zeynep tufekci @zeynep Thinking about our tools, ourselves. @UNCSILS [email protected] writer. Columns:@SciAm @Wired. Book:t.co/j57eEmRHYw Sign-up: t.co/AuuEUHWn84 Mar. 07, 2019 1 min read

So, wow, Mark Zuckerberg published a plan to entrench Facebook, fend off regulatory action, lower costs, shrink scandal exposure, acknowledge realities— and he called it a "privacy-focused vision" while ignoring all the big privacy issues! 🙄 My NYT oped.  https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/07/opinion/zuckerberg-privacy-facebook.html 

I mean, Facebook doesn't need to read your messages—that's not how its surveillance machine runs. Zuckerberg states as much same day in interview in @Wired. Done right, shift to end-to-end could be great. But it could just mean hiring fewer content moderators and hiding scandals.

China's not happening. No kidding. People like Snapchat's features and Facebook will keep copying them. They will scramble WhatsApp and Instagram hard into Facebook so regulators can't break them off. These are not privacy shifts—they're shrewd competitive moves for entrenchment.

I'd be happy if Facebook started taking the threat its own surveillance and business model poses to society. Look, we just learned that even the phone number provided *only* for security will be used for ad-targeting and can't be made private. See thread:

In contrast, this from FB seems reasonable enough. On the one hand, it should've been done way earlier. On the other hand, it shouldn't be just up to a company to figure all this out or to choose what to implement. Quasi-government role without structures.  https://newsroom.fb.com/news/2019/03/combatting-vaccine-misinformation/ 

For context of Zuckerberg's plan to scramble WhatsApp and Instagram with Facebook: @ewarren just proposed to break up tech giants, and unwind Facebook's acquisition of WhatsApp and Instagram. The "interoperability" move seems to be about this, not privacy.  https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/08/us/politics/elizabeth-warren-amazon.html 

Big part of the issue. Two companies have outsized power over the public sphere and opaque in terms of what's visible and what's buried. I'm NOT SAYING THEY DO THIS AND I DON'T THINK THEY DO but what's to stop Facebook from burying this? How would we know?

And is there anyway to track how visible such posts—not just ads but organic reach—are within Facebook? These are not minor questions in principle.


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