It’s Monday, which means Facebook is making the news again. What’s interesting is that when we talk about Facebook, it’s automatically synonymous with Mark Zuckerberg. I say this, because, when we talk about Twitter, we don’t automatically associate it with Jack Dorsey. I wonder if this is going to cause Zuckerberg some issues if it hasn’t already. As you might already be aware, Tim Cook has been extremely critical of Facebook lately. Especially since the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Mostly because it allowed data to be misused. This is an area that Tim Cook and Apple take very seriously. So his criticism of Facebook is leading to Zuckerberg getting his back up.
Tim Cook described the situation as “dire” and said that the problem was so bad that “well-crafted regulation” is necessary as the only way to ensure that it doesn’t happen again. This is a huge “shots fired” moment. I don’t say that lightly. Cook has called out Zuckerberg in terms of his being able to manage the behemoth that is Facebook. Not only that, but he gives regulation as the answer. In most cases, regulation is never the answer. But because this situation has become so “dire”, it seems like it’s the only way to go. At least that’s what Cook is saying.
I don’t think I’m being dramatic when I say that. After Cook made that first statement, he followed it up with something that is considerably worse. He was asked what he would do if he were in Zuckerberg’s situation, and Cook replied very simply with “I wouldn’t be in his situation”. Did your jaw just drop? Not only is he saying that this Facebook situation is so bad that it needs regulation, he’s also slammed Zuckerberg by saying that he’s effed up royally. Of course, it doesn’t end there. Zuckerberg responded directly in a Vox podcast by stating the following:
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. If you want to build a service which is not just serving rich people, then you need to have something people can afford. I think it’s important that we don’t all get Stockholm syndrome, and let the companies that work hard to charge you more, convince you that they actually care more about you, because that sounds ridiculous to me.
Is there any truth to this? Yes, you have to pay quite a bit for any of the Apple devices. But does that equate service? Cook went as far to suggest that when a service is free, you’re no longer the consumer, but rather, you’re the product. This was a comment from early 2014, and Zuckerberg responded by saying that if Apple cared about its customers then they would charge less. But I’m not buying that.
I’m not taking Cook’s side necessarily, but I think the two are completely separate. Facebook has grown exponentially over the years. Not just from a user perspective, but also in terms of how many features they offer on the platform. This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone though. Facebook lacks the manpower to be able to stay on top of these kinds of things. Look at what happened with people being able to post inappropriate videos. Facebook’s response was to bring on more employees to help monitor this system. Has that helped?
Facebook isn’t what it used to be. While I have always expressed my concerns with Facebook, I do think that it could be a great service. I think there is so much potential there, but it’s lacking right at this moment. So yes, I kind of agree with what Cook is saying. Would Apple be in this boat? I doubt it. Apple has a lot of security features preventing these kinds of things. Sure, they have had their own issues, but they are always quick to fix them and improve on them the next time. Sorry, Facebook.