Jobs biographer sides with Apple in Facebook privacy feud

Posted:
in iOS edited March 14
Steve Jobs biographer Walter Isaacson has declared Apple "a force for good" for its stance on privacy, but Facebook should also take more responsibility for content it hosts.




Facebook and Apple are in a public war of words, with the social network trying to convince the world that Apple's upcoming privacy changes in iOS are bad for business. In the view of the author of the official Steve Jobs biography, Walter Isaacson, Apple is on the right side of the matter.

"I think we always have to worry about whether tech is a force for good," said Isaacson in a Yahoo Finance interview on Friday. "I think Apple actually is, in general, because it's both protecting our privacy, and it's not basing its entire business model on the advertising model, which means harvesting all of your information and microtargeting things to you."

The interview discussed Isaacson's latest book, "The Code Breaker," but discussed a number of areas, including the ongoing spat between Facebook and Apple.

On the social network, Isaacson suggests Facebook and Twitter need to be more responsible for the algorithms each produces, as they tend to "incent people to get enraged and pass along misinformation."

The author brings up Steve Jobs as part of his reasoning, to explain why Apple didn't go down the route of social media. Isaacson was the author of the official Steve Jobs biography, giving him a high level of access to the co-founder over a number of years.

According to Isaacson, Jobs wasn't comfortable with the idea of Apple creating a social network. "He was very careful in making sure that people had control of their technology instead of the technology having control of them," he said.

The biographer continued in stating Jobs is "a model to me of how people should approach the digital age. And that's why he wasn't that comfortable with social media and social networks."

Apple is currently in the process of launching its App Tracking Transparency feature of iOS, which will force developers to gain permission from users before tracking a device's advertising identifier. Facebook and other advertising-centric companies have fought back against the move, which will make it harder to track users and to serve up personalized advertising.


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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 11
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 10,307member
    He is an excellent biographer:  I have & have read 3 of his:  Steve Jobs, Benjamin Franklin and Albert Einstein.
    All were excellent.

    Steve commissioned him to write his biography and gave him free rein to report it as he saw it.  And he did.
    It goes to show what kind of man Steve was:  brave, secure and full of integrity, unafraid of the consequences of saying and doing the right things.  (Although it took awhile for him to reach that point!)
    steve_jobswatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 11
    JWSCJWSC Posts: 1,015member
    He is an excellent biographer:  I have & have read 3 of his:  Steve Jobs, Benjamin Franklin and Albert Einstein.
    All were excellent.

    Steve commissioned him to write his biography and gave him free rein to report it as he saw it.  And he did.
    It goes to show what kind of man Steve was:  brave, secure and full of integrity, unafraid of the consequences of saying and doing the right things.  (Although it took awhile for him to reach that point!)
    I’m impressed that you were able to get through Isaacson’s Jobs biography.  I got maybe 1/3rd of the way through it before I put it  down.  And Jobs is one if my heroes in life.
    steve_jobs
  • Reply 3 of 11
    JWSCJWSC Posts: 1,015member
    The push from some quarters (including Isaacson I guess) for big tech to take more responsibility for the content they host, while well meaning, is a classic example of “be careful what you wish for, you may get it.”

    This well meaning push will result in the concentration of power to unelected big tech to dictate what is acceptable and unacceptable for the public to be informed of.  The argument that Apple, Facebook, Twitter, Google, etc. are not individually monopolies, therefore if you don’t like one you can go to another, falls flat when they act in a coordinated fashion to shut down upstart rivals, which is exact What happened to Parler, ostensibly because it was used to plan the capitol riots, but so were Twitter and Facebook especially.

    These companies initially said, all of them, that they didn’t want to be in the business of content regulation.  Why the hell are people pushing them to do so now?  Do they know what you they asking for?
    edited March 14 macseekerFidonet127
  • Reply 4 of 11
    JWSC said:
    The push from some quarters (including Isaacson I guess) for big tech to take more responsibility for the content they host, while well meaning, is a classic example of “be careful what you wish for, you may get it.”

