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Mon Oct 4, 2021, 04:25 PM

NYT: Is Facebook weaker than we knew?

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/10/04/technology/facebook-files.html





But thereís another way to read the series, and itís the interpretation that has reverberated louder inside my brain as each new installment has landed.

Which is: Facebook is in trouble.

Not financial trouble, or legal trouble, or even senators-yelling-at-Mark-Zuckerberg trouble. What Iím talking about is a kind of slow, steady decline that anyone who has ever seen a dying company up close can recognize. Itís a cloud of existential dread that hangs over an organization whose best days are behind it, influencing every managerial priority and product decision and leading to increasingly desperate attempts to find a way out. This kind of decline is not necessarily visible from the outside, but insiders see a hundred small, disquieting signs of it every day ó user-hostile growth hacks, frenetic pivots, executive paranoia, the gradual attrition of talented colleagues.

It has become fashionable among Facebook critics to emphasize the companyís size and dominance while bashing its missteps. In a Senate hearing on Thursday, lawmakers grilled Antigone Davis, Facebookís global head of safety, with questions about the companyís addictive product design and the influence it has over its billions of users. Many of the questions to Ms. Davis were hostile, but as with most Big Tech hearings, there was an odd sort of deference in the air, as if the lawmakers were asking: Hey, Godzilla, would you please stop stomping on Tokyo?


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