Important headlines for April 10th – Zuckerberg's biased child-like innocence
Bottom Line: These are stories you don't want to miss and my hot takes on them...
Hot Take: I've produced my first tracking story for this race today but there's one extremely important point. Everyone's putting the cart before the horse. Yes, Nelson and Scott are the prohibitive favorites to represent their parties but they both have contested primaries. I'm not expecting this to be a year that produces a Rubio or Scott type of upset in the primaries but two of Florida's three most prominent politicians pulled huge upsets in primaries over prohibitive favorites including one of these candidates. The Sentinel's seven questions were reasonable but neither addressed the fact that both have to win an election against others before facing off against each other.
As for the texture of the race it's a fascinating match-up. You have an incumbent Democrat with lackluster approval rating but in a year that favors Democrats against a highly successful Republican governor who was never personally popular. Add in that we're the ultimate swing-state and it does have all the makings of another 1%ish outcome one way or another...but again there are seven months and a must win elections for both candidates before we get to that particular conversation.
Excerpt: Facebook is an idealistic and optimistic company. For most of our existence, we focused on all the good that connecting people can bring. As Facebook has grown, people everywhere have gotten a powerful new tool to stay connected to the people they love, make their voices heard, and build communities and businesses. Just recently, we’ve seen the #metoo movement and the March for Our Lives, organized, at least in part, on Facebook.
Hot Take: This excerpt is as revealing and instructive as any you'll find into how Mark Zuckerberg, and by proxy, Facebook thinks about things and sees its place in the world. He's not ideologically motivated or minded as many may be. Why/how would I say something so definitive? What comes to mind when you think of the metoo movement? What about the March for Our Lives event(s)? There's a good chance that you associate them with political considerations and as a result view them through at least a partially political lens. Mark Zuckerberg doesn't. If he did he'd never hold them out as specific positive examples of the "good" that Facebook could do. It's not even on his radar that members of Congress, the very Congress he's testifying before (along with the NRA), were more commonly blamed for the shooting at the D.C. March for Our Lives event than Nikolas Cruz. It really wouldn't make sense for him to go out of his way to highlight partisan occurrences as the prime examples of Facebook at its best. In Mark's mind those movements are just plain universally positive.
This is instructive generally about why Facebook has had such a hard time dealing with its role in the perpetuation/prioritization of biased news content and it's attempt to "fix" news feeds. If you and your team don't view events, news, etc. through the lens of many of your users - your remedies are almost certain to contain unintentional biases. And this is independent of the data scandal stuff.
All of this prior to the data brokering revelations.