back to article Facebook's greatest misses: The five nastiest bits from recent leaks

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg believes the media has made "a coordinated effort to selectively use leaked documents to paint a false picture of our company". In prepared remarks [PDF] delivered along with the company's Q3 2021 results, Zuckerberg told investors that reporting on recent leaks – collectively known as "The …

  1. IGotOut Silver badge

    Figures.

    "In September 2021 1.93 billion humans were counted as daily active users,"

    I think humans is the wrong word, as 50% are most likely bot accounts.

    1. LDS Silver badge

      Re: Figures.

      But how many of them were sold?

      1. Cederic Silver badge

        Re: Figures.

        Too many.

        It's why I have no truck with the people constantly going on about slavery from over a century ago. If you're going back beyond living memory everybody's race and culture has perpetuated and been a victim of slavery.

        Put that energy and effort into tackling the human trafficking, sex slavery, abuse, indentured servitude, de facto and actual slavery that are happening in the world today. There are actual slave auctions still, some countries support slavery and I'd guess every single country has it happening to at least a small degree - indeed, several recent cases have occurred in the UK.

        Let's address that, and no, I don't think Facebook is material here.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Figures.

          My wife is black. English of Jamaican heritage. Like many black women she does lots of things to her hair. Many in the black community will talk about the the evils of slavery, while happily going to the hair shop and buying product from Xinjiang.

          When I point out the hypocrisy of this, I just get told "but it is cheaper!"

          I am sure sugar and cotton were cheaper as well when they were produced by slavery.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Figures.

      I agree that the numbers look to be vastly exaggerated. However, I'd like to make two more points:

      1. I don't really want to allow someone at Facebook to decide what I may or may not say. That's something which should be down to the courts and the police. **

      2. Policing Facebook is taking up a lot of time and money from our governments. Why should the majority, who don't use Facebook, have to pay for that? Perhaps there should be a tax to make it self-funding.

      ** Then we've got the debate about the right to express unpopular opinions, Facebook pushing links which shape public opinion etc.

      1. non gelatinous user

        Re: Figures.

        it's hard to take you seriously in the context of wanting freedom of expression vis-a-vis FB being that you go by anonymous coward... so by default unknown....how is FB restraining your freedom of as whomever you really are...btw i hate FB..

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Figures.

          Not the same AC you are responding to, but I always post AC for one reason. My employment contract has a stipulation about what I can say on social media and other sites. Due to the field I work in it is very likely that colleagues will read these stories and comments.

          Rather than try to decide what may fall foul of this clause, I just post everything anonymously. Saves any hassle.

          1. Conundrum1885

            Re: Figures.

            I had this exact discussion with my employer, include "what happens if someone de-anonymizes my anonymous accounts from years before I started working there?".

            The danger is, anyone can hack into a social media account and post nasty comments or do other

            damage and the burden of proof can be on someone proving they were in fact not negligent.

            With MITM attacks on public WiFi being more common its a big problem.

    3. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Re: Figures.

      And then you have at least 10% of accounts that are cats or dogs, or maybe even goldfish.

    4. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: Figures.

      I think humans is the wrong word, as 50% are most likely bot accounts.

      Of the users I know, most have more than one account.. a prime and a backup. And then the kids, the cats, dogs, etc. all have at least one.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Figures.

        Kids especially, may want extras in games and one way is to get "friends" to sign up to the game. So of course they create new accounts for their pets once they've run out of friends to invite :-)

  2. Ernst Blofelt

    And they had the cheek to ban me repeatedly

    But on the plus side I get a lot more done these days

    when Trumps social media site open anyway ?

    1. chuBb. Silver badge

      When he has to show something to avoid litigation from investors.

      1. Stoneshop Silver badge
        Holmes

        See him in court

        And has gotten out of the approaching court case with the EFF for violating Mastodon's Affero license.

        I hope Florida Man tries to use Rudy G. as attorney once more. I could do with the laughs.

  3. chuBb. Silver badge

    Fuck zuck

    Simple policy has served me well over the years.

