What’s wrong with Facebook and how to fix it
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What’s wrong with Facebook and how to fix it

– Facebook is everywhere,
whether we like it or not. It’s how we invite our friends to parties, how we talk to relatives,
what we do on our phones, while we’re waiting for
the microwave to finish. But even though we use it all the time, it’s kinda terrible. It makes you feel bad. And you feel even worse when you realize how much data you’re giving
off for targeted ads, and political campaigns. – We didn’t take a broad enough
view of our responsibility, and that was a big mistake. And it was my mistake, and I’m sorry. – Facebook’s done so much creepy stuff, that it’s hard to trust them now. And even if you delete your account, it’s hard to get away
from the company entirely. It’s complicated. And if you want to know why that is, you gotta look at the big picture. (rhythmic tonal music) In theory, there’s a way
to deal with companies that do things we don’t like. Companies have competitors,
and if one of those competitors is doing something better,
then either the first company changes, or it gets replaced. That’s the market. But, Facebook doesn’t
seem worried about that, and you can see why. Facebook has no real competition. If you don’t like Uber,
you can take a Lyft. But, if you don’t like Facebook, you kinda have to quit
social media entirely. Facebook is the one place
you can count on finding nearly all the people you know. The other networks just aren’t as big. About 180 million people
use Snapchat each month, (Correction: each day, not each month) and that number’s actually going down. Twitter’s bigger, with 330 million users, but in 2018, Facebook
cleared 2.3 billion users, and it made 13 billion
dollars in revenue off them, at a time when its competitors
are right on the edge of profitability. The only networks that
come close are Instagram and WhatsApp, both of which
are owned by Facebook. That doesn’t mean Twitter
and the other runners up are doomed, but it’s
hard to see any of them getting to be size of Facebook. Once you have a social network that big, you don’t really need another one. The term for this is a natural monopoly. And that’s when entering
a business is so hard, that a single winner ends
up dominating the industry. The classic example is the cable business. It’s really expensive to
lay cable to a building, but it’s pretty cheap to operate,
once the cable’s in place. If you’ve already run cable
to all the houses in a city, it’s gonna be hard for anyone
else to compete on price. They’d have to run a
whole new set of cables, there’s just no way to
justify that expense. And since the cost of
laying cable encourages a single big provider, you
can’t expect competition to solve problems, like high prices or bad business practices. It’s hard to be sure if social networks are a natural monopoly. They’ve only been around for 10 years, and they’re still changing a lot. Unlike cable, it’s not
actually that expensive to start a social network, it’s just hard to get everyone on board. The barrier to entry is
more about users than money. But, after seeing a dozen
different competitors try and fail to rival Facebook’s size, there’s a growing consensus
that market competition just isn’t gonna keep
the company in check. – The problem is Facebook. That’s the problem. And that Facebook has broken so much trust to allow you to simply gobble
up every form of competition is probably not in the public interest. The simplest form of regulation would be to break Facebook up, or
treat it as a utility. We’ve dealt with natural
monopolies before. When Bell Telephone started
rolling out the first consumer phone service in the 1880s, people were faced with the same problem. Once there’s a network
of phone lines in place, there’s no real reason
to start a second one. Bell drove a particularly hard bargain around the expensive long
distance phone lines. If you didn’t buy their local service, you couldn’t use the long
distance service, either. It was the kiss of death to competitors. And so aggressive that the
government decided to step in. The Department of Justice
actually sued the Bell System as a monopoly, and won
a string of settlements and consent decrees. The first one was in
1913, and the regulations just got tighter from there. In 1934, 1956, 1974, and 1982, until the
company was finally broken up into a bunch of regional
companies in the 1980s. Then those companies were consolidated into the heavily regulated
telecoms we know today. Not everything that regulators did worked, but for the last hundred
years, for better or worse, the federal government
has been the main force keeping phone companies honest. It’s hard to say what that
kind of antitrust case would look like for social networks. For the last 40 years, the
standard test for monopolies is that they raise prices. But Facebook is free, like
everything else on the Internet. The damage isn’t in higher
prices, but market power. Whether that’s driving up the cost of reaching your followers, or shaping the entire marketplace to suit its needs. The sheer size of Facebook
means it can muscle in to other areas, like
messaging or photo sharing, or buy out competitors like
WhatsApp and Instagram. As long as it’s impossible to compete, Facebook can keep expanding and expanding until it takes up the entire Internet. And, unless we find some way
to keep the social network in check, that’s exactly
what it’s gonna do. – [Enquirer] If I buy a Ford,
and it doesn’t work well, and I don’t like it, I can buy a Chevy. If I’m upset with Facebook,
what’s the equivalent product that I can go sign up for? – Well, there’s the second category that I was gonna talk about or– – [Enquirer] I’m not
talking about categories, I’m talking about, is there
real competition you face? You don’t think you have a monopoly? – It certainly doesn’t
feel like that to me. – [Enquirer] Okay. (group laughs) – So if you liked that video,
please like us on Facebook, it’s a huge social network,
it’s really important. You can also get us on YouTube,
at youtube.com/theverge. You gotta look at the big picture, that’s actually not very big, is it. You gotta look at the
medium-sized picture.

