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Why I'm No Longer On The Facebook

I've had a Facebook account for a few years, largely because other people were on it and were organizing useful communities there.  I stuck with it (not using it for private information) even while I grew increasingly concerned about Facebook's inability to be trustworthy guardians of private information.  The recent slap on the wrist from the FTC for Facebook violating the terms of its prior consent agreement made it clear that there wasn't going to be any penalty for Facebook for continuing to violate court orders.

Mark Zuckerberg claimed he had made a mistake in 2016 by ridiculing the idea of election interference on his platform, apologized, and claimed he was turning over a new leaf:
“After the election, I made a comment that I thought the idea misinformation on Facebook changed the outcome of the election was a crazy idea. Calling that crazy was dismissive and I regret it.  This is too important an issue to be dismissive.”
It turns out, though, that was just Zuck lying to "dumb fucks", as he terms people who trusts him.  Last week, after Zuckerberg had a private meeting with Donald Trump, I discovered that Zuckerberg has decided to not just passively enable, but actively aid and abet, the spread of disinformation on his platformThis week, it turns out that that this is actually happening, and Facebook is perfectly OK with it.

I'm done.  When someone shows you who they are, believe them.  I believe Zuckerberg is exactly who he has shown himself to be, and that as long as he's in charge of decision making at his company, that extends to the company as well.

Goodbye, Facebook.  I can't say it's been fun, but it has been educational.

Addendum:  Just to be clear, this also, obviously, applies to working for Facebook.  I recently got this email from a recruiter, so here's my answer.
Hi John,
I hope you are doing well! I was hoping you'd be open to an “exploratory” conversation about potential opportunities. I recruit specifically for our Software Engineering teams and believe you could be a strong match for Facebook.
Per the above, I do not think I would be a good match for Facebook. 
As cliché as it may sound, we truly do seek innovative engineers who will come up with the next great idea for Facebook to help us connect the world.
Here are some ideas, which you can have for free:  Be responsible custodians of user data, be up front and honest with your users, and if you're going to accept paid ads, apply the same standards for political ads that you do for ads for laundry soap.
By design, we run very small teams. On average, there is about 1 engineer for every 1.25 million customers on Facebook. The company is growing rapidly, and our positions offer explosive growth opportunities.
 You might want to avoid "explosive" in your recruitment emails right now.
What does “exploratory” mean? Well, I’d like to talk to you about where you are in your career, what type of growth opportunities you are hoping for, and the type of development you're most passionate about.
I'm fairly happy in my career, passionate about working on things that help people, but especially passionate about not working on things that actively harm people.  Thus, I don't think I'd be a good match for Facebook right now.
Please let me know if you would have a few minutes to chat sometime this week or next.
Be sure to check out this Forbes article:


  1. It's also pretty annoying that Facebook is going to try to gaslight everybody about how and when they changed their (official) policy. I'm perfectly willing to believe they had this policy internally for a year, and just didn't tell anybody. And then, at some point, somebody realized they needed to clean things up before they were called out on it. Or maybe they are just horribly crappy at communicating their policies to users generally. Doesn't really matter, does it? They cannot be trusted.

  2. Saw your post on Twitter. I agree with you 100%. We can use a great computer scientist. Let's talk.

    1. Thanks Paul; happy where I am at the moment, but will let you know if that changes.


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