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FACEBOOK

Updated: Aug 29, 2020


At the outset I must say that I love reading and in particular biographical books dealing with successful business leaders and world leaders.

It must be a real book I can hold and not something I read on the laptop or kindle.

This week I have just finished reading Steven Levy’s book on Facebook,' The Inside Story'. It is a huge tome of 580 pages written by a writer who was the founder of Backchannel and chief technology writer and senior editor of Newsweek. He has written seven previous books.

On the cover of his book it describes it as a penetrating account of the momentous consequences of a reckless young company with the power to change the world.

I found that ,once I had started reading it, I could not put it down. You are drawn into the action straight away.

It details how Mark Zuckerberg created a simple college website to help the college social network system and how it spirals ahead at wildfire pace.

There is also some remarkable writing about the work done by Sheryl Sandberg in developing Facebook and rescuing the company from disastrous PR on several occasions.

The Wall Street Journal described the book as ‘Gripping and illuminating.’

I found the book educational and alarming at the same time.. I was amazed at the ruthlessness and unbridled ambition displayed by Mark Zuckerberg and his directors when they started gobbling up any start up company that dared stray into their territory. They devoured What’s app and Instagram which had their own individual identities but quickly were integrated into and are now an integral part of Facebook.

Writers use words like gargantuan to describe the Facebook group of companies. I think you could use Gargantuan to the power of infinity to describe its size adequately.

On reading the book I was flabbergasted by the sums of money involved in takeovers. Suffice it to say that they were all in billions of American dollars.

Today the company is valued at around six hundred billion American dollars with over three billion users.

Every night on TV and radio we hear of fake news and fake accounts propagated by Facebook account holders and how little can be done to stop it.

We saw in the very recent past how they affected the British and American elections. We also saw the role of the Russians and Chinese in using social media to disrupt elections.

In Myanmar the President used Facebook as a weapon to incite violence against the Rohingya by warning of dangerous Rohingya terrorists. Facebook did nothing to stop it.

I said already that Facebook spends billions in takeovers but are far less generous in paying their moderators , the people who monitor content. They are paid a pittance in comparison to the megabucks paid to the management .

This excellent book ,written by the renowned techie writer John Levy ,is based on hundreds of interviews inside and outside the company.

If you or your family members use Facebook, Instagram or What’s App this book is a must-read . You will quickly see how we are all being manipulated and monitored by Facebook. Instagram and What’s App.

I enjoyed every page of it and recommend it most highly as most necessary reading to understand fully where social media is leading us.

Addendum: Today Aug 23 rd there are 3 centi billionaires in the world, that’s people who have a minimum wealth of 100 billion dollars each. They are known as the 12 digit club.

Jeff Bezos of Amazon with 194 billion

Bill Gates of Microsoft with 122 billion

Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook with 102 billion

So let’s all keep face timing, ordering on line, what’s apping , googling etc and then watch these numbers continue to grow. for the 12 digit club.

Happy googling.

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