Hardly anyone has so good insight into the world of Silicon Valley and the Tech corporations such as Steven Levy, a former editor of Newsweek and editor-in-chief of the American magazine "Wired". For more than 30 years, he reported on technological developments. His book, " Facebook . World power on the brink" (Droemer, Munich 2020. 688 p., C. 32 Fr.) is a comprehensive history of the social network. It ranges from the beginnings in a Dorm of Harvard University to the present day. More than a dozen Times Levy Facebook met-in-chief, Mark Zuckerberg, spoke with former employees, evaluated unpublished documents. During the interview, he tells what he has found about Zuckerberg and the inner workings of Facebook out.
Mr Levy, do you trust Mark Zuckerberg?
I have To go into something. On the basis of our Meeting: I don't think he is a liar. He is very fixed on what he thinks is the Right thing to do. He wants to connect the world. He book writes everything in this note.
notebooks? From Paper?
Yes, correct note books. He takes you everywhere and keeps its product designs, and what he hoped for from Facebook. These notebooks are legendary. Sometimes he copied a few pages from a book and you are a Facebook employee, in order to illustrate how he imagines a certain product or how the news feed should work. This note he has books, but all destroyed.
"If you have millions and billions of users, a lot can go wrong?"
This is a bit ironic, when you consider that he is constantly accused of violating the privacy of other people. He was afraid that the notebooks could be published. But there was a copy of his main book, the "Book of Change". And someone sent it to me. So I got insights into his Thinking. He has tunnel vision when it comes to his Mission. He will do what needs to be done. What is not always the Best for the users of Facebook.
do you Use Facebook?
do you Like it?
Some of it is very practical. For example, it is the best way to contact former employees of the Facebook produce. And my family uses it. We have a small group, which we use to exchange images and messages. I have been told by the concerns about the privacy scare.
Facebook has been much criticized, especially after the US presidential election, because Donald Trump is said to have benefited from the social network. Is Facebook made a scapegoat for larger problems?
In the book I try to show how some mistakes are made. There were already many complaints about Facebook. You had the attitude as if you were still in a Dorm and not much could go wrong. But if you have millions and billions of users, a lot can go wrong. Particularly if you are on Facebook information to circulate, which can be life for some people, dangerous, as in the case of Myanmar.
There were widespread false information about the Muslim minority.
Yes. But it is the big Bang of the U.S. election in 2016, so that people realize that you have to drag Facebook to the responsibility.
"Than the data used to make Trump to be President, not people remarked that with Facebook something was wrong."
when was the error?
It was a series of events, and it is almost comical, like one to the other, and finally, to the biggest disaster in the history of Facebook led.
you mean that the data company Cambridge Analytica Profiles of Facebook-to evaluate users is illegal in the US election campaign, got involved.
The glitch with Cambridge Analytica happened already in 2010. At the time the external App has been granted developers access to Facebook. These developers did not give us access only to the data of the people that used their App, but also on the Profiles of friends. They wanted the profile of a Person from a social network goes where you are anywhere in the network.
Each Time Facebook was going on against the privacy, there was internal resistance. But Mark Zuckerberg made it then anyway. It was only a matter of time before it would come to a misuse of the data. But it is not until the data have been used to make Donald Trump for President, not people remarked that with Facebook something was wrong.
Was this the only crisis?
There were many crises. The biggest crisis was, however, as the slowdown in growth was. Their Motto was "Move fast and break things" ("Be quick and destroy things"). If we add to that: "And apologize later", then that was okay.
you describe, that Zuckerberg has the strategy to play was obsessed. What effect did this have on Facebook?
I don't think the games have influenced him. He sought to use the games, which fit to him. He is very competitive. He liked to play "risk", the strategy game in which you have to conquer the world, and was very good at it. The game was the blueprint for Facebook's previous successes in American Colleges. Zuckerberg thought strategically, as in, "risk", he saw the Colleges as countries in the game and used the same strategy. He wanted to conquer not only the small but the big. At Columbia University there was a similar project like Facebook that wanted to expand. Mark turned off this competition as the first to have a free run.
Has the mentality of the Elite universities influence on Facebook?
Facebook hired in 2007, Chamath Palihapitiya, was very allergic to this Stanford - and Ivy League Connections. He wanted to get rid of these people. As the head of the team, the was for growth to be responsible, he was ready to fight with dirty Tricks. Palihapitiya, an led delicate methods to promote growth. For example, there was a sudden Facebook Accounts of people that had not created any. Just because someone had shared photos of them. They produced fictional stories, to keep people for as long as possible in the Newsfeed.
"people do not want to be Facebook reigns"
invented Facebook, the principle of Fake News?
Not invented, but there you have it tightened. The Problem began in 2009, as a Mark of Twitter was possessed. He saw the platform as a possible competitor, and I thought that Facebook would have to work in real-time. He wanted to, that things can go on Facebook go viral. This feel-good stories about puppies or people who have beaten cancer followed Well. It soon turned out that the Fake News, work much better than real news.
Would it not be better for Facebook to be less competitive and growth is fixed, but to be a democratic social platform. Without psychological Tricks, and capitalist Agenda?
Mark Zuckerberg thought Yes, that would happen. He thought, if it brings people together and makes things to share with each other, would they be nicer to each other. He thought the world would be a more peaceful place. But even if he had some things done better, I don't think the idea in principle, very convincingly, that a social network could improve the world.
Zuckerberg meets with politicians and the Pope. He says Facebook same more like a government than a company. What does he mean?
In his notebooks, he described in 2006, Facebook as a government. I believe that this comparison was not very happy. The people don't want to be Facebook ruled.
But to refer to Facebook as a company, it sounds almost understated.
Facebook was so great because the laws even stricter in Europe, it does not create, assign Tech companies in the barriers. We should not attack you as a company, but the users emphasize rights. You should not be able to use the personal data on.
"He was practically a Punk. Now he is the CEO of a gigantic company."
Zuckerberg and other Tech CEOs regulatory even want to. Are you purified?
What you actually mean: We want to work together with the authorities and us self-regulate. This is pure self-interest. So, you can minimize the damage to your business model.
The American presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren wants to crush Facebook. This is a solution?
I don't think so. Would you rather have three Facebooks? For the shareholders, a breakup of the group might be even good. Instagram would be a very powerful company.
Like the Mark Zuckerberg of 2020 of the Harvard students is different?
He was then practically a Punk. Now he is the CEO of a gigantic company. He is limited by his wealth. He always has a bodyguard around. He is heavily criticized and he is more careful in Public. But he is so fixated on competition as always. He says "Move fast and break things", but he still believes that Facebook needs to be fast. And he's still playing "risk".
Created: 03.03.2020, 12:01 PMUpdated Date: 03 March 2020, 14:06