"Maybe Someone Dies": Facebook Exec Justifies "All The Questionable Contact Importing"

A Facebook executive circulated a shocking memo in 2016 which sought to justify the company's relentless growth and "questionable contact importing" - even if "maybe it costs someone a life" by suggesting that the company is serving the greater good by connecting people, reports BuzzFeed.

Following the shooting death of a Chicago man captured on Facebook LiveVP Andrew "Boz" Bosworth, one of CEO Mark Zuckerberg's most trusted executives, wrote in the memo titled The Ugly; “We connect people. Period. That’s why all the work we do in growth is justified. All the questionable contact importing practices. All the subtle language that helps people stay searchable by friends. All of the work we do to bring more communication in. The work we will likely have to do in China some day. All of it,” VP Andrew “Boz” Bosworth wrote.

“So we connect more people,” added Bosworth in another section of the memo. “That can be bad if they make it negative. Maybe it costs someone a life by exposing someone to bullies.

Maybe someone dies in a terrorist attack coordinated on our tools.

The memo clearly illustrates that Facebook management is well aware of the physical and social risks of using the platform - along with the fact that their data collection practices are "questionable." 

Bosworth, who joined Facebook in 2006 after working at Microsoft, responded to BuzzFeed story by stringing together a verbose excuse which roughly translates to: 

  • I don't actually believe what I wrote
  • I was throwing out a "bad" idea for the sake of consideration
  • That's part of our process of "internal debates" that makes Facebook so awesome 

Two former employees describe Bosworth as "blunt." 

“He is definitely a guy who isn't very diplomatic — he'd blunder into internal debates and internal comms would tend to keep an eye on what he's doing and posting,” one former senior employee told BuzzFeed News. “The memo is classic Boz because it speaks to the majority of Facebook employee views but it's also polarizing. Tonally he doesn't mince words. This is clearly a post meant to rally the troops.”

Yes, "rallying troops" to turn a blind eye to egregious privacy violations and attempting to justify terrorists coordinating over Facebook in the name of the "greater good" is very polarizing...

The Bosworth memo, which stresses the extent to which Facebook was built on “growth tactics,” reads as a statement of corporate principles, including phrases like “what we do” and “what we believe” and speaking of “our work” and “our imperative.” In the memo, he argued that Facebook believes its mission of connecting people is so important that anything it does in support of it is "*de facto* good" — even if it allows some to do true, even catastrophic, harm to others. -BuzzFeed

“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,” wrote Bosworth. “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.” 

Zuck Freaks Out

In Facebook's perfect world, Hillary Clinton would be President, the Cambridge Analytica whistleblower would just be another pink-haired programmer, and their massive data harvesting operation wouldn't have seene the light of day. 

Alas for Zuck, Bosworth's letter couldn't have leaked at a worse time. In response to BuzzFeed's story - Zuckerberg (or whoever's in charge of damage control) wrote: 

Boz is a talented leader who says many provocative things. This was one that most people at Facebook including myself disagreed with strongly. We've never believed the ends justify the means.

We recognize that connecting people isn't enough by itself. We also need to work to bring people closer together. We changed our whole mission and company focus to reflect this last year.

Translation: "That kooky Boz, he says the wackiest things! We really didn't agree with ol' Andy, but we changed our entire corporate focus anyway to do exactly the opposite of his callous suggestion!"

See Bosworth's entire memo below:

***

Andrew Bosworth
June 18, 2016

The Ugly

We talk about the good and the bad of our work often. I want to talk about the ugly.

We connect people.

That can be good if they make it positive. Maybe someone finds love. Maybe it even saves the life of someone on the brink of suicide.

So we connect more people

That can be bad if they make it negative. Maybe it costs a life by exposing someone to bullies. Maybe someone dies in a terrorist attack coordinated on our tools.

And still we connect people.

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.

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.

That’s why all the work we do in growth is justified. All the questionable contact importing practices. All the subtle language that helps people stay searchable by friends. All of the work we do to bring more communication in. The work we will likely have to do in China some day. All of it.