    This well meaning push will result in the concentration of power to unelected big tech to dictate what is acceptable and unacceptable for the public to be informed of.  The argument that Apple, Facebook, Twitter, Google, etc. are not individually monopolies, therefore if you don’t like one you can go to another, falls flat when they act in a coordinated fashion to shut down upstart rivals, which is exact What happened to Parler, ostensibly because it was used to plan the capitol riots, but so were Twitter and Facebook especially.

    These companies initially said, all of them, that they didn’t want to be in the business of content regulation.  Why the hell are people pushing them to do so now?  Do they know what you they asking for?
    Not really. Every company has a right to decide what type of material they will host/publish/create. What you’re arguing for is government mandates telling companies what they MUST host/publish/create. I’m not sure it is wise to demand a private company host and promote items they find distasteful. There’s plenty of common sense laws on the books that give guidance on such issues within the bounds of the constitution. What we need to do is have common sense and allow companies to make these decisions outside of government mandates. If I want to scream nonsense obscenities there’s no reason a tv station must broadcast that.
    GeorgeBMacwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 11
    pk22901pk22901 Posts: 153member
    Here's a great post on FaceBook's malodorous 'attempts' to fix the violence, anger, and fake news problems.

    https://www.technologyreview.com/2021/03/11/1020600/facebook-responsible-ai-misinformation/

    If you read it, you'll see Facebook's AI Team is laser-focused on a fool's errand. Their AI team is a smokescreen for the fact that FB will never do anything corrective that would harm their income. Perhaps the easiest thing for Facebook to do would be to slow down the AI algorithms that optimize engagement (profits) over limiting anger and craziness. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 11
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 10,307member
    JWSC said:
    The push from some quarters (including Isaacson I guess) for big tech to take more responsibility for the content they host, while well meaning, is a classic example of “be careful what you wish for, you may get it.”

    This well meaning push will result in the concentration of power to unelected big tech to dictate what is acceptable and unacceptable for the public to be informed of.  The argument that Apple, Facebook, Twitter, Google, etc. are not individually monopolies, therefore if you don’t like one you can go to another, falls flat when they act in a coordinated fashion to shut down upstart rivals, which is exact What happened to Parler, ostensibly because it was used to plan the capitol riots, but so were Twitter and Facebook especially.

    These companies initially said, all of them, that they didn’t want to be in the business of content regulation.  Why the hell are people pushing them to do so now?  Do they know what you they asking for?
    They are asking them because the other alternatives are worse -- because social media has been weaponized by those looking to gain control of our government and its democracy.  We are being attacked by both foreign enemies and domestic terrorists using propaganda and disinformation spread via social media as their weapon.

    We can ignore it -- but we've seen the results of that (a tilted 2016 election and our government attacked by armed militias) and they are unacceptable because their propaganda and disinformation spread like a cloud of poison gas.
    Or, our government can step in and set rules (like they did with over the over-the-air broadcasts in the 50's, 60's 70's.)
    Or, we can try letting industry regulate itself.

    China, for example, controls it very closely and tightly -- much like we have done during wartime.
    We ignored the attacks and let their toxins poison our society.
    ...  Neither is the best solution

    Somewhere there is a happy middle ground where people can speak their peace without tearing down the democracy we rely on.
    That is probably where society (and social media) regulate itself.   But we shall see.  There are powerful forces who do not want to relinquish control of their weaponry -- social media.



    edited March 15 tenthousandthings
  • Reply 7 of 11
    JWSCJWSC Posts: 1,015member
    JWSC said:
    The push from some quarters (including Isaacson I guess) for big tech to take more responsibility for the content they host, while well meaning, is a classic example of “be careful what you wish for, you may get it.”

