What has been affected is the perception. It’s no longer considered cool to have a Facebook account. Meet-ups and interest groups are still heavily used in my social circles, but it’s almost always with an apology for being on Facebook.
Instagram has suffered less, but instagram isn’t really useful for anything but wasting time.
Facebook on the other hand serves as a modern day yellowpages and meetup combined, but with its popularity dropping and people slowly adopting privacy concerns, it seems like the right company with the right business model could displace Facebook.
Of course you could say something similar about google and how it’s search engine is so terrible at finding anything interesting.
Maybe it’s my little anecdotal world playing tricks on my perception, but to me, the whole web seems ripe for another revolution.
I think what Facebook is very very good at is tracking the market and identifying potential competitors and buying them up.
My previous thoughts (and still are) was that FB would become a media holding company, similar to Comcast or Fox/News Corp.
The problems I now see for them is they are really starting to piss off regulators, who will probably not look kindly to future acquisitions, especially larger ones.
They also have a problem that WhatsApp is IMO cannibalising their core 'social media' offerings and I can't see how they can commercialise that product without eroding the privacy and/or simplicity aspects which make it so popular.
In hindsight I think Apple locking iMessage to iPhone was a mistake. If they'd released an Android version Apple would have surpassed WhatsApp in non-US markets where iPhone penetration is lower, and would have dominated the messaging space like it does in the US, as they'd be preinstalled on every iPhone to seed the market.
So that's pretty decent market strategy on Apple's end, i'd say.
Wish I could at least use icloud.com. Even went as far as to look into how hard it would be to use VMWare to get a OS X desktop going. 4 GB and a processor core would be worth it, but unfortunately it looks difficult.
More difficult than just getting the VM up and running, IIRC. Something, something, hardware security key to get iMessage working. Or something. Anyway, there are workarounds with which others report having success, but at that my point my interest ran out.
why can't you? or you mean for iMessage?
You wanna buy my MacBook pro from me? Lol
Also it's possible that El Capitan has graphics acceleration in VM's, whereas the later versions of macOS definitely do not
Well, they did that with Onavo didn’t they? Snooping VPN traffic to see who else their users were using. It remains to be seen if they can be as astute without that backdoor.
iphones still Just Work. In my experience of people with half a dozen Androids over the last 6 years, they are Just Shit. People buy them because they are cheap, not because they are good. People buy iphones because they are good, not because of messaging lockin.
However that aside, across android and iphone, people constantly use whatsapp though because of groups and simplicity.
This is quite the overarching generalization. Especially on a site like HN where there are tons of financially well off people choosing to use Android. Do some people buy Androids because they are a cheaper alternative to iPhones, sure. Do some people buy Androids because they don't like things like Apple intentionally slowing devices down, like having access to things like Termux, the ability to flash their own ROMs and root, etc? Absolutely. I don't even want to make this an Apple vs Android thing, but please don't reduce a valid choice down to people's financial situation.
An “overarching generalization” doesn’t mean there aren’t outliers. But most people aren’t buying Android phones so they can flash ROMs and run Termux.
On the other hand, the “slowing down phones” meme is outdated - it was a choice between slowing them down and then shutting off completely. All batteries degrade over time.
If Samsung were selling high end Android phones in volume, how many cheap crappy phones are they selling for the ASP of all of their phones to be $250?
The high end Android market is minuscule.
Radical concept, isn't it?
Give me a phone that can run the latest OS for five years that I can take to the Apple store and get the battery place for $79 ($29 until the end of the year) any day.
Besides, the processors that are in most low end and midrange Android phones are so horrible compared to 4 year old iPhones, I can’t imagine them keeping up with new software.
> Besides, the processors that are in most low end and midrange Android phones are so horrible compared to 4 year old iPhones, I can’t imagine them keeping up with new software.
Again - it's mostly software problem.
I have Motorola Moto E LTE(2015 - 2nd gen) with 1GB of RAM and it's working perfectly fine with Lineage OS [without google services] + F-Droid. I'm using it for Jabber communication (Conversations), podcasts (AntennaPod), GPS (Osmand), e-mail checking (mostly notifications from my bank ;)), calendar (DAVDroid), searching web (Firefox) when I want to check something on the go (bus/train timetable, address etc.) and everything works fine.
My friend had same model and he replaced it because everything was slow with "official" android.
I also have to change my phone. Reason? Battery. Changing it is difficult(https://www.ifixit.com/Guide/Motorola+Moto+E+2nd+Generation+...) and paying someone to do it doesn't make any sense (labor + new battery would cost more than this phone is worth...).
The issue is not artificial. Before around the Core 2 Duo, processors and hardware were getting faster at such a rapid clip and the software was taking advantage of it that you really had to upgrade often to use modern software.
