Weekly Wreck

Facebook - Critical Infrastructure or Public Menace?

As Facebook's [FB] Marc Zuckerberg seeks to prove wrong the suggestion by Tristan Harris and others that using Facebook is not time well-spent questions around the firm's flagship platform continue to increase. While Facebook has continued to grow and make ever greater profits this very growth now subjects the firm too much more suspicious politicians and press. While so far the firm has avoided the popularity meltdown of similar firms that preceded it like AOL and MySpace it now faces new threats that are both regulatory and reputational in nature.

This, of course, begs the question what does Facebook or any other social media platform do for its users and society? What critical need does it meet or is it just another addictive form of media that seeks to be more addictive in order to attract more eyeballs and advertising revenue?

Indeed some studies even suggest social media could be causing an increase in teen suicides. Then, of course, there are those ever so famous Russian ads.

If Facebook wishes to keep on minting money it will need to come to grips with these issues. Failure to do so may very well lead to the demise of the firm in the long run.


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