A trove of leaked documents, published by The Wall Street Journal, hints at a company whose best days are behind it.
One possible way to read â€œThe Facebook Files,â€ The Wall Street Journalâ€™s excellent series of reports based on leaked internal Facebook research, is as a story about an unstoppable juggernaut bulldozing society on its way to the bank.
The series has exposed damning evidence that Facebook has a two-tier justice system, that it knew Instagram was worsening body-image issues among girls and that it had a bigger vaccine misinformation problem than it let on, among other issues. And it would be easy enough to come away thinking that Facebook is terrifyingly powerful, and can be brought to heel only with aggressive government intervention.
But thereâ€™s another way to read the series, and itâ€™s the interpretation that has reverberated louder inside my brain as each new installment has landed.
Which is: Facebook is in trouble.
Not financial trouble, or legal trouble, or even senators-yelling-at-Mark-Zuckerberg trouble. What Iâ€™m talking about is a kind of slow, steady decline that anyone who has ever seen a dying company up close can recognize. Itâ€™s a cloud of existential dread that hangs over an organization whose best days are behind it, influencing every managerial priority and product decision and leading to increasingly desperate attempts to find a way out. This kind of decline is not necessarily visible from the outside, but insiders see a hundred small, disquieting signs of it every day â€” user-hostile growth hacks, frenetic pivots, executive paranoia, the gradual attrition of talented colleagues.
â€” Read more below on www.nytimes.com/2021/10/04/technology/facebook-files.html