My Dell Core 2 Duo 2.66Ghz laptop from 2009 has:
8GB RAM - still the standard amount of RAM on most consumers.
A 1920x1200 display - it was one of the last laptops that had screens with that resolution before everyone moved to 1929x1080 and that resolution is still better than the average consumer laptop.
Gigabit Ethernet - most laptops these days don’t come with Ethernet at all and for those that do, gigabit Ethernet is still the standard.
250GB hard drive - of course now hard drives are SSD but most laptops still only come with < 500GB hard drives.
In 2009, an almost 10 year old computer would have had much lower specs than what was then a modern computer.
You see the same ramp up in mobile hardware that happen with computers. It just happened a lot faster.
And it doesn’t matter why the Android ecosystem is such a mess when it comes to upgrades. But it is.
Not only is the 6S from 2015 still getting official updates - so is the 5s from 2013.
Also, the processors in iPhones are so much better than in the typical Android phone, the phones have more headroom for upgrades.
For instance, this is where things stood in 2015.
Please read up on this point in detail instead of going by sensational headlines. You’d get a more comprehensive picture about how batteries work the same on iPhones and Android phones, and why Apple put in some software changes.
I've been android forever, and my experience of Android phones has been they are solid for about 3 - 4 years, and then they start showing their wear. But I'm pretty hard on them. There are lots of significant drops that occur in that time. Drops that would shatter most iPhone screens.
The reason could’ve been found by going into Settings and looking at the storage usage. The only case that annoys me on iOS is the download of a new version of iOS without permission and taking up space. But even that can be deleted from the same place in Settings (though this behavior shouldn’t be there in the first place).
Ive had Apple-like longevity out of all my family's Samsung "S" and Sony Xperia devices.
If you met my daughter (destroyer of USB cables) you would know that the fact her Xperia has survived 2 years is some small miracle on its own.
Just avoid LG, HTE and off brand crap - they eventually have issues.
1 "iPhones are too expensive, people should buy cheaper Android phones"
2 "I buy cheap Android phones and the quality is terrible"
3 "You can get good quality Android phones, you just have to pay iPhone prices for them"
Every time a conversation about price vs quality comes up, the conversation starts at the price, goes into the quality, and then ends up at the same price and quality as the competition.
The Google Nexus line really could have changed things. It was inexpensive, a great phone, and ran vanilla Android. I moved from an iPhone to the Nexus 5. It had some quirks, but for the price it was great. Then Google started chasing the iPhone money, and pushed me back to iOS.
But by the time I needed a new phone, the Nexus 6 was twice the price of the Nexus 4. For that price, I switched to the iPhone.
Depends on where you are but here iphones are the new "grandma" phone -- phones you can get for $0 and are idiotproof. They're simply not fashionable anymore.
Good thing I don't care about fashion or if I'm carrying a grandma phone (do I need a glittery case or something to be cool again??). I need something that is fairly quick, works, and I don't have to tinker with. It helps that I prefer iOS, and there is an Apple store within walking distance from my office.
I have a company-issued S8 and an iPhone, and I wouldn't trade them for my Xiaomi.
Best part is, they cost less than half of an equivalent iPhone, have better battery and amazing performance.
I used to buy Samsungs (and Nokias earlier before they suicided).
I have an iPad and it's a great piece of hardware, but I don't stand the Apple ecosystem (iTunes in particular is a piece of crap).
Currently waiting for the Pocophone F1 to be distributed by the local carrier. Another slam dunk by Xiaomi.
I have a Mi Mix 2 and I love the phone. Just be aware of the unlocking procedure before buying one of their phones.
As some of the other commenters alluded to, there really are a huge variety of different devices. I'd be curious as to whether the folks you knew were buying e.g. Google's Nexus or Pixel devices which IME have generally felt higher quality to use, or whether they were Samsung/HTC/Huwaei-branded devices.
I could afford an iPhone, or a flagship Android phone, but the value proposition isn't there for me. Mobile just isn't a very important thing for me. I use it for basic communication with family and friends, navigating/maps and that's about it.
Because the Android ecosystem doesn't have a strong upgrade ability, app developers generally target a wide variety of OS versions, so when you do get cut off from app updates, it's really ancient versions, like gingerbread.
Seeing that my iPhone 6s bought in 2015 for $750 is still faster than most modern Android phones, I don’t think OS upgrades are going to be a problem.
App developers being forced to support older OS’s is not a good thing for the platform. iOS Developers can target the latest OS and all of its features and still support 5 year old phones.
My mom is running the latest version of Chrome on a Mac Mini from 2006 that I put Windows 7 on. How much luck would you have had running the latest web browser on a computer from 1994 in 2006? In 1994, I had a PowerMac 6100/60 (PPC 601-60Mhz) with 24Mb of RAM and a 250Mb hard drive with a 486 DX/2 daughtercard with 32Mb of RAM.
