Just the past 10 minutes, I've learned that development speed is key, because it is basically their KPI for execution. I don't fully agree with that, but I don't think it's a bad heuristic. Speed is a necessary condition to survive from the competition. I think Paul Graham greatly exemplified that in his essays, you need to be one of the fastest or at least not be outpaced a lot by the #1.
I think there's also a lot of interesting startup advice in these type of documents. The advice may or may not be ethical, but there may be info in there to understand why Facebook became so big. I wouldn't want to do something unethical, but it's handy to know what unethical things work and why because maybe one could distill successful principles from it that are ethical.
What Does Simulation Have To Do With It?
Alan Kay, delivering the keynote speech at the Second West Coast Computer Faire in 1978 said, ``we decided to focus on simulation in Smalltalk, because that's the only really interesting thing to do with a computer''. When I heard this, I was aghast: ``Simulation'', I thought, ``why in the world would people want to use personal computers to model throughput in a machine shop, or to calculate the number of toilets[Footnote] in a football stadium''. Certainly any rational person wanted a personal computer to do real computer science on it: to write operating systems and compilers so that others could use them to write programs, and...well, I hadn't thought that out completely.
``Simulation'' had come to mean (at least in the computer science lexicon), a specific kind of modeling of systems, usually done in an odd simulation language such as Simscript or Simula. What I only realised years later was that what Alan Kay was talking about something far more grandiose when he said ``simulation'': getting the whole wide world into that itty-bitty can: the computer. And yet, ``simulation'' in the limited computer science sense has already had a great and often little-appreciated impact on computer science as a whole. In his speech, Alan Kay exhorted people to look closely at Simula-67 for the direction of the future. Simula-67 included (in 1967!) classes, object orientation, multiple communicating processes, in fact close to a laundry list of what is currently considered the way to approach complex problems. So simulation in the small has already influenced the mainstream, and I believe that simulation writ large will have an impact many times greater.
If I'd ever want to learn Smalltalk I'd want to start there. It's hard to prioritize though, there's so much I want to learn.
But since I already bought The Little Schemer to just have something lying around to seduce me to learn more, I wonder...
What's a good book for Simula or Smalltalk?
For Smalltalk, just start with the Blue Book. It's so well written and complete -- and most of it still alive in current implementations -- that it's the best place to start.
Remember that this was in 1991, the same year Go Corporation finally released PenPoint, and a year before the 1992 founding of Palm Computing (which took over the Pen market for many years) and the release of Microsoft Windows 3.1 in 1992 (the first version of Windows that wasn't intolerably irritating), and the release of Microsoft Windows for Pen Computing in 1992 (which was a big flop). So there was a huge amount of excitement around pen computing.
At Momenta's big unveiling event, I first chatted up the founder and then the lead software developer, and told them all about pie menus, and asked them about their "command compass", and congratulated them both for using Smalltalk, which the founder had made a big point about during his presentation, and who had just bragged to me that he was the one who made the successful decision to use Smalltalk.
When I told the software developer that the founder had just taken credit for the decision to use Smalltalk, he got pissed off and exclaimed, "What??! That was MY idea, and he fought against it tooth and nail every step of the way! He said nobody would ever use Smalltalk because it was a "homosexual" programming languages! And I proved to him it was a great idea by developing the entire user interface with the command compass and pen support on schedule, and now he's taking credit for it! Damn him!"
I suggested, "I think he must have Smalltalk confused with Lisp," and we both had a good chuckle at his homophobic credit-usurping founder's expense.
But not even a heterosexual programming language like Smalltalk can save you when you're going up against the Microsoft Windows for Pen Computing hype machine, and they went broke soon after shipping.
As it turned out, Momenta should have bought another vowel and consonant when they were naming their company, and called it "Momentary".
>The Momenta was a system that was generating a lot of excitement. As with the Active Book, a lot of the UI was done in Smalltalk, and it may have been the first commercial system to use radial (or pie) menus. We got a development system at the University of Toronto, but the company went broke very soon after shipping, so we never got the final product. They are extremely rare, so it took me a long time to find this one. Could the company have survived? Impossible to say. What I find interesting was how different their industrial design was than anyone else's. Perhaps they tried too hard and got over extended. The resulting hardware was a bit to fiddly for my taste—but that is through today's eyes. The founder has written a fair bit about the experience, and I believe that the case studies are worth reading by would-be entrepreneurs.
>Info World, November 11, 1991, Page 76.