    This well meaning push will result in the concentration of power to unelected big tech to dictate what is acceptable and unacceptable for the public to be informed of.  The argument that Apple, Facebook, Twitter, Google, etc. are not individually monopolies, therefore if you don’t like one you can go to another, falls flat when they act in a coordinated fashion to shut down upstart rivals, which is exact What happened to Parler, ostensibly because it was used to plan the capitol riots, but so were Twitter and Facebook especially.

    These companies initially said, all of them, that they didn’t want to be in the business of content regulation.  Why the hell are people pushing them to do so now?  Do they know what you they asking for?
    They are asking them because the other alternatives are worse -- because social media has been weaponized by those looking to gain control of our government and its democracy.  We are being attacked by both foreign enemies and domestic terrorists using propaganda and disinformation spread via social media as their weapon.
    Are the alternatives really worse?  I think we’re throwing the baby out with the bath water.  What we are moving towards is tight control of the distribution of information by a few very big tech firms largely moving in coordination with the big news media outlets.  Small news outlets and those with alternative views are being shut down and shut out.  This is the antithesis of what the internet promised to be.  And it’s certainly not good for democracy.  Did you not notice what a number of prominent European leaders had to say about the deplatforming of Trump while he was still president?  Even thought theses European leaders had intense dislike of him, they saw clearly what this portended for them and their democracies in the future and it frightened them. It should frighten you.

    You talk of the weaponization of social media, but both Twitter and Facebook were left unscathed at the end of this charade while an upstart competitor was wiped out almost in an instant.  The big news media is cheering all of this on with virtually no pretense of objectivity anymore.  I see nothing benign in this.  It’s akin to the state coordination of Pravda in the Soviet days.

    And Apple being a part of all this?  I’m afraid Apple is on the wrong side of history on this one.
  • Reply 8 of 11
    EsquireCatsEsquireCats Posts: 1,188member
    This is what Facebook/Instagram is like: I have reported drug dealing accounts that have either added or messaged me numerous times trying their luck. Every single time Facebook/Instagram have come back with no action because they believe it doesn't violate their guidelines (even though there is a specific section of their guidelines which outlines this exact behaviour.)

    Some of these provides are so brazen that they have not one or two duplicate accounts, but more than 50+ accounts with identical drug dealing content. Literally their entire account is nothing but photos of contraband and how you can buy it.

    Facebook/Instagram are total ratshit services pretending to be good public citizens.
    JWSCFileMakerFellerwatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 11
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 10,307member
    JWSC said:
    JWSC said:
    The push from some quarters (including Isaacson I guess) for big tech to take more responsibility for the content they host, while well meaning, is a classic example of “be careful what you wish for, you may get it.”

    This well meaning push will result in the concentration of power to unelected big tech to dictate what is acceptable and unacceptable for the public to be informed of.  The argument that Apple, Facebook, Twitter, Google, etc. are not individually monopolies, therefore if you don’t like one you can go to another, falls flat when they act in a coordinated fashion to shut down upstart rivals, which is exact What happened to Parler, ostensibly because it was used to plan the capitol riots, but so were Twitter and Facebook especially.

    These companies initially said, all of them, that they didn’t want to be in the business of content regulation.  Why the hell are people pushing them to do so now?  Do they know what you they asking for?
    They are asking them because the other alternatives are worse -- because social media has been weaponized by those looking to gain control of our government and its democracy.  We are being attacked by both foreign enemies and domestic terrorists using propaganda and disinformation spread via social media as their weapon.
    Are the alternatives really worse?  I think we’re throwing the baby out with the bath water.  What we are moving towards is tight control of the distribution of information by a few very big tech firms largely moving in coordination with the big news media outlets.  Small news outlets and those with alternative views are being shut down and shut out.  This is the antithesis of what the internet promised to be.  And it’s certainly not good for democracy.  Did you not notice what a number of prominent European leaders had to say about the deplatforming of Trump while he was still president?  Even thought theses European leaders had intense dislike of him, they saw clearly what this portended for them and their democracies in the future and it frightened them. It should frighten you.

