The World Wide Web turned 30 this past week. Web creator Tim Berners-Lee marked the occasion by noting that the web is now dysfunctional with ‘perverse’ incentives, while Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg seems to have marked it by announcing Facebook’s new pivot to privacy. Trust us, he did not suddenly have a come to Jesus moment. The only pivot here in his manifesto is away from Facebook’s current town square format into one focused more on the ability to have private messages among people and groups, which is the way that Facebook users had been going anyway.
“I believe the future of communication will increasingly shift to private, encrypted services where people can be confident what they say to each other stays secure and their messages and content won’t stick around forever. This is the future I hope we will help bring about,” said Zuckerberg in his manifesto.
‘Private’ is a far cry from providing privacy, especially given the ever-vigilant eyes and ears of the platform and it’s myriad far-reaching and invasive APIs.
We’ve been down this road before. Wasn’t it just about a year ago that Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg said that if you want privacy, expect to pay for it. Sounded like a threat or maybe some form of sour grapes to us, and turned out to be just another Facebook false promised.
Facebook makes a fortune on selling user information to advertisers and third party developers. They’re not about to cede the information to users only and throw out the baby with the bathwater, meaning that Zuckerberg’s latest manifesto was just the latest PR stunt, baby. Zuckerberg’s former mentor said as much himself.
In fact, according to the CNBC article, “Berners-Lee laid out three reasons why the web is dysfunctional, including “perverse incentives” from ad-based business models “used by many tech giants like Google and Facebook, that reward “clickbait and the viral spread of misinformation.” The web’s inventor has previously attacked big tech companies including Facebook, Google and Twitter for exploiting people’s personal data.”
We will remind you about Facebook’s humble beginnings, and no, not as a college campus-based hot or not, rating babes and bros, but rather that the Pentagon killed Lifelog, “an ambitious effort to build a database tracking a person’s entire existence” the same day that Facebook was launched. Should you decide to stick with the platform, given its proposed plan to integrate WhatsApp and Messenger with Instagram, which would allow users to easily communicate across the three platforms, keep in mind that this construct offers Facebook new advertising channels and will allow the company to track users across activities as never before. In other words, rather than at long last respecting users’ privacy, Facebook is about to make even more of a land grab, with WeChat as its blueprint. With its plans for a Facebook cryptocurrency having already been announced, there’s no doubt that Amazon is also now in Facebook’s sights, just as WeChat is very much an e-commerce platform.
Among other things
We will remind you that WeChat has over a billion members in China, where Facebook has been banned, and is also a surveillance tool for the Chinese government. As for Facebook, nothing to see here, or see above.
It has been a while since we’ve mentioned that the true vision of the tech cartel is to create their own powerful nation-states, and considering Facebook’s latest manifesto, seems that the plan has not changed. Facebook’s new focus is not to at long last offer privacy, but it is following the eyeballs and skating to where the puck is going, not to where it has been, and thank you once again Wayne Gretzky. If you have any questions about Facebook’s sincerity, and to paraphrase a bit, if you want to know where exactly that puck is going, good idea to remember the direction from whence it came. Onward and forward.