Instagram co-founder, Kevin Systrom (above), who sold his company for $ 1 billion to Facebook, said the disintegration of the network will not eliminate influence on public policy
Instagram co-founder, Kevin Systrom, who sold his company to Facebook in 2012 for $ 1 billion, said the breakup of the social network will not eliminate his influence on public policy.
Systrom made the comments during a lecture at the Dealbook conference of the New York Times on Wednesday.
He said to his audience: & # 39; If you think the problem is that someone has too much power over policy decisions, don't think that if you peel WhatsApp and Instagram, that problem will suddenly resolve. & # 39;
& # 39; You still have two and a half billion people on Facebook & # 39 ;, he added.
Another important moment in the interview was when Systrom was whether he regretted selling Instagram on Facebook.
& # 39; What do you say if someone comes to you and offers you $ 1 billion for 11 people? & # 39; he asked,
Systrom, who launched Instagram in 2010 alongside Mike Krieger, broke up with Facebook in 2018. Krieger also left Facebook last year.
Systrom & # 39; s comments come just days after Facebook co-founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, spoke to civil rights activists in his Palo Alto home about the company's decision not to check ads and other content from politicians.
Pastor Al Sharpton revealed Monday that he was a & # 39; unblocked encounter & # 39; had with Zuckerberg which lasted almost two hours.
They were accompanied by several civil rights activists and the Chief Operating Officer of Facebook Sheryl Sandberg.
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Systrom (right) told viewers at the New York Times Dealbook Conference (above) that if you think the problem is that someone has too much power over policy decisions, you don't think if you would peel WhatsApp and Instagram , that problem suddenly resolves & # 39;
Systrom, who launched Instagram in 2010 alongside Mike Krieger (left, left in the photo together), divorced Facebook in 2018. Krieger also left Facebook last year
& # 39; We told him that we think the exemption for politicians can be used to suppress voting, give wrong messages and suppress census taking & # 39 ;, Sharpton said after the meeting.
& # 39; He listened & # 39 ;, said Sharpton, who had sent a letter to Zuckerberg requesting the meeting. & # 39; He has not made firm commitments to change, but he seemed open & # 39 ;, he added.
Zuckerberg told Congress last month that Facebook would remove content from politicians that could suppress the risk of suppressing voters or censuses.
In anticipation of the US presidential election in November 2020, Facebook's policy has also been slammed by democratic candidates.
Twitter's decision last week to ban all political advertisements has also strengthened control of its larger rival's position.
Zuckerberg defended the policy last week in a profit call and said Facebook did not want to suppress the political speech.
He also estimated that advertisements from politicians would be less than 0.5 percent of sales next year.
Earlier this year, Zuckerberg was urged to break his technology empire by investors who say he has too much power because employees anonymously reported a civil war within Facebook that they say ended with cutting off Instagram & # 39; s resources and the crush the founders of WhatsApp until he finds his way.
In the documents filed by the US Securities and Exchange Commission, filed in April, the company revealed that it had received 12 proposals from its shareholders.
They include requirements for the company to sell Instagram, WhatsApp, one or both, as part of an effort to dilute Zuckerberg's power.
Civil rights activist Pastor Al Sharpton (left) said that he would have a & # 39; no-barred meeting & # 39; had with Mark Zuckerberg (right) in the Facebook CEO's house because of the company's decision not to check ads and other content from politicians
The meeting, which Sharpton said lasted nearly two hours in the Palo Alto home of Zuckerberg (photo), included multiple civil rights activists and Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer of Facebook
Others have demanded the appointment of an independent chairman of the board. Facebook argued against both.
& # 39; Facebook essentially functions as a dictatorship. Mark Zuckerberg controls the majority of votes using a multi-class share structure with unequal voting rights … & Fake News, election interference, threats to our bottom line and our democracy.
& # 39; Shareholders need more than denying, deflecting and delaying.
& # 39; We need a real vote through governance reforms, including majority voting requirements for directors, & # 39; said a group of shareholders.
Another said: & # 39; It seems that Facebook is too large and complex to manage effectively. Officials in the US and the EU are concerned about Facebook's market power in view of restrictions on monopolies.
& # 39; We believe that shareholders can gain more value through voluntary strategic reduction of the company than through the sale of assets by regulators. & # 39;
The submissions were canceled together with a long exposure Wired that was published and fuel calls that Zuckerberg has too much power.
In it, anonymous employees expose how Instagram & # 39; s success at a time when Facebook was bleeding led users to induce Zuckerberg to cut off the resources of the previous to save his original product and the founders of Instagram from his technical empire to expel.
In anticipation of the US presidential election in November 2020, Facebook's policy has also been slammed by democratic candidates, including Elizabeth Warren (photo)
House representative Maxine Waters, the chairman of the Financial Services House Committee, has also proposed that Facebook may be broken
He was angry, it was claimed, that Instagram was growing so fast when Facebook lost users and felt it was & # 39; cannibalizing & # 39; used to be.
Despite the possession (Facebook acquired Instagram for $ 1 billion in 2012), he cut off Instagram to send users back to Facebook, it is claimed.
He also had problems with the positive press that the founders received when he and Sheryl Sandberg, the COO of Facebook, drowned in scandal after scandal.
In 2014, Zuckerberg told staff that no other executives were allowed to get permission for magazine profiles without the permission of him or Sandberg, because Systrom had just done one.
HOW INVESTORS FACEBOOK WANTS TO CHANGE
On Friday, Facebook announced the proposals from investors it had received that it would vote on at its annual meeting on 30 May. It has instructed its board to reject them but one. Almost everyone says that Zuckerberg has too much power.