>Microsoft Corp. and Go Corp. aren't the only ones jockeying for a position in the emerging market of pen computing.
>Two-year-old Momenta Corp. recently coined the term "pentop" computer and announced a complete pen-based system, the size of a clipboard that includes a detachable keyboard, digitizer screen, and pen.
>But the most interesting, perhaps, is the approach Momenta has taken in software. Using MS-DOS 5.0, Momenta is offering two operating modes: standard DOS and an environment based on Digitalk's Smalltalk V. Bundled with the system are a suite of appllications developed in Smalltalk, including a word processor, a spreadsheet, and communications software. The system even comes with a built-in fax modem and software.
>The key for Momenta, according to company officials, is to deliver a complete system as early as possible; DOS-based applications allow them to do just this. "We knew that a complete system approach had to happen right away," says Kevin Mankin, Momenta director of product marketing.
>Just as the use of Smalltalk as Momenta's development environment represents a departure from the mainstream, so does the user interface, which features a circular menu structure called the Command Compass, rather than the linear menu structure that has become standard across GUIs.
>The system will also run Microsoft Window for Pen Computing when it becomes available early next year, mainly because of the environment's "insurance" value. But this is leading some observers to assume that the system will become primarily a Windows for Pen Computing machine. "By the middle of next year, the majority of things running on it will be Windows applications," says Bill Lempesis, editor of Pen Vision News, in Pleasanton, California.
>Mankin contends that even if Windows does become the operating environment of choice for users of the system, corporate and commercial developers will continue to develop software in Smalltalk, because of the elegance of the environment.
>"One of the appeals of our product is the variety of powerful tools provided," Mankin says. "Smalltalk is an incredibly productive environment. Some of the largest software developers and some of the largest IS departments develop under Smalltalk.
>Whether developers opt to develop Momenta applications using Smalltalk remains to be seen. So far, only two vendors have announced plans -- Rupp Technology, with a word processor and PenWare, with its PenCell spreadsheet.
>There are still other differences in Momenta's approach. While Go contends that the earliest adopters of pen computing technology will be industry- or company-specific applications, such a sales-force automation and inventory control, Momenta is targeting the horizontal market of white-collar professionals and office workers.
>Its phrase "pentop" refers to those systems in broad use, rather than to those used by the "mobile worker," who is the PenPoint buyer.
>Yet another contender in the pen software arena hoping for broad horizontal appeal is PenDOS, from Computer Intelligence Corp. (CIC) of Redwood Shores, California. Much like Windows for Pen Computing, PenDOS provides some pen functionality even to unmodified DOS applications, and hardware vendors have licensed it to include with their systems along with the other major alternatives.
>With this strategy, it will be up to the customer to decide which approach is the right one.
So I thought at first that the answer was obvious but now I don't anymore.
If you're designing PCBs and chips, sure. For industrial automation design, AutoCAD Electrical is quite alive and well.
This is why I love HN.
I wonder when I'll ever have time to read it.
Fast also comes with other good things, often. Flexible, cheap, creative...
You may be flexible/cheap/creative at the start, but sooner than later this bites you: you cannot be fast or flexible because you’ve cut too many corners. Because you never anticipated certain use cases. Because you never had the time to fix that one/ten/a thousand bugs and workarounds. Because you never built the tools for internal users. Because...
One of the reasons FAANG and others like Spotify require tens of thousands of engineers is not necessarily the complexity of the products. It’s the emergent complexity of the systems that were developed fast and cheap, and now need to be maintained and forced into new shapes and use cases.
It is of course only wise in certain sitations. For Facebook speed probably was indeed a key to their success, so I am not surprised they formally enshrined it.
It is surely a shallow metric that doesn't warrant to be elevated to a universal truth though. Processes are very important to structured engineering work.
Facebook had competitors with larger feature sets with better privacy protections (ok, a feature hard to sell), but already had acquired a cricial mass of users. Over time they even increased their head start since social media has the tenedency to centralize.
What if you could make a company that you viewed as more ethical than the existing competition but to be competitive you would need to do some unethical things that the existing competition does, and without making those concessions your best projections show that your startup will go bankrupt before displacing the incumbent player? Do you let perfection become the enemy of improvement and stick with your ethical means-over-ends instincts, or get your hands dirty creating the sort of company you yourself complain about (albeit less than you complained about the incumbent player)?
Getting a job as a developer can be tough in 5% of the circumstances. I've read a quite recent account of one, and don't forget that the founder of WhatsApp had a similar situation.
