Category: Mark Zuckerberg

May 23, 2019 Off

Indian PM Narendra Modi’s reelection spells more frustration for US tech giants

By Jill T Frey

Amazon and Walmart’s problems in India look set to continue after Narendra Modi, the biggest force to embrace the country’s politics in decades, led his Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party to a historic landslide re-election on Thursday, reaffirming his popularity in the eyes of the world’s largest democracy.

The re-election, which gives Modi’s government another five years in power, will in many ways chart the path of India’s burgeoning startup ecosystem, as well as the local play of Silicon Valley companies that have grown increasingly wary of recent policy changes.

At stake is also the future of India’s internet, the second largest in the world. With more than 550 million internet users, the nation has emerged as one of the last great growth markets for Silicon Valley companies. Google, Facebook, and Amazon count India as one of their largest and fastest growing markets. And until late 2016, they enjoyed great … Read the rest

May 12, 2019 Off

Friend portability is the must-have Facebook regulation

By Jill T Frey

Choice for consumers compels fair treatment by corporations. When people can easily move to a competitor, it creates a natural market dynamic coercing a business to act right. When we can’t, other regulations just leave us trapped with a pig in a fresh coat of lipstick.

That’s why as the FTC considers how many billions to fine Facebook or which executives to stick with personal liability or whether to go full-tilt and break up the company, I implore it to consider the root of how Facebook gets away with abusing user privacy: there’s no simple way to switch to an alternative.

If Facebook users are fed up with the surveillance, security breaches, false news, or hatred, there’s no western general purpose social network with scale for them to join. Twitter is for short-form public content, Snapchat is for ephemeral communication. Tumblr is neglected. Google+ is dead. Instagram is owned by … Read the rest

May 11, 2019 Off

Zuckerberg says breaking up Facebook “isn’t going to help”

By Jill T Frey

With the look of someone betrayed, Facebook’s CEO has fired back at co-founder Chris Hughes and his brutal NYT op-ed calling for regulators to split up Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp. “When I read what he wrote, my main reaction was that what he’s proposing that we do isn’t going to do anything to help solve those issues. So I think that if what you care about is democracy and elections, then you want a company like us to be able to invest billions of dollars per year like we are in building up really advanced tools to fight election interference” Zuckerberg told France Info while in Paris to meet with French President Emmanuel Macron.

Zuckerberg’s argument boils down to the idea that Facebook’s specific problems with privacy, safety, misinformation, and speech won’t be directly addressed by breaking up the company, and that would instead actually hinder its efforts to safeguard … Read the rest

May 9, 2019 Off

Three ‘new rules’ worth considering for the internet

By Jill T Frey

In a recent commentary, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg argues for new internet regulation starting in four areas: harmful content, election integrity, privacy and data portability. He also advocates that government and regulators “need a more active role” in this process. This call to action should be welcome news as the importance of the internet to nearly all aspects of people’s daily lives seems indisputable. However, Zuckerberg’s new rules could be expanded, as part of the follow-on discussion he calls for, to include several other … Read the rest

May 7, 2019 Off

Bubble-driven boom in M&As hides steep costs long-term

By Jill T Frey

Driven by ultra-easy central bank policy, global merger and acquisition activity is exploding. The value of transactions in the first eight months of 2018 reached $3.3 trillion worldwide, a 39% increase from 2017, and the market can expect another record-setting year in 2019. What does this mean? The data suggests that optimism about the efficacy of M&As has never been higher. Businesses are increasingly looking to M&As as the way to grow.

Growth is good, but growth can also be cancerous. Financial and strategic calculus may suggest a perfect … Read the rest

May 3, 2019 Off

How tech entrepreneurs think of Universal Basic Income

By Jill T Frey

As tech has grown, policy debates have become an important pastime. Today’s tech industry aspires to replace human drivers with self-driving cars, secretaries with AI assistants, permanent jobs with gigs — and as a result, the human impact of tech has become an everyday conversation.

No other idea is as emblematic of this as Universal Basic Income, a policy that would distribute a monthly sum to every adult regardless of their income or employment status.

The conversation is widespread. Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk have said that UBI may be desirable or necessary. Y-Combinator Research and Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes are running basic income studies. Tech-friendly presidential hopefuls Bernie Sanders and Andrew Yang support the issue.

But should the average tech entrepreneur or investor support UBI? The answer is not entirely clear.

The good news is that the tech industry is deeply familiar with risk, which is an important component … Read the rest

April 24, 2019 Off

Mark Zuckerberg has a podcast

By Jill T Frey

In the future, everyone will have a podcast — and by “future,” I mean like mid-2020. But one step at a time, starting with Facebook founder, CEO and definite human person, Mark Zuckerberg .

Facebook announced the podcast’s Spotify link on Twitter. How’s that for platform synergy? The rather dryly named “Tech and Society with Mark Zuckerberg” will feature, well, conversations on tech and society with Mark Zuckerberg. Honestly, folks, it’s right there in the name.

“Hey everyone,” Zuck says, opening the second of two posted episodes. “This year I am doing a series of public discussions on the future of internet and society,” referring to what looks to be a finite lineup of episodes. The executive explains in the first episode that … Read the rest