Break the monopoly
One of the proposals requires that Facebook & # 39; strategic alternatives & # 39; is investigating to sell subsidiaries.
& # 39; As the market power and influence of Facebook have increased, the call to break the company also increases.
& # 39; It seems that Facebook is too large and complex to manage effectively & # 39 ;, it says.
Facebook argued by saying that it supported other companies and is committed to increasing stock value.
Reduce the power of voting shares
Shareholders want the company to change its share structure so that one share equals one vote.
Currently there are ordinary class A shares that represent one vote per share and class B shares that represent 10 votes per share. Zuckerberg owns more of the latter.
As a result, he owns 60 percent of the company's voting rights, while he owns only 13 percent.
Shareholders say it is unfair and cannot be trusted to protect their interests.
Appoint an independent chairman of the board of directors
Zuckerberg is currently chairman of the board and has been since 2012, but investors say this is inappropriate given the recent wave of scandals and problems the company is facing.
The investors wrote: We believe that this lack of independent chairman and oversight has contributed to Facebook missing or misusing some serious controversies, increasing exposure to risks and costs for shareholders. & # 39;
Stricter rules for choosing drivers
Investors not only want more power elected directors, they want there to be a more transparent process in choosing them where nominees must meet a criterion.
Create a content governance report
Investors want to see a report on how Facebook decides which content is suitable and which is not.
Facebook says it's not necessary.
Publish pay gap numbers
The shareholders urged Facebook to prepare a report on this. It said it already had and was not needed to do it again.
Publish a diversity report to prove that it is not biased against conservatives
& # 39; Facebook faces repeated and well-published allegations of both conscious and unconscious bias against conservatives, libertarians and republicans, exposing the company to the business risk of disposing of millions of its users & # 39;
It argued: & # 39; We do not collect data about our employees' political ideology. & # 39;
Three years later, as Facebook fought against privacy scandals and Instagram grew in popularity, a meeting took place where Facebook data analysts presented all the ways people shared less in the & # 39; blue app & # 39; as it is called at Menlo Park Campus, such as a direct result from Instagram.
& # 39; For some people, this sounded like they were simply a problem to solve.
"Others were astonished and saw it as a sign that Facebook's management cared more about the product they had born than the product they had adopted," the article reads after 65 interviews with employees.
By the time the Cambridge Analytica privacy scandal struck in 2018 – when tens of millions of users discovered that Facebook had allowed a data collection company to access their information without their knowledge – Systrom and Krieger had become frustrated with the way Zuckerberg demanded changes they were disagree.
They expected him to acidify & # 39; and asked that Adam Mosseri be brought to their team because they trusted him most from the inner circle of Zuckerberg.
It was claimed last July that Zuckerberg was ready to switch off the Instagram fan.
After a profit call where it was all bad news for Facebook and success stories for Instagram, he asked his head of growth, Javier Olivan, to compile a list of all the ways that Facebook boosted Instagram.
It included Instagram ads on Facebook, link backs to Instagram every time a photo was imported to Facebook and gave Instagram access to Facebook friends lists to encourage users to follow more people.
Once Zuckerberg had the list, he reportedly sent it to Systrom and Krieger and told them he would end them all.
Systrom immediately forwarded the message in a memo to the Instagram staff that Facebook & # 39; furious & # 39; frightened the bosses that it would leak.
A former senior manager said it was like a & # 39; flame that lights up in the company & # 39 ;.
Two months later, specific features against which Systrom and Krieger had fought appeared, on Instagram, namely a location tracking feature and a & # 39; hamburger & # 39; menu button, the commonly used logo of three horizontal lines to guide users back home.
& # 39; It felt very personal & # 39 ;, said a senior Instagram employee who needed to implement the changes.
Systrom told friends he felt that Zuckerberg treated him like Donald Trump treated Jeff Sessions at the time, by making life miserable in the hope that he would quit without being fired.
They also said that Facebook had paralyzed their budget.
Systrom then went on paternity leave and never came back. Krieger also decided to leave.
They were replaced by Mosseri who would report to Chris Cox, a Zuckerberg loyalist who was currently in charge of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp.
WhatsApp, which purchased Facebook in 2014 for $ 19 billion, had its own problems with its new owners.
Brian Acton and Jan Koum, the founders of the app, were frustrated with Facebook's plans to install ads in the messaging service and, according to the report, were so inconsistent with their new owners that they insisted on having WhatsApp only meeting rooms and bathrooms where the stall doors were full length instead of the shorter ones used by Facebook employees.
Acton stopped in 2017 due to collisions over advertisements.
Acton tweeted this ominously in March last year when the Cambridge Analaytica scandal broke out
Koum stopped a year after Acton and was diplomatic in his departure. Zuckerberg, who had repeatedly collided with him, gave him a glowing public reference
& # 39; I finally sold my business. I have sold the privacy of my users to a greater advantage. I made a choice and made a compromise. I live with that every day, & Acton said a year later during an interview with Forbes.
Koum stopped in April 2018. He did not give a real explanation for his departure in his announcement about it on Facebook, but Zuckerberg said in his own post: & Jan: I will miss working so closely with you.
& # 39; I am grateful for everything you have done to help connect the world, and for everything you have taught me, including about coding and the ability to take power from centralized systems and give them back to people.
& # 39; Those values will always be central to WhatsApp. & # 39;
Zuckerberg has touted the new daily plan in several interviews and apologized for endangering user data.
The company says it has implemented completely new departments that are committed to doing well and not betraying users.
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