TECH NEWS – Leaked audio recordings of Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook‘s founder – even one of the US senators, namely Elizabeth Warren, got in his crosshair…
Let’s start with Warren. She’s the senator of Massachusetts since 2013, and she announced her candidacy for the 2020 US presidential election, too (but there are many candidates in the Democratic Party, so we’ll have to wait a while until we see who can compete against Donald Trump, who will run for a second term next year). If she gets elected as president, then she’d break up major tech companies, such as Google, Amazon, and Facebook. The Verge has published a few audio recordings of Zuckerberg.
„Question: With the recent FCC fine, investigation, and with the rise of politicians like Sen. Warren, I was wondering how personally worried you are about regulators coming in and breaking up Facebook?
Mark Zuckerberg: Well, I think you want to separate a couple of things. I’m certainly more worried that someone is going to try to break up our company. Now, there’s a separate question about, at the end of the day, there is the rule of law – which, for all of the concern about the direction the country is going in, as someone running a company that operates in a lot of different countries, I have to say one of the things that I love and appreciate about our country the most is that we have a really solid rule of law, which is very different from a lot of other places around the world.
So there might be a political movement where people are angry at the tech companies or are worried about concentration or worried about different issues and worried that they’re not being handled well. That doesn’t mean that even if there’s anger and that you have someone like Elizabeth Warren who thinks that the right answer is to break up the companies … I mean, if she gets elected president, then I would bet that we will have a legal challenge, and I would bet that we will win the legal challenge. And does that still suck for us? Yeah. I mean, I don’t want to have a major lawsuit against our government. I mean, that’s not the position that you want to be in when you’re, you know, I mean … it’s like, we care about our country and want to work with our government and do good things. But look, at the end of the day, if someone’s going to try to threaten something that existential, you go to the mat and you fight.” Warren has responded to it on Twitter: „What would really “suck” is if we don’t fix a corrupt system that lets giant companies like Facebook engage in illegal anti-competitive practices, stomp on consumer privacy rights, and repeatedly fumble their responsibility to protect our democracy.”
Zuckerberg also talked negatively about Twitter: „I mean, they face, qualitatively, the same types of issues. But they can’t put in the investment. Our investment in safety is bigger than the whole revenue of their company. [laughter] And yeah, we’re operating on a bigger scale, but it’s not like they face qualitatively different questions. They have all the same types of issues that we do.” This comment also got a response, this time, coming from Brandom Borrman, the communications guy at Twitter: „It’s not about money, it’s about getting the work done and solving problems for the people we serve. Mark thinks differently. Keeping people safe and secure is in our shared interest as an industry and we ALL have more to do.”
Zuckerberg also talked about TikTok (a service about sharing short videos, which he tries to copy with Lasso), when he was asked about the cultural clout that it has on Gen Z and teens: „So yeah. I mean, TikTok is doing well. One of the things that are especially notable about TikTok is, for a while, the internet landscape was kind of a bunch of internet companies that were primarily American. And then there was this parallel universe of Chinese companies that pretty much only were offering their services in China. And we had Tencent who was trying to spread some of their services into Southeast Asia. Alibaba has spread a bunch of its payment services to Southeast Asia. Broadly, in terms of global expansion, that had been pretty limited, and TikTok, which is built by this company Beijing ByteDance, is the first consumer internet product built by one of the Chinese tech giants that are doing quite well around the world. It’s starting to do well in the US, especially with young folks. It’s growing quickly in India. I think it’s past Instagram now in India in terms of scale. So yeah, it’s a very interesting phenomenon. And the way that we kind of think about it is: it’s married short-form, immersive video with browse. So it’s almost like the Explore Tab that we have on Instagram, which is today primarily about feed posts and highlighting different feed posts. I kind of think about TikTok as if it were Explore for stories, and that was the whole app. And then you had creators who were specifically working on making that stuff. So we have several approaches that we’re going to take towards this, and we have a product called Lasso that’s a standalone app that we’re working on, trying to get product-market fit in countries like Mexico, is I think one of the first initial ones. We’re trying to first see if we can get it to work in countries where TikTok is not already big before we go and compete with TikTok in countries where they are big.”
So the air is hot around the founder of Facebook, who also brought up Instagram: „We’re taking a number of approaches with Instagram, including making it so that Explore is more focused on stories, which is increasingly becoming the primary way that people consume content on Instagram, as well as a couple of other things there. But yeah, I think that it’s not only one of the more interesting new phenomena and products that are growing.”
Please support our page theGeek.games on Patreon, so we can continue to write you the latest gaming, movie and tech news and reviews as an independent magazine.
Become a Patron!