Oct 10, 2021Liked by Casey Newton

Maybe gambling would be a closer comparison than big tobacco, not least as IIRC some of the behaviours seen from slot machines etc were used in app design. I'm guessing something like this https://www.gamblingcommission.gov.uk/about-us/statistics-and-research will turn up for social media in the UK.

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I have a soft spot for Haugen's impulse to bring a fix to the table that's at the product level (as opposed to governance). A change in the feed is closer at hand and might get less resistance, meaning a faster line to starting to turn the ship; as someone who has worked in product, I get this strategy even as a woefully small step in the grander scheme.

That said, I'm also willing to give her fixation on the feed the benefit of the doubt. She's been inside and seen how fiercely facebook long-timers defend the algorithmic approach, maybe they protest so much because it is very effective at the money making that also happens to rot civil norms. If it is that effective, it's worth focus as a point of change (assuming you can't get at the roots).

All signals are that they have no intention of changing anything. I've been thinking about Boz's promotion to CTO and how they didn't go looking for new thinking to fill the role, but fell back onto one of the strongest "Yes, Mark" people already inside. As much as Zuck striking his IDGAF poses of late, this to me said that they don't want to hear from anyone who thinks in any way other than they have for the past decade.

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Great recap, thanks Casey. Lots to think about.

One thing I found puzzling, was her refrain that she wants to save Facebook. That her goal was to save Facebook by getting Congress to help.

"They won’t solve this crisis without your help."

OK but, if we're being intellectually honest, surely we can agree that Congress *would not* know how to help. Just listening to the way they talk about "The Algorithm" should be enough to ward off even the most optimistic among us.

So I found that part dubious. She doesn't want Congress's *help*, she just wants their platform.

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