Items tagged with: meta
Mark Zuckerberg gave an interview with The Verge this week, about a wide variety of topics. You can watch the interview here, or read the entire transcript here. One of the topics that was touched upon was Threads, and ActivityPub. Mark Zuckerberg made some interesting comments regarding his vision on interoperability of social networks, ActivityPub, and the goals of Threads. In this article I take a deeper look at some of his statements, and how they relate to the fediverse.
The comment from Mark Zuckerberg that stands out most is regarding interoperability: “the more that there’s interoperability between different services and the more content can flow, the better all the services can be.” It is strange to see him tout the advantages of interoperability and open platforms, when he is the owner of multiple of the world’s largest closed platforms. Even more so, under his watch these platforms used to decrease interoperability.
Still, one of the core values of the fediverse is in promoting interoperability between products and servers, and apparently Zuckerberg is now on board with this. He gives the following reasons of why he thinks interoperability is important:
“My view is that the more that there’s interoperability between different services and the more content can flow, the better all the services can be. And I guess I’m just confident enough that we can build the best one of the services, that I actually think that we’ll benefit and we’ll be able to build better quality products by making sure that we can have access to all of the different content from wherever anyone is creating it.“
The first sentence is in line with basic fediverse values, if we interoperate with each other, we both benefit. It’s the second sentence that is just as important however, as Mark Zuckerberg immediately frames this benefit in how Meta can benefit the most from this. His actual explanation in the second sentence however is focused only on how Meta can benefit from this, and become the best (biggest) service. Interoperability is thus framed in an extractive manner: interoperability is used to create value for Meta.
The second reason mimics the first argument. Mark Zuckerberg says here:
“There’s kind of this funny counterintuitive thing where I just don’t think that people like feeling locked into a system. So, in a way, I actually think people will feel better about using our products if they know that they have the choice to leave.”
Here, interoperability is used as a way to rebuild walled gardens. Meta’s current platforms function as a walled garden by not allowing you to take your data and social graph to a different platform. To stay with the metaphor, a wall is to prevent people from flowing out of the garden. Mark Zuckerberg’s estimation here is that replacing the wall with a sign that says ‘you can leave if you really want’ will increase the flow of people into the garden more than the flow outside of the garden. In that sense, interoperability is simply more effective than a walled garden at keeping as many people as possible using the service, from the viewpoint of Meta.
For both of the arguments, the literal, surface level reading of the arguments presented by Mark Zuckerberg might fit in with the fediverse. After all, the reason why I’m writing about the fediverse is because I also believe that interoperability between services is of benefit for both the services that do so. I also prefer to use a service when I know I am not locked in. Its the second part of the argument, the why behind the argument, is that stands out as different. Mark Zuckerberg focuses exclusively on how Threads can benefit, and ultimately make money out of it. Even the ability to leave is transformed in a reason to stay.
A Second Phase
Another remark that drew my interest was how Mark Zuckerberg seems to distinguish between two phases in social media:
“Maybe for phase one of social networking, it was fine to have these systems that people felt a little more locked into, but I think for the mature state of the ecosystem, I don’t think that that’s going to be where it goes.”
He is talking about interoperability again here as the distinguishing factor for the difference between phase one of social networks and the next phase. He then draws parallels to the messaging ecosystem. Meta is working on providing full interoperability for WhatsApp. Something that is conveniently not mentioned is that this interoperability for messaging apps is a requirement of Europe’s Digital Markets Act, which will come into force in spring 2024.
The implication here from Mark Zuckerberg’s perspective seems that interoperability of social networks is here to stay, due to external forces, and Meta will have to adopt.
Another note here is that Mark Zuckerberg says, when talking about decentralised social media protocols, that he has “always believed in this stuff.” Pressed by Alex Heath, he points at the technical complications of implementing a decentralised protocol into Facebook. What is not mentioned is that he also holds the majority of voting power at Meta, and that under his leadership, Facebook has actively removed functionality that enabled interoperability. For example, fediverse platform Friendica used to have a Facebook/Friendica plugin that allowed full interoperability between both platforms, until Facebook made major changes to their API that depreciated this feature.
Culture of Threads
Mark Zuckerberg again:
“A lot of the conversation around social media is around information and the utility aspect, but I think an equally important part of designing any product is how it makes you feel, right? What’s the kind of emotional charge of it, and how do you come away from that feeling?”
“I think Twitter indexes very strongly on just being quite negative and critical. I think that that’s sort of the design. It’s not that the designers wanted to make people feel bad. I think they wanted to have a maximum kind of intense debate, right?”
“So I think how we set the culture for Threads early on in terms of being a more positive, friendly place for discussion will hopefully be one of the defining elements for the next decade as we scale it out.”
Together this provides a picture of Mark Zuckerberg’s vision of social networks and Threads, and gives more context of why he values interoperability all of a sudden.
Content moderation at scale is extremely hard and expensive, and Meta’s historical track record is absolutely disastrous. Like, playing-a-determining-role-in-genocide-levels of disastrous.
Given that context, it’s no surprise that Meta has little interest in content that’s associated with negative emotions. It is in their interest to have content with negative emotions not to be posted on their platforms. Making declarations of intent is vastly easier than actually implementing them however. For example, the account libsoftiktok is allowed on Threads, and it is hard to square that with the intent of focusing on positive and friendly content.
