Mark Zuckerberg couldn’t resist-his Melania Trump moment

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By Richard Galant, CNN

Updated 9:39 AM ET, Sun October 10, 2021

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(CNN)”All I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by,” wrote John Masefield in his 1902 poem “Sea Fever.” The lure of the “lonely sea and the sky” is powerful: “the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking…the call of the running tide is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied.”Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg couldn’t deny it. Last weekend he posted a 38-second video on Instagram, the platform his company owns, of him sailing with his wife and friends, scudding briskly along, a hilly coast in the distance.The post came as his company faced its biggest crisis. On Tuesday, former Facebook employee Frances Haugen “testified before Congress that Facebook is indeed damaging girls’ body image, dividing the nation, and allowing extremism to thrive — and worse, that the company knows it, and chooses to largely ignore the problem to protect its profits,” Jill Filipovic wrote.

“Facebook’s algorithm, Haugen said, organizes content based on engagement, which can lead to the most inflammatory and shocking posts getting preferential treatment and moving their way to the top of any given person’s feed. Essentially, the company makes decisions about what it wants you to see, and it keeps those decisions secret from the public, according to Haugen; changing the algorithm, she said, might impact the company’s earnings.”

“It’s been quite a week,” Zuckerberg observed in a Facebook post Tuesday. On Sunday, “60 Minutes” had broadcast a revealing interview with Haugen. On Monday, Facebook and Instagram had suffered an outage of about six hours. But it was his Tuesday post that responded to Haugen’s allegations. “The argument that we deliberately push content that makes people angry for profit is deeply illogical,” he wrote. “We make money from ads, and advertisers consistently tell us they don’t want their ads next to harmful or angry content.” Donie O’Sullivan wrote that Zuckerberg’s defense doesn’t hold up: “Unfortunately for Facebook, Haugen is on to something.

Financially, Facebook’s strategy is working — the company is worth nearly a trillion dollars on the stock market. Morally, the company is adrift, Haugen and other critics maintained.

Race DeconstructedSign up to learn about race in America and the role it plays in culture, politics and more.Sign Me UpBy subscribing you agree to ourprivacy policy.“These revelations should be a wake-up call,” wrote Kara Alaimo. “If we’re not going to abandon these platforms en masse — which, let’s face it, is not likely to happen — it’s time to devise ways to protect ourselves and our loved ones… to start relying on other information sources for joy and edification — like parks, hobbies, friends and legitimate news sources. It’s probably also the only way to get the company to take the threats it poses to users seriously and try harder to fix them.”

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