    You talk of the weaponization of social media, but both Twitter and Facebook were left unscathed at the end of this charade while an upstart competitor was wiped out almost in an instant.  The big news media is cheering all of this on with virtually no pretense of objectivity anymore.  I see nothing benign in this.  It’s akin to the state coordination of Pravda in the Soviet days.

    And Apple being a part of all this?  I’m afraid Apple is on the wrong side of history on this one.

    The problem is not / was not that they "Don't like Trump".   Rather that their platforms were being used for foreign attacks on our country, as well as to undermine our democracy and mobilize and radicalize armed domestic terrorists intent on tearing down the democracy they purported to cherish.

    It had to be shut down for the defense of our nation.   The only question was:  "Who does it and how?"

    Having the platforms police themselves is probably the least obnoxious way to defend our nation and its democracy.
    edited March 16
  • Reply 10 of 11
    JWSCJWSC Posts: 1,015member
    JWSC said:
    JWSC said:
    The push from some quarters (including Isaacson I guess) for big tech to take more responsibility for the content they host, while well meaning, is a classic example of “be careful what you wish for, you may get it.”

    This well meaning push will result in the concentration of power to unelected big tech to dictate what is acceptable and unacceptable for the public to be informed of.  The argument that Apple, Facebook, Twitter, Google, etc. are not individually monopolies, therefore if you don’t like one you can go to another, falls flat when they act in a coordinated fashion to shut down upstart rivals, which is exact What happened to Parler, ostensibly because it was used to plan the capitol riots, but so were Twitter and Facebook especially.

    These companies initially said, all of them, that they didn’t want to be in the business of content regulation.  Why the hell are people pushing them to do so now?  Do they know what you they asking for?
    They are asking them because the other alternatives are worse -- because social media has been weaponized by those looking to gain control of our government and its democracy.  We are being attacked by both foreign enemies and domestic terrorists using propaganda and disinformation spread via social media as their weapon.
    Are the alternatives really worse?  I think we’re throwing the baby out with the bath water.  What we are moving towards is tight control of the distribution of information by a few very big tech firms largely moving in coordination with the big news media outlets.  Small news outlets and those with alternative views are being shut down and shut out.  This is the antithesis of what the internet promised to be.  And it’s certainly not good for democracy.  Did you not notice what a number of prominent European leaders had to say about the deplatforming of Trump while he was still president?  Even thought theses European leaders had intense dislike of him, they saw clearly what this portended for them and their democracies in the future and it frightened them. It should frighten you.

    You talk of the weaponization of social media, but both Twitter and Facebook were left unscathed at the end of this charade while an upstart competitor was wiped out almost in an instant.  The big news media is cheering all of this on with virtually no pretense of objectivity anymore.  I see nothing benign in this.  It’s akin to the state coordination of Pravda in the Soviet days.

    And Apple being a part of all this?  I’m afraid Apple is on the wrong side of history on this one.

    The problem is not / was not that they "Don't like Trump".   Rather that their platforms were being used for foreign attacks on our country, as well as to undermine our democracy and mobilize and radicalize armed domestic terrorists intent on tearing down the democracy they purported to cherish.

    It had to be shut down for the defense of our nation.   The only question was:  "Who does it and how?"

    Having the platforms police themselves is probably the least obnoxious way to defend our nation and its democracy.
    I’m not sure everything you have said about foreign powers trying to influence the US elections is actually true or, even if if is, if it was of any consequence.  Supposedly, the Russians try to influence European elections all the time.  The French have said they just laugh it off as inconsequential buffoonery on the Russian’s part.

    But let’s say what you allege is all true and has consequence.  Can you tell me why Facebook was not shut down along with Parler?  And Twitter?  It’s rather convenient that an upstart competitor was virtually annihilated while the established big boys were left unscathed.
  • Reply 11 of 11
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 10,307member
    JWSC said:
    JWSC said:
    JWSC said:
    The push from some quarters (including Isaacson I guess) for big tech to take more responsibility for the content they host, while well meaning, is a classic example of “be careful what you wish for, you may get it.”

