Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg testifies before the House Energy and Commerce Committee on April 11, 2018 in Washington, DC. This is the second day of testimony before Congress by Zuckerberg,  after it was reported that 87 million Facebook users had their personal information harvested by Cambridge Analytica, a British political consulting firm.

Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg testifies before the House Energy and Commerce Committee on April 11, 2018 in Washington, DC. This is the second day of testimony before Congress by Zuckerberg, after it was reported that 87 million Facebook users had their personal information harvested by Cambridge Analytica, a British political consulting firm.

Facebook turned 15 this week. It hasn’t been a happy birthday.

The company’s last few years have seen significant growing pains, both for the company and for the nation. It seems neither knows quite how to live with the other. And while we try to figure that out, revelations of the company’s actions keep coming.

There was the story about paying teenagers to report on nearly everything they do online, the one about ugly public-relations efforts, another about knowingly “duping” parents and children out of money via in-app purchases, and of course, there was no shortage of coverage on Facebook’s relationship with Cambridge Analytica and the proliferation of disinformation.

But the company pulled down record profits at the end of last year.

“Facebook’s revenue rose 30 percent from a year earlier to $16.9 billion, while profits jumped 61 percent to $6.9 billion,” according to The New York Times. Facebook is currently worth $500 billion.

It seems no breach of trust, misuse of data or dissemination of damaging falsehoods rattles the company’s bottom line.

We’re speaking with Roger McNamee, one of Facebook’s early investors. He says the company’s executives have abdicated their civic responsibility and that the platform is bad for democracy in his new book, “Zucked: Waking up to the Facebook catastrophe.”

We’ll also speak to Alexandra Suich Bass, a senior correspondent at The Economist, who has covered Facebook for years.

Guests

  • Roger McNamee Early investor and mentor to Mark Zuckerberg, author of "Zucked: The Education of an Unlikely Activist"
  • Alexandra Suich Bass Senior Correspondent of politics, technology, and society for The Economist.

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