Fabulous analysis by Niall Ferguson:

“I tried to warn Mark Zuckerberg that he risked becoming part Rockefeller, part Hearst. But the rest of us don’t have a good solution for what his platform has become. For the past five years, raking Facebook’s muck has been a path to prominence for many an ambitious journalist, for the obvious reason that traditional media companies loathe Facebook for eating their lunches.”


“But the "whistleblower," Frances Haugen, is telling us nothing new. If you read @antoniogm’s seminal "Chaos Monkeys," you’ve known about the crazy realities of Facebook -- the power and the vainglory -- for five years. Either last week's FB outage illustrates the folly of centralizing a large part of the internet in a single company that has inadequate operating procedures, or it illustrates the folly of centralizing a large part of the internet in a single company that tells fibs.”

“No, Zuckerberg isn't Gutenberg 2.0. Johannes Gutenberg didn’t connect all the printing presses, harvest readers’ likes and dislikes, and then monetize them in a way that incentivized him to spread the theory that bubonic plague was airborne or that Europe was full of witches.”

“Yet in one important respect I agree with Facebook’s defenders. The company’s critics have got no credible reform proposal. Breaking up FB won't solve the problems Haugen has exposed. But giving yet more power to federal regulators has rarely had the intended outcome. The irony of Haugen’s charge-sheet against Facebook is that one half alleges excessive power, while the other half alleges concealed decline. The problem is that the company eating Facebook's lunch is none other than TikTok.”


“If the ultimate beneficiary of that disenchantment with the world’s biggest social network turns out to be China, the blame will lie squarely with Mark Zuckerberg. And he can’t say I didn’t warn him.”

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