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tv   After Words Steven Levy Facebook  CSPAN  July 26, 2020 12:00pm-1:00pm EDT

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encounter as they are isolated from essentially worth. >> to watch the last of this program visit our website. use the search box at the top of the page. once upon a time, i lived on mars. put it in the search box. >> now in both tvs afterwards, wired magazine editor at large, steven levy looks at the future of "facebook". he's interviewed by a columnist. afterwards his weekly interview program. annie's interviewing top nonfiction authors about the latest work. all the programs are also available as podcasts. >> welcome mr. nice to see you. i think the lesson we are here is when we are both working at newsweek in the company canteen or something.
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but as you know, i'm a big fan of yours . is a huge fan of your first book on google. an audi come back at this particular moment talk about "facebook" on the inside story couldn't be more timely. and just going to start off. we have lots of places to go with his been going to start off with something timely. literally this morning as we came to the show you heard about the hacking of twitter. the fact that truth is now going to facebook to get his message out. and facebook is a lot of criticism for a lot of things for the years. i actually wrote a column recently really questioning why mark zuckerberg is not fact checked the presidents. tilt your take on this. what is this relationship between facebook and the white house. free speech and i'm just going to throw you a question there to start you off.
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>> thank you for doing this is good to connect with you again in a virtual city. so like a lot of things, you can't just tease out one problem the facebook. from his dna and its origins. in the case of trump, obviously he wasn't a factor in the early days. they talked about in the dorm room when they started it. but by the time the truck campaigned on rolling in 2015, this became an issue for facebook. it was sort of them is a way it dealt with controversial content. and i up in 2015 claim posted stuff that was anti- muslim. and actually did violate a lot of people inside facebook.
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the company's community standards but facebook decided not to mess with that. even though it might've violated the standards, because it was newsworthy and they were going to tamper with that. and zuckerberg started along the path they was really very explicit right now is that he believes that politicians should be able to say whatever they want so the people can judge them by their speech. even if it is harmful speech. and as time goes on, is become tougher and tougher for facebook to defend because it becomes a bullhorn for toxic speech. and that's the point that he paid paid himself into. rana: so interesting. in recent months, a lot of the big tech companies have decided to take a different tack on this. this is been a very big issue
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and i'm curious what i wrote my own book, though be able. i really focused on the old. and it was the carveout from the mid- 1990s. they gave the platforms. just these tiny start of. the freedom to be or say what they want. and to not be held liable. for steve crated the old os journalists. these are giant media companies. so i'm curious as you really dug into this issue both in a previous book google but on this book on facebook. when you come out. how should we think about them. steven: i think the 230 yes as you mentioned, the regulation, law was passed in 1996. really way before we had these giant platforms.
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i actually don't think that is the main issue here. main issue is what is one of these big platforms or any of them going to do to make a safe environment or their users. and think to 30 gives them the opportunity to do that. and there's a question to where they draw the line to do that. a zuckerberg boy says that you want me. to be the arbiter. the speech which is now $3m people. now is not the ideal one but the fact is he felt this platform and is the arbiter. he's the person has to decide with the verbal line is and what can't be sent on his platform. this is toxic. it will make people feel uncomfortable. were not going to have pornography on here.
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and were not going have misinformation about important things like anti- tax information. i took facebook longtime demand. and about voting. or things like dog whistles. that trump quite often since else. and it certainly makes people uncomfortable. it makes the platform somewhat toxic. it is a tough line to broth. but that's what he builds. any stone up to that. so that really is the issue in fact is he's not doing a great job of it because the more the speech is exposed, it just feels wrong. and he is more and more it. this way he is constantly taking
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these little many steps back but is confronted with the consequences of where his decisions are at any given moment. rana: only come back to disinformation. and free speech and election. first i want to note that of the beginning of your book because it painted this picture need to this i will have say. you're always kind of getting right in people's lives and getting the details we also painting this big picture. the picture painted was a duck in africa would be sort of a touring entrepreneur around him. almost seeming in the antidote to meet like the head of state. no way think about this on the thing about facebook. the point at which you decided you wanted to write about facebook. and now we know they've got more
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users than the largest countries in the world in many cases pretty these companies, facebook in particular, always seem like a super national entity. not think about is money in history, and did you find that. what does that mean. >> devlin on that. and you mentioned, i decided to write facebook from the inside story when zuckerberg posted in 2015, the end of summer that million people have logged into facebook. and they got the users in the 24 hour. and as you mentioned, the total membership of facebook even back then, was larger than any country. now the logged in, bigger than any country approaching 3 billion people and when i started actually doing the book, the cooperation of no strings
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attached. speech of all hear about that. we will come back to that pray prayed. steven: which africa training and he was like that of state and came to africa from italy. we met with the prime minister. he met with the pope. in this what you would expect mark zuckerberg to do. he came to facebook on a state visit. and facebook as a foreign policy. it was like the head of state. it is like some sort of god about nigeria. they have a very active community. a tight community of entrepreneurs. an incoming there, it was a surprise visit. news like this little start of community. i realize later it was kind of a
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like facebook. because a few months later, the 2action occurred. those big flip prayed and went from this repaired company, did have a lot of issues, but from that point on it was not the answer that were all of the things that it did that were toxic, and it stole peaches the tension and data. in privacy. and flipped the book became the exercise in understanding how that happened. and even the childhood of mark to understand how this thing happened. for starters i can relate his mother that is it something when your story changes in the middle of your book cycle. in have to scramble.
