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"Having two identities for yourself is an example of a lack of integrity." -- Mark Zuckerberg[1], defending Facebook's "Real" Name policy.

Based on his total disregard for privacy and his clear thirst for power, I want nothing coming from him or his company to ever influence actual policies.

[1] http://www.siliconbeat.com/2014/01/30/quoted-mark-zuckerberg...

He's utterly clueless.

Having two identities can save your life if you're a battered woman. Or of the wrong political persuasion in some countries.

I'm ok not 'liking' Zuckerberg's idea of integrity.

He's not clueless. He perfectly knows that what he's saying is complete bullshit.

I doubt he’s clueless.

He has been victim-blaming since Facebook was founded. (Remember the comments about how FB’s users were stupid to hand all that data over?)

Why expect him to stop at battered women or political refugees?

One of the first things we were told in HS psyc, was that people had multiple roles, and in different contexts they behaved differently.

That isn't dishonest, that is behaving according to the role given.

Or the wrong religion, or none, or an apostate, or gay, or...

He cares more that his advertising database is accurate

You still believe it’s for advertising?

You don't? Please elaborate.

Not the original comment poster, but control over people is probably becoming if not already worth more than the ad business.

Facebook is not a small entity, they have overthrown governments and caused civil wars in third countries already.

Facebook is fundamentally a behavioral data company. Maximizing profits entails extracting, predicting, prescribing and controlling behavior, which is in the shareholders best interest.

However, FB needs a moot around their castle, so it acts via third parties, such as Cambridge Analytica.

And even if FB would not engage in large scale behavioral influencing, then through US law, various three letter agencies can force FB to hand over the data, all the while muting the company to disclose such practices.

Yes, the "privacy" regulation Zuckerberg describes in this article have no relation to an individual keeping their identity private from an online service - they merely involve strictures on companies' use of the knowledge they gain about their clients. It is taken as a given that the companies will have this information. Which is to say it requires customers to trust companies rather than actually have any control.

"Having two identities for yourself is an example of a lack of integrity." -- Mark Zuckerberg

"Having two identities is a reflection of how much trust I have in your integrity." -- me, to Mark Zuckerberg.

Two? He's making an issue about having two identities?

Over the past decade, I've probably had ~50 identities. Most have been minor, basically just an email address for some project or activity that I don't want linked to such persistent personas as Mirimir.

And it's also somewhat amusing, given how Facebook doesn't exactly advertize its origins as FaceMash. And this gem:

> I'm a little intoxicated, not gonna lie. So what if it's not even 10 pm and it's a Tuesday night? What? The Kirkland dormitory facebook is open on my desktop and some of these people have pretty horrendiedous facebook pics. I almost want to put some of these faces next to pictures of some farm animals and have people vote on which is more attractive.

By now it's pretty clear, to me at least, that Zuckerberg simply doesn't get it. He could have fixed the issues for over a decade. And even in 2019, after all the evidence of mismanagement and public distrust, he still refuses to relinquish any control of the company. This is a tone-deaf opinion piece.

I'd argue as far back as 2010 that indiscriminately selling user data was a bad idea especially when you are the sole network. A lot of people on here (HN) and elsewhere have been repeating those sentiments for years. As naive as it sounds, I simply wish Facebook was not so focused on building its ad platform but rather took on a more custodial role (albeit much less profitable).

As Roger McNamee is now excellently describing, the solution might be the sort of regulation Zuck does not want: regulation that makes it illegal to even get/gather/have a huge portion of all the data they amass.

Do note: Facebook doesn't sell data directly, they use it to sell ads. They actually buy data so that they can get more insights than what they get from only their own direct tracking.

> Do note: Facebook doesn't sell data directly

There are probably plenty of ways you could word statements along these lines that make them technically correct. I've got a two-word response to all of them: Cambridge Analytica.

What does Cambridge Analytica prove about FB the company?

An academic from Cambridge made an app on the FB platform. That gave him access to data which he then sold for commercial purposes. When FB found out, they sent a legal notice to delete this data and cease using it.

Cambridge Analytica is ironically totally not a refutation - it was never bought or stolen but abused their shoddy permissions. Against security illiterate users they could get the same thing with just 'login through this for a chance to win a free iPad'.

Selling something poorly and for free is still selling it.

> regulation that makes it illegal to even get/gather/have a huge portion of all the data they amass.

Like gdpr on steroids? I think this would ruin a lot of companies and make a lot of really interesting and useful services no longer possible... but I'm rather curious what it would really mean. I've never seen it proposed by someone who actually recognized what it would mean, though.

