He Wrote What?

A Facebook VP Actually Wrote This

“The ugly truth is that we believe in connecting people so deeply that anything that allows us to connect more people more often is de facto good. It is perhaps the only area where the metrics do tell the true story as far as we are concerned,” he wrote. “That isn’t something we are doing for ourselves. Or for our stock price (ha!). It is literally just what we do. We connect people. Period.” ~ Facebook Vice President Andrew “Boz” Bosworth

ouch

IEEE-CSACM Joint Task Force on Software Engineering Ethics and Professional Practices

Preamble – Principle 1

PUBLIC – Software engineers shall act consistently with the public interest.
~ Software Engineering Code of Ethics – IEEE Computer Society

In view of recent polls suggesting that only 41 % of Americans trust Facebook to obey laws that protect their personal information, and especially considering the whole Cambridge Analytica fiasco, maybe it’s time for Facebook devs to review the above principle.

As one Hacker News commenter put it:

They are responsible for the fruits of their efforts. Recent revelations are of degree, not kind. The consequences of engineering work were reasonably foreseeable and the consequences were not at arm’s length. Facebook’s business model has been clear and well-understood for years and years now. This is not technology being misapplied by someone several steps removed from you. This is technology misapplied by Facebook and Facebook’s immediate customers and Facebook engineers enabled it.

I am unsympathetic to anyone at Facebook feeling moral disquiet. I think you know what you ought to do.

In the mean time, the #DeleteFacebook hashtag picks up steam as Facebook’s share price continues to fall.