Today, I can use a 5 year iPhone 5s. Back in 2013, I would have been masochistic to run an iPhone 3G.
On the other hand, the day the new OS version or security patch is released for iOS, anyone in the world can go to the settings app and update their phone.
Anyhow - the main reason I even commented was that people in the antique iPhone camp /regularly/ say they'll never go to Android cause the phones don't last. I really think people would like to keep their phones for as long as their laptops. And iPhones are the way to do that and that it is a selling point.
The first iPhone I bought was a 4 in 2010. I “upgraded” to a 4s because I got a much better deal through my employer to use Verizon and the 4 had separate GSM/CDMA versions. My son used the 4 from the time I switched from Verizon to T-Mobile until 2013 and upgraded up until iOS 7.
My next upgrade was to the 5 and again it was because of a change of carriers and Verizon wouldn’t unlock the GSM part of the phone for domestic use. The 5/5C were the last 32 bit iPhones.
I consider the first 64-bit iPhone to be like the first Core 2 Duos. At that point the phone was “good enough” and fast enough for most people.
My first 64 bit phone was the 6s in 2015. My son is still using it now with an Apple battery case. I would have kept it, but I needed a larger screen (iPhone 8 plus) to watch text heavy technical videos
and the battery life is much better. I don’t see any reason unless I physically damage this phone that I won’t keep it for another 4 years.
I’ll probably replace my 9.7” iPad before I replace my phone and I don’t see myself doing that anytime soon.
I personally own a Sony Xperia XZ ( which is now over 3 years old), but it had a price comparable to an iPhone when i bought it with better specs.
1. Better front camera ( 13 megapixels ) and the rear one has a 25 mp sensor which captures great photos.
2. 192khz/24bit audio. Being an audiophile I hate the fact that apple does not support hi res audio. This phone had a headphone jack and is really good at playing flac music or hi-fi audio from Tidal.
3. Well designed - The back is made out of alkaleido which sounds like a marketing gimmick term, but it really does change colour in a subtle but nice way. iPhones haven't changed much in design over the years and they don't really look as attractive as they did previously.
4. Google cardboard - Android has some good VR applications which run on google cardboard. Heck you can even use TrinusVR on Android and VR stream games wirelessly from your PC . Can an iPhone do that?
What does this have to do with an ecosystem? Lots of other devices on the market support similar or superior features.
to me you are still using facebook just an 'app' under facebook.
I feel this is akin to saying I use gmail but not google.
am I wrong here?
it appears that people often refer to this as different companies and they are not.
it being e2e encrypted does not change who owns, makes decisions on where the future of it goes, and if it will continue to exist in 5 years. it is still facebook and not 'whatsapp' by itself above and in many areas people refer to whatsapp and instagram as different entities and they are not, I'm concerned with people acting like it is.
Facebook should become a compute platform like AWS/Azure that specalizes in compute services for social services, including but not limited to authentication, spam detection, censorship/moderation tools, social graph, storage, bandwidth, localization, learning, ranking.
The proper way to do this is to convince people to switch to an app that integrates other messaging platforms as well: people switch to Signal and stay on it because they send all their normal SMSes run though the app as well. Then as their friends switch to Signal their conversations are painlessly migrated, everything looks the same, you just get a bonus "lock" icon.
My parents use facebook nearly constantly. That wont change anytime soon. I don't know if they could list a single facebook, "scandal" that happened this year. It's not that they are dumb people they just don't care. Their friends use it so they use it.
I think Facebook's more likely to lose out because apart from messaging, its organization and events and business finding tools simply aren't that good or well-surfaced within the app because Facebook has prioritised the world of feed clickbait. Don't think it's security concerns that have my friends doing event invites via Whatsapp group threads as often as via Facebook's dedicated event invitation service. But the average person having a number of old friends whose only reliable contact information is their Facebook is a pretty big moat.
If you were being dishonest, what would you think differently.
I think most people are vaguely aware their data on Facebook is being misappropriated, but they don't understand the implications of that, especially in the long term.
The challenge, and it seems most of the informed are stuck on how to resolve this, is explaining why this is a horrendously bad situation.
Just today at lunch with a phd mathematician (ie someone way smarter than me), I was struggling to get past his 'I've nothing to hide, why does it matter' attitude about fb and messenger android apps.
It's not the data misuse that repulses me from Facebook, but the overall shallowness of conversations, its feed contents (I don't care about what my friends liked or responded to; I am content with just seeing their posts, thank you very much). So there's a lot to dislike about Facebook apart from how they treat our data.
tbh I'm not even convinced half the data is actually that good for the ad platforms: the fact that I invariably report obvious ICO scam ads as "it's a scam" seems to have triggered Facebook to show more of them to me.
I think there is a logical fallacy in arguments like this, which is extending conclusions made on large samples to special individual cases.
