Sunday, 22 July, 2018

Zuckerberg slams Apple CEO Tim Cook's comments on Facebook as 'extremely glib'

Andrew Bosworth in 2010 Andrew Bosworth in 2010
Grady Vargas | 03 April, 2018, 05:03

Mark Zuckerberg's defence comes after Apple CEO Tim Cook said his company wouldn't be in Facebook's situation because Apple doesn't sell ads based on customer data the way Facebook does.

Cook questioned Zuckerberg's social media empire regarding its monetization of user data. Yet when people learned that 70 million people were targeted with political ads from fake Russian news accounts, the business model came under fire, and those flames continued to be stoked by the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Zuckerberg responded in a podcast on Monday saying that the idea that Facebook doesnt care about its customers is extremely glib.

"If you want to build a service which is not just serving rich people, then you need to have something people can afford", Zuckerberg said.

If taken at face value, Zuckerberg's claim that users share information because they trust Facebook to protect it could spell trouble for the company now that that trust has been rocked by scandal. "I wish I could solve all these issues in three months or six months, but I just think the reality is that solving some of these questions is just going to take a longer period of time". He said, "You know, I find that argument, that if you're not paying that somehow we can't care about you, to be extremely glib and not at all aligned with the truth". In response to what he would do in Zuckerberg's shoes, Cook said "I wouldn't be in this situation".

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The 49-minute interview covered a range of topics, from the importance of local news to propaganda in Myanmar. Facebook may have grand plans for connecting the world in some sort of online harmony, but the Cambridge Analytica scandal (among others) proves that as good-natured as that plan may be, it is also risky. "I think now people are appropriately focused on some of the risks and downsides as well".

"Over the long-term, what I'd really like to get to is an independent appeal. We will take action after their reply".

Even before the recent user privacy debacle, Facebook and other social sites were being called out by the Time Well Spent movement - a nonprofit started by former Google employee Tristan Harris that encourages people to reconsider how much time they waste scrolling through social feeds.

Eventually, he said, he wanted something like the "Supreme Court", in which people who did not work for the company made the ultimate call on what was acceptable speech. He did not explicitly state if he felt this sort of system, whether informal or formal, is a critical problem, or just the appropriate cost of doing business efficiently.

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