100 thoughts on “What’s wrong with Facebook and how to fix it

  1. When i checked the phone app usage, fb was the app used almost 30% of the battery. So I recently deleted the Facebook app and still use it through the web browser. Best thing i ever done which actually reduced the amount of usage a lot.

  2. Never trusted them. Never used it much… everyone just delete it! I refuse to get sucked in. Lie to them about your information.

  3. Zuckerberg: "Well, it doesn't feel like a monopoly to me."

    Zuckerberg is shrewd. He knows that feelings count as facts to conservatives and that conservatives will find that a compelling argument.

  4. one greedy old lady loses an election, instead of accepting the responsibility they go after social media to control the dissenting voices of the society.

  5. First of all, I have none of my information on Facebook. I only use a few groups . Second, I block all ads. I have never seen an ad on Facebook. I think of Facebook like using a credit card. There is a right way and wrong way to use it, and most people use it wrong or do not understand how to use it.

  6. Google scares me more than Facebook. But Facebook became a powerhouse because they bought Instagram and WhatsApp, so yeah they are dangerous too!

  7. this video is great and you were right with most of your reasons. but to delete all of your social network accounts is something that is apparently not possible for you, which is totally understandable, it's part of your job as journalist. For me and most of my friends, we deleted all accounts facebook, instagram, and so on.

  8. Lol but it can be controlled?! What is this? Ok so, make sure you have a browser that allows add-ons, and get the facebook newsfeed eliminator, it will remove the newsfeed entirely which is where most of the chaos and toxicity comes from Facebook, allowing you to still use it as a means to share what YOU want, along with still messaging and keeping in touch with people. That way, no ads, no toxic nonsense, but you can still use it for how YOU see fit.

  9. Not a fan of Facebook, but it's not a monopoly. I can use many other platforms to stay in touch. I'll admit it's easy to use Facebook since everyone is mostly there. But everyone also has email and cell phones so texting and calls are other alternatives.

    The question I have is this, do we grow governments ability to interfere with the market because we're too lazy to try other methods of communication?

    Footnote: do you actually think our current government can be trusted with more power?

  10. Why is it so hard for you to delete your facebook? – the verge

    Well it was easy for you to delete your computer tutorial video

  11. How about we don't use government violence against a party that has market dominance due to the voluntary choices of consumers.

    Instead, the government should fund the development of an open-source decentralized alternative to Facebook. Government intervention should always be to expand options, and never to limit them.

  12. This whole thing is elementary in its view. Almost like the congressmen who asked questions did a video. Google has way more power than Facebook. Almost every website in the world has a google tracking code on it they have facebook as well but you can do way more with the information Google gives you.

  13. It's been three whole years off all social media. But I'm badly tied in with Google services which is equally worse if not better.