While there is no doubt that Facebook is making money (I would think, primarily from ads or from paid promotions of particular posts), and while it is true that, in order to better serve ads, Facebook is using their users' data, it in no way follows that Facebook is making money off me specifically, or that my data specifically is of any value to Facebook and not just garbage.
I don't think I am a valuable Facebook asset. I don't follow ads. And I am not a particularly social animal.
That doesn't mean that they have good judgement, wisdom, empathy or all kinds of other traits which might be considered "smart".
The challenge for us is how to engage people who are clearly smart, but lack the same concerns that many of us have developed.
My hope would be a decentralized service, where everyone hosting an instance determines their own business model, or a paid service. None of which will be as fast to iterate, and be able to crank out features as fast as Facebook can ...
Yesterday's news tells us that competing with Facebook in the messenger field isn't easy (Google cancelling Allo)
For a long-term strategy we have to see how there diversification (facebook@work, Oculus, ...) works out and how long they can keep printing money.
The saw their trust woefully violated by Facebook, and they'll never give another network the same access to their data again. And, thus, stay on Facebook.
But I believe you’re wrong about instagram. Living in Brazil, I feel that Facebook and Instagram are two sides of the same coin. It keeps people interested and “connected” when Facebook is going down.
From Orkut to Facebook, it was the same.
The difference is that Facebook bought its potential competitors before they were cool
Is Instagram useless, or just useless to you? I understand that HN isn't Facebook's target market, but it's disappointing to read comments that dismiss its services and anyone who does find utility in them.
None of which is interesting.
Google is still good at finding specific things. Like when you commit an act of google programming or want to buy a book. But it’s really terrible and finding interesting content.
You could say that the web is flooded with shit, and be right, but HN is evidence that not everything on the internet is terrible, google just isn’t your portal to it anymore.
So we visit HN, but that means google has become yahoo, aol search and all those other search engines it replaced by being a combination of relevant, interesting and exploratively fresh.
I mean, 2018 was the year I adopted DuckDuckGo as my standard search engine, and it wasn’t because of privacy. Sure privacy helps, but to be honest, it was because it gives more interesting results. I’ll still use !g when I’m searching for something I know google will find, but if I’m just exploring a topic I’ll almost never use google.
Can you be more specific and give examples of "things" you're searching for and what you mean by "uninteresting"?
For me, I have been issuing 50+ random searches on Google every single day for years. I've been using Google since 2000 and it almost always finds what I'm looking for.
Yesterday, I searched for "replace Moen faucet cartridge" and it returned plenty of pages showing exactly how to do it. A week ago I searched for "install Windows 10 from USB drive" and again, it found plenty of helpful pages that answered that question. And recently, I ran across a cook I never heard of before named "Alice Waters". A Google search told me she owned a restaurant and what her specialty was.
In my experience, the topic has to be obscure or brand new for Google searches to be useless. For some trivia, I did find a weird effect of the search algorithm for a person named "Bettina Warburg". She's a young woman who's given several presentations on blockchains. However, for some reason, the Google, Bing, and DDG search results have a side box citing someone else that was born in 1900 and died in 1990. Something about her is tripping up the search engines. Bing in particular has the odd logic of placing the photos of the still-living BW above the text of the BW who died.
I say "semi-contrarian" because remember, even 4 or 5 years ago Facebook seemed to be the latest corporate iteration in an ever-flipping lineage from AIM lists to Friendster to MySpace. So the common gospel was: "Facebook" - such as it was understood - could be toppled any day now. Remember MySpace?
The counterargument was that the market capture was incomparable and the network effect was insurmountable. And that's still true, kind of.
But the way we use Facebook has changed. In short, it's gone from being a single service with a bunch of features to being an SSO gateway for a bunch of federated platforms. And that's not just a change in user perception, it's reflective of a completely different product strategy.
That strategy seems to have worked out pretty well for Facebook so far, and I'm not sure what they could have done differently. But I think it leaves them vulnerable to any one of those platforms, or all of them, being usurped by new kids on the block.
Part of the problem is that none of Facebook's platforms are all that great in their own right. But that alone doesn't make them vulnerable. MySpace proved you can have a terrible product and coast off network effect alone, while Google+ proved that without a network, you have nothing.
But wait a minute. Does any one of these platforms on their own have the network effect that "Facebook" itself once had? I mean, yeah, they've absorbed a greater user share than the 2012 webapp ever had. But that's not what I'm talking about. Is connectivity to "Facebook," and hence its network, a killer feature at this point?
To give one example: I have zero confidence anyone on Groups is a "real person," it doesn't offer any unique features, it's painful to use for anything other than reading a general quasi-chronological survey of recent posts, and it means nothing to me that 17 or 18 "real friends" happen to be a member of the group (how does that help me find a sublet?).