The natural state of the world is not connected. It is not unified. It is fragmented by borders, languages, and increasingly by different products. The best products don’t win. The ones everyone use win.

I know a lot of people don’t want to hear this. Most of us have the luxury of working in the warm glow of building products consumers love. But make no mistake, growth tactics are how we got here. If you joined the company because it is doing great work, that’s why we get to do that great work. We do have great products but we still wouldn’t be half our size without pushing the envelope on growth. Nothing makes Facebook as valuable as having your friends on it, and no product decisions have gotten as many friends on as the ones made in growth. Not photo tagging. Not news feed. Not messenger. Nothing.

In almost all of our work, we have to answer hard questions about what we believe. We have to justify the metrics and make sure they aren’t losing out on a bigger picture. But connecting people. That’s our imperative. Because that’s what we do. We connect people.

Comments

GUS100CORRINA Timmay Fri, 03/30/2018 - 15:53 Permalink

"Maybe Someone Dies": Facebook Exec Justifies "All The Questionable Contact Importing"

My response: EVIL, EVIL, EVIL!! THE SHAME MZ, THE SHAME!! FB and GOOGLE are CIA CREATIONS JUST LIKE "OBOZO"!

The GOAL: To stop the precipitous fall of the FB stock price ASAP.

FULL SPEED AHEAD AND DAMN THE TORPEDOES.

In reply to by Timmay

SRV Leakanthrophy Fri, 03/30/2018 - 18:00 Permalink

Clown... and yes, I managed to pass on the pics... no thanks to that skank!

And could you at least quote NBCs (on behalf of The Crook) September Surprise right...

Trump was commenting on how loose the young starlets were around powerful men (he was a senior producer of a hit show) in Hollywood... so loose he could just walk up and grab them by the pussy any time.

Of course that morphed into him wondering around mindlessly grabbing women by the genitals (apparently this was all the rage back then but it seems the reporting was sketchy at best... lol) and not a single snowflake stopped to think how preposterous the meme was.

In reply to by Leakanthrophy

the cork Leakanthrophy Fri, 03/30/2018 - 18:26 Permalink

Look leakin'throbber, nobody gives a shit except you and the dims  exploiting it for their own purpose.

If the President did drill her, at least it was consensual.

Unlike your butt-buddy bill's raping of Juanita Broaddrick.

The President is a stud,

clinton is a rapist,

and you are a boob.

In reply to by Leakanthrophy

regular house biscuit Fri, 03/30/2018 - 15:53 Permalink

thank you.

and then you have:
sauds on a war path meeting with left coast (never-trumpers) bezos/gates/israel lobbies in private meetings with aipac inc, since sa (directed by israel and financed by the neocons judas),
attacked the towers on 911 and got away with millions of innocents murdered,

is roaMing freely INSIDE the 'un_ited' states
Mingling with elitists and eugenists
with hundreds of loose cannons by his side.

diploMatic privacy
and who will stay,
when they leave for war. *sure they have thar boggyMan iran Masks to help speed up the carnage

In reply to by house biscuit

Boxed Merlot E.F. Mutton Fri, 03/30/2018 - 17:46 Permalink

...Starring Mark Zuckerberg as Robespierre...

Ah yes, Robespierre, as good ole Comrade Vlad, (the original), is said to have extolled before his unveiling of an ill-fated crumbly people's statue of the icon, "A Bolshevik before his time", or something to that effect.

Life imitating art, or "Strike that, reverse it" - Willie Wonka - circa 1971, G. Wilder https://uproxx.com/movies/11-willy-wonka-quotes/

In reply to by E.F. Mutton

Captain Nemo d… Fri, 03/30/2018 - 15:58 Permalink

It seems like he took his "Off the cliff management techniques" a bit too far. Like when the not-so-young-anymore CEO's come out jumping and cheering. If you have nothing to do but collect data surreptitiously and sell it, won't you get bored and start writing crazed memos? The only scary part is the company actually didn't really care.

