Ezra Callahan worked at Facebook between 2004-2010 as a product manager and manager of internal communications. He's just shared on Quora the following five things that non-Facebookers often think about the company that simply aren't true:
1. Facebook is going to start charging users some day.
2. Facebook sells user data.
There is some nuance to this one, as Facebook certainly monetizes user data by targeting ads to people based on information they post to the site. But this targeting process doesn't involve transmitting or transferring a user's data to an advertiser nor does it identify an individual to an advertiser. So it is inaccurate to say Facebook sells user data in the way most people understand that.
3. Facebook employees have unlimited access to users' data and snoop on them.
Facebook has strict controls and procedures for who can access user accounts and when they may do so. There is also a strong internal culture around maintaining user trust, and internal security breaches are dealt with swiftly and severely.
4. Facebook/Mark Zuckerberg doesn't care about privacy.
The company and its founder have a firm understanding that people need to feel in control of their information to trust the service enough for it to succeed at its mission and, in turn, its business goals. Certainly, Mark has views different from many on how the concept of privacy is evolving broadly in the world and how specifically it should be applied within the realm of Facebook. But it requires a fundamental misunderstanding of Facebook and Mark to say they don't care about privacy.
5. Facebook has failed as a business.
It's impressive how quickly people are willing to write off a company that generates billions in revenue per year and continues to grow just about every business metric at an impressive rate compared to the vast majority of companies in the world. One can argue that Facebook should be able to make magnitudes more revenue and profit given everything it has and that in that sense Facebook hasn't, to date, lived up to its business potential. But many interpret the recent thrash around its stock price as an indication that the business side of Facebook is a complete flop and is doomed to failure. This is, at the very least, incredibly premature and could well prove to be laughably off the mark depending on how the company develops and grows over the next several years.
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