Facebook bans Ladyada

Hey look! Facebook banned another of my friends! It must be a day ending in "y".

Of course, Limor has no idea why this happened. Because commenting on specific accounts, even to the owners of those accounts, is "against policy".

If you work for Facebook, quit:

There are more Russian bots or whatever they are on Facebook than USA female EEs & CEOs from MIT on Facebook that have USA manufacturing companies in the USA, way to set the world on fire Mark.

Zuckerberg, 2010 2004:

Zuck: Yeah so if you ever need info about anyone at Harvard
Zuck: Just ask
Zuck: I have over 4,000 emails, pictures, addresses, SNS
[Bro McBro]: What? How'd you manage that one?
Zuck: People just submitted it.
Zuck: I don't know why.
Zuck: They "trust me"
Zuck: Dumb fucks

It of course goes without saying that, having banned someone with connections and influence, there may shortly be a fauxpology saying that "upon review", whatever triggered this ban did not actually violate their terms of service. (Implied: "this time"). Maybe they will even, in passive voice, throw an anonymous sweatshop contractor under the bus and abstractly "regret" any "inconvenience".

People without such influence don't get even that level of royal treatment.

This is your irregularly-scheduled reminder:

If you work for Facebook, quit.

It is morally indefensible for you to use your skills to make that company more powerful. By working there, you are making the world an objectively worse place. I'm sure you can find a job working for a company that you don't have to apologize for all the time.

You can do it. I believe in you.

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12 Responses:

  1. Derpatron9000 says:

    Let me fix that last part for you. If you use Facebook in any way shape of form "It is morally indefensible for you to use.".

  2. extra88 says:

    That Zuckerberg instant message exchange is not from 2010 but from ~2004, when he was 19 and was still at, or had just left, Harvard.

    I do not care about the dickish expressions of teenagers, even when they're in a fixed form (like instant messages) or more specifically fixed in code (e.g. his "hot or not" site). They particularly have no bearing on the value of and problems with Facebook. Ditto for Sergey & Larry and Google or any leaders of any organization of influence. I'm sure Limor is a much nicer person than Mark, and always has been, but if some proof of bad behavior or expressions from her youth surfaced, it would not negate value of what she has done and continues to do.

    I assume that blog post was not by Limor but by her spouse, Phil, seems much more his way to express frustration. Thankfully, unlike some businesses, Adafruit isn't heavily dependent on Facebook.

    • jwz says:

      When I was 19, I didn't act like a predator. People don't change. Particularly not children who luck into unfathomable wealth right out of the gate. (I have in fact known a few.)

      But hey, thanks for your apologies for the behavior of strangers. I'm sure they appreciate it.

      • extra88 says:

        An apology? Wouldn't you rather say I'm excusing his behavior? I still wouldn't agree but I think that would be more accurate.

        I don't know what "predator" refers to. If it's related to the 2004 quote, who or what is his "prey," his classmates, their data, "privacy?"

        • jer says:

          Semantics: apology/excuse.
          Predator: I can and will abuse these weak people's information by giving it to you, because I can exploit their weakness in giving it to me as I see fit.

          • extra88 says:

            I think there's a big difference between "I'm sorry my corporate overlord did that" and "Maybe my corporate overlord shouldn't have done that but he was very young."

            Thanks, "predator" is so often used to talk about sexual predators, I thought maybe I was missing a piece of information. I associate the word with something much more active, involving something analogous to a hunt. Alligators are predatory animals but if a chicken jumps in an alligator's open mouth, the alligator closing its mouth isn't an act of predation.

            To be clear, it's bad to violate an implicit trust by sharing information the way the chat describes, I just wouldn't use the label "predator."

        • relaxing says:

          "prey," his classmates, their data, "privacy?"

          it sure sounds like you get it, so why the question marks?

  3. Web Guy says:

    How about adding Google to that list? Their phone is legal malware. Everyone with a business website lives in mortal fear whatever bullshit they have in the pipeline, and bows down to webmaster tools as though it were a god. That, and they're doing their damndest to lay down the pipes for our future (present) police state.

    Or what about Apple with its toxic Chinese slave labor camps and situational approach to privacy?

    I gaze upon my field and despair.

  4. Wil E. Coyote says:

    Rather than discussing Mark Zuckerberg's personal morality, what I find most interesting about cases like this is that they highlight a fundamental feature of Big Tech, which explains why they have such a hard time dealing with abuse, why they enforce their policies so capriciously, etc.

    See: we all know that the key to getting rich is to work once, but reap the fruits of your works many many times. That's why Big Tech is so profitable compared to other industries: you write code once, and it can be used to extract profit from one million, 10 million or 100 million users at no extra cost.

    Now, what happens when there's abuse and harassment? (Or when there are cases that might or might not be copyright infringement, like with our host's Youtube streams). Like it or not, the only effective way to decide what is abuse and what is not is human judgement... but the problem is, human labor doesn't scale. Google could end unemployment in any one country tomorrow by hiring enough moderators to stamp out any abusive behaviour... but that would wipe out their profits. One line of code can serve 100 million users, but moderating the content created by 100 million users requires hiring (say) one million moderators at a decent wage. Nope, can't do that.

    That's why, whenever the subject of online abuse comes up lately, you hear about how Youtube (for example) is researching new algorithms, machine learning (!) and all kinds of blah blah blah to detect it automatically. Anything except the obvious solution: hiring more humans to decide these cases.

    Not being able to talk to anyone in support, whether to discuss a banning or a copyright complaint, is not a bug. It's a fundamental feature.

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