Facebook Accidentally Tells the Truth

Xinhua via ZUMA

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.

BuzzFeed has dug up a memo written a couple of years ago by Facebook vice president Andrew “Boz” Bosworth. He now says he never believed any of it and wrote it just to be provocative. Here’s an excerpt:

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’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.

….I know a lot of people don’t want to hear this….We do have great products but we still wouldn’t be half our size without pushing the envelope on growth…. That’s our imperative. Because that’s what we do. We connect people.

You can decide for yourself if you buy the excuse that Bosworth was just trying to stimulate discussion. I don’t. This sounds to me precisely like the kinds of things Mark Zuckerberg used to say in public until he wised up. This is Zuckerberg’s vision, connecting everyone in the world whether they want to be connected or not. It also happens to be great for the bottom line, which means that at Facebook church and state are always on the same page. That’s a powerful combination for conquest, as the entire continent of South America can attest.


Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend