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Zucked, by Roger McNamee

Waking up to the Facebook Catastrophe

Publisher:London :, HarperCollins Publishers,, 2019.
ISBN:9780008319007
0008319006
9780008318994
Characteristics:336 pages ; 24 cm.

At the start the book focussed on the author’s achievements and I almost lost interest in it. Reaching the third chapter or so the author reveals his close ties to Mark Zuckerberg, and then the book gets interesting.

One of Facebook’s philosophies is to build fast and break things. This can be seen how changes are brought upon users to see and test the reaction and how well or badly it’s received. For minor changes to the appearance this approach is fine, but it has played havoc with unregulated “bad actors” placing fake posts that can influence elections.

The author goes into much detail about the problems with Facebook and his attempts with others to try to fix it. But it seems that “Zuck” is very hard to reach these days, protected securely by his surrounding cronies.

Amongst other advice, the author wisely recommends not reading political posts at all; and after some time Facebook’s algorithms will show you more of your friend’s personal posts. Given the threats by Facebook to block posting of news content in response to the Australian Government’s request for content payment; users may need not worry about too many news or political information on the platform.

Reading the book probably won’t put you off using Facebook, as many other free platforms use your personal data to sell advertising. But it will make you more aware of the problems when getting factual information from social platforms.

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