Funny thing about Facebook. For such an opaque company, it sometimes offers a shockingly transparent behind-the-scenes look at the image it wants to project.

Take the company's new favorite phrase, courtesy of all the Facebook executives who participated in a new Frontline documentary about the company and kept parroting the same line: "Too slow."

As in: We were too slow to act in the face of all the things so many nefarious people and groups could do with the terrabytes of data we're collecting on you. 

It's like Mark Zuckerberg's favorite word lately: responsibility. He came back to it 35 times in a single interview this summer. As in, Facebook (belatedly?) understands the obligation to protect users that goes along with having a gigantic network.

We're a long way from Facebook's "Move Fast and Break Things" days.

The second part of the two-part Frontline series airs tonight, hours after Facebook is scheduled to conduct its third quarter earnings call. If you want to figure out where the company thinks it's headed, here's a great opportunity. 

Here's what else I'm reading today:

Running a business, and running for Congress

At least three women entrepreneurs are continuing to run their businesses while also running for Congress. Presumably, they are getting no sleep. One way or another, it will all be over next week. (Kevin J. Ryan,

VW takes on Tesla, by name 

Volkswagen's CEO is calling out Tesla by name and promising to build electric cars that are as good, but cost half as much. But a strategy like this, where you declare that both your products and your competitor's are commodities but yours are cheaper, can be hard to get excited about. (Fred Lambert, Electrek, translating from a German publication)

Twitter floats losing the "like" button. Maybe it should do this instead

If you've never liked the new-ish, heart-shaped "like" button on Twitter, Jack Dorsey is with you. He reportedly talked last week about removing it, as a way to improve discourse. But you know what would really shake up the platform and change people's incentives? Getting rid of retweets. (Taylor Lorenz, The Atlantic)

Google is horrible for women. (Source: Google employees)

A group of engineers at Google wants to organize a company wide walk off the job later this week, in protest of the news that Google reacted to reports of alleged sexual misconduct by covering up the news and offering golden parachutes. They're aiming for Thursday. (Caroline O'Donovan and Ryan Mac, BuzzFeed.News)

China doesn't want our plastic. Here's another idea

About half of U.S. plastic waste--everything from straws to old toys--used to get shipped to China. But now the Chinese don't want it apparently, and so people are trying to come up with new recycling ideas. One promising option: companies that say they can turn old plastic into synthetic asphalt, and use it to repave roads across the country. (Ashley Halsey III, The Washington Post)

Published on: Oct 30, 2018
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