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Facebook used people’s data to favour certain partners and punish rivals, documents show • The New York Times
Adam Satariano and Mike Isaac:
<p>Facebook used the mountains of data it collected on users to favour certain partners and punish rivals, giving companies such as Airbnb and Netflix special access to its platform while cutting off others that it perceived as threats.

The tactics came to light on Wednesday from internal Facebook emails and other company documents released by a British parliamentary committee that is investigating online misinformation. The documents spotlight Facebook’s behavior from roughly 2012 to 2015, a period of explosive growth as the company navigated how to manage the information it was gathering on users and debated how best to profit from what it was building.

The documents show how Facebook executives treated data as the company’s most valuable resource and often wielded it to gain a strategic advantage. Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive, and Sheryl Sandberg, the chief operating officer, were intimately involved in decisions aimed at benefiting the social network above all else and keeping users as engaged as possible on the site, according to emails that were part of the document trove.

In one exchange from 2012 when Mr. Zuckerberg discussed charging developers for access to user data and persuading them to share their data with the social network, he wrote: “It’s not good for us unless people also share back to Facebook and that content increases the value of our network. So ultimately, I think the purpose of platform — even the read side — is to increase sharing back into Facebook.”</p>


The fallout from these emails is going to go on and on. Here are a few more stories from them...
facebook  emails 
5 days ago by charlesarthur
Facebook knew Android call-scraping would be ‘high-risk’ • The Verge
Russell Brandom:
<p>In March, many Android users were shocked to discover that Facebook had been collecting a record of their call and SMS history, as revealed by the company’s data download tool. Now, internal emails released by the UK Parliament show how the decision was made internally. <a href="https://www.parliament.uk/documents/commons-committees/culture-media-and-sport/Note-by-Chair-and-selected-documents-ordered-from-Six4Three.pdf">According to the emails</a>, developers knew the data was sensitive, but they still pushed to collect it as a way of expanding Facebook’s reach.

The emails show Facebook’s growth team looking to call log data as a way to improve Facebook’s algorithms as well as to locate new contacts through the “People You May Know” feature. Notably, the project manager recognized it as “a pretty high-risk thing to do from a PR perspective,” but that risk seems to have been overwhelmed by the potential user growth.


<img src="https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/tMGXwMtili8vkXJiThQWns8H3uE=/0x0:752x346/1520x0/filters:focal(0x0:752x346):no_upscale()/cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_asset/file/13603404/Screen_Shot_2018_12_05_at_10.54.14_AM.png" width="100%" />

Initially, the feature was intended to require users to opt in, typically through an in-app pop-up dialog box. But as developers looked for ways to get users signed up, it became clear that Android’s data permissions could be manipulated to automatically enroll users if the new feature was deployed in a certain way.

In another email chain, the group developing the feature seems to see the Android permissions screen as a point of unnecessary friction, to be avoided if possible. When testing revealed that call logs could be collected without a permissions dialog, that option seems to have been obviously preferable to developers.</p>


And then Facebook denied up and down it had done this. This is what growth hacking does: it kills moral judgement.
facebook  emails 
5 days ago by charlesarthur
7 Rules of Writing Emails
Infuse each email with curiosity and benefit.

Consistency and frequency sells. The more often you email and the most consistent you email, the more money you'll make.
chrisorzechowski  emails 
28 days ago by cmananian

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