All I know is that people don't respond well when they feel backed in a corner.
There are so many reasons that in a few cases are true, but anyways, this is one of them. And if you think they don't exist, I'm pretty sure they do.
If you want to be ethical, you are already fighting at a disadvantage. People who are effectively ethical, who are able to act on their principles without needing to compromise, are often the people who are ruthlessly pragmatic about what does and doesn't work.
If the Sith start fighting with double-sided lightsabers and killing 50% more of your troops, maybe the Rebels should either start building a few double-sided lightsabers themselves, or come up with some kind of tangible defense against that strategy.
Of course, when you get to Sith strategies like, "choking out rebellious admirals really helps", you can't use that one without being unethical. But knowing about the strategy still helps, because it allows you respond to it.
The reason a successful ethical business can afford not to compromise when things get tough is because they are better at everything else, and you get better at everything else by learning and studying.
Might be so at Facebook but I wouldn’t generalize this to all but tech companies.
Building stuff is relatively cheap compared to the on going maintenance and support costs. Over indexing on speed above all else would certainly not help your career in my org. Your manager would be having a chat with you and most of your work would get dinged in code reviews and design reviews.
"I think we should block WeChat, Kakao and Line ads.Those companies are trying to build social networks and replace us.The revenue is immaterial to us compared to any risk.
And I agree we should use ads to promote our own products, but I'd still block companies that compete with our core from gaining any advantage from us.
I'd also keep blockingGoogle but otherwise wouldn't extend the block to anyone else."
I don't think there's any exception in the antitrust laws like "but you can be anti-competitive if the other guy did it first." And anti-competitive behavior in a Chinese company can hardly justify anti-competitiveness against a Japanese company or a Korean company. They may all be in Asia but they are nonetheless different countries. Google is also not a Chinese company, as you are probably aware.
Also a note: you don't have to be a monopoly to be charged with anti-competitive behavior. Being a monopoly can raise the standard of behavior and increase the penalties, but anti-competitive behavior can be illegal on its own, aside from whether you have an actual monopoly. For more you can start with https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_antitrust_law
I hold "our" companies to a higher standard. I hope judges do as well.
I think its referring to legality not standards. what law is FB breaking?
I can’t believe this needs saying, but neither Japan or South Korea is China.
> I doubt there's any legal case for FB abusing monopoly powers based on this email. If anything, this is just very competent business decision making.
Facebook does business in Japan and South Korea. I’m sure they have to follow the laws of both countries.
Is there some reason you think they would not do this to a US company?
> "...And I agree we should use ads to promote our own products, but I'd still block companies that compete with our core from gaining any advantage from us. I'd also keep blockingGoogle but otherwise wouldn't extend the block to anyone else."
> "These actions may look anti-competitive, but these companies are all foreign (China, South Korea, Japan)."
> Explicitly mentions Google.
> Google has a bigger ad network than Facebook so how is that a monopoly?
Do you find this statement anti-competitive: "I'd still block companies that compete with our core"?
Secondly, they don't really have a monopoly from my perspective. I don't know many people that use Facebook-the-product for its intended purpose, that is, social networking instead of selling household items or organising ride sharing. And I don't know anyone who uses Instagram (except for one girl on the bus who looks down only enough to make sure she's tapping the post and not some other button on her screen, but otherwise only likes every post without even glancing at it). I guess that might be different in other countries.
I guess I also saw it differently because it feels like a free speech argument: why does FB have to give competitors a voice? But it's not about having to give someone a voice because they claim it should be a free (as in freedom) platform, it's for maintaining competition.
I think I've changed my mind. As you see I'm still thinking this through (out loud) but I suppose it should indeed be different entities, even if the to-be-separated ad business is selling "real estate" on Facebook.
Disney banned Netflix ads on its streaming service. How is that not the same thing? The monopoly argument crumbles when you realise how big Disney is compared to Netflix.
Not organised by small businesses, it has nothing to do with any company. Just some dude(s) (or gal(s)) that run(s) a group called "ride shares between Cologne and Koblenz" where people post when they'll be driving, or "fleamarket Cologne" where people post their stuff (not sure how this isn't just a bad/limited replacement for ebay, but that's what I see Facebook being used for).
As for replacements for the other parts of Facebook/Instagram, I don't know because I didn't switch away from using Facebook or Instagram: I've never used it. If you mention what you use it for, I can tell you how I achieve those goals instead. If it's keeping up with people, it's by meeting and chatting. Or if they don't have chat, then email and meeting. Or if you mean how to share pictures, I guess that would again be email or chat.