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steven: and i got to munson into the advantage of facebook. and interviewing the people of facebook. and while this things happening. while the company's reputation was unraveling. and watching that process. in real time. rana: what did you learn about mark zuckerberg and his childhood. that this could inform or help us understand it where the company is today. steven: i talked to his parents and his mother told me the story which i'm really resonated with the way facebook unfolded. he grew up in westchester county. writing a nice suburban rated in a public school that he went to, didn't have a whole lot of
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advanced or great computer programs. so he wanted to go to a private school to get a better computer program and take advantage of the classes and enhance classes. and conquerors like alexander the great. this telling of itself. his mother wanted him to go to a nearby private school where he could commute. eldest sibling in the family is going off to harvard that year. she didn't want to lose to kids the same year. but he heard about the program in exeter. anyone would require reporting. and he wanted to go there. and she said listen, when she just interview the people there and maybe you will like it. and he said line going to interview the people. i will do that but i'm going to the other school. and that reminded me a lot in the decision-making and i have learned took place on facebook
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through all of history where quite often something would come up and maybe it wasn't good for the kids or some sort of thing. and we would say this is right, this is morally wrong and he was a, but let's go do it. and i thought were going to exeter. rana: he went there. steven: that's where he first became familiar with program of facebook. of the context of it. the idea that when he makes his mind up, that's it. and since he has total power of facebook, he controls the majority of the voting stock. even the board of directors cannot overrule him. when he says let's do it, they go to exeter. rana: that is fascinating. speaking of total power. i'm thinking about this wonderful antidote about the eyes of sauron. [laughter]. tells about the eyes.
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steven: particularly when he was younger, had this habit. he is unbelievably unnerving. you can ask him a question and he would not answer it. you just aren't you. i think human beings have to blank. it's just sort of an issue by health. but he seems to defy that sometimes when he looks at you. and a lot of people have the same problem. the first time i met him in 20 oh six. i asked him several questions about facebook and how many students are enrolled and sent etc. and he would just look at me in. he would not answer the question. and i thought what is going on here. i in the twilight zone. i got better at minimizing that over the years but every so often, the stair prayed and one of his lieutenants, described as
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a guy of sauron. [laughter]. stated that is really something. you mentioned roger mcnamee. was also source for me. i am urged him to write a book. it's interesting. steven: marks zuckerberg with thinking for that. rana: exactly. when i first met roger cummings interesting. he was going out into the media. for those of you don't know him a veteran venture capitalist. an investor and loss of important technical monies. in an early mentor to mark. an elevation had a fake, was a through elevation. steven: roger invested personally.
