Facebook Accidentally Tells the Truth

Xinhua via ZUMA

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis and more, subscribe to Mother Jones' newsletters.

BuzzFeed has dug up a memo written a couple of years ago by Facebook vice president Andrew “Boz” Bosworth. He now says he never believed any of it and wrote it just to be provocative. Here’s an excerpt:

The ugly truth is that we believe in connecting people so deeply that anything that allows us to connect more people more often is *de facto* good. It is perhaps the only area where the metrics do tell the true story as far as we are concerned…. That’s why all the work we do in growth is justified. All the questionable contact importing practices. All the subtle language that helps people stay searchable by friends.

….I know a lot of people don’t want to hear this….We do have great products but we still wouldn’t be half our size without pushing the envelope on growth…. That’s our imperative. Because that’s what we do. We connect people.

You can decide for yourself if you buy the excuse that Bosworth was just trying to stimulate discussion. I don’t. This sounds to me precisely like the kinds of things Mark Zuckerberg used to say in public until he wised up. This is Zuckerberg’s vision, connecting everyone in the world whether they want to be connected or not. It also happens to be great for the bottom line, which means that at Facebook church and state are always on the same page. That’s a powerful combination for conquest, as the entire continent of South America can attest.

THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.