    If I want to share photos I use my own site

    If people want to get in touch use my email which hasn't changed in over 25 years, or call my phone or if you must txt again same number for over 20 years

    If you are worth knowing you know my rules or you fail to get hold of me

    1. BenDwire Silver badge

      Re: Fuck zuck

      I share the same policy, but have added Signal as another option.

  4. LDS Silver badge

    "to paint a false picture of our company"

    No Zuck, that is not fake news... your algorithms botched it again....

    "We have industry leading programs to study the effects of our products"

    Sure, weren't the leak about that results? Just you've made them so transparent nobody outside FB could see how dangerous the effects of your products are.

    "will "reduce our overall operating profit in 2021 by approximately $10 billion.""

    Ah, now it's clear what the "metaverse" is about. Avoiding the new 15% minimum tax and teleport money directly to offshore coffers.

    1. Kevin Johnston

      Re: "to paint a false picture of our company"

      It is easy to have Industry leading programs when the industry is 'Facebook Inc revenue protection Industries'. That is one of those smokescreen phrases like 'Up to 100%' and 'small portion of our users'

    2. chuBb. Silver badge

      Re: "to paint a false picture of our company"

      Ahhh the metaverse, techno illiterate headline grabbing chod, like the "dark web" or as i call it, the net circa '95-'96 with encryption that would have melted your 486.

      We all know it will be a worse version of secondlife with even more racism, sexism and algorithm supplied dog whistles with added ads, captain cyborg (kevin warrick) will be a ubiquitous presence again chatting shit about having a rfid chip implanted (ya know like you would a cat or a dog...) so he can open a door like a harry potter cosplayer with a butchered oyster card can ride the tube.

      With endless analogies to the matrix and blade runner [even though bladerunner doesnt feature a metaverse/net/wizzy cool looking ui that would be absolute usability fail, tron would be a better pick just saying] and maybe existenz if they done their homework* in the press clearly showing people writing about the crap were

      a) distracted by the sfx and didnt notice the plot (its not avatar there are plots in all 3)

      b) the plot went over their heads and failed to notice the corporate distopia/machine overlords

      c) still believe if they wish really hard and think magicleap can it will

      All to mine for patents and dodge tax, the only good that may eventually come from it will be bionic eyes designed to deliver ads directly to your brain, with a handy secondary function of allowing the blind to see...

      *looked at the people also bought suggestions on amazon

    3. Warm Braw Silver badge

      Re: "to paint a false picture of our company"

      It's not our company: its structure means it is his company.

      He has unique, sole control over everything FB does. Everyone who works there and thinks they are somehow part of the "team" is delusional: they're just the enablers.

      1. Stoneshop Silver badge
        Big Brother

        "our company"

        Majestic plural or schizophrenia?

        1. WolfFan Silver badge

          Re: "our company"

          Zuck is Pharaoh. His proper title is His Imperial Majesty, the Lord God, Zuck the Last, God-Emperor of Arsebook.

          Where’s Moses when we need him?

          1. Stoneshop Silver badge
    4. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

      Re: "to paint a false picture of our company"

      I think the key part of that sentence was at the end : "We have industry leading programs to study the effects of our products and provide transparency into our progress because we care about getting this right ". "Right" for whom? Well him and his shareholders, obviously - he doesn't care about the users one jot.

  5. NerryTutkins

    facebook moderation is a joke

    They claim to stop antivax and other false information being redistributed, but they really don't. It's just zuck talking, there is zero actual action.

    They have a report mechanism that lets you report breaches of the Ts and Cs, when you report a comment or post, you can select false health information, or hate speech based on ethnicity or nationality.

    So you'd think that someone sharing a post on a dubious blog claiming that covid vaccines are more dangerous than the virus and have really killed millions, or that infectious diseases only arise because of "the Chinese" would breach them. But apparently Facebook reviews these and decides they're fine.

    But if you call someone who's an idiot, an idiot, you can get put in facebook jail.