Miss Expectations Fri, 03/30/2018 - 16:15 Permalink

Andrew Bosworth
June 18, 2016

The Ugly

We talk about the good and the bad of our work often. I want to talk about the ugly.

We HARVEST people.

That can be good if they make it positive. Maybe someone finds love. Maybe it even saves the life of someone on the brink of suicide.

So we HARVEST more people

That can be bad if they make it negative. Maybe it costs a life by exposing someone to bullies. Maybe someone dies in a terrorist attack coordinated on our tools.

And still we HARVEST people.

The ugly truth is that we believe in HARVESTING people so deeply that anything that allows us to HARVEST 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.

That isn’t something we are doing for ourselves. Or for our stock price (ha!). It is literally just what we do. We HARVEST people. Period.

That’s why all the work we do in growth is justified. All the questionable contact importing practices. All the subtle language that helps people stay searchable by friends. All of the work we do to bring more communication in. The work we will likely have to do in China some day. All of it.

The natural state of the world is not HARVESTED. It is not unified. It is fragmented by borders, languages, and increasingly by different products. The best products don’t win. The ones everyone use win.

I know a lot of people don’t want to hear this. Most of us have the luxury of working in the warm glow of building products consumers love. But make no mistake, growth tactics are how we got here. If you joined the company because it is doing great work, that’s why we get to do that great work. We do have great products but we still wouldn’t be half our size without pushing the envelope on growth. Nothing makes Facebook as valuable as having your friends on it, and no product decisions have gotten as many friends on as the ones made in growth. Not photo tagging. Not news feed. Not messenger. Nothing.

In almost all of our work, we have to answer hard questions about what we believe. We have to justify the metrics and make sure they aren’t losing out on a bigger picture. But HARVESTING people. That’s our imperative. Because that’s what we do. We HARVEST people.

Consuelo Fri, 03/30/2018 - 16:18 Permalink

Hey California EDD (Employment Development Department):

Better make a call to purchasing and tell them to find a good deal on those white envelopes you used to send out every month to the 99 week-ers...

Let the good times (and the Silly-$Con Valley Layoffs) roll...!!

 

 

cheech_wizard Fri, 03/30/2018 - 16:27 Permalink

He did make an extremely good observation when he wrote this:
The best products don’t win. The ones everyone use win.

(Proving once again that human stupidity is indeed infinite.)

Microsoft products always come to mind when it comes to something everyone uses, although Microsoft proves almost daily on how to achieve a bold new frontier of suck.

Postscript:
BTW, I knew a guy whose nickname was "Boz" (last name Bosworth). He was sort of an asshole as well.
Standard Disclaimer: We must immediately ban all nicknames (for the children? for the social justice warriors?)...

thebriang Fri, 03/30/2018 - 16:35 Permalink

Dumbasses, by pulling in all your contacts, they know everyone that you know. Gee, how do companies like CA build profiles with thousands of data points... just like this.
The app is pre-installed on many phones for just that reason, you ever open it or it ever updates once and they've got you.
Just like why is Edge called Edge? Because you used it to download ff or chrome, and they've got you.

east of eden thebriang Fri, 03/30/2018 - 16:57 Permalink

Yeah for sure. But the bigger problem is the issue of illegal and unconstitutional snooping by governments, and of course, big corps. Zuck the Fuck may think he has his ass covered by 'user agreements', but I put it to you that he does not.

There are plenty of judges and courtrooms in the land that would love to get their hands on these fuckers, and make them pay through their dirty pig snouts.

In reply to by thebriang

thebriang east of eden Fri, 03/30/2018 - 17:42 Permalink

Meh, a secret FISA warrant gives them 3-layer contact gathering... everyone you know, they know, they know, and they know. And Those are for Every contact, email, phone mumber, etc they can find for any alias you have ever used.
Personally I doubt Facebook is going to get in trouble for doing exactly what they told their users they were going to do.

In reply to by east of eden