Zucked :: Waking up to the Facebook Catastrophe

by Volker Weber

The dystopia George Orwell conjured up in “1984” wasn’t a prediction. It was, instead, a reflection. Newspeak, the Ministry of Truth, the Inner Party, the Outer Party — that novel sampled and remixed a reality that Nazi and Soviet totalitarianism had already made apparent. Scary stuff, certainly, but maybe the more frightening dystopia is the one no one warned you about, the one you wake up one morning to realize you’re living inside.

Roger McNamee, an esteemed venture capitalist, would appear to agree. “A dystopian technology future overran our lives before we were ready,” he writes in “Zucked.” Think that sounds like overstatement? Let’s examine the evidence.

Take it from the horse's mouth. McNamee is an early Facebook investor.

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Comments

Nobody I know who is still using Facebook is interested in reading those articles.
They
just
don‘t
care.
And I am the guy stepping on their nerves. BTW this article is one of the best I read. Thanks Vowe.

Stephan Perthes, 2019-01-30

You say something once, maybe twice, but then you should accept that everyone over the age of 18 has the right to make their own mistakes and later have to stand up for them. We all want to be enlightened and self-reliant people and yet we allow ourselves to be more and more bullied and patronized. Those who want to use Facebook and they should do so, after all the warnings, if it is too late, do not blame the others for it. It sometimes seems to me like a heavy smoker claiming the right to decide that he wants to smoke and when the consequences occur, the general public should pay for his early retirement and health care costs.

Wolfram Votteler, 2019-01-30

Somebody at a Microsoft training once said: A piece of information needs to be sent and received at least seven times before the receiving mind fully absorbs it. And it should be sent in seven different ways, so the receiving mind doesn't get bored. That's why I love reading about the dangers of many "social" networks here so much - all the aspects keep getting covered from different angles. I want to stop using it, but at the moment just can't seem to stop. But each time I read another negative story, it makes me a little bit stronger to one day say "good bye". Volker, keep the articles coming, please.

Friedrich Holstein, 2019-01-30

I don't think we can wait until everybody wakes up. That is like hoping that everbody stops buying SUVs.

Volker Weber, 2019-01-30

Most people I know now use FB as a means of communicating with their kids after school clubs. It has become a utility more than a true social platform.

Sean Cull, 2019-01-30

We have an (for a special circle of friends) important WhatsApp group. Originally we used a Forum, and the Forum is still online, but as time and technology moves on, we had to adapt.
I don't like the WhatsApp solution, for many reasons. There is the data security issue, the Facebook issue but, for me the most important, the Group-Channel can't substitute the Forum. You can't pin important messages, can't do any polls or something similar, you can't handle dates or deadlines. And there is no way to integrate the WhatsApp communication in the Forum.
Once in a while, whenever the organizers discuss delayed feedbacks etc I jump in to highlight the current downsides and advertise other solutions (I would like to move to Slack).
Up to now, there is no discussion. They are happy to have a solution everyone uses. They don't think the whole group would install another app (to be honest, I can't tell them, everyone would, as I know the guys) and they are happy to get the important information to everyone without using different channels. To spare someone isn't an option for many reasons.
So we stay with WhatsApp, I continue to praise other ways of communication and sometime they will retreat. I needed ten years to get a dyson and now my husband loves it more than I do. Patience is a virtue.

Nina Wittich, 2019-01-30

Without Facebook I would not have managed to stay in contact with my fellow students from 25 years ago.

10 years ago I discovered some of my fellow students on Facebook. Thru Facebook we stayed in contact, even though we had moved hundreds of kilometer from the city where we studied. Last year one fellow student, his family and my family did a wonderful joint vacation sailing in the mediterranean sea. Without Facebook we would not have met, we would not have been able to stay in contact and we would not have done a joint vacation.

So, in my opinion, no need to condemn Facebook usage all together.

Felix Binsack, 2019-01-30

There are more solutions to find old friends than facebook. We met friends and arranged dates even before we had mobile phones.
I met my husband online in a chatroom. I'm quite sure we won't have met, if there wouldn't have been this chatroom, but am I absolutely sure about that? No. We have so much in common, we may have met another way, too. I will never know. I can't praise the one solution we used. Different livings, different ways.

Nina Wittich, 2019-01-30

Frontline hat eine tolle Doku dazu gemacht. Sehr sehenswert: https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/film/facebook-dilemma/
Was mich neben dem Ausspionieren noch extrem schockiert hat, ist die Gleichgültigkeit gegenüber dem gemeldeten Missbräuchen zur politischen Manipulation, aus dem arabischen Frühling, aus der Ukraine, etc.

Ragnar Schierholz, 2019-01-30

"...the platforms they created have generated a feedback loop that reinforces and amplifies ideas with a speed and at a scale that are unprecedented.”

That´s what frightens me most talking about FB. It amplifies the ugliest and most scaring views and habits of some characters, that were better caved somewhere in the dark. In may it will be one year since my last login. Seems to be the right time to delete the whole account.

Markus Mews, 2019-01-31

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I explain difficult concepts in simple ways. For free, and for money. Clue procurement and bullshit detection.

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