    This well meaning push will result in the concentration of power to unelected big tech to dictate what is acceptable and unacceptable for the public to be informed of.  The argument that Apple, Facebook, Twitter, Google, etc. are not individually monopolies, therefore if you don’t like one you can go to another, falls flat when they act in a coordinated fashion to shut down upstart rivals, which is exact What happened to Parler, ostensibly because it was used to plan the capitol riots, but so were Twitter and Facebook especially.

    These companies initially said, all of them, that they didn’t want to be in the business of content regulation.  Why the hell are people pushing them to do so now?  Do they know what you they asking for?
    They are asking them because the other alternatives are worse -- because social media has been weaponized by those looking to gain control of our government and its democracy.  We are being attacked by both foreign enemies and domestic terrorists using propaganda and disinformation spread via social media as their weapon.
    Are the alternatives really worse?  I think we’re throwing the baby out with the bath water.  What we are moving towards is tight control of the distribution of information by a few very big tech firms largely moving in coordination with the big news media outlets.  Small news outlets and those with alternative views are being shut down and shut out.  This is the antithesis of what the internet promised to be.  And it’s certainly not good for democracy.  Did you not notice what a number of prominent European leaders had to say about the deplatforming of Trump while he was still president?  Even thought theses European leaders had intense dislike of him, they saw clearly what this portended for them and their democracies in the future and it frightened them. It should frighten you.

    You talk of the weaponization of social media, but both Twitter and Facebook were left unscathed at the end of this charade while an upstart competitor was wiped out almost in an instant.  The big news media is cheering all of this on with virtually no pretense of objectivity anymore.  I see nothing benign in this.  It’s akin to the state coordination of Pravda in the Soviet days.

    And Apple being a part of all this?  I’m afraid Apple is on the wrong side of history on this one.

    The problem is not / was not that they "Don't like Trump".   Rather that their platforms were being used for foreign attacks on our country, as well as to undermine our democracy and mobilize and radicalize armed domestic terrorists intent on tearing down the democracy they purported to cherish.

    It had to be shut down for the defense of our nation.   The only question was:  "Who does it and how?"

    Having the platforms police themselves is probably the least obnoxious way to defend our nation and its democracy.
    I’m not sure everything you have said about foreign powers trying to influence the US elections is actually true or, even if if is, if it was of any consequence.  Supposedly, the Russians try to influence European elections all the time.  The French have said they just laugh it off as inconsequential buffoonery on the Russian’s part.

    But let’s say what you allege is all true and has consequence.  Can you tell me why Facebook was not shut down along with Parler?  And Twitter?  It’s rather convenient that an upstart competitor was virtually annihilated while the established big boys were left unscathed.

    U.S. intelligence has determined that Russia (and to a lesser extent Iran) used these systems to spread disinformation and sway both of our last two presidential elections.
    Because you are used to hearing that sort of propaganda, does not mean that it is not an attack by a foreign power on our nation.

    US intelligence report says Russia used Trump allies to influence 2020 election with goal of 'denigrating' Biden

    "The US intelligence community said in a landmark report Tuesday that the Russian government meddled in the 2020 election with an influence campaign "denigrating" President Joe Biden and "supporting" former President Donald Trump, detailing a massive disinformation push that successfully targeted, and was openly embraced, by Trump's allies.

    Russia's objectives were not limited to hurting Biden's candidacy and aiding Trump's reelection bid, the report says, as US intelligence found that Moscow also sought to undermine "public confidence in the electoral process and exacerbate sociopolitical divisions in the US."

    Overall, the report released by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence provides the most comprehensive assessment of foreign threats to the 2020 elections to date, detailing extensive influence operations by US adversaries, including Russia and Iran, that sought to undermine confidence in the democratic process, in addition to targeting specific presidential candidates."


    I'm not sure why any real American would be OK with that and seek to marginalize and normalize those kind of systemic attacks on our nation and its democracy.
    edited March 17
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