Mark Zuckerberg’s “Privacy Manifesto”: A brief for intensifying Internet and social media censorship
12 March 2019
On March 6, Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg published a statement entitled “A Privacy-Focused Vision for Social Networking” on the Notes tab of his personal page. Widely described as a “manifesto,” the document is a brief for ending the mass public exchange of ideas on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, as well as across the Internet as a whole, under the guise of “protecting privacy.”
The manifesto begins with Zuckerberg emphasizing that he is “taking positions on important issues concerning the future of the Internet,” not just social media. He says that he is “working openly and consulting with experts across society as we develop this.” In other words, Facebook—which has grown to 2.7 billion users across the globe and has a Wall Street value of nearly $500 billion—is working with consultants at the highest levels of the tech industry and US intelligence establishments to develop its plan.
The core of the new strategy is the idea that an open and public social media environment—where all users can freely communicate with one another and share each other’s posts—must be replaced by a structure of one-on-one private communication between individuals. As Zuckerberg wrote, “Over the last 15 years, Facebook and Instagram have helped people connect with friends, communities, and interests in the digital equivalent of a town square. But people increasingly also want to connect privately in the digital equivalent of the living room.”
A second aspect of replacing the “town square” with the “living room” is dispensing with the Facebook timeline feature of stored posts….