    It's no wonder it's just a medium for people to spread shit around.

    1. Kristian Walsh

      Re: facebook moderation is a joke

      Facebook moderation is struggling to stem the top-tier of horrors that people post online (child abuse, rape, graphic violence). There’s no resourcing for the lower tiers of mere misinformation, hate-speech and lies.

      Facebook’s profits are enormous, but its operating margins are tiny, and earnings per item of content are infinitesimally small. It is only the enormous scale of the platform that allows it to turn a profit at all. Any further moderation would swallow that profit whole.

      But there are very simple things that facebook could implement right now. One would be to limit the lifetime of any post to a handful of impressions a day. That should be sufficient for the photos of your last extended-family outing (posted by that relative who insists on still using FB), but it would seriously impair the actions of the political campaigners.

      Anyone who wanted more reach would have to pay a monthly fee, say starting at US$5000 and rising for greater reach, and provide full details of who they are and who’s funding them, with most of the fee used to verify this information and monitor the posts.

      The problems of facebook are solvable problems, but they will cost money. That is why Zuckerberg is not taking any action, no other reason. He wants to be rich, and doesn’t really give a shit about anyone else.

      1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

        Re: Facebook’s profits are enormous, but its operating margins are tiny

        I don't give a damn about how tiny its margins are if its profits are enormous.

        If it has enormous profits, it has money to improve its moderation abilities.

        And I don't care why Zuck is not taking action. The Law can make him take action.

        Of course, for that we would need politicians that don't already have their heads halfway up his ass.

    2. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: facebook moderation is a joke

      They claim to stop antivax and other false information being redistributed, but they really don't. It's just zuck talking, there is zero actual action.

      I sometimes think that basically he's still mentally a 20-something years old kid who just wanted a web page and still believes in the inherent goodness of humans.... etc. etc. etc.

      He's really just moron who allowed people smarter than him and even less ethical to run things.

      Off topic a bit... I do note that he had several meetings with Florida Man back when he was still President. Seems like two peas in the same pod... make money no matter who suffers for it.

    3. a pressbutton

      Orwell overheard a time traveller

      In 1984 there is a term "duckspeak"

      ... which is really close to "zuck talk"

  6. Twanky Silver badge
    Megaphone

    Customers?

    Facebook will therefore make serving those young adults its North Star even though the bulk of its customers aren't in that age band.

    OK, I know this drum is getting a bit old but it's not worn out yet: Most FB users are not its customers. FB's customers are the ones who buy services from it.

    1. chivo243 Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: Customers?

      FB's customers are the ones who buy services from it.

      Right you are, 99.99% of FB users are the product, it's only the companies that buy data\and or advertising from FB that are customers.

      How did such a perverted platform get so perverted? I mean, c'mon we all know the original use for the prototype...

      1. A. Coatsworth

        Re: Customers?

        How did such a perverted platform get so perverted?

        If you remember the original purpose of "The Face Book" as Zuck created it, you'll realize that the platform was perverted from its inception. It quite literally was born with the original sin.

        1. chivo243 Silver badge
          Thumb Up

          Re: Customers?

          Yes, I think they were copying the old website Hot or Not!

      2. T. F. M. Reader Silver badge

        Re: Customers?

        How did such a perverted platform get so perverted?

        Apparently, dumb f..ks are to blame.

    2. Stoneshop Silver badge
      Big Brother

      Re: Customers?

      If you're not paying for it you're not the customer, you're the product.

      1. Snowy Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: Customers?

        Just because you paying does not mean your also not the product. Facebook has one customer and that is Facebook, everyone else is there to be exploited.

