Facebook's Pattern of Apologies

I hadn’t known that Zuckerberg still held the voting power at the company – I thought that had changed when they went public.

Doing what you want, apparently not giving a shit about the harm it does to others, and then apologising when you get caught (again)… that’s not a healthy psychological profile.


Years ago, there were complaints that Facebook was a walled garden and users’ data was siloed there - other applications weren’t able to interact with it. So they made the APIs and the Facebook apps to deal with that.

Now they have the problem that it isn’t siloed enough and has revealed too much to the apps, yet we still complain about it being a walled garden.

I don’t know what the future of that conflict is, but I’m glad I’m not working there, trying to please everyone and constantly getting it wrong in some way or other.


It can be, and it is, both. When people kept their own home pages on Geocities or whatever, they could move to another provider and leave a forward. And they posted what they liked, read what they liked, left comments on other people’s pages as they liked. And it was always very clear what was already published and in public, what had been shared with only a few people (if that feature was available), and what hasn’t been published at all.

And people were the final arbiters of that. The provider was unlikely to decide to publish unpublished posts just because.

Facebook is constantly gouging people for info – fill in your profile! list where you went to school so people can find you better! – but doesn’t let them control that info, although they claim they do. And there’s no way to transfer your Facebook page to somewhere else.

Years ago Wired posted how to get the Facebook experience without Facebook: have a blog, use Twitter as your “wall”, use RSS to follow other people’s posts, and so on. I did it, and I’ve been doing it that way ever since.


One of the ones I find insidious is the continous nagging to give them your phone number “to make your account more secure.” Uh huh.


That’s what the TGOP does. Screws people over, get caught, give a lame ass apology, repeat.

That sounds like a good thing. Unfortunately, I have family that pretty much only use Facebook and so that’s the only way to stay in touch with them.


My family does that too. I was lucky in that I had quit before they started an account. I held my ground about not going back, and they’ve accepted (grudgingly) that they have to use e-mail and text to get hold of me. It took being pigheaded about it for a while, but it worked.