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Home / Business / The mission of Facebook has changed, but their motives have not changed – TechCrunch

The mission of Facebook has changed, but their motives have not changed – TechCrunch



In January, Facebook announced that it will be changing its feed algorithm to promote the well-being of users over time, which is spent with content browsing. This is a relatively new approach for a company whose ethos once focused on "making rapid progress, breaking things".

Not so long ago (about a year and a half before the algorithm change), Facebook was VP Andrew "Boz Bosworth published an internal memo called" The Ugly, "which was distributed throughout the company, and Boz made it clear to employees that the connection of people (ie growth) on Facebook is at the center of all attention.

Buzzfeed published the memo for the first time:

Maybe it will cost a life to expose someone to tyrants a terrorist attack tuned to our tools.

And yet we connect people.

The ugly truth is that we believe in connecting people so deeply that everything that connects us more people, * de is facto * good, it may be the only area in which the metrics tell the true story as far as we are concerned.

He goes on:

We do not do that for ourselves or for our share price (ha!). It's literally exactly what we do. We connect people. Period

That is why all our work is justified in growth. All questionable import procedures for contacts. All the subtle language that helps people to search through friends. All the work we do to create more communication. The work we are likely to do in China someday. All this.

Facebook started in 2004 and ushered in the honeymoon for the users. We enjoyed uploading photos from our digital cameras and sharing them with friends. We took care of every notification. We shared our status. We played Farmville. We carefully curated our likes.

But the honeymoon is over. Facebook grew in 201

2 to 1 billion active users. The social network now has over 2 billion active users. More and more people are getting their messages from social media. The size and scope of Facebook are just overwhelming.

And we are well aware that Facebook and Facebook as users and outsiders, who look like any other tool on the Internet, can be used for the evil.

But there was one more question as to whether Facebook's leadership understood that principle or not, and if so, whether they really cared about it or not.

Facebook spent a long, maybe too long, time on the "Move Fast, Break Things" mentality. And things have certainly been broken, from fake news distributed during the presidential election in 2016 to abusive use of user data by third-party developers and Cambridge Analytica . And that's probably the tip of the iceberg.

The memo was written long before the shit hit the fan for Facebook. It was released after the broadcast of Antonio Perkins murder on Facebook. That was back when Facebook insisted it was not a media company, that it was just a series of pipes that allowed people to send their content.

What is so shocking about the memo is that it confirms some of our deepest fears. A social network with a population larger than any single country focuses solely on growth beyond the well-being of the society that builds it. That the ends to be a product that everyone uses that could justify means.

Facebook has tried to move away from this persona, but gently. At the end of 2016 Zuckerberg finally came up with the idea that Facebook is a media company and clarifies that it is not a traditional media company. Last year, the company launched the journalism project in response to the fearsome growth of fake news on the platform. Zuckerberg even published full-page print advertisements asking for patience and forgiveness following the recent Cambridge Analytica scandal.

While all this is more a reaction to public relations than a workable change, it is better than the stoic, inflexible silence of

After Buzzfeed published the memo, Boz and Zuckerberg both replied:

Boz said it's just about stimulating internal debates to shape future tools.

Zuck had the following to say:

Boz is a talented leader who says many provocative things. This was one that most people on Facebook, including myself, disagreed with. We never believed that the goals justify the means.

We recognize that connecting people is not enough. We also have to work to bring people closer together. We have changed our overall mission and corporate focus to reflect this last year.

When Boz wrote this memorandum on a firing debate, it is hard to see if this debate led to real change.

The memo has since been deleted, but you can read the full text below:

The Ugly

We often talk about the good and the bad of our work. I want to talk about the ugly.

We connect people.

That may be good if they make it positive. Maybe someone finds love. It may even save the lives of someone on the brink of suicide.

So we connect more people

That can be bad if they make it negative. Maybe it costs a life by exposing someone to bullying. Maybe someone dies in a terrorist attack that's tuned to our tools.

And yet we connect people.

The ugly truth is that we believe in connecting people so deeply that everything that connects us more people is * de facto * good. It is perhaps the only area where the metrics tell the true story as far as we are concerned.

We do not do that for ourselves. Or for our share price (ha!). It's literally exactly what we do. We connect people. Period

That is why all our work is justified in growth. All questionable import procedures for contacts. All the subtle language that helps people to search through friends. All the work we do to create more communication. The work we are likely to do in China someday. All this.

The natural state of the world is unconnected. It is not uniform. It is fragmented by borders, languages ​​and increasingly by different products. The best products do not win. Those who use everyone win.

I know that many people do not want to hear that. Most of us have the luxury of working in the warm light of consumer-priced construction products. But do not make mistakes, growth tactics are how we came here. If you join the company because it does a great job, we can do that great job. We have great products, but we are still not half as big without slowing down growth. Nothing makes Facebook as valuable as your friends and no product decisions have as many friends as the ones that are growing. No photo tagging. No message feed. No messenger. Nothing

In almost all our work, we have to answer tough questions about what we believe in. We have to justify the metrics and make sure they do not lose a bigger picture. But people connect. That is our imperative. Because we do that. We connect people.


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