Leaked Facebook Memo Shows "Grow At All Cost" Mentality

The CEO of Facebook announced Wednesday that the social media company changed its privacy settings to make it easier for users to understand and change them. "This was one that most people at Facebook including myself disagreed with strongly", said Zuckerberg. Facebook redesigned the settings menu on mobile devices "from top to bottom" to make things easier to find. Facebook says it is also adding "clearer explanations" about how its privacy controls work.

The company is now facing tough questions about user privacy, and the role it plays in communities around the globe.

Why was this change necessary?

A new privacy shortcuts menu. "Candidate and PAC spending on ads vastly overshadowed Russian spending we know of, and much of it was every bit as divisive as the Russian campaign". Cambridge Analytica gathered information from users in 2014 and this is just now coming into light.

Zuckerberg said in his statement on Friday that the company is now putting less emphasis on growth, and focusing instead on bringing people "closer together".

Mellon added that Facebook and Google's scale and increased public accountability had left them vulnerable to government regulation around the world. "If you turn this on and someone tries to log into your account from a device we don't recognize, you'll be asked to confirm whether it was you", the duo explained.

Of course, Facebook will also encourage people to manage the apps they use - having them check what information is being shared with their apps. During the last midterm election in 2014, digital advertising accounted for less than 1% of political spending in federal, states and local elections, according to advertising tracking firm Borrell Associates.

The statement said Cambridge Analytica did not "have the opportunity to get into personality models", relied on "audience segments that Facebook and other online platforms make available to all advertisers" and did not use bots. There will be a new page, Access Your Information, where you can see, and delete, what data Facebook has on you.

One section that definitely is worth clicking no to: the ad settings where Facebook asks if it can create ads for you based on the websites and apps you visit. This happened when I joined, and Facebook asked if I wanted to connect with other friends, by importing my contacts from my computer, which happened to have their phone numbers and sometimes addresses.

"This product enables third-party data providers to offer their targeting directly on Facebook", product marketing director Graham Mudd said in a statement posted online.

"The lid is being opened on the black box of Facebook's data practices, and the picture is not pretty", said Frank Pasquale, a University of Maryland law professor who has written about Silicon Valley's use of data. Finally, it will be restricting Facebook Login data. But Zuckerberg defended the memo's author, one of his most trusted confidants, calling Bosworth a "talented leader who says many provocative things". That includes posts, reactions and comments, and whatever you've searched for.

  • Jon Douglas