It would make entire classes of dangerous but also potentially useful companies illegal. The same way that we don't currently get to experience all the potential that is blocked because of privacy rules around medical records.

At the very least, there's been no societal consensus that we want the trade-offs that come from allowing every click, view, email, and contact to be scanned and used for profit in whatever ways companies want. It happened by pure assertion: the companies just did it and did all they could to avoid even letting people actually know so they wouldn't have to ask.

Maybe we overall would rather lose all the benefits in order to block the harms and dangers.

addendum: note that by "lose the benefits…" etc. I mean at a social level. It's very distinct to just not have certain businesses exist compared to the self-sacrifice of opting-out personally but still living in a world with these things otherwise.

I'd much rather have the status quo (and stronger) around privacy regulations for medical records than live in a world without that but then be one of a few people who forgo use of common medical facilitaties over personal privacy objections.

"...indiscriminately selling user data..."

That has never been Facebook's business model. The Hacker News crowd is smart enough to discuss these sorts of topics without dumbing down and misrepresenting the facts.

Facebook indiscriminately sells ads. In the past they also indiscriminately gave third parties access to user data. Doing that let them grow their market share and helped their primary business, but is not how they make money and is not a core part of the product.

They are in the business of capturing and influencing behavior. Selling ads is one way of doing that. There are others.

They don't even indiscriminately sell ads. Making that claim is dumbing down the topic.

I see him as among a group of people who believe that financial success gives them both the credibility and authority to dictate the rules of society.

It is a deeply troubling mindset that goes beyond just being 'out of touch'.

Are you joking? Isn't this entire post saying that he believes that he and his company shouldn't be the ones making these rules? That they should be done via a mix of regulation and trusted third parties?

But he is still the one trying to dictate the rules given his position and authority - that they should go with his daft idea in the first place.


Well as someone who (rightly) got their handslapped recently by the downbutton-ers for making arude and snarky post, I'm happy to live in the wisdom of the crowd. There is a difference between a thoughtful opinion that disagrees with conformity and just being snarky about conformists - HN is pretty good about separating.

I think this group, amongst all others that I interact with, is critical enough to call a bad faith argument a bad faith argument. However, I think all of us need better training/practice on how to identify bad faith arguments. I see the turn that has been occurring on HN against Elon as one example of that. It may take time but it happens. Compared to other spaces on this here Cyberspace - higher quality and higher s/n ration on argumentation is what keeps me coming back to HN. When people disagree with me here, I actually learn something.

Added: My twitter account got blocked because it spent most of it's time autoreplying to people about how the freakonomics podcast became an advertising pitch for the Koch brothers. I only use facebook because my mother prefers it to text. I can't stomach reddit having known the founders as people. My HN account really only exists because someone said a nice thing about a talk I gave - which drew me out of the shadows. I like it here, can I stay? I'll even wear a north face fleece. I drive an EV I promise.

>Some people block people on twitter

Marc Andreesen. olefoo is talking about Marc Andreesen.

Among others, perhaps.

Yeah it's nonsense. Having a separation between my work and personal life is a completely valid reason for having multiple online identities. There are plenty of other valid reasons. Obviously Mark would love us to be constrained to single username so that he can create a more complete profile for selling to advertisers. Data from a real name user is more valuable for correlation with other data sources. This "philosophy" is driven by the bottom line and nothing to do with "integrity".

He can't have his cake and eat it. Either he has to deal with two separate identities, or he gets a sanitized 'work me' which will be as good as useless for advertising. Your choice Mark.

An individual with multiple online identities generates more data than the same individual would if they were using a single account for everything.

> "Having two identities for yourself is an example of a lack of integrity." -- Mark Zuckerberg[1], defending Facebook's "Real" Name policy.

then, does each user with multiple friends sub-lists exhibit a lack of integrity as well?

only if by 'identity' he means 'set of collectable data' and this seems to be the case.

Yes, we have multiple identities. It is not a lack of integrity.

"An identity is the set of meanings that define who one is when one is an occupant of a particular role in society, a member of a particular group, or claims particular characteristics that identify him or her as a unique person. For example, individuals have meanings that they apply to themselves when they are a student, worker, spouse, or parent (these are roles they occupy), when they are a member of a fraternity, when they belong to the Democratic Party, when they are Latino (these are memberships in particular groups), or when they claim they are outgoing individuals or moral persons (these are personal characteristics that identify themselves as unique persons). People possess multiple identities because they occupy multiple roles, are members of multiple groups, and claim multiple personal characteristics, yet the meanings of these identities are shared by members of society. Identity theory seeks to explain the specific meanings that individuals have for the multiple identities they claim; how these identities relate to one another for any one person; how their identities influence their behavior, thoughts, and feelings or emotions; and how their identities tie them in to society at large." - https://global.oup.com/academic/product/identity-theory-9780...