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and later elevation and put money in it. but roger benefited greatly from its in a way initially that his company did not predict. rana: so is interesting. so he was out really talking and guesses on book to the media against it. at that stage and he said look i became concerned pre- 2016 about what i was saying on facebook. i feel there is something wrong here. he apparently wrote a letter to mark and cheryl. this is sort of like your highly humble. he was coming to you saying hey guys, they may have a problem. and apparently, they went very corporate pr up on him very quickly. shut him down. hard for me to metabolize how someone can get the information from a trusted figure and not take it more seriously. in your reporting, what conclusion did you come to this
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pretty. steven: facebook really downplayed the degree of which project was an influence. in a look into this. and in rogersville, but he gives a more accurate account of the degree of his influence in facebook. maybe some of the media appearances he did. they kept him described as zuckerberg's main mentor. was i don't think if you can into the wall, he wouldn't claimants. his overall overblown. the privacy officer, they did connect roger with mark and he did have a meeting with him window who was going to buy facebook and he didn't have a role, the soul but among others in helping connect people to facebook. but by the time he was complaining, he invaded in the
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picture. it is not a regular advisor. it's a basically were getting a letter from someone who maybe was important in the early days of facebook but now wasn't someone who was in close contact with. they felt comfortable sloughing off his concerns rated and dan rose another partnership was there. and they sort of things that he was complaining about or indeed under discussion facebook but facebook had already decided that it was going to not doing thing about this disinformation that was circulating in 2016. it wasn't a new thing that he was bringing up. and they already had made that decision. and roger was right: out but it wasn't like roger was saying that here's something that you don't know about. they knew about it in they had
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already decided not to know anything about it. so the misinformation was happening during the election. by and large helped trump and hurt clinton. rana: you think, going deep on this. what made them think that decision. that is a big decision vertically for either another liberal or libertarian but that is a big decision to say, we see this were not going to do anything about it. steven: so you have to reconstruct the frame at 2016. three things are happening. with election on facebook. the first is the trump is using facebook in the way it is supposed to be used. almost better than anyone else as in history. boswell as i mentioned earlier, he told me that he was in awe of it. and eight shared with during the course of the book. it is beautiful.
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and essentially the trump campaign played facebook. in the clinton people played it like a cardboard enjoy it like you see in the street. the trump campaign accepted and it helps shall than the ends announce of how to use it. the b of a better one. they did thousands of ads every day. on hundreds of thousands. and then the clinton campaign did not use it will dull. so that was part one. part two was his misinformation. people found they can make money by publications and fake stories. and there were basically made clinton look better criminal. she was running a child trafficking ring and pizzeria in washington. and they thought they could get
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people to go to some page, financially motivated campaign. the third was russian involvements. in the signal think had as much exposure to users as a misinformation campaign that there are hundreds of thousands of people this all the stuff. and super disturbing but the russians were using facebook to help battle with an election. this article enrolled facebook, really late. and really didn't come across until after the election. then we can talk about how they treated it then. the second thing, there is a big debate about facebook. at one point there was a meeting about a weekly meeting. in the person really was running that many, was his kiting jewel was head of the dc operation. in his dna was he was a republican. and a lot of people the
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washington office he feels his job was to carry the water for the republicans. had a very close relationship and use the danger college. and this is the guy was pulling back from the tough. they had from when her husband died. she was back then read but think things shifted were people took on responsibilities during the period and they were pretty much operating with more authority. anyone the argument that they shouldn't do anything about the misinformation. he said that would be testing the playing field by helping one candidate by removing the misinformation. that was wrong. it is the playing field was tilted by the misinformation. in the leveling it by taking it out. but when the day.
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and the rest is history. rana: let's talk to the relation post 2016th. then you get deep into the scandal as well. how did you view all of those characters. steven: i think it was an amazing story and of itself. and it tells like a story i like a clown show. and it was in a way comedy in some sense of and on facebook's part. there's like crazy characters involved. and it led it to her became the biggest scandal and got narrative in facebook's history. you can argue that this is the limit of the most traction. i believe the scandal happened not in 2018 or 2016 during the election or in 2014 when they
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got the information of maybe 8 million facebook users. but in 2010 facebook giveaway information about users to developers. and that meant when a facebook user sign-up to use some survey application for third-party, they would get that developer, natalie the information so that person signed up with that person's whole social network on their friends. they could argue the users signed up for surveys responsible because she click software he clicks off, some little role-play saying they're going to look at your information. but they're giving the information also on the friends who have no idea. so people facebook family complained to zuckerberg. they said this is too much.
