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Some thoughts on how Facebook grew too big to handle

Recently FT technology correspondent Hannah Kuchler wrote an article[*] about Facebook (d)evolution that ends with:

Facebook and governments are responding to the social network’s problems one by one, rather than addressing underlying causes. Tristan Harris believes the company has created a “digital Frankenstein”. “By definition, they cannot control it,” he says. “I think they don’t want to admit that.

Here is how I see it:

I am not an economist, nor I lead an enterprise but… My thinking is that, when your business grows, you can expect to be able to (and a main goal of yours is to) achieve economies of scale and this is а positive development both for the business and for its customers.

So I can understand this desire for growth, no matter if the product is a commodity or a service.

It is just the opposite with the issues though (and the loco minoris resistentiae you are struggling with) – when you experience persevering problems or see potential negative effects at a lower level, they will only get worse as you level up.

This is the case with balancing (and ruing) human rights (preventing discrimination, censorship, and privacy violations, to name some), disseminating information without recognizing yourself as a publisher, or addressing collateral damage from your (zuboffian surveillance capitalism) business model.

And this is how you walk the way from lofty (here I search the antonym of humble) technological utopianism to irrational technopanic. A difficult place to start your transformation, rethink your priorities and make people believe in your (noble) incentives.

[*] Published on 2019/03/29

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