Nowadays, life without social networks is a distant memory for many of us, and unthinkable for the younger generation, who are currently growing up with smartphones in their pockets. Billions of people around the world use Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp dozens of times a day to talk to friends, to read news, and for work. Our entire lives have automatically been reprogrammed based on this new way of interacting and communicating.
Sheera Frenkel and Cecilia Kang believe that this transition took place as the result of a very carefully planned design rather than a natural cultural evolution, a design which can be attributed to none other than Mark Zuckerberg, creator of Facebook. His company has been in the spotlight for its questionable business choices on many occasions since its launch, and for the effects these decisions have had on the real lives of its users. Each event, each investigation and each and every lawsuit has made increasingly clear just how covert the company’s ultimate intent has been. Kang and Frenkel interviewed hundreds of ex-employees, external partners, and investors to better understand and explain the exponential growth of the company. They stuck to the facts, and left no stone unturned.
Although the majority of the scandals involving Facebook were between the 2016 presidential election campaign and several months after the 2020 elections, we will first look at the company’s early years, to understand where it comes from, and how its roots laid the foundation for what was to come. It must be said that, over the years, Facebook has had many opportunities to change its course, but Mark Zuckerberg’s priorities have always been profit and growth.