Of course, I'm fine with doing something about Facebook (I don't mean to turn this into a whataboutism), but to me this is not the biggest abuser of power at the moment. Google knows practically every aspect of practically everyone's life over here, which is way scarier than Facebook knowing with whom I talk.
I suspect Netflix can run its ads on other TV channels (and if they can't/aren't allowed that's a problem in itself).
As far as I can tell Facebook is the only place in town when it comes to social networks in the Western world, and it's a pretty big town, so to speak. As such, FB not letting a company like Google to advertise its services on this "only place in town" proves that either the town needs expanding (quite a difficult thing to do, as pretty much the whole current "town" population is pretty saturated with these FB-only products) or the "place" needs breaking up, i.e. Facebook needs to be split into different social networks.
Why not take the money and seem like a good sport while you’re at it?
A company like Facebook can regulate the market.
That's when it becomes a problem.
... but it won't. Never has, never will. 'Regulation' serves a larger context, and the market does not value externalities.
The concept that capitalism works best if it's free from any/all regulation could work with a very strong shared societal moral fabric.
Sadly, Western culture accepts and even promotes greed and selfishness over the common good.
Almost no-one bellow the age of 40 cares about TV anymore (apart from sports events), you're pretty off on this one.
Even more, TV networks are just an example and it is fricken obvious that Facebook doesn't have an advertising monopoly in the US or world-wide.
Hoo boy. I agree it totally should. Been waiting for a while on that one though...
It´s equivalent to saying, the Internet should regulate itself, and there is no need for any kind of security to protect against exploits.
That said, google is in a different business. Their ranking should be fair (aside for their paid rankings). In this case they should not be favoring themselves over others, that’s to say they should not artificially bury competitors in the fair ranking.
Usually companies get split up so they cant use their dominance in one area to forcibly move into another area. But advertisements in facebook social network isnt a separate product-its what the social network is selling
We can start by separating FB into at least two (preferably three) different social networks. I'd be pleased to see IG becoming an independent, separate company, and at some point after that maybe the same thing could happen for Whatsapp. If there is the political will this thing is doable, but this is a pretty big "if", I agree.
The same way it works for millions of other companies that aren't Facebook?
I'm seeing some people around the Internet arguing that this is pretty typical and not surprising. The stuff I'm reading so far is surprising to me.
My prediction: similar to the Snowden leaks, there are going to be a bunch of people who say that none of this is unexpected, and we already knew most of the main points. With Snowden, those people are downplaying the environment that existed prior to the leak, and retroactively rewriting the arguments that people used to make. The same thing will be true with Facebook.
So I have personally had people argue to me on HN (recently) that the reason Facebook's APIs are so closed-off is because of privacy concerns, particularly around the 2016 election. If we want an Open Internet, that's fundamentally at conflict with a private Internet, so really we're to blame for Facebook's policies. These documents, to me, make that claim objectively false -- Facebook was talking about closing off access as early as 2012, and the reason they were doing so was to reduce competition.
There are people on this very thread arguing that really this is just a story about privacy, and everyone is being mean to Facebook -- and I don't know how to square that with the memos and emails I just finished reading that argue the opposite.
> "When we started Facebook Platform, we were small and wanted to make sure we were an essential part of the fabric of the Internet. We've done that - we're now the biggest service on Earth. When we were small, apps helped drive our ubiquity. Now that we are big, (many) apps are looking to siphon off our users to competitive services. We need to be more thoughtful about what integrations we allow and we need to make sure that we have sustainable, long-term value exchanges."
Regardless of whether or not anything here is actually illegal, based on what I've read so far, I feel like (for me) the debate over whether federation is compatible with privacy is over, barring some kind of crazy revelation half-way through this document. We should assume that platforms like Twitter are having the same conversations, and we should assume that when Facebook/Twitter executives say that closing down APIs is necessary for privacy, that they're gaslighting.
I sympathize with some (it probably doesn't paint a 'balanced' picture, this person probably does have an agenda against FB) of what they're saying here but...4000 pages and the context still can't be established?
Its only an ad hominem if someone makes an unrelated personal attack against the source of an argument. The original argument was that these documents are suggestive of facebook corporate culture/evilness. A counter argument that the documents are cherry-picked by someone with a grudge (which may or may not be true) directly responds to the original claim that you can gleam a fair picture of facebook based on these documents. Thus it is not an ad hominem (that's not to say that it is necessarily a good argument)
24 Q. So where you say "which is kind of crazy,"
25 why was that kind of crazy?
