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Facebook's former security manager says its privacy life is “puncturing” on its most difficult problems

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg made a bomb alert earlier this week that his company would turn to an "integrity-focused communication platform" that prioritizes encrypted private messages and groups over public posts and the algorithm controlled news feed. According to the company's former security manager, Alex Stamos, the move could mean that some of Facebook's hardest problems around moderate speech and prevention of bad behavior effectively disappear. "Mark Zuckerberg decided he can't be in the middle anymore. The middle is where you lose continuously," Stamos told an audience at Vox Media's SXSW event series in Austin, referring to Facebook's attempt to remove a line between strictly controlled speech and behavior on the platform and enable freedom of expression. "Mark Zuckerberg decided he can't be in the middle anymore." When it comes to bad actors on the platform, it is Russians trying to organize election disturbances or anti-vaccine proponents who spread false information, "Facebook says effectively that it is not our problem," says Stamos, saying that such problems "mostly come "in a world shifting away from the algorithmically dictated news feed and recommendation engine." I see him [Mark] pointing to that class of trouble because it is a class of trouble where he cannot win. " While Facebook is actually removed the anti-vaccine groups and pages from their recommendation engine last week, the company will still not completely remove these organizations from the platform, and that situation is symbolic of the type of middle class that Stamos says invites most criticism of…

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg made a bomb alert earlier this week that his company would turn to an “integrity-focused communication platform” that prioritizes encrypted private messages and groups over public posts and the algorithm controlled news feed.

According to the company’s former security manager, Alex Stamos, the move could mean that some of Facebook’s hardest problems around moderate speech and prevention of bad behavior effectively disappear. “Mark Zuckerberg decided he can’t be in the middle anymore. The middle is where you lose continuously,” Stamos told an audience at Vox Media’s SXSW event series in Austin, referring to Facebook’s attempt to remove a line between strictly controlled speech and behavior on the platform and enable freedom of expression.

When it comes to bad actors on the platform, it is Russians trying to organize election disturbances or anti-vaccine proponents who spread false information, “Facebook says effectively that it is not our problem,” says Stamos, saying that such problems “mostly come “in a world shifting away from the algorithmically dictated news feed and recommendation engine.” I see him [Mark] pointing to that class of trouble because it is a class of trouble where he cannot win. “

While Facebook is actually removed the anti-vaccine groups and pages from their recommendation engine last week, the company will still not completely remove these organizations from the platform, and that situation is symbolic of the type of middle class that Stamos says invites most criticism of Zuckerberg’s existing approach.

Essentially, Facebook is criticized for not making enough to combat misinformation and other inappropriate content from one side, while the other is demonstrating that a private company may decide what more than 2.3 billion say on the world’s most populous and far-reaching digital platform.

But by shifting to private groups and messages, with a central focus on encryption to win back consumers and critics who are concerned about privacy, Facebook may be able to avoid making the lost lost calls, Stamos says.

“This indicates to me that … he gives up the News Feed and the public because his tasks under this decision apparently show that the desire to be public or semi-public is a diminishing desire of people,” Stamos says. He adds that the shift also clarifies that Zuckerberg gives up on the web (since encryption of chats in a browser would not be possible) and give up on China (where the government would never allow a US company to operate with direct control of data.)

Of course, we do not know how Facebook intends to deduct all this. The shift is because the company deducts its interoperable vision for a system that connects Messenger, Instagram, WhatsApp and even SMS. It is not quite clear what role traditional Facebook, with public pages and News Feed, would play in the new vision.

It’s quite possible Facebook keeps that part of its product intact and cocks it with older users and those who are still familiar with the company’s attitude to data collection and ad targeting. In that world, Zuckerberg would not be “puncturing” on their most difficult problems, but rather simply turning the headlight away from that part of its platform that is most susceptible to bad actors, which does not do much to make Facebook a healthier environment.

But Stamos says that the biggest obstacle for Facebook ahead will be monetary. If the company creates an encrypted, unified messaging system and encourages users to abandon its core product, its ad targeting becomes much less efficient and may result in significantly lower advertiser interest. “The real issue,” says Stamos, “is what speed is happening. And when they give up these advertising revenue, they can find other revenue to replace it.”

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