  7. Scott Broukell

    There is always going to be misinformation everywhere, greatly enhanced by the existence of the internet and, in particular, by sites such as Facebook and Twitter, it is available to everyone who ever wants to seek it out. Subsequently we find ourselves in a feeding frenzy for the reaffirmation of our personally held biases, however minor they may seem to us as individuals. The landscape of social media sites reflects our inadequacies back at us, but we are blinded to that by simply seeking out reassurance - an internet playground where you seek out a group of people to cling to and either ignore or pour scorn on other groups, if you are so inclined and believe me, group behvioural pressure is very powerful (look at history). So we have an internet playground with all the bullying and hatred that occurs in almost every school playground - but crucially amplified up to 11 if you really want it that way! - which effectively drowns out any alternative voices. All that is sold to you as shiny and glittery goodness does not have a heart of gold and is not the promised land of the internet - because human nature cancels that bit out rather quickly. For those like Zuckerberg, to have the vision in order to turn all this into hard ca$h and monetize the basest aspects of human nature must surely display both brilliant foresight and a true understanding of human behavior.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Line-breaks

      Really

      help

      in

      legibility

      </snark>

      your points are valid though in my opinion

    2. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

      TL;DR

      no line breaks

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        CR;LF

        line breaks

        1. chuBb. Silver badge
          Pint

          That was good have a pint!

    3. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      "must surely display both brilliant foresight and a true understanding of human behavior"

      Either that, or it displays his sociopathy to an extreme degree.

  8. Magani
    Alert

    Dept of Corrections and Clarifications

    In a previous press release, our beloved founder was misquoted as saying:-

    '... the media has made "a coordinated effort to selectively use leaked documents to paint a false picture of our company".'

    His real quote was :

    '... the media has made "a coordinated effort to selectively use leaked documents to paint a true picture of our company".

    We regret if you were misled and we also apologise for his split infinitive.

    1. Stoneshop Silver badge
      Mushroom

      we also apologise for his split infinitive.

      Why?

      I very much like to boldly split infinitives. I would also very much like to split Facebook into subatomic particles, with the bozons separated and fired out of the solar system's planetary disc into deep space.

      1. Conundrum1885

        Re: we also apologise for his split infinitive.

        Sending them all to the Delta Quadrant would suffice.

        Perhaps deep into BORG space so they can live for all eternity as drones.

        (Arturis Voice)

  9. teebie

    "and that Facebook is not the main driver of societal polarisation."

    "We are, at worst, the second leading cause of societal division" isn't the best defence I've ever heard.

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Maybe it's not the driver but it sure as hell is the megaphone.

  10. Kane Silver badge
    Terminator

    "coordinated effort to selectively use leaked documents to paint a false picture of our company"

    Okay then, release everything you have to the public, ZuckerBorg®. Nice and open, like. That way we can form our own opinion about your company, you 51% shareholder, you.

  11. Potemkine! Silver badge

    I'm all right, Jack, keep your hands off of my stack

    it prioritises finding eyeballs for ads ahead of user safety

    And Feckbook still does, look at Suckerberg's discourse! What does matter is the revenue growth, because it's what Wall Street is looking at. Human rights, harassment, teens suicides? Wall Street doesn't give a damn as long as the money is flowing.

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: I'm all right, Jack, keep your hands off of my stack

      Wall Street is only part of this. The real driver is Zuck's insecurities (remember "The Face Book"?) and being holder of 51% of the shares, he's making a pile of money which maybe feeds his ego.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Doing something right?

    Zuck's outfit is clearly doing something right to get all that attention. The Facebook Papers show it's also doing plenty of things badly.

    I disagree that wilfully offering people the electronic equivalent of free psychoactive* drugs can be termed as good.

    * Let's not forget that Zuck is the son of a psychologist and studied it himself

  13. Paul 195
    Big Brother

    Lying toerags

    So who would I trust, the head of a publicly traded company or a whistleblower? In this case, the whistleblower as Zuck and Facebook have consistently ignored anything that might lower profits, and whenever caught out in some flagrant abuse of trust say "oops, we didn't mean it". The problem he has here is that everything the whistleblower says is congruent with what most people following the news already believe about Facebook, and his insistence that the company's "values are being misrepresented" is also completely consistent with everything he says whenever they get caught.

    Anyone remember this one: https://www.theregister.com/2019/01/30/facebook_apple_enterprise_certificate_revocation/ - Facebook abuses Apple issued cert to install privacy busting app on kids phones in violation of Apple's rules (and also in violation of common decency).

