Is Facebook responsible for hosting a murder broadcast?

Facebook user Steve Stephens used Facebook on Sunday to build an audience for murder, posting videos of his plan to shoot somebody, the shooting itself, and his confession. Facebook explained the changes it will make in reviewing videos like this, but avoiding taking responsibility or apologizing. In the end, how much fault lies with Facebook? While … Continued

Mark Zuckerberg on Facebook’s future: the spirit is willing, but the algorithm is weak

Mark Zuckerberg published a 5800-word letter on the future of Facebook. It’s thoughtful, well-reasoned, articulate, and full of truth. It’s also full of wistful promises, which I don’t trust no matter who offers them. Mark Zuckerberg’s letter, Building Global Community, starts like this: On our journey to connect the world, we often discuss products we’re building … Continued

How Facebook makes money for me — and why that worries me

I thought Facebook would help me sell books. Instead, what it has done is to boost my brand among a big group of influential people and give me opportunities to get paid. As a result, I can see how it’s assimilating many Web functions, a trend that worries me. I’m a mid-level business author. While my … Continued

A business model for Medium (and the rest of online content)

Medium CEO Ev Williams posted that he’ll be pivoting the company toward a mysterious new business model: [W]e are shifting our resources and attention to defining a new model for writers and creators to be rewarded, based on the value they’re creating for people. And toward building a transformational product for curious humans who want … Continued

To Jeffrey D. Sachs: sprinkling tech on politics makes it worse, not better

In an op-ed in today’s Boston Globe, the influential economist Jeffrey D. Sachs laments the lack of trust in modern American politics. He then proposes that we solve it with (among other things) “e-parties” and “e-governance.” But proposals like this ignore the way that trolls and partisans now wreck every online social space. Sachs’ op-ed, … Continued

Amazing! Facebook solves fake news problem! (Not really.)

The problem of fake news on Facebook is now a news story. The last few days have seen tons of articles about it, most misleading or wrong. Ironically, these are exactly the kind of articles that spread virally, with misleading headlines. The headlines I show here are real, only the articles don’t match the headlines (yup, clickbait). None … Continued

Mark Zuckerberg’s delusions regarding fake news on Facebook

Mark Zuckerberg defended Facebook this weekend regarding the role of fake news in the election. It’s way worse than he says, and he has a lot of work to do to fix it. Ignorance is the biggest problem in our democracy, and Facebook is making it worse. First, let me ask you: was your news … Continued

Post-election, Microsoft’s Brad Smith shows tech CEOs how to lead

What’s a leader to do in the wake of a divisive election? For Silicon Valley CEOs from Apple, eBay, Facebook, and LinkedIn, the answer is smile, give us a all a hug, and tell people to get back to work. But Microsoft’s President Brad Smith showed us how a leader ought to lead in a crisis. This election is … Continued