Right now I'm one of millions of people who "just use Facebook for Events and Messenger." Except I don't _just_ message people through Messenger, and I don't _just_ learn about events through Events, and the fact that "my friends" are "on" these platforms seems to mean less and less every day. But I'm still on them... for now... with gradually diminishing frequency... basically out of ambivalence.
Is this product direction sustainable?
 Any references I make to Facebook in this post refer to the core service - the website, the app, whatever you want to call it. Not the company, which I'm aware owns WhatsApp, Instagram, etc, and could potentially continue to coast off acquisitions alone.
 This is a myopically North American view: in Brazil it would have started with Orkut, in Southeast Aria Friendster held steady market share for quite a while, etc. The point is that we used to consider portal-like predecessors as a litmus of comparison for Facebook’s health, and now that doesn’t seem as salient.
 I mean, Groups _barely_ serves its job of being the sort of Craigslist-with-authentication into which it's evolved, in part _because_ it evolved into that role over time. The Events interface is totally cluttered and incoherent, and despite its ubiquity, it seems to get the lowest social engagement of any of Facebook's core products. Messenger is... fine I guess, but I have no strong preference for it over WhatsApp or iMessage, and having hypothetical connection to hundreds of "friends" I haven't spoken to in years isn't exactly a value-add.
Wow, that's some sleazy wording. While users were required to accept the permissions update for the simple reason that Android at the time didn't offer any way to pick and choose what permissions to grant, the very email they're basing this claim on says that actually accessing and uploading call logs was opt-in. Ironically, the coverage of this has demonstrated exactly why this was (as the released email put it) a high PR risk.
I don't use the FB app, and I have no idea how this was presented to users and whether it was a legitimate choice or a "dark pattern" to trick users into handing over everything.
The first official version of Android that allowed users to turn individual permissions off was Marshmallow, released in October 2015 with the first beta in May 2015 - the email in question is dated the start of February 2015 and says they planned to ship it by the end of the month.
Years ago, building basic 'login with facebook' things for apps, the minimum my app could do was to have access to your email, name, and your friends list. Whether the friends list was used or wanted or not, it was always part of basic permission requests.
BBS, AOL, Netscape, MySpace, Tumblr, FB, Insta, Snap...
Why are we surprised by this progression? All "good" things go bad. The same lessons, rinsed and repeated. Power, money corrupts. We burn effigies and mark their passing. We move on.
Tempted to say a little more history and psychology instead of fiscal fixation would make a difference. Tempted, but no. It's not how humans work.
I don't think profit motive is innate, we're not Ferengi!
However, things can't go on growing forever, and the rich need growth to get richer, and need churn to maintain fashion as the societal norm that feeds growth, and feeds purchases of stuff in order to fit in ...
Things that work well enough and stably and are liked are prime for exploitation for [more] profit. It's really only very few people driving that exploitation -- though perhaps many more would if given the chance.
I doubt facebook is going to get disrupted any time soon. No more than Elon Musk was going to jail or his businesses ( tesla, spacex ) taken from him. Facebook is more than facebook. It's an ecosystem. It's the preferred login mechanism of a lot of the web. Also, facebook owns Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram. Nearly 1.5 billion people use Messenger alone.
The media is in attack mode against facebook. Everything from the media about them will be exaggerated and negative. So I'd take anything the news about facebook with a grain of salt.
Even the new yorker doesn't believe facebook is going anywhere.
It's shocking how heavy-handed it is. Literally every day I see some news article about how Facebook is O-V-E-R.
Meanwhile, my friends list hasn't changed one bit, and I haven't met a single person who's dumped Facebook for more than a few months. Some leave, but they always come back.
Everything about this seems like an organized attack on FB by the mainstream media.
While living in LA and NYC, and single
Has both negatively and positively impacted my life
We don’t always go back, the assertion is biased and/or anecdotal and shouldn’t be publicly made
This is definitely a PR offensive mixed with journalist arousal and legislator outrage. Impossible to know all the actors
Read “10 Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now” by Jaron Lanier, especially if you’re on HN but don’t know who that is
Oh my! Thank you, thank you, thank you. It annoys me what parents think they can do with/to a child just because they're the parents.
 I'm firmly against ear piercing a child, for example. Parents, those are not your ears to poke holes in.
Either way it's like they had a panic and got it all wrong, began considering & trying all kinds of shady things. Then to hide that fact they made it even worse, first by hiding it and looking duplicitous, then by doing even more shady things.
Once a company (or individual) becomes a media target, the media generates its own news about the company.
At the same time, most media companies cannot admit this dynamic even if they understand it (they don't).
Things driven by advertising seem to become caricatures of themselves... My wife an I watched this happen to Food Network in the early 2010's.
