It has nothing to do with the internet and everything to do with free speech and it's boundaries. Do I have the right to misinform? To I have the right to insult or bully? Am I liable if I say something that causes distress? An I liable if my speech encourages or inspires a third party to break a law?
These questions have been around since the birth of free speech and have been answered by many societies in very different ways. It's just accelerated and amplified on the Internet.
The article introduces an interesting guy:
> Antonio García Martínez, ad-tech entrepreneur. Helped create Facebook’s ad machine.
He puts in some good points in the first couple of sections about how the internet was built on hippie good intentions, and how Wall St came in and made it about money, but the really interesting thing is how in the next section, about online ads and how they turned into a mass surveillance regime, he's totally silent.
Makes me think this is a bit of a puff piece for these people, who were all totally complacent at the time, speaking up now about how they went wrong, except they have nothing to say about what they personally did.
This doesn't look much like an apology.
Edit: wow, here's another beauty from Garcia:
> The algorithm, by default, placates you by shielding you from the things you don’t want to hear about. That, to me, is the scary part. The real problem isn’t Facebook — it’s humans.
This is quite an impressive display of hubris for most of these people to claim to have "built the internet". And of the fraction of them who have built anything at all, most built things that were intentionally designed to do the things they're apologizing for now that the public has become annoyed by them, so this "apology" rings hollow. This isn't a "sorry we did this" apology. It's a "sorry you're mad about it" apology.
McNamee: They’re basically trying to trigger fear and anger to get the outrage cycle going, because outrage is what makes you be more deeply engaged. You spend more time on the site and you share more stuff. Therefore, you’re going to be exposed to more ads, and that makes you more valuable.
Ironically, this seems to be exactly what this article is trying to do - evoke outrage.
As someone who doesnt use facebook at all, or ever... I'm getting tired of this. The internet is not facebook. Facebook doesn't control you, and the internet doesnt owe you an apology.
The internet is a fantastic invention, that has opened up opportunities all over the world; has lessened communications costs drastically, and enabled capabilities we have never had before.
If you are so outraged with facebook, stop going to it.
I've been arguing with a friend of mine at Facebook about this. He's unrepentant, thinks it's just advertising and it is fine. I disagree, it's an advertising machine that is constantly looking over your shoulder and it reinforces whatever bubble you happen to be in.
Here's a snippet of an email I sent him in this morning:
Can you see how your attitude, if shared by the leaders at Facebook, is exactly why Facebook should get regulated? It's a my way or the highway, take no prisoners approach, and yeah, that will bring regulation. If your attitude was more like "yeah, I get it, it's a little creepy, we're trying to figure out a way to have a business model that works and isn't creepy" then perhaps you'd get to regulate yourself. The problem is that the lawmakers are clueless, you may well get some stupid draconian regulation that you really don't want. If that happens, you are going to look back at these emails and go "welp, we blew it, this is our fault".
"Governments of the Industrial World, you weary giants of flesh and steel, I come from Cyberspace, the new home of Mind. On behalf of the future, I ask you of the past to leave us alone. You are not welcome among us. You have no sovereignty where we gather." — John Perry Barlow
If this is the founding computer visionary do we really have to wonder what went wrong?
Facebook is not the internet, and Mr. Zuckerberg had literally _nothing to do with building any single piece of the entire internet_.
The story is about Facebook and Zuckerberg and the headline is misleading. More importantly, why are garbage stories from "journalists" who don't know the material they're writing about ending up on HN?
Every invention has a dark side.
* The wheel: war machines.
* Writing: propaganda.
* Jewelry: diamond cartels.
* Internal combustion engine: pollution.
* Nuclear energy: nuclear weaponry.
* Wind turbines: dead birds.
* Cell phones: the death of social skills.
Pick any technology and you could probably find a way that it has caused severe problems. It almost seems like a fundamental law of the universe.
The most incredible thing about the internet is that it works across vendors and across countries. The concept of the entire human race coming together and agreeing on a way to do things is excessively rare and the internet is an example of that - the only example that I can think of right now. Despite all the war, despite all the hatred, we can agree on internet protocols.
The internet is an incredible accomplishment and the creators should be proud. Those who have soured it are responsible for the state it is in today, nobody else.
> To keep the internet free — while becoming richer, faster, than anyone in history — the technological elite needed something to attract billions of users to the ads they were selling. And that something, it turns out, was outrage.
The technological elite are responsible for outrage culture? That's rich. It's old media that is packed, cover to cover with sensationalistic outrage pieces (such as this one from nymag). Now, those articles may get shared rapidly on social media but it's the traditional media that is their source.
The underlying tone of a lot of the outrage pieces is simple: our business model and ability to gatekeep opinions is threatened by technology, and we will spin every article to subtly attack that.
These windbags did not build the internet.
Note: misleading title. This is not about the internet, or the World Wide Web, it's about Facebook and other social media networks. The very first sentences seems to conflate internet and Facebook:
"Something has gone wrong with the internet. Even Mark Zuckerberg knows it. Testifying before Congress, the Facebook CEO ticked off a list of everything his platform has screwed up"
The author of this article needs to stay after class and write "Mark Zuckerberg did not create the internet" 100 times on the blackboard.
That's absolutely stupid - the internet's been the best thing to happen to the earth in millennia, if not ever. Apologizing for it would be like apologizing for modern medicine.
> Ellen Pao, former CEO of Reddit. Filed major gender-discrimination lawsuit against VC firm Kleiner Perkins.
> Can Duruk, programmer and tech writer. Served as project lead at Uber.
Ah. These people. Not sure what they've built, really. Certainly not the internet. Pao certainly didn't build reddit, and I'm fairly sure Duruk didn't build the first prototype of Uber.
> Richard Stallman, MIT programmer. Created legendary software GNU and Emacs.
First of all, it's not "GNU Plus Internet;" secondly, Stallman barely even uses the internet and even stopped programming way before it was relevant. GNU isn't software. I'm also 80% sure those quotes of him are fake.
The rise of White Supremacy makes total sense here when you consider that racism is an effective system of oppression because it subjugates whites as well as non-whites by sowing fear of downward mobility among the lighter population while vilifying the disenfranchised.
If one is white and has problems, the goal is to hate these darker people that can't really fight back. Allow the real exploiters a free hand.