Still, leaving aside the challenges that Meta has with implementing this vision (if it is even realistically attainable), Meta’s new preference for interoperability fits in with a preference for positive content over negative content. Twitter has been very successful with a focus on heavy news and content that is often more negatively emotionally charged, in Mark Zuckerberg’s view. This means that disincentivising negative content from Threads, also means losing out on content that made Twitter so successful. Interoperability can provide an opportunity here for Meta and Threads. Reading between the lines, it looks like Mark Zuckerberg hopes that people will post the positive content on Threads, and the more negative content on other ActivityPub networks. This way, people on Threads have access to all the content they want, while Threads gets to push the responsibility of content moderation for more difficult topics towards the owners of other interoperable networks.
What To Expect
The prospect of Threads joining the fediverse has been a hotly debated topic. People have expressed major concerns about the implications regarding content moderation, safety and privacy. Other people have expressed doubts whether Meta will actually move forward with their plans. This interview with Mark Zuckerberg seems to do little to alleviate concerns regarding safety, privacy and content moderation. It does provide however some clear indication that at this point in time, Meta is serious about adding ActivityPub support to Threads. Plans can always change however, and nothing is guaranteed until it actually happens.
Norway wants Facebook behavioural advertising banned across Europe.
Norway has told the European Data Protection Board (EDPB) it believes a countrywide ban on Meta harvesting user data to serve up advertising on Facebook and Instagram should be made permanent and extended across Europe.
Read more in today's newsletter:
① #China Is Investing Billions in Global #Disinformation Campaign ft. Fake #Journalism, #Bot armies & lawsuits🟠https://archive.ph/XoJxH#selection-4493.148-4493.172
The Fediverse may become flooded with billions of new users over the next six months after the @EU_Commission declared that six major tech companies have less than a year to comply or face fines based on global revenues.
Image: from Pixabay, discovered on Fediverse Party.
The European Commission has today designated, for the first time, six gatekeepers – […]
I am not sure why you would assume otherwise when they repeatedly mention #ActivityPub & Fediverse when talking to the media. Their intent is to dominate the future of social media, which is decentralization.
There is also a business case for them to do it as well, which I will type about later on #WriteFreely.
👉🏾 Meta: The Greatest Fediverse App Will Be Built By Us (Threads) https://darnell.day/meta-the-greatest-fediverse-app-will-be-built-by-us-threads 🔛 @email@example.com
Too Long; Did Not Read:
📹 Zuck interview: https://youtu.be/9aCg7jH4S1w
If you're a published author and you haven't given permission for your book to be fed into Meta's, Bloomberg's or other AI training systems, please check the database in this article. If your work is there, you may want to join in on the lawsuit. This corpus has 183,000 (pirated) titles.
Last year The Markup revealed that tax prep companies sent sensitive personal information/tax related info/financial info to #Facebook without clear disclosure or expressed consent. This was primarily happening because of the #Meta Pixel, which collects data on websites that implement it - regardless if you have a Facebook/Meta company account.
Afterall, who files taxes and expects that information get sent straight to Facebook/Meta when using a tax prep software?
WTF - yes, you are right. YT deleted the video, it has nothing to do with your location.
Yesterday, when watching it, I thought that this is really dangerous stuff or the #TechGiants, #Google and #Meta in particular. If I were CEO...
Well, it seems that Google's PR department saw it likewise.
We can try to contact Cory directly, if there is another platform that has the recording.
Wow, they are fast when they see a threat to their business modell.
#UK's #Online Safety Bill finally passed by #parliament
#Messaging platforms led by #Meta's (META.O) #WhatsApp have opposed a provision in the law that they say could force them to break #end-to-end #encryption.
US mother sentenced to two years in prison for giving daughter #abortion pills
> Jessica Burgess pleaded guilty in July to providing an abortion after 20 weeks and tampering with human remains
Yesterday Justin Trudeau revealed that agents of the Indian government murdered a Canadian citizen on Canadian soil. When Canadian Sikhs went to post about it on Facebook, the platform removed their posts as a violation of Indian law.
"#Meta acknowledged…to The Washington Post that Threads is intentionally blocking the search terms ["covid" and "long covid"] and said that other terms are being blocked, but the company declined to provide a list of them. A search by The Post discovered that the words…“coronavirus,” “vaccines” and “vaccination” are also among blocked words."
#Cryptocurrencies #AI #ChatGPT #machinelearning #Meta Scientists created ‘OpinionGPT’ to explore explicit human bias — and you can test it for yourself: A team of researchers from Humboldt-Universitat zu Berlin have developed a large language artificial intelligence model with the distinction of having been intentionally tuned to generate outputs with expressed bias.
Called OpinionGPT, the team’s model is a tuned variant of Meta’s Llama 2, an AI system similar in… https://btcnews.biz/cryptocurrencies/scientists-created-opiniongpt-to-explore-explicit-human-bias-and-you-can-test-it-for-yourself/?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=mastodon
re: this: https://social.network.europa.eu/@EU_Commission/111017787528870307 Prior indications were that #Meta has been holding off on #Threads federation until it knew the EU's decision, so it's reasonable to expect their move to come soon or never.