Facebook has been in the news a great deal this week, so much so that I found myself writing blogs two days in a row. And now in this third day, I will give it up to Zuck himself. The guiding mind of Facebook made the rounds of talk shows and interview tables to shed some behind the scenes looks at how the-powers-that-be at FB came upon and addressed the recent data theft (mis-use?) by 3rd parties.
You may have seen some of the sound bites on TV or heard on radio. Or read in the media. Here is a transcript of a 20-minute interview, which was conducted by Kara Swisher and Kurt Wagner of Recode. (Thank you Recode!) See for yourself if you are satisfied with Facebook’s response.
Swisher gets quickly to what I think is the point of all this, that these geniuses at Facebook wanted to play in the real world but didn’t expect the bad guys to target them. She brings up the idealistic theme at Facebook.
KS: Open and sharing, and it was helpful to growing your platform, obviously. What’s in the mentality of your engineers of Facebook where you didn’t suspect this could be a problem?
Zuckerberg deflected that the engineers were solely at fault.
MZ: You know, frankly, I just got that wrong. I was maybe too idealistic on the side of data portability, that it would create more good experiences. And it created some, but I think what the clear feedback was from our community was that people value privacy a lot more. And they would rather have their data locked down and be sure that nothing bad will ever happen to it than be able to easily take it and have social experiences in other places.
KS: I get that. 2014 you absolutely did that. But I’m talking about the … You know — and I’ve argued with [Facebook executives] about this — this anticipation of problems, of possible bad actors on this platform. Do you all have enough mentality, or do you not see … I want to understand what happens within Facebook that you don’t see that this is so subject to abuse. How do you think about that, and what is your responsibility?
MZ: Yeah. Well, I hope we’re getting there. I think we remain idealistic, but I think also understand what our responsibility is to protect people now.
Do you feel safer now? I don’t. Read the entire interview and decide for yourself.
Peter Parker/Spiderman said it best (well, Stan Lee…): With great power comes great responsibility.
I think Facebook continued to think of this all still being a giant frat party. Time to grow up boys. Some bullies outsmarted you and took away your lunch money. The whole world is watching how you handle this.