Thursday, May 13, 2010

Look Who's Talking

Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, it's just come out, once referred to users who trusted him with their personal information in the social network's early days as "dumb %#@&$". While it needs to be taken into account that at the time he made this comment, he was a teenager, and that the context was a private IM conversation with a friend (i.e., the sort of milieu in which off-the-cuff bullshitting is not unknown), it still reveals that Zuckerberg was aware of the potential breach-of-privacy issues posed by Facebook at a very early stage in the network's development. And given that his company has come under increasingly heavy fire in recent months for its indifference to user privacy, it's not exactly good for the site for its founder to be quoted in the media expressing a cavalier disregard for the privacy of and contempt for its users, even if the quote is the better part of a decade old.

Given that Zuckerberg never figured out how to monetize his product without alienating his customer base with heavy-handed marketing gimmicks and obtrusive invasions of their privacy, maybe he's the one who's a dumb %#@&.

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