  14. Stoneshop Silver badge
    Headmaster

    Facebook papers?

    More like Facebook[0] Diapers: they sure contain a lot of shit.

    [0] modify according to your own preference.

  15. HildyJ Silver badge
    Megaphone

    Nothing we didn't already know

    It's nice to have confirmation but, realistically, any of us could have predicted what the findings of "The five nastiest bits" would say.

    And in case anybody's still dreaming, Zuck isn't going to change anything besides the wording of his press releases.

  16. Version 1.0 Silver badge
    Meh

    So how did this start?

    Remember in the early days Facebook was checking all the posts and eliminating post that their monitors thought were bad ... but then a political party started to complain that all their supporters posts were being deleted and that Facebook was being undemocratic. The Facebook response was to fire most of the monitoring staff and replace them with AI ... the political party that started all the complaints was very happy.

  17. Jean Le PHARMACIEN

    From the outset....

    10 mins of thought would expose the bullying; name calling; spitefulness this platform could produce. The web equivalent of a school playground in an english prep school

    Unfortunately, oversight and moderation were and are absent. The "Lord of The Flies" is being played out for real (and I loathed that book as a teen in English class) with caualties for all to see.

    Where, when and how will it end?

    Personally I hope Zuck's servers are irretrievably trashed (ransomeware?), Zyck is banned from such similar enterprises from now on and the world decides that "social network software" is actually antisocial

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: From the outset....

      Wouldn't it be a shame if spawn of zuck got cyber bullied on what ever usurps Facebook, bet things would improve quick then...

  18. Pen-y-gors

    Multiple accounts?

    Why the concern about multiple accounts? Doesn't everyone on social media have multiple accounts? How else do you keep the different aspects of your life apart? And I assume that most sensible people (like me) have their main account under a pseudonym?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Multiple accounts?

      I think the sensible ones do not social

    2. chuBb. Silver badge

      Re: Multiple accounts?

      Multiple accounts will skew the ad stats, advertisers will pay less if they have reason to doubt the effectiveness of the targeting. Less ad profit less being the ceo bitch

    3. heyrick Silver badge

      Re: Multiple accounts?

      I assume that most sensible people (like me) don't have their main an account under a pseudonym?

      FTFY.

      1. BenDwire Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: Multiple accounts?

        I know plenty of sensible people that do have an account, but when I try to point out the error of their ways I just get a shrug and they keep on doomscrolling. There is a sizeable gulf between 'sensible' and 'wise'.

        1. Cav Bronze badge

          Re: Multiple accounts?

          I can control what I do. I can't control what my extended family does. They share news, photos, family updates on FB. They are spread throughout the world. If I want to have any contact then I, even knowing the problems with FB, have to have an account.

  19. Winkypop Silver badge
    Meh

    Having never taken the FB bait

    I am oblivious to how it works or what it does, good or bad.

    I happily live my life without FB, if I miss something, no big deal.

    I look at FB a bit like smoking. Some engage in it, many frown upon it and others think it’s a dirty habit.

    1. chuBb. Silver badge

      Re: Having never taken the FB bait

      Me either

      As far as i can tell its the bastard lovechild of yahoo groups, msn messenger and an RSS feed, which lets people have the geocities lets share with the world warm and fuzzies with even less of a technical on ramp, with hit counters now called likes, and guestbooks are now called walls.

      [I have been having fun explaining things in terms of '90s web things to the work experience kid given he is well under 20 and likes tales of the "stoneage", and now understands having been made to work through it on graph paper and not just use the calculator]

  20. Funongable

    Advertising is a type of reality distortion

    Methinks "Reality Distortion" with be a killer app for A.I.. As reality gets shittier and shittier, tech will take up the slack by providing an ever more convincing escape into "metaverses" and the like. The 31% of U.S. voters who are still in denial about climate change will do virtual safaris to hunt white rhinos to their heart's content.

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