As many Cats know I’m a huge fan of Facebook and Google too. Those two organisations provide extremely valuable services and are so good at what they do that many of their competitors are struggling. As such they have come to the attention of various nay-sayers.
To be clear – there is plenty to criticise. Mistakes are being made. Okay. But here is the thing – these are genuinely entrepreneurial ventures undertaking greenfield innovation. It is very much a trial and error process.
Some criticisms, however, are unfair or just downright silly. In response to a rather bland (I think) essay on privacy by Mark Zuckerberg the MIT Technology Review published an op-ed calling for Facebook to be broken up. It contained this gem:
If Facebook is constantly sending you push notifications, it diminishes the mental space you have available for tinkering and coming up with your own ideas. If Facebook bombards the gullible with misinformation, this too is an invasion of privacy.
But “Facebook” does not send you “push notifications”. “Facebook” does not “bombard the gullible with misinformation”. Your “friends” send you notifications, your “friends” bombard you with misinformation. Choose your “friends” wisely.