People like Paula Dean, who acted normally, began to have deeper accents, brighter eyes, more ridiculous 'Southern' turns of phrase. And it wasn't just her. It happened to other personalities as well.
In fact, I think that people have pointed out this phenomena on YouTube, as well (people conforming to some 'norm' that gets them the most cash).
I don't think much has changed from FB's behaviour, nor is there a coordinated media campaign against them. Rather, the general public is warming up to the idea that FB might not be all that great, which opens a window for the media to publish stories about FB in a negative light.
Given this, it seems disingenuous and even harmful to attribute the negativity side of it to the “media” or suggest that the coordination and timing of the stories is a media “campaign.”
Nobody denies that the media can coordinate like this and probably has in the past and will again. However, there is no need to reach for conspiracy theories when it comes to negative reporting on Facebook.
Facebook is negative. Facebook has perpetrated a serial campaign of negative behaviors. The media in this case are merely just reporting that. Any negativity is down to Facebook itself for acting negatively, not down to the media.
Reporters when doing an interest story will as part of their job research further into the subject. Facebook just happens to have a really long trail of SV mentality of move fast and deal with the consequences later. It's Facebook's fault for making themselves really interesting before cleaning themselves.
Can you really blame reporters doing their job, researching an interesting subject, and one that has so much dirt that it's easy to do your job.
This is the same kind of logic as thinking that everything some CEO does is a "marketing ploy", or that every terrorist attack is a false flag operation.
It was more or less the same [edit: data / service] Facebook provided to Obama's both campaigns, except selling to Obama was seen as "supporting progressive cause" and "modern way of reaching out to the young voters", while selling to Trump was deemed a "terrible betrayal" and "hacking the democracy"; the press' opinion on Facebook turned from "that dependably progressive company we can get mutual support from" to "that unpredictable hired gun that's willing to work with anybody bad".
Think of it; nothing else has changed. The press, and people in general, were well aware for years that Facebook is collecting, processing, and selling reams upon reams of user data. It was all glossed over as long as it was supporting the good cause. Now it's bemoaned to no end.
It doesn't help that the press has natural adversarial relationship with Facebook just as much as with Google and other similar, due to the platforms being both major news channel (direct competitor), while at the same time the major source of web traffic to the news' websites, thus ad revenue.
I'm pretty sure Obama didn't use a Russian troll farm during his campaigns.
In the post above I posit that's due to journalists at first assuming they are on the same team, bound by shared worldview, only to learn that Facebook is loyal to the profit first and foremost, and over any ideology.
- the OP article; used to be "Facebook helps populist freedom movements a'la Arab Spring"; now is "Facebook helps populist violence a'la Gilets Jaunes"
- all the problems with privacy
- being faux-feminist (https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/facebook-s-sheryl-sandber...)
- catering to far-right (https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/jul/17/facebook-...)
- hosting "fake news" (https://www.fastcompany.com/90203347/facebook-can-never-stop...)
I wasn't aware we were discussing just that.
It took people a while to figure out the potential downsides of social media, press included.
Are you going to tell me that if Facebook is dragged before parliament and congress that the press is supposed to not cover that so as to appear 'fair' to facebook?
Those events are newsworthy and they are being covered.
As far as privacy concerns, they seem legitimate to me, and also newsworthy to the layman, who may not have considered the side effects of using a voluntary surveillance platform such as facebook.
(Also I never really understood the urge to defend the powerful. Powerful organizations like facebook don't need our moral or material support.)
We are in agreement that the press should hold Facebook and other powerful players to account.
My point of interest is why (in my memory) the press was at first covering up for Facebook only to rather abruptly turn into harsh, pervasive criticism against it. It seems to be a repeating pattern in the industry, in which an upstart ran by a dashing founder is for a long while the darling of the media only to suddenly find itself at the receiving end of relentless criticism.
Sure Facebook deserves a lot of criticism for their various underhanded and harmful actions; perhaps even the negatives outweight the positives overall. I am asking, where was the criticism early on? Why was Facebook a darling of the media for so long, before it all changed?
I don't think there is a big grand plan behind the arc in the coverage.
In the early days of these companies, the iconoclast story was simply easier to write.
Also, you have to know how journalists work. Outside of opinion pieces and editorials, a journalist needs preferably two sources to make a claim in a news piece.
In the early days, there simply were fewer critics of facebook or Uber, and certainly the critics were less organized, so they didn't get much coverage.
But, I bet if you look back to the first days of facebook, that you will find some negative coverage, but at that time it would have appeared speculative, and would have been a minority voice.
Also, it's right there in the word: "news". Somebody getting rich off a new idea is news. Just like cavemen would have considered it news that you can eat the orange berries if you cook them first.
Novel risks are also a staple of news. So perhaps the arc went from 'Man gets rich with crazy new idea', to 'People using new thing face a novel risk' (surveillance, loss of privacy).