  14. They do raise prices, their price is information. Its hard to control certain monopolies, because some markets always tend to evolve into them, because of priceinelasticity, market intransparency, local discrimination and market barriers.
    The goverment could implement a tax on information gathering tahts used for third parties (so companies could still verify accounts and so on without costs, but if they sell them to ad companies they would need to pay a certain amopunt), which would heavily impact facebook and instagram.
    The networks, which gather less information would therefore gain an advantage over others.

  15. I think what's keeping Facebook ahead of the game for so long (over 14 years) is that it's far more complicated to understand and manage than telephones were. People in charge have also become quite good at bending laws and practices, finding loopholes than anything else. Telephones were physical, facebook is not, therefore it is harder for people (specially the old ones in power) to grasp and understand how complex it really is. Or we'll just have to wait another 100 years till it actually gets sorted, or we are taken over by China controlling style of government.

  16. I keep Facebook mostly for messenger and my business pages. I also linked my text messaging to messenger since I message almost everyone I know with messenger rather than texting, when I do get a text Its in the same spot as my usual messages. I think I maybe have 2-3 people I still phone call/text message, everyone else I call/message through messenger.

  17. It's simple, politics ruined Facebook. After I unfriended or unfollowed friends that were posting nothing but political content, my feed suddenly turned into stuff I actually wanted to see. Facebook should design an option to turn off political content.

  18. I hope low cost satellite internet will change the natural monopoly of last mile networks. Competition is good. I don't use facebook. Hate data mining and targeted ads. If a website pops up a dialog telling me to turn off my ad blocker I just hit the back button.

  19. No single alternative will become as big as Facebook is today, but what will happen is it will be replaced by multiple alternatives with less users. Same goes for Twitter and YouTube.

  20. Fb is not for free, you pay with your data; what is way more important than money. This is exactly the reason why it should be regulated (just as google)

  21. I'm not sure it's healthy to combine publishing, discussion, news, and personal communication into one timeline. It seems to make us act like tribal, narcissistic idiots.

  22. No One Is Able To See My Posts and Photos in their News Feed….Even I'm not getting like and reacts…..what can I Do???😭😭😭please help

  23. Natural monopolies are a reflection of what the buyers/users wanted. And there are competitors to FB such as LinkedIn, who dominate the business-minded social media networking sources. I advertise my business on LinkedIn more than I do FB. Give it 10-20 more years and we'll really see how it goes. New generations will likely see FB as unappealing.

  24. Too bad people don't get as ticked off about the Fed income tax and the henchmen the govt employs to extort & steal their money. Don't like the way FB uses your personal info? You can tell it to go to hell and drop out? Yet you give govt thugs everything they ask for or "else". LMAO

  25. WhatsApp has ruined Brazilian democracy.

    I've always been a technology enthusiast, but I have to admit that few things scared me more than WhatsApp.

  26. am i the only one who finds his headshaking and hand gestures weird and almost unnecessary? im getting uncomfortable the more i watch this presenter

  27. It's called a oligopoly, not a natural monopoly. 

    A natural monopoly is when one enterprise has the total control of the market it is situated in because of natural consequences, such as people preferring to use that service, or it being first. Opposed to a law monopoly, when there is an enterprise who has the control of the market because of the law, kind of how in Mexico the entire electrical grid is controlled by one company.
    It does have competitors, just as you mentioned, snapchat and twitter, so it doesn't make it a monopoly, you could also argue that it is monopolic competence, since there is not other enterprise who offers the exact same product, and all of them vary, but since you said it is hard to enter the market, it wouldn't line up.

  28. I think if I was to patent something or open a buisiness, a stalker might try to sell the type of product for cheaper or give my trade secrets away. It's really not right sometimes.

  29. Just got done watching 'smithereens", the black mirror episode and this was recommended.

  30. The difference is that telephones were a necessity when Bell was a monopoly while Facebook is just a way to waste time

  31. Honestly I just use messenger and nothing else. I don’t even log on the main site and main app anymore. Smart move for them to buy WhatsApp and Instagram. It’s sad that Disney is trying to do the same monopoly that FB and Youtube does..

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