Facebook’s internal documents show its ruthlessness

jim bell jdb10987 at yahoo.com
Thu Dec 6 16:13:07 PST 2018


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As expected, the UK Parliament has released a set of internal Facebook emails that were seized as part of its investigation into the company's data-privacy practices. The 250-page document, which includes conversations between Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and other high-level executives, is a window into the social media giant's ruthless thinking from 2012 to 2015 -- a period of time when it was growing (and collecting user data) at an unstoppable rate. While Facebook was white-listing companies like Airbnb, Lyft and Netflix to get special access to people's information in 2013, it went out of its way to block competitors such as Vine from using its tools.

When Twitter launched Vine, the app had access to Facebook's Friends API, which let Vine users see which of their Facebook friends were using the then-new app. But after approval from Zuckerberg himself, that access was cut off. "Unless anyone raises objections, we will shut down their [Vine's] Friends API access today. We've prepared reactive PR, and I will let Jana know our decision," Justin Osofsky, Facebook's vice president of global operations and media partnerships, said in an email at the time. Zuckerberg replied, "Yup, go for it."
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            Jim Bell

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