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we should not who didn't do this in tech work went ahead and did that. and that api as it was called, wait to dig into facebook's databases. an open up in 2010. so they close that loophole in 2014. by then, it's china lytic that could get access to that. but you can get that information by seemingly doing the survey. so that's how the information fell into the hands one of the biggest funders on the far right have been ted cruz in the donald trump used it in the election. rana: are you worried that facebook and have an effect on november. steven: will facebook will have an effect on november. rana: while the me put it more dramatically. you worried they could reelected donald trump. steven: again, which parts of it
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is he going to use. i think the biden campaign is going use facebook better than the clinton campaign did. not going to dismiss it like that. they know it happened in 2016. but the trump campaign, had a big head start in collecting the data from 2016 and building on it over the last four years. now facebook has indicated that considering cutting off political advertising. and if that happens, that will be a giant win for the truck campaign because they have this big lead the biden campaign he never close if they stop the campaigning. rana: cutting off physical advertising or labeling it, this is all part of the conversation which gets into an economic conversation about the black box from the fact there incredible
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information asymmetry on the sides of these transactions. to try to at this deeply my own book. he is a remind me so much of the financial sector in 2008 where you've got these large entities that have all of the information in the person on the other side of the transaction does not have the same amount of information. adam smith 101, markets don't work properly or fairly if there's not equal access to information, shared understanding of the transaction and the value of what is being exchanged. honey think about that. and what stars to delve into the coming possibly coming regulation of these firms and how it might play out. steven: and zuckerberg says a lot. it's not money that motivates me. i think obviously facebook's important. i think season as a way that
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facebook can continue to grow everything for its users. thus was important to him. his basically dominating the social media space in the same way that caesar dominated. rana: has a lot of domination. steven: we like that. he is in his meaning spike domination. it was a net. so the advertising model is when facebook makes its money. they said i don't understand coming out charge money. how come you make billions of dollars and he said, we run ads. and facebook says his ads are good for people because we know a lot about you and we can show you relevant ads which are things that you like to see and then can be of service to you. in some cases that happens. sometimes it of and they will send you an ad where something
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that is tailored to the things that you like that you would not have known about otherwise. you might bryant's. they also know so much about you and advertisers can use that information to sort of curb your weak points. to manipulate you. and that is something that people don't want. and that is part of facebook. and that is where things run into problems. when people learn about that. they become alarmed about it. i think that is the way the truck campaign used facebook in 2016 and i think that is the way in general they would want to use facebook and they feel that you got an underlying bias. going to explain that to try to maybe, get you to vote for their candidate. sweet if it is interesting. it on the poll in my backyard connect with you the different
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dots politically and technologically. i sometimes feel that when we talk about 2016 and monopoly power and tech in the evolution of silicon valley from the mid- 1990s. all of those to charles handford. she remains, what is said to fun figure. she's certainly coming to some criticism. but way she could that not being in the spotlight and you know from reading first renew, she was right there in the middle of developing ads and that was the golden goose that created and help to monetize targeted advertising. and really was a sort of basis of what we might call surveillance capitalism. she then take them to facebook now perfected there. i i'm rather cynical when i hear
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her in particular get up and use many congressional testimonies and say being confronted with this or that latest scandal, he couldn't possibly. well anybody is ready book, or frankly the chief economist as google book as information rules. the playbook is all there. so should we be blaming cheryl moore. she's also in connection with the clinton administration winner take all economics. steven: certainly she was a major participant. particularly in the business model. i actually found someone who was with cheryl on the day with her orientation. we go to facebook. you attend this meeting usually for many years, it was chris
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cox. now a given facebook's chief data officer. in earlier employee who i think is the person who would probably take over facebook and mark zuckerberg if he left for ceo. he of a speech to inspire people. and when she was on the onboarding session. it's kind of unusual for that person come in to be the chief operating officer to be a new employee. the actually state a few words and she talked about how facebook had previously been about discovery. because through brand and it was like google where he expressed her intent to search for something and say that i want to buy this in this category and google could know that because you're searching for it to be able to give you much more targeted and. and she thought facebook would go there too.
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but they would know enough about tooth they had enough data to be able to do with not only the brand that you wanted but also advertising. in this was rebuilt. and it got more more information about not only your behavior facebook but your behavior throughout the web. so as you search through the browser, that information would be recorded in facebook find other databases to get a more complete picture of you. so she definitely had a hand that. and she was the person in charge of lobbying in washington made a deal mark and cheryl early on that she would take charge basically of things that zuckerberg didn't want to do. and that sort of washington policy stuff. the business model which cheryl took over. so definitely, she is responsible for big chunks of facebook. i think zuckerberg is responsible.