Yeah, when pigs fly. I never use my real name except for commerce.

Mark Zuckerberg created Facebook Corporation because he doesn't believe his own claims.

I agree, I question the people that have only 2 identities, people need 4 or 5 these days

More like one for each online account :)

I have reported obvious violations of the real name policy and Facebook always replies with some BS about it not being verifiable. Things like a “person” profile setup for a storefront instead of a proper page for it.

They obviously don’t care.

Yeah, and very clever: a regulation that serves him well, and one that that's appealing to the government, as well. Surely his people/lobbyists are even using the phrase "win-win" when pitching this idea to Congress. They (Congress) will get to say "we regulated FAANG", and Zuck can claim his virtue prize, to boot.

If discrimination was disallowed for your personal opinions, then this might be a valid argument.

I agree with Mark as far as social networks are concerned. The 'social' part of the name is important, and social relationships cannot function without some sort of stake.

Having a unified identity guarantees that people are held accountable for what they say, it reduces fraud, trolling, and it means people have 'skin in the game' when participating in a social environment, it's the basis for trust.

But in social networks IRL, it doesn't really work that way - because real life bubbles mostly don't intersect, it's as if the person had a separate identity in each. Online social media effectively pushes all the bubbles together, which transforms accountability into witch hunts, where a singular misstep is quickly propagated and results in outrage mobs across all the bubbles. Thus, the scope of social ostracism is rarely proportionate to the transgression.

Very well put! I don't think I had quite connected the two that far. It's not even because the person actually used their real name while "transgressing", but because there's usually enough other real name metadata laying around to create an expectation that anyone can be doxxed.

This is a great concrete example of a rule that Zuckerberg himself worked to promulgate, and is presently causing real ongoing harm.

Having separate identities is literally “being a woman on the internet 101” so forgive me if I don’t think it’s a solution to trolling.

"Results show that in the context of online firestorms, non-anonymous individuals are more aggressive compared to anonymous individuals"


That is really not what I would have expected, very interesting.

Having a unified identity guarantees that people are held accountable for what they say, it reduces fraud, trolling, and it means people have 'skin in the game' when participating in a social environment, it's the basis for trust.

Awesome. So you're going to change your HN username to your real name and put your address and phone number in your "about" section?

No, because I don't treat this website as a social network. I have no friend connections here, don't expose private information, it's a technical discussion board in my opinion.

Facebook on the other hand is a network for the exchange of private or personal information, including for example people forming groups about particularly sensitive topics (abuse experiences, disease and so on), in which personal identity is important to not open yourself up to potential intrusion by people who are not trustworthy. (Cynically enough stalkers for example trying to inject themselves into support groups)

Which is also of course why privacy and identity considerations between HN and Facebook differ.

> Facebook on the other hand is a network for the exchange of private or personal information

No, it's not for me.

> people forming groups about particularly sensitive topics (abuse experiences, disease and so on)

It seems exactly the opposite to me: I would not want to use my real name to publicly discuss sensitive personal topics.

For example, I may not want my friends or employer to find out that I'm a drug addict. In many workplaces, it could cost me my job. What if someone else in my support group happens to be a co-worker of mine?

It also raises the stakes for impersonation and identity theft. This can be the difference between life and death in some cases.

Also, maybe some of us don't want to live in a creepy ad-supported pan-option where the links you click become your actual identity.

> ...social relationships cannot function without some sort of stake...

Depends on what you mean by "function". Enjoying cat photos or playing a round of a video game doesn't take any stake at all.

>Having a unified identity guarantees that people are held accountable for what they say, it reduces fraud, trolling, and it means people have 'skin in the game' when participating in a social environment, it's the basis for trust.

No, it doesn't. People are perfectly willing to troll under their real name. When Youtube forced people's G+ accounts to merge into their comments and people suddenly found themselves commenting under their real names, it stopped the trolling and hate... for like a week.

Hell, plenty of people on Usenet were assholes with their real names and emails in their signatures.

This sure is getting a fair bit of downvotes. I mostly agree with you though. Having a single identity reduces trolling, it's as simple as looking at Facebook vs Twitter. People are less likely to message nasty things to others if their real life reputation is on the line, I take that as fact.

I see the exact opposite: the reasonable voices are chilled into silence due to lack of identity siloing, the grotesquely uninhibited remain vocal.

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