Facebook Workers Ask: Did We Help Trump Win?

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Marcin Wichary | Flickr

Facebook is where a lot of the 2016 campaign played out, and it’s also where much of the election post-mortem is focusing. This is hardly the first electoral autopsy to raise issues like echo chambers, fake news, and media misfires — we had all of those in each of the last three presidential cycles, too.

What’s new about the debate this time is how it’s playing out among Facebook employees themselves. They’re beginning to ask a question that every NewCo worker sooner or later faces: Does the platform my company is building promote a mission and set of values that I believe in?

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I’m Sorry Mr. Zuckerberg, But You Are Wrong

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It is heartening to see you begin to grapple with your role in the election. We are all doing the same. And like us, you are going through multiple stages of grief, each with its own set of cognitive biases. If Buster Benson’s handy cheat sheet is to be believed, you are going through a modest version of the “blame others” heuristic. Or, at least, its benevolent cousin, “It’s not my fault.”

(To be fair, in re-reading your post, I notice you didn’t ever come out and say Facebook didn’t deserve part of the blame. Like I said, people tell me you’re a good guy. I suspect you know that Facebook does bear some responsibility after all.)

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This Is What the End of The Boston Globe Looks Like

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The Boston Globe, founded in 1872, is no NewCo. It’s infuriating, provincial … and absolutely essential to my community. Although I read it almost exclusively online these days, I do enjoy that virtual thud announcing there’s a new Globe available to me every morning, on my screen if not at the end of my driveway.

The Globe has an inventive feature today, a mock front page imagining what life under a Trump administration might look like. It’s reasonably well done from an editorial standpoint and there are plenty of points to argue over, but I believe that the way the Globe is distributing it shows why the publication is even more doomed than I thought (and that feeling of doom goes up all the way to the newspaper’s current editor).

This smart, potentially shareable, maybe even viral feature was published and is being distributed in a quarter-century-old print-centric manner. Here’s what the front page of the Globe looks like online on a phone, where more people every day get their news.


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