The backlash against the backlash against Facebook’s Zuckerberg
The backlash against the backlash against Zuckerberg has started. In an interview with Wired he said
…one thing that is personally a bit disheartening…. It bums me out that people immediately go to “You must be doing this to make money.” Because that’s just so different from the ethos of the company. It is so different from how we actually think about stuff that you feel so misunderstood.
Mark Zuckerberg: I Donated to Open Source, Facebook Competitor
UK readers will immediately remember the tears of misunderstood heartache welling up in the eyes of Brown and Campbell, on screen, in the weeks prior to the election; and will sympathise. Sure they will.
If he was interested in money, he would have sold. However that’s not what motivates Mark Zuckerberg. As he tells Wired Magazine, “The thing I really care about is the mission, making the world open.” Facebook has fundamentally changed human behavior and to a certain extent it helped make people more transparent. Individuals share things with others with much more ease than ever before, and often times with people they normally wouldn’t have shared with.
Nick O’Neill, in All Facebook (Yes, Facebook’s Privacy Changes Were Not About Money, 28 May 2010 23:55, although it now seems to have been removed from the site)
OK, I have two questions to ask. One. If Facebook is so altruistic, how come sharing isn’t opt-in rather than opt-out. If all the arguments are correct, that people really do want to share everything about themselves, then they will surely opt-in at the earliest opportunity.
Two. It’s the mission. To make the world more open. Well that sounds a bit like social engineering on a grand scale – more like society engineering. Zuckerberg wants to make the world more open. I’m sorry, but that’s not his call. If society wishes to be more open, society will be more open. Wishing to change society into what you want smacks of megalomania; it’s what despotic politicians try to do.
So, I may be wrong. Zuckerberg might indeed be the misunderstood altruist. I remain doubtful. I may yet rejoin Facebook. But certainly not yet.