Kedrosky: Facebook Can't Be Trusted

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July 3 (Bloomberg) -- Bloomberg Contributing Editor Paul Kedrosky discusses the risks of oversharing information on social media as Facebook is caught manipulating users’ newsfeeds as part of a study. He speaks on “Market Makers.”

Tone deaf here about the balance facebook needs to do?

It would not be the first time, right?


there are a couple of great websites out there that have collected apologies of mark zuckerberg, most of which have to do with privacy violations.

You can safely add this particular episode to the list.

This is another example of facebook in particular being tone deaf with respect to the obligations that come with being the owner and curator of so much intimate information about individuals.

The notion that in this particular case, they have sufficient data that they can manipulate the news feed and these kinds of emotional responses from people, sad items, postings on facebook and vice versa, and this is worthy of academic study.

What was not worthy was the explicit signing into this program.

This has upset people, and i think facebook is not to be trusted with respect to personal data.

I would say two things to that.

We have been here before.

Mark zuckerberg has apologized for it in the past.

Should this surprise anybody?

Facebook comes to you for free.

There is a terms of use agreement that every facebook user has to agree to in order to participate.

Tell me something i don't know.

I'm not a facebook user for this very reason.

That is a legitimate response.

I have not been a facebook user for some time for similar reasons.

You hear that response a lot.

People will say to you there is an old adage in silicon valley that if you are not paying for the product, you are the product.

Facebook is a great example of that.

Google is constantly running experiments in how its search service appears to users.

What you see and what i see are likely very different things.

People use that to allocate facebook's behavior.

This is different because it's not that they are trying to show you how their product changes, they are showing how they can change you as a product.

The reason facebook feels it is entitled to do this is because it is trying to do it every day.

It filters your newsfeed to try to create a response for advertisers who are trying to get you to purchase products and services.

It does not want to lose that access to you and that ability to change her behavior and emotion.

That does not make it right.

We have not heard much from the company, beyond what sheryl sandberg said yesterday at an event in india where she happened to be promoting her book, where she termed facebook's response, quote unquote, poorly communicated.

That was strange and fairly halfhearted.

This cuts to the power of what facebook does as a business.

You only see 20% or 30% of the news items created by the people you follow on facebook.

Facebook filters them algorithmically.

Here are the ones you are most likely to be interested in.

And the one so they can most easily attach ads.

This is a fundamental tension in facebook's business.

Every time you turn the dial to increase ad revenue you elicit these emotional responses from people as you try to target them more friendly and you turn them into rats into the maze.

-- rats inan a maze.

Hearing that carl levin held about four years ago into goldman sachs and levin was challenging the chief financial officer at the time about the language in an internal e-mail -- he did not apologize for the language, he just said i wish that had not been in e-mail.

Kind of the same sentiment.

It is one of these classic examples, i just wish i had not gotten caught, much like luis suarez got caught biting the guy in the world cup.

That is shameful behavior, where they have a higher and better obligation in part because they have so much private information about their users.

Thank you very much.

This text has been automatically generated. It may not be 100% accurate.


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