Is Facebook your friend? Are you OK with how Facebook uses data about you that it collects? Was Facebook’s motto "move fast and break things" ever a great idea?

Billions of users here and around the world really like Facebook. They can have fantasy friendships with Beyonce and Jay Z, Michelle and Barrack, Donald and Melania, internet trolls, Assad's man-hunters, Putin's FSB.

What could possibly go wrong when billions of users docilely accept Facebook’s promises that radical transparency is actually open, reciprocal, or even a good thing? Spoiler alert -- the bad news just keeps coming.

"Move fast and break things. Unless you are breaking stuff, you are not moving fast enough." Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, interviewed by BusinessWeek

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg seems certain that he’s the smartest guy in any room. When things break at Facebook he soberly assures us that he can fix whatever is wrong. A few may continue to accept those assurances because Zuck says that he’s passionate a lot. Anyone with a pulse know that ship sailed years ago.

The New York Times
While actual push back from the U.S. Congress is lame thus far, EU regulators have aggressively gone after Facebook by mandating landmark measures aimed at protecting user data. Some of those measures are being voluntarily adopted by U.S. tech companies (for instance, new banners across web pages that alert users to sites’ use of cookies) presumably because measures are warranted, but perhaps also to head off tougher measures from being enacted in the future.

Protecting user privacy against rampant abuse by Facebook is an EU focus, but its regulators were driven to forcefully act by anti-competitive advantages fueled by the same deceptive practices that propelled Facebook’s dominance in the European advertising sales market.

Meanwhile, almost as an side-show, Europe continues to be besieged by Russian hacking, misinformation and meddling in elections.

We now know that Facebook C.O.O. Sheryl Sandberg (Lean In author and inspirational icon) was pleadingly passionate at delaying, denying, and deflecting mounting evidence (provided to her early in the game by Facebook’s own cyber security experts) that Russia had weaponized the social media platform in what became a spectacularly effective misinformation gambit that sowed chaos during our 2016 presidential election. This one is on Ms. Sandberg. The details aren’t pretty.

Why does this matter?

As if damage caused by Facebook’s deflections of warnings about Russia’s unfettered weaponization in 2016 weren’t bad enough; more than 70 other Facebook acquisitions and properties that include Instagram, WhatsApp, and Confirm: Government Issued ID Verification Platform continue to make it a fat and floundering target ahead of the 2020 election.

Is Facebook top management incompetent or malign? Evidence suggests the latter.

An investigation by The New York Times recently detailed what Facebook insiders and many in the wider tech industry have understood for some time; that Facebook lies a lot, that Facebook is cavalier with user data and vetting content, and that Facebook may be so broken even Zuck can’t fix it.

More recent news about Facebook:

©Quentin Leo Company