Why do you guys keep saying that, if it's all but speculation? You're stating that as a fact.
My impression is the journalists used to give Facebook a pass on many, many well-known bad behaviors. Atrocious behaviors, even. And then it changed, and they would go to great lengths to point out all the faults of Facebook.
I experienced the change as a rather abrupt flip, right around the times of the Cambridge Analytica kerfuffle.
I gauge it as journalists at first considering Facebook a friend that stumbles and is worth covering, but then feeling betrayed and instead perceiving Facebook as a dangerous enemy that needs to be taken down.
Just like user gerbilly in the other post you use whataboutism of assigning blame to presidential candidates. . While interesting point, that detracts us from considering when and why the journalists changed their perception of Facebook.
edit: Just to wrap up the very specific "targeting unknowing users with fake news in order to influence the outcome of a election", that's one of the points Facebook raised themselves around that time, were very adamant they are working on fixing it and will fix it. They deployed various mechanisms, including flagging certain news and linking to factcheckers (IIRC). Long story short, that was one of the very few things where Facebook and the journalists (and to large extent the political class) are in agreement, and working together to sort out.
You're forgetting about the part where Cambridge Analytica obtained data erroneously through a Facebook API.
Uber didn't change much, and so won't Facebook, because the media will eventually pick another target (I wonder which, I'm guessing Google) which makes people click their links. They don't really care about reporting or about making things right, they just need a dead horse to beat.
I am happy the power of the media dwindles year after year, they should have no right to do something like this against certain people or companies they don't like. They are bullies, that's all they are.
Then they got caught doing (or not) interesting things. Meaning any competent reporter will find LOTS if SV style mistakes when researching the original story.
This is just what happens to anyone/thing that leaves a trail of interesting-ness after they appear in the media the first time. Do you really expect reporters to not report on things they find, or maybe you're asking reporters to be worse at research.
Self driving car division is dead in the water. They will end up licensing tech and competing with Waymo.
I can "feel" this headline yanking my brain for attention. "How could it get worse?!" "What did they do now?!" "How was this month very bad?!" "I for sure enjoy perceived petty revenge against large evil corp".
Edit: We're allowed to have a different title than the actual article.
I don't understand "fishermen" metaphor. Whose "we" in "You're throwing another rock into the net we're carrying..."?
This comment doesn't really add to the discussion in a positive way.
Someone pinged me about your comment and I've changed the title now, but of course it's too late to make much difference.
If memory serves, it goes back to when he began visibly embracing a particular religion, in contrast to a previously atheistic stance. It was pointed out in the media that this transition often occurs in the preparation phases of entering politics to attract votes.
In the public, no one associates leadership and composure with Zuckerberg.
What is this about? Because it's weird friendly fire. Both Soros and Facebook/Google want largely the same outcome from elections: liberal politicians who keep the markets humming while allowing for easy international trade and migration.
He has been extremely critical of the large tech monopolies (eg his Davos speech covered here and elsewhere https://www.theguardian.com/business/2018/jan/25/george-soro... ) so it's no surprise that Facebook would do "opposition" research on him. Facebook has a very large pavilion and visible presence at Davos so the criticism must have been particularly embarrassing in that context.
> They used classic micro-targeting online advertising to reach those groups. Obama's team's use of Facebook this time was also very clever, tapping into Facebook's individual profile data. A million users downloaded the Obama 2012 app on Facebook. The app was able to identify their Facebook friends that fit favorable profiles located in key swing states, encouraging them to contact these friends to remind them to vote. Sources say one in five of those contacted this way were influenced positively by this contact.
If it matters I'm not a US citizen and I've never set foot in the States so I had almost no direct stake in the 2012 and the 2016 US elections.
Knowing someone's location, age, etc and using that to classify whether or not someone should reach out to them to remind them to vote is one thing.
Harvesting everything they've liked on facebook to classify them by big five personality type to predict how to use disinformation to manipulate someone (often by scaring them into thinking they needed a gun to defend themselves, or that they needed to deport immigrants because they were gangerous, or into thinking islamic extremism was a real threat to their lives, as people high in neuroticism are more heavily motivated by arbitrary negative emotional impulses) into skewing their political preferences is an entirely separate game.
I'm pretty sure that the friends of those 1 million people that had opted-in were not consulted about anything, though, but I may be wrong of that. And I'm pretty sure that those friends were the real target of said campaign.
You oppose 3rd party voter databases, like these:
I think that winning elections in such a manner is very bad for the future of democracy as you cannot fool the electorate indefinitely, because at some point the electorate will resort to other political "products", meaning the general populace will start looking at democracy and the electoral process as a "fake product" (as it usually happens to products that are pushed down consumers' throats based on marketing alone) and will choose other, "truer" products (like the rule of a sole individual that will not rely on the electoral process etc).