< missing pages ... >
1 A. Again, I don't recall.
2 Q. Mr. Olivan?
3 A. Again, I don't recall.
4 Q. Mr. Cox?
5 A. Again, I don't recall.
6 Q. Ms. Sandberg?
7 A. Again, I don't recall.
8 MR. GODKIN: All right.
I mean, if you really believe Facebook is so bad, then do your job as a journalist and dig though the material yourself. Find the facts, and show us the exact facts that support your idea. Do not just speculate and make assumptions. However, you should really understand to leave out irrelevant off-hand comments made in "the heat" of a discussion. What is important is what a company is saying publicly, and that it matches up to what they are doing to a reasonable degree.
I am generally in favor of transparency, but it is not good to blindly and uncritically leak internal documents and discussions, just look at the whole pizzagate falseness. But, this is especially true when you know about the current media sentiment and same said material has just conspicuously been held by a company in conflict with Facebook.
Personally, I think the bikini app was deprived of decency, and it is amazing this app is not getting more criticism for what it did in the media. I think we can all agree the decision to remove access was necessary and a victory for users, as it is a step towards more privacy focused social media. The fact that the media will even touch the bikini story is ridiculous.
Those of us who grew up on the internet should be more objective.
Facebook is doing a much better job than their competitors (YouTube, Twitter. Etc.). The privacy controls are actually really good already, and I am sure we will only see them improve. We should give credit where credit is due!
I think, ultimately, this is about privacy and the information companies collect. People are in their right to be worried, but the media should still be more objective. For example, I wonder why no one cares about anonymization and increased transparency as solutions, something that rarely seems mentioned by the media. Companies do not invest in this for fun and giggles. More info here: https://policies.google.com/technologies/anonymization?hl=en
Making more technology open source, including anonymization technology, would probably help to increase trust.
Pizzagate is largely responsible for Epstein's crimes entering the public zeitgeist. Some of the allegations were bizarre and unfounded, but I credit Pizzagate for taking down one of the most rampant child sexual abusers in our nation's history (that we know of). Bill Clinton's rides on the "lolita express" were brought to light by Pizzagate, which then kept investigating Epsteins connections to Trump, Acosta, and Epstein's numerous associates.
To put my tinfoil hat on, I suspect that once the internet started releasing some seeds of truth, the pedo cabal engaged in topic sliding superlative accusations to muddy the waters about which revelations had a basis in fact.
Does Hillary Clinton really drink the blood of children? Of course not. But, Epstein was certainly a creep and I'm glad he was taken down. I'd hope the FBI has done an impartial investigation of the allegations against Podesta and Alefantis: public found some creepy-but-ambiguous skelletons in their closets as well.
That supporter, Mike Cernovich, rallied gullible MAGA fanatics around this conspiracy leading to a gunman storming a pizza place looking for a non-existent child sex dungeon.
For whatever reason you are hear trying to give it credit when really it was a deflection campaign. Cernovich didn't detail his work with Alan Dershowitz in court as much as he promoted outright conspiracy theories to followers known to be violent.
These people want you to believe Epstein's accusers but not when it comes to their claims about Trump or Dershowitz. If the accusers are to be believed then their claims exonerate Clinton while rope Dershowitz and Trump in being involved with the child sex trafficking centered around Mar-a-Lago.
I think you're giving Cernovich way too much credit here. Many right-wing personalities latched onto pizzagate because Bill Clinton flew on the "Lolita Express" many times, sometimes without secret service, and this made HRC look bad. Cernovich is a publicity troll: he latched on because it was self serving. I wouldn't be surprised if he was a 'topic sliding' agent being used intentionally.
A lack of accusers pointing the finger at Clinton does not exonerate him.
But I agree, from what I've read, it seems that Dershowitz and Trump both had involvement - at minimum they had prior knowledge of Epstein's crimes.
Don't forget shooting firearms in pizza parlors based on the efforts of people explicitly biased towards Trump. Why bother trying to make the conspiracy theory look balanced when it was all about shrieking at Clintons and deep state democrats.
>Cernovich is a publicity troll
He is in court with Dershowitz, his involvement and apparent pro-rape statements along with biases towards Trump has resulted in the victim expressing fear over his propagandist tendencies and his involvement in the court case in general.
That is more than publicity trolling.
