Mark Zuckerberg's personal IM conversation from college couldn't
have been unearthed at a worse time. The Facebook
founder has been under increasing pressure to give
his users better privacy safeguards. In fact, his company hosted an
in-house meeting at 4:00 p.m. Thursday to discuss just that. Now Business Insider has published a chat conversation from Zuckerberg's Harvard days, in which he calls users who trust him "dumb [expletives]." Though BI warns that it could be just "silly dorm-room chitchat," Facebook did not refute the IM's authenticity in its response to Business
Insider. Here's the conversation followed by some reactions:
Zuck: Yeah so if you ever need info about anyone at Harvard
Zuck: Just ask.
Zuck: I have over 4,000 emails, pictures, addresses, SNS
[Redacted Friend's Name]: What? How'd you manage that one?
Zuck: People just submitted it.
Zuck: I don't know why.
Zuck: They "trust me"
Zuck: Dumb [expletives].
- This Is Brutal, writes Nicholas Carlson at Business Insider: "Could Mark have been completely joking? Sure. But the exchange does reveal that Facebook's aggressive attitude toward privacy may have begun early on... The company's attitude toward privacy... has been consistently aggressive: Do something first, then see how people react."
- Mark, It's Time to Be Honest and Explain Your Views, writes Kim-Mai Cutler at Venture Beat: "Facebook has a powerful mission to make the world more open and connected, but the values that Zuckerberg stands for aren’t clear. And that’s the problem. With other great technology companies (which is what Facebook aspires to be), the ideals have been apparent. Steve Jobs made technology an art form. Bill Gates wanted to put a computer in every home; now he’s out fighting global poverty. Even though Google faces constant public criticism, its cheesy 'Don’t be evil' motto protects it. Sergey Brin and Larry Page have cultivated a public image of themselves as two brilliant technical minds who care about pursuing society’s best interests."
- It's Not That Bad, writes Paul Boutin at Venture Beat: "Yes, he
was probably kidding, and he was a teenager at the time. But the
message makes it clear that Zuckerberg was aware of the potential
invasions of privacy to which users of TheFacebook were often
unwittingly exposing themselves."