Headline, June 12 2022/ ''' '' DEALERS ARMS DIGITAL '' '''


 DIGITAL '' '''

PRETTY STARK TERMS : '' FACEBOOK, AS WELL AS TWITTER  AND GOOGLE'S YOUTUBE, have become the digital arms dealers of the modern age ...... by pretty much weaponizing everything that could be weaponized.

They have mutated human communication, so that connecting people has too often become about pitting them against one another and turbocharged that discord to an unprecedented and damaging volume.

They have weaponized social media. They have weaponized the First Amendment. They have weaponized civic discourse. And they have weaponized, most of all, politics.''

That's author Kara Swisher -four years ago, at her analytical and conclusive very best.

'' WHEN EXACTLY IS THE RIGHT TIME TO EXIT THE LIMELIGHT ? ''  There are very few in tech who've gotten this right, but perhaps chief among them with bad timing is Sheryl Sandberg, Meta's chief operating officer.

She announced, far too late, in a long Facebook post recently and in a series of repetitive press interviews, that she would be stepping down from her No 2 role at the social media behemoth after 14 years. [ She'll remain on its board, for now at least.]

''I'm not entirely sure what the future will bring,'' Ms. Sandberg wrote. '' I have learned no one ever is.''

Indeed not. Many are pondering the ''Why now?'' aspect of it - which I will get to in a minute - but as a long time observer of one of Silicon Valley's most powerful players and most definitely its most powerful women, I have a more pertinent question : What took so long?

Her accomplishment of creating a truly massive, moneymaking machine out of the chaos she took on when she left Google for Facebook in 2008 is nothing short of spectacular.

She has been lauded for Facebook's tremendous success and private wealth creation and also her focus on women in the workplace in her landmark 2013 ''Lean In'' book, which made her a major corporate star, the likes of which tech had not seen ever and has not since.

But it adds up to one of the more unfortunate career trajectories I can think of, given that Ms. Sandberg in walking away from her tenure with a reputational hit, one that few male executives on her level have received. Many will continue to blame Ms. Sandberg for Facebook's toxic, attention driven business model.

The first seven years of her tenure, as Platformer's Casey Newton noted recently, may have been pretty impressive. ''For half a decade, fast-growing start-ups would talk openly about ' finding a Sheryl to help them grow and mature. Sandberg was the blueprint,'' he wrote.

Operative word : ''was''.

Why she stayed and stayed, despite numerous mic drop moments when she could have left to grab even greater glory elsewhere was a question I began to lob at Ms. Sandberg via texts and calls, starting in 2016 after I began writing about reports on some of the seriously problematic impact of the service.

Most urgent among them was from Maria Ressa, an investigative journalist running the Rappler news site in the Philippines.

She tried to alert Facebook that year to some alarming information, including harassment and threats on the site targeting people, especially women like her, who had been critical of the extrajudicial war on drugs by the country's brutal newly elected president, Rodrigo Duterte.

Getting nowhere, she called me and others. Ms. Ressa, who won the Nobel Peace Prize last year, said in a 2018 interview with me that what was happening there was a ''cautionary tale for the United States.''

Ms. Ressa was right, even if Facebook turned a blind eye to it. Soon there were also reports of Russian operations on the social network trying to influence the 2016 presidential elections.

Mark Zukerberg, the C.E.O., acknowledged to Congress in 2018 that the company realized in 2016 that those operations were underway, contradicting Facebook's earlier statements. Recall that right after the election, he scoffed ''the idea that fake news on Facebook, of which it's a very small amount of the content, influenced the election in any way, think it's a pretty crazy idea.''

We know how well that statement aged. As the company kept backing away from it - while trying to assess what really happened - it fell to Ms. Sandberg to try to smooth out the ripples Mr. Zuckerberg made, given that she is as sleek as he is awkward and as diplomatic as he is, well, awkward.

The Honour and Serving of the Latest Global Operational Research on outstanding Leaders and Managers, continues. The World Students Society thanks author Kara Swisher.

With most respectful dedication to Ms. Sheryl Sandberg, Goodbyes, Leaders, Tech giants, and then Students, Professors and Teachers of the world. See Ya all prepare and register for Great Global Elections on The World Students Society : wssciw.blogspot.com and Twitter - !E-WOW! - The Ecosystem 2011 :

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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