>A lack of accusers pointing the finger at Clinton does not exonerate
No it just leaves people relentlessly accusing him despite lack of actual victim testimony look like hopeless lost biased assholes that would rather talk about Clintons 24/7 than address named culprits.
Like lets hear about her emails for four more years instead of the current actions of sitting representatives or efforts of people like Alan Dershowitz, running public defense of Trump's inner circle. Including his involvement in writing the foreword for Muller's report published on Amazon well before the actual report was put out.
>Don't forget shooting firearms in pizza parlors
You mean the guy who fired a single shot to open a locked closet door because he thought children were trapped behind it . That was idiotic, but not an act of terrorism or motivated violence.
Using a gun to open a lock is dumb and irresponsible, but it is not violent.
Gullible violent idiots should not have access to guns.
However, I just think that it is misleading to say "shooting firearms in a pizza parlor" because that makes it sound like he was spraying a crowd of people with bullets with reckless disregard for life when he fired only a single shot at an inanimate object.
It does not appear the shooter attempted to hurt anyone, the whole thing was the misguided attempt of a likely-mentally-ill person to 'protect the children'
Oh, and that's besides the fact that mentally ill people - and most of the general public - should not have access to guns in the first place.
Your continued attempts to frame Pizzagate as some bipartisan magnanimous effort by non-violent gunmen is just bizarre.
A firearm is not a tool for unlocking doors, you are attempting to claim he brought it there to unlock doors which is an invention of narrative.
>but it is not violent
Oh yea those classic peaceful gunmen, driven by conspiracy theories propagated by someone directly involved in an Epstein court case. Siding against the accuser, working in conjunction with Epstein's ex-lawyer. Shooting expressly violent weapons in public venues they stormed.
Everyone loves a mob of armed delusional fanatics seeking Hillary Clinton's child sex dungeons in places named by Trump's defenders.
Totally not a deflection away from the testimony of the accusers, one groomed from Trump's Mar-a-Lago.
edit: If you'd like I could transcribe the court documents where the gunman stated his intentions with the firearms. Or the description of how firearms work in the court documents detailing their explosive nature of normal function. But then I'd insist on asking why pursue this particular angle of attack on this topic?
edit: and I work at a "tech company".
Its up to Advertiser to make certain they are Not lying, Not the publication. Is FB now supposed to verify Every Single Ingredient in a Can of Spam before they let them advertise a Spam Taco... imho, it's absurd.
Nearly everyone agrees that political ads that lie are problematic. We the people think Facebook should do something about that. If they're unwilling to regulate themselves then we'll regulate it for them.
This can range from putting guidelines all the way to breaking Facebook apart.
It's Facebook's decision what they want their future to be.
But back the "punting" metaphor -- he only has the ball because the US government never picked it up. Doesn't it seem pretty clear that these standards (re: hate speech, election ads, etc.) should be made at a national level, rather than a FB level?
Therefore - at least in the US - no, based on the 1stA and the reasoning leading to it in the first place.
One argument I heard that cuts to the heart of why I think this is a cynical partisan move: the same publications and media outlets pushing for and celebrating the removing of political ads from social media are the same ones who are running those ads in their own outlets. This means that the issue isn't over ads themselves, but over who has control over the ads.
I don’t know where you get “nearly everyone” agrees that political ads that lie are problematic.
Today there was a funny Snopes fact check of a meme saying Democrats have tried to impeach every Republican President since Eisenhower. 
Turns out Democrats have introduced articles of impeachment on every elected Republican President since Eisenhower (Ford was not elected, he was appointed after Nixon’s VP resigned). Snopes rated the meme “Mostly False”.
You can deconstruct the “Biden Corruption” ad that Trump ran against Biden which CNN refused to run and find it contains only factual statements presented in an arguably misleading way.
The only fact I know is that the best political ads will present an opponent in the worse possible light using their own words to do it. As Joe Biden says in the Trump ad, “well, son of a bitch!”
Facebook is absolutely the last entity on Earth I would want to be censoring political ads in a critically important channel.
The idea that the Federal government should be in the business of threatening Facebook with obliteration because of political ads they don’t refuse to run — luckily there’s an Amendment to the Bill of Rights people should double-check.
 - https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/dems-impeach-gop-president...
And "we the people" wanted internment camps for the Japanese, and believed in the racist philosophy of Manifest Destiny, so maybe "we the people" shouldn't be in charge...
So you don't think we should allow certain lies? We'd still be creating a list of lies that people can't tell, just a smaller one.
You're still advocating for banning lies in political advertising, but only if you agree with what is banned.
The whole point is a discourse, congress isn't a separate entity from the population.
Section 315 of the Federal Communications Act of 1934 states:
"If any licensee shall permit any person who is a legally qualified candidate for any public office to use a broadcasting station, he shall afford equal opportunities to all other such candidates for that office in the use of such broadcasting station: Provided, That such licensee shall have no power of censorship over the material broadcast under the provision of this section."
It also specifically says licensees can’t censor "material broadcast by any such candidate."
so at least in the past the government decided tv stations can not censor.
I know FB is not a TV station but it's probably the closest applicable law ATM.
Section 315 of the Federal Communications Act is not an applicable law because Facebook is not an FCC licensee, nor does it need a license to operate.
Also, it’s been challenged as a violation of the First Amendment and the courts have removed almost all of its teeth. Section 315 is practically dead law.
The issue is in some cases “they” (FANNG, Reddit, Twitter, etc) want to be platforms like Facebook saying ads aren’t their responsibility, and in some cases are acting as publishers by censoring otherwise legal content they do not like or agree with. There are memes that will get you instantly suspended from Facebook, while you and Facebook argue no one could possibly monitor content!
It shouldn’t be that the giants get to be both. Legally they are provided protections against content on their system - but historically this only applies to platforms where the content is entirely unfiltered. Think if your telco cut the call when you said the words “Jeffery Epstein didn’t kill himself” as a fictitious example, they shouldn’t get liability protection for things people say if they’re going to curate the content like that.
They don't care about free speech or cooperating with one of the biggest enemy of Free Speech in the world (China) when there is potential revenue to be made.
here we are, 3 years later. It sounds to me like FB discusses the idea and never implemented it. I’m not sure we can fault a company for exploring contingency plans with China...
Forcing sites to have a completely laissez-faire approach to user generated content seems to avoid liability for that user content seems like something that would destroy the internet. Like why would YC take on that risk to help us maintain a space free of spam or threats of violence?
I too remember "the destroyed" internet of yesteryear. We're in a much better place now that 5 companies control your opinion and your access to counter opinions.
>Like why would YC take on that risk to help us maintain a space free of spam or threats of violence?
No. We're talking about legal things that the PUBLISHER just doesn't like. Illegal things are always on the table for moderation. Don't try and make the argument about spam. You know very well that the issue here is a room of "content curators" artificially removing "trending" things because of political ideology, or government requested censorship, or just whoever bought the most ads that month.
The trolls placing the ads already know they're lying, so I'm not sure how that helps. Facebook also knows they're lying.
The question is whether Facebook's right to make money from lies weighs more than the right of its users to not be manipulated by propagandists.
It's not a super easy question in the abstract because of the weight we give in the US to freedom of speech. But we also give a lot of weight to fair elections, and people have seen the real damage the current policy has caused. For that reason the discussion is more nuanced than it used to be.
Interestingly enough, even old DOS games are much better than the crap released and mass produced through the Internet. People are stupid for buying into it. I used to be one of them, but I never paid for in-game stuff, and eventually I simply lost interest because it actually ruined the gameplay completely.
The article is clearly blowing things out of proportion, framing it as if Facebook was responsible, when in fact there is much more to the story. It's really unfurtunate, because the credibility of journalism is under attack already, and releasing biased junk like this will not help. Start-ups are never perfect, and if you dig hard enough, especially in big companies, you will find some dirt.
Then again, some things also just happen by accident, not necessarily because it was a conscious decision to do bad things, which is also clearly not the case here, unlike what the article falsely claim.
Can anyone explain how/why the documents were seized?
A parliamentary committee was investigating "Disinformation and 'fake news'" which also touched on Cambridge Analytica. Once they found out Kramer had documents from Facebook obtained in lawsuit discovery, they sent him an Order to Produce Documents. He didn't initially comply but then went to Parliament without lawyers where he may have then believed he would be imprisoned or detained in the country for not complying so he turned them over from a Dropbox account ( Had he asked a lawyer, he would know that UK Parliament hasn't fined or imprisoned anybody for a long time https://www.theguardian.com/law/2015/jan/30/contempt-parliam... )
For the record, I dislike FB myself.
There is no alternative to Facebook. Even if Twitter were tons better, if you want to move, you have to drag all your friends along with you.
When I had it convenient to check, I would pop on during downtime, now it's just gone. I do check HN more often so maybe it's just a general social media itch.