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eventually he admitted of not monitoring that stuff more closely because when things went awry in that realm, and a lot of the things were talking about during the election were in that category. it was below is radar. he was unable to marshal the resources to fight that when is happening. rana: she was forma former chief staff for the biggest economic advisor for the clinton campaign. the architect of a lot of deregulation in the financial sector and what was done in the financial sector and what is really been done the tech sectors little bit okay this keep the market open the big get bigger. sway for america to have more giant software companies. and yet at another level, not a lot of awareness. not everybody are not a lot of
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us can be a software developer. we can't have an economy where you've got like a witch bath where you've got a multibillion-dollar evaluation in 19 employees. that conversation particularly in the biden administration since we coming to the floor. in your book you back and you duplicate some of the crematory battles facebook has went with the ftc for example in 2011. so far it seems like the tech companies in general have been able to say we will be better. and go off maybe they get their hands wet and then pretty much do whatever they want. in terms of getting big and stepping on competitors and buying competitors before they can actually become real threats. how will that play out in the future do you think. steven: they went into a reputational area after that
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sprayed it took them a long time to really understand what was happening. and in 2017 that is also that year while this was happening my people were criticizing facebook more intensely than he would on this pretty tone deaf to her the 50 states. rana: did you g with him. she went i did connect with him on a couple points and tour. that along interview in kansas with him i think. towards the end in the fall. there was a moment not just for facebook, facebook kind of drag down the whole tech sector with him because he became the poster child. and people would say equipment with all the power they have. what can we do about this. we don't like this. so that was called to clash.
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really got underway because of that. that was a motivating factor in that room is why the regulatory forces that you're talking about are pretty serious now. both in the antitrust side. the ftc side. in the congressional side. people looking closely about doing something about the powers of those tech companies including facebook read. rana: it is interesting, just the past couple of days. a bunch of really major transatlantic drilling around tech. european union was trying to get apple to go avoid tax dodging in ireland they were able to push back on that case through. we just had safe hamburger that is off the table now. some of this simmering war about how we will do tax transatlantic lake. some of this is down in this
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administration but it also seems to vegas x essential question. i'll check is going to work and what the values are around governing tech will be. it seems like we are moving to find what we are in a trifle role maybe europe and china and u.s. going in different directions. one of the major advantages of these firms have been the network. in the ability to cross border everywhere. grow exponentially. what is this new more fractured fractured world mean to them. steven: think facebook is very concerned about tiktok. i think if facebook were constrained. not only by antitrust concerns but the geopolitical situation. a movie candidate for them to buy tiktok. release their own version of it. they've had mixed success in trying to emulate others. they had better success inviting
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them into grabbing them into the facebook. it is a problem. for facebook believe that such a big chunk of the world's population i considers this network that is very difficult to dislodge. rana: is interesting predict i'm remembering about a year ago the senate hearing and with which i think it was a reporter that ran out after mark zuckerberg and with this his notebook and is being asked if anybody house you about china or the breakup of facebook, to safely of the u.s. national champion we need to kept big in order to compete with those chinese giants. do you think is fair fighting. steven: i think it is certainly an argument applies a cutpoint in the audience. i think it shouldn't affect the way we look at facebook. we shouldn't say that they
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should get away with more. because we are worried about china. i want to ask you personal questions about kind of your process in the book. how you report pretty baby can start with the fact with it i think you said it took you a year to get the permissions that you did what was that like. steven: so when i undertake a project like this. i did a similar thing with google. i think you get the best information by talking to your subjects. and talking to them quite a lot. i found that really useful in the google book and wanted to see access in this facebook book. in the axis, it would give me free reign to talk to anyone i wanted to in the company.
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and be able to use it for the book read no strings attached with that. they didn't have to approve it or read it. until is already . i think it was a week or two before the book was released to the public that i let them see the whole thing. i did the fact check the book. promise them that i would do which i would've done anyway. i hired fact checkers to make sure we were making errors. like the things that i said people said they actually did. there's a question of saying, i would like you to trust me. and this is something that you should do not just for me but because you are so important. your our history. in part because maybe that resonated you may be in part because i've been coming facebook for a long time and i had a good relationship with him. and with these people and had a
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policy. i actually worked with him on google book. rana: was the most surprising thing you learn as somebody who has been deep in this topic for decades really. steven: the it is interesting how facebook was shaped so much by zuckerberg personally. and how well he managed to channel himself throughout his company. did you visit facebook campus. you go there and there's a whole lot of buildings. the main big buildings, that is designed. now there is thune think there will be a third soon. all connected on the roof. you can do like a walk in his like you're walking outside in the garden because there's foliage on the roof. always posters. and there is nothing called
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research lab. many of the slogans are many of the things zuckerberg says. he is able to get across what he wants throughout the whole company. it is a culture itself. the motto was moved fast break things. and realize in a certain point it to break things, probably didn't play well. so they changed it to move fast and stable the structure. break things, really was the way they did operate. literally referred to move fast. if the may be into work for a little while. he can read through it. because with the new tools, the
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zuckerberg grew up with, he understood doesn't really matter if you have certain things because you don't have to wait for months of the new version. it can be up in a few minutes. metaphorically, you can argue they did move fast and break bigger things. something was a democracy. but they definitely broke discourse. rana: let's interesting to because the fast-break things is in some way in the post covid-19 world, it's where business itself would be seem to be going. a lot of talk i know about moving from a world which companies are all about efficiency and companies like facebook or like the apex of that predict it is all about being frictionless. very few employees growing extremely quickly.
