t extend well to people watching you as a virtual character on a 2D screen" -Zuckerberg, as per the article
I think this effect did most of the damage. The cartoons involved are just the avatars, presumably each participant was not even seeing their own avatar.
VR is a useful tool, for various parties including for planners to really "see" the devastation in 3D.
Zuckerberg's stunt was tacky as hell. He clearly demonstrated how laughably out-of-touch he is with the reality other people live in. You may care more about the tech, but it was like watching a spray-paint salesman hawk wares by spraying over masterpieces, except worse because we're talking about humans.
Also, calling criticizing an out of touch goofball for being tacky a 'lynching expedition' is ludicrous. It isn't even a VR lynching.
> VR is a useful tool, for various parties including for planners to really "see" the devastation in 3D.
Stop and think about this for a minute. If you can get sufficiently detailed data for logistics planning (say, by driving Google Cars around), you're past the planning stage.
The arguments in that talk are compelling, and they probably felt they were doing a great humanitarian service. I don't think they are bad people at all, but they are definitely in a bubble where a certain awareness of the humanitarian potential for VR has made them blind to the perception of the average person.
I think I still would be, because the whole point is to have actual conversations with people who are affected by the humanitarian crisis.
We've had numerous celebrity politicians before Trump. Franken, Reagan, Arnold, Ventura, Springer, etc... The list continues and it definitely wasn't Trump that was the first (although he holds the highest position of any of the other celebrity-actor-politicians, without having first held another political position).
EDIT: Clarified my comment on Trump being the "first" celebrity-president
Zuckerberg strikes me as hell-bent on global domination, but doing it with the most plastic smile possible. Given any sort of real authority, I doubt even humor at his expense would go unchecked.
Maybe just maybe if someone at FB in the decision chain had lived in an impoverished area struck by disaster, or had relatives who were in this situation, they could have made a convincing argument that this was insensitive.
It seems as if every week there are 2-3 companies that have a PR disaster that really seems as if it could've been averted if they had a different perspective "red team" the idea, I guess this week it's Facebook and Dove.
0 - https://www.nbcnews.com/business/business-news/dove-apologiz...
That's the key, and in the vast majority of companies, the decision chain is going to consist of less than 10 people, all wealthy, mostly white, and mostly whose privileged, elite world views are divorced from "normal human" life.
Of course Mark Zuckerberg doesn't need growth hacking. For a social network that prides itself for being on top of things this makes him and the facebook team look completely clueless and disconnected.
Maybe some fresh blood ideally not from the software ecosystem who can make the connection back to reality.
"seeing a cartoon avatar in the middle of an NPR-produced 360 video highlighting the situation in Puerto Rico while very real people walk around surveying the devastation of their homes perhaps wasn’t the most appropriate choice."
No, this isn't because we love Zuckerberg, serve corporate overloads or whatnot—it's because repeating the same things over and over is off topic for this site, especially when they are toxic waste.
All: this is also the sort of comment we use to downweight user votes, since it's a honeytrap for reflexive internet indignation, and that is the thing we're most hoping to avoid here. If you'd like your votes to count on HN, cultivate the habit of pausing before you use them.
Why is HN voting so opaque, only explaining how votes work in scattered tidbits at the bottom of comment threads? A well-designed system doesn't work only because nobody knows how it works. The current method of "herd these sheeple through a maze they can't directly perceive" feels very patronizing.
At any rate, I'm not sure whether it's worth it to upvote the grandparent now, since it is apparently a censored viewpoint and merely shooting myself in the foot to do so.
If you want to support such concerns, there are plenty of solid comments about them to upvote. One reason such comments get posted is that HN still exists as a place for them—which it would have ceased to do, long ago, if we didn't moderate shallow snark and ragey drive-bys. Those things are not "viewpoints". They're litter. Any genuine viewpoint is possible to express seriously, and should be.
By 'crap' I mean something not as subjective as that sounds, which you can gather by reading those links and https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html.
/me tips hat
What do you suggest? That we comment on the VR tech?
This entire thread is just reaction on his behavior. You may as well just close the thread.
The thread of course has plenty of things to talk about other than that petrified nugget, which was getting old ten years ago.
Sociopath is a quality that manifests repeatedly through different events over time, including this latest one. This entire thread is people saying the same thing in different words.
Harvey Weinsten appearing in nothing but his boxer shorts for an actress audition was a moment in time. The qualities that made him creepy and predatory remained constant.
Even if you were right in this case (which you have no evidence for, just a connect-the-dots cartoon, and few dots at that), this would still be so. "Sociopath" comes even before "shill" on the feces-throwing internet trigger list. Every time we tolerate such a violation of the site guidelines encourages others to do the same. That slope is both slippery and steep. Since my #1 job is to (try to) prevent HN from plummeting to its death down it, it's not like this is a hard call.
HN is sliding backwards due to this kind of censorship, not for lack of it.
You're talking to someone who has been doing this same thing for so many years that I basically do it in my sleep, with about as much interest. If that's a backward slide, then (as Voltaire said when someone told him coffee was a slow poison) it must be very slow.
In your (sleepy and uninterested) opinion. I love it. We're all learning so much! There are more comments on this sub-thread than the rest of the thread.
> I basically do it in my sleep, with about as much interest...
That's exactly what it feels like.
That of course was a joke, meant to acknowledge how tedious and off-topic these digressions are. A factual version of the remark would be something like 'I've done this tens of thousands of times for many years now, so any negative effect of the sort you're claiming would long have been priced into the system'.
And you are sitting here calling someones truthful comment toxic waste. Meanwhile the top comment here wonders if any parents are present at Facebook.
Honestly, HN really sucks at moderation. You aren’t consistent at all and the rules are completely ambiguous. I’ve actually seen you respond this exact situation before when people complained about name-calling by saying that it’s not name-calling when the person is not even here and because they are the subject of the article.
So whatever to you sir. Bad censorship is bad.
On the contrary, of course it is, and having it be "true" (which none of you have any evidence for, as I pointed out downthread) would make it worse, since then it would inspire even more feces-throwing, the overwhelming majority of which is not "true".
> HN really sucks at moderation
Maybe this is not the site you're looking for. In my world, consistency of moderation is quite impossible; for one thing it would require reading all the material.
Calling something what it is...is just called communicating.
And there is plenty of evidence. Consider first, if you will, the fact that sociopathy is a spectrum disorder.
> Maybe this is not the site you're looking for.
Oh, well I guess I could say the exact same thing to you. That's a bit snarky don't you think? I mean, here I am and obviously I want to be here but you're telling me that maybe I don't want to be...hmmm. Nice moderation.
> consistency of moderation is quite impossible; for one thing it would require reading all the material.
Responding the same way to each incident does not require reading all the material. Having non-ambiguous rules does not require reading all the material. Having more moderators does not require reading all the material.
If you continue to post in a way that makes it clear you don't want to use this site as intended, you're going to end up getting banned. Please reread https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html and fix this from now on. It's not like it's hard for anyone who wants to.