I think FB has added more to the world (wealth, high tech jobs, open source technology, places for people to organize, ways for people to connect) than it has taken away in the form of FB addiction and manipulative ads.
The masses have always had their bread and circuses. I don't see why a new digital variation is any worse than existing forms of mindless entertainment.
Facebook seems much more "what you make it", meaning it can be as bad as Twitter if you choose the wrong friends, wrong groups and wrong approach or it can be a place where you meet people with similar interests and filter out the noise.
Especially, you have this effect "everyone hates Facebook" but that everyone is distributed between people wanting Facebook to censor more (and as they'd prefer), people wanting Facebook to censor less (and especially not bother their bullshit), and people using Facebook as a stand-in for social networking or being on the Internet, or just talking with people you don't know very well.
>if they want to show their mom or their grandmother pictures
Email? Personally that's how I show pictures to my dad. (Well, that and in person.)
100 times easier than reinventing the wheel, and we get the huge benefit of using well known open protocols and decentralized servers that can talk to each other, and are already there.
Added: What email was/is bad for is the family member/friend who just had to share jokes, what we call memes these days, etc. with 100 of their closest friends on a daily if not hourly basis. Facebook etc. have largely replaced that sort of thing and that's for the best. But sharing baby pictures with the grandparents? Email's is fine, even best, for that.
I posted as much above. Both are dumpster fires, for different reasons.
Why? Because the martial arts gyms I visit only communicate there. And because the card gaming communities (I used to play Netrunner) always used Facebook to coordinate. All seminars, tournaments and other events require Facebook.
I don't really care about talking to friends, and I haven't even added friends on Facebook. But Facebook being the gatekeeper to my hobbies, which I really don't want to miss, means I will continue having an account there. You're right that there's no alternative for me.
Thus we have a dumpster file everyone hates but still uses.
Any story about Facebook, google or amazon is entirely too predictable on HN....
I think the single worst thing Facebook was documented as being involved was genocide in Myanmar, which was indeed certainly terrible. And while FB's poor policies are no doubt partly to blame here (obviously, blood on their hands), the people who actually did it, the state that aided etc, are likely more to blame. And similar horrors have been committed in other regions through mass hysteria instead spread through email or text messages (pogroms against strangers in India, etc).
Which is to say that Facebook has many terrible qualities and I'd love people to come together in the kind of social network I want instead, but still, I can't see much or any unique evil in Facebook compared to many systems and processes that it just happens to a part (choose from media, capitalist, elites, whatever).
So... you live in a cave?
The piles of lies and bullshit which comes from Facebook management is mountainous, about the only companies which I feel have bent the bullshit meter as far are oil companies and perhaps Comcast and they are despised as well.
Google made a bad decision by closing Plus, but I guess they smelled the stench in the media, and decided it would be bad for their public image. This is just my speculation, however.
Regardless, fact remains. Facebook is providing a great service to users for free.
Facebook—the company, is morally bankrupt. Arguably the worst of the bunch. The overly invasive data-collection, sharing of data in questionable ways, repeated lying about.. just about everything... etc.
For me, the product is not appealing enough to compensate for the failings of the companies. If it weren't for the fact that so many friends/ businesses/ family rely on it for communications I would quit it entirely.
The user does not become a product because Facebook run ads, and they are also not entitled to part of the profit. It would be minuscule anyway.
No, actually, there is no real product, except the reach and engagement Facebook is able to create through the ads.
they become a product because Facebook collects their personal information and uses it to manipulate them for profit. Facebook could show ads without mining user data, without buying information from data brokers, and without creating shadow profiles for people who choose not to interact with their service. They do all of those things though because the user is 100% the product as far as Facebook is concerned.
I guess people were sharing pictures with their mom before Facebook.
I'm honestly creeped out by people who post photos of the interior of their homes, the children, etc on Facebook now.
We have lost a lot of privacy in recent decades but some expectations have actually changed towards more privacy.
What's interesting to me now is how blithely people give up a lot of their personal privacy to random social media companies.
Also, ageist much?
The current solution isn't terrible; we don't need to trust the average submitter to come up with a title that's better than the original, and the bad cases tend to get fixed by the mods eventually. Unfortunately it does mean we see clickbait titles in the stream for some time, and the clickbait gets rewarded.
We're also assuming that the article is worth reading despite the clickbait title. If an article has a seriously misleading title, that tells us something about the kind of journalism we can expect in the article itself. Ideally, I'd rather such sites never make it to HN.
Humor has IME always had a high likelihood of ending up gray (in text color) on this site.