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when a living in a conversation about resiliency from everything from governance and some people have question facebook and whether zuckerberg should have so much power. to the social corporate compact to how should the wealth, the vast wealth of these companies, the shares, what would you say to that and what is a conversation in facebook about that. steven: i think what is startling is that the conversation within facebook about that. for the first time facebook finds itself critically zuckerberg decision-making is at odds with the financial chunk of the employees. used to be that the idea, a leak coming from the coming days. you can ask zuckerberg anything. he would be very frank is workforce that he saw was going on. i think the unthinkable.
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that would not happen. and now, he has to assume that anything he says not only might be late but the whole q&a might be late. i got to the point where recently, some of the employees and virtual walkout. and be virtual because they were working from home. they stopped working in protest of the policies of zuckerberg have about political advertising. as unprecedented that company read i think that is probably bigger than regulators read bigger than competition. that is a worry for zuckerberg. he's a long-term thinker. he things ahead. he spent a couple million dollars for virtual reality company because he said that's going to be the competitor in ten years now. he wanted to own that technology. so if he doesn't get the best
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engineers, the best ip people, the best everything. he cannot fulfill that vision. he can't compete in the years to come. so he has to be very wary of us workforce. they feel that is not a good and moral place or four. rana: a lot of critics have said is not regulators or even the marketplace that will curb these companies but the employees because it's all about human capital and who can get the best engineers to work with them. there is a piece recently by sam is a former development person of facebook and their information. he posted some very informational ideas about this coming battle really between the virtual world the physical world. this is sort of about that transition they were now going through and that covid-19 era overnight. we knew were going to much more
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digital and virtual an economy that was made up of tangibles not things that you could touch and feel afraid but that now is happen overnight. these two worlds come with different governing principles and seems to be that facebook is a really good encapsulation of that. it is about decentralization although ironically centralization in the sense that you have this very powerful leader at the top. in it is about a cross-border entrance national and is about the opposite of the mainstream political conversation with having a witch. much fascination. but is facebook tell us about where the world is headed. steven: i think it is a great question. as you say, the virtual loss. our own facebook, you are in a virtual world. people talk about their friends in your social network now is
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something that is not based necessarily on people they spend a lot of time with. and you may even have friends that you have ever met because their part of your network on facebook. it is as facebook tries to expand, the ways you come in contact with that in your virtual world becomes your wor world. as you say, skied of the stage where not supposed to leave the house much. and that is important. and you mentioned something else in terms of governance. i think that facebook is trying to respond with that by doing things like this oversight board. where in certain very limited cases, this board will have the availability to overrule the ultimate decision maker mark
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zuckerberg on contents decisions. where individual pieces of content can come up and down the board might even be able to make a suggestion and is adopted about facebook's policies which remains to be seen. a pretty long time for the sport to actually be set up and start making its rulings. and i think around the time in 2018, not long after that, zuckerberg started to think about those conversations. at one point was brought up there was thinking about mount vernon. ask him about that. he has done a lot of thinking about it. and he is a sponge for information. he goes backs to people who are experts on governance and he would gather them for dinners at his house and had conversations with them. so we hundred he could learn more about that.