I don't generally support intelligence agencies but I most certainly do not support them meddling in any country's elections. I was just saying that the Obama campaign had used tactics similar to the ones used by the Trump campaign in 2016, that is all.
I think, from how they talk, that Facebook wants to have everybody watching it all the time. From how they talk, more even than making money.
I think Soros wants intellectual freedom. Not so sure about that, but it looks that way from the philanthropy.
Both just happen to be using free markets to work towards their goals.
I do think the hyperbole over Zuckerburg and Soros by the media ( left and right ) is way overdone. The conservative media loves to portray Soros as pure evil while the liberal media paints him as a saint. And everyone ( left and right ) seems to hate Zuckerburg which I feel is ridiculous. Neither are all powerful demons nor saints who control the world. They are human beings just like you and me. Sure they have a lot of money, but lots of people in the US have money. They are influential, but not all powerful.
Maybe if we stopped painting people and sides as pure evil and pure good, we'd be better off and we could discuss the gray because most of life is in the gray.
I get why despots like Viktor Orban hate Soros, but what about all the others? Do they hate him because he's rich and spends his money on politics? Because he comes off like a meddler, butting into other countries' affairs? Because he's (apparently?) Jewish? What is it?
Edit: I do think, by the way, that it’s telling that Soros is about the only example people ever give in cases of market forces harming a country. When Britain sold gold just before the gold bubble really inflated, no one blamed the gold traders; they blamed Brown, say.
It's like those climate change deniers who have a ready list of negative stories about Al Gore: I'm sure Gore has done some obnoxious things in his life, but you get the impression they went digging for dirt to justify their pre-existing distaste for the man.
The criticism of Soros in Eastern Europe is simply the fear of the local wannabe strongmen of opposition. Soros funds mostly journalism and other civil society institutions (debate clubs at universities etc).
That criticism is channeled through anti-semitism, which still has currency in Hungary. Do a google image search if you don’t believe me.
In the US, he’s just a welcome foil for the alt-right to counter the Koch narrative, even though Soros historically did not actually support candidates, only causes. The anti-semitism is more subdued there, because it’s not (yet) acceptable in polite company. But polite company is almost as bankrupt as a Trump casino now, so we’ll see.
At the lowest level of cynicism, both parties love to have a boogeyman, and often the level of attention and criticism these targets get goes way too far.
Next level of cynicism: he’s a Jewish liberal, and a large majority of antisemities vote right, not left. By now non-racist republicans are very good at ignoring or rationalizing the bigots around them, so really loud dog whistles have no negative consequences.
Final level of cynicism: republicans and right wing parties across Europe are no longer interested in democracy, and are now trending rapidly towards open fascism. Soros’ love of free speech and fair elections are a problem to them, not a shared value between otherwise political opponents.
Also far-left and left are obviously different no matter the baseline, so conflating the two is pretty simplistic (and wrong).
There are currently wide-spread riots in France protesting a rise in fuel taxes as unaffordable for the lower class.
And, quite obviously, it’s trivial to find “far left policies” that aren’t implemented. None of these countries is communist. Abolishing private property would seem to be a far-left thing to do, no?
Maintain a "far left hegemony"? Have you ever been in Europe? Does your knowledge of Europe come entirely from 4chan?
Hint; there are no far-left ruling parties/coalitions anywhere in Europe.
Your definition also happens to fit Donald Trump professing his love of farmers and minors. If Donald Trump is far-left, have you considered that you may be a fascist?
In addition, "genocide" as it's commonly understood, i. e. the physical homicide of a people, is so obviously wrong not even a fascist troll account would go there. The user therefore seems to be referring to some perceived harm to Hungary they equate to "genocide".
I believe they are referring to the European migrant crisis. To equate immigration with genocide reveals a thoroughly racist worldview.
Just this week: https://slate.com/technology/2018/12/central-european-univer...
Because that's the only way they know they can grab power: by making their people miserable, blaming the centrists or moderates, and triggering a revolt.
That's the playbook for Brexit and so far, it worked.
That's the playbook running in France right now as well - although they're trying to piggyback the still popular, uncoordinated movement.
They're not even shy about it.
And I'm well aware that in Europe, misery is more a matter of relative appreciation and of dynamics (which the media and the social networks nurture and feed on) than of absolute. Europe is rather well endowed, compared to the rest of the globe. Still...
What I fear is disorder, irrational, unwarranted violence, managed by unaware & unapologetic kids who make money on it today and will write history tomorrow.
Facebook/Twitter/Instagram & co are heavily contributing to set the world on fire by blowing on people's weaknesses and susceptibilities.
The question to me is not if/when their demise will happen. The question is how to make it happen faster: either they lose, either balanced democracies lose.
Do you have specific examples?
I think we are consuming wildly differing news sources.