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rana: interesting. what do you think facebook is headed in terms of going into other industries. we've already seen them to develop their own currency. which i frankly think in concept is a great idea but the within trust facebook. i'd rather see some coalition of global central banks doing this. but it's interesting because it's pushing the boundaries of where were going. facebook might not be the right players to run it. where else are they going that we should be watching. steven: i think congress and currency. they haven't given up on the idea. i think they tried to ram that story of the currency idea in the face of the incredible skepticism about the company and they say will we are setting of
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this neutral organization literally in switzerland. symbolic of neutrality latest and they're really not going to be in control of it. the people who going to take advantage of it. i think that virtual reality soon be very important for facebook as time goes on. there were all waiting to see when people are saying inevitable the idea of getting information through these lenses which he in the virtual world literally up to her eyes. as more more of what we do becomes virtual, facebook to be right in the center of it. rana: we only have four or five minutes left. i'm asking a couple of final questions. this conversation about children and social media has really
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taken off in recent years. facebook has actually woken think it's a little bit old-fashioned now. a lot of kids do. they have moved on. whatever they're using. should we worry and you worry about the effect of these technologies on kids brains and on their socializing. i'd really interesting conversation with a teenager the said, i was throwing a birthday party for my dad and the kind of wanted it to be private but that i thought that if i didn't put a video on facebook on my other feeds, it wouldn't really be real or exist. it's a fascinating way that we change the nature of reality. steven: as you mentioned, facebook is a social network of younger people. the instagram you really haven't talked much about the emergences of that facebook made in instagram at the time was a small company.
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this still super popular among the people. an influencer culture, still the center of it. and as you say let's take a picture of it on instagram, meals meal. and i think it is tough to choose out how much of it is part of the big companies and how much of it is a limit caught icall and not evolution but inevitable evolution, the second entered type of technology coming in. if it wasn't for facebook by mark zuckerberg, i think that would be something like it now by someone else. the idea is in the air. he just managed to do it better. this mobile devices, please things are the kind of social networks that we have now. the kind of products that we see
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with instagram and tiktok and other things. these are going to be part of our lives anyway. we are on discourse. this is sort of my subject, the way facebook started. i've been writing for decades now about this transformation of the digital world on the way humans live. this is one piece of it. but it's massive. it is redefining who people are. so to me, this one chapter of this bigger story which i think is the story of our times. this transformation. and i've been lucky to get a front row seat to this major change. rana: you really have indeed. i'm going to give your book a thumbs up. [laughter]. really was terrific. i thought british anything that i haven't asked you anything you want to leave breeders with.
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steven: i think what i try to do in the book is also tell a story. it was just a great story to this very unusual person without developing something in his dorm room and quickly accelerating it. he said that you can't blame us because we anticipate this in the door opened and six months, he was in silken valley being advised by some of the best minds. the internet of things to accelerate these to such a presence in our lives some impulses that he had which might've been considered idealistic. in others not right it took him to a place where he's a stranger in a strange land. and is the object of intense
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criticism. and i finished the book with a couple of interviews with him i did. we get to a level of candor then nothing a journalist got to before. he used this notebook that i discovered that he had used in 2006 to outline facebook. he had destroyed the notebook but it had managed to get copies of the pages of it. i am wind up showing him his own work envisioning facebook. and i feel that he kind of melted when he saw it. i had a copy on my phone to go back to days when things were simpler. finance small company. nothing but dreams. another reality he has much broader and much more complicated. rana: there still on you. it is been great to talk to you and i hope we get to do it again sometime. thank you.
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steven: thank you. this program is available as a podcast. all afterwards programs can be viewed on our website cspan has unfiltered coverage of congress, the white house, the supreme court. and public policy events. you can watch all of cspan's public affairs programming on television, online, or honor free radio app. the part of the national conversation through cspan's daily washington journal program. what through our social media feeding. cspan, created by americans people television company as a public service, and brought to you today by your television provider.
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>> is a look at some publishing industry news. christopher dickey died at last at the age of 68. he was the author of seven books including a memoir of his relationship with his father, former poet james dickey who authored the best-selling novel deliverance. join a cold the author of the children's education series, the magic school bus also died earlier this month. and they created the series in 1986 which followed a group of schoolchildren on fantastical trips led by their teachers this fizzle . books for developed into an animated television program that aired on tv for 18 years. join nicole died at the age of 75. in another news lisa lucas has been in the new publisher part of the think when random house publishing group. ms. lucas had been the director of the national book foundation for the past four years. also in the news, providing a
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list of the best-selling prep books for the staff of first half of the year. john bolton's memoir of his time in the trump administration. robin d'angelo and the perspective books on race in america. ... ... book tv will continue to bring you new programs and publishing news and you can watch our archived programs at any time at the ♪


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