And to me this sets off alarm bells.
Imagine what you can do to one billion people — just by flicking a switch. This problem already “plagues” India and China. It has now hit Facebook as well.
When you “lead” a billion, there’s a huge amount of responsibility. I don’t see that in Facebook, which has a privacy issue, as well as the bigger issue of balancing money with community. For governments, they’re doing something a little more different: to them, money is less of an issue (although it still is an issue). But it’s probably too easy to make money off a billion — and Zuckerberg’s charting new territory right now. The temptation to mix and match money with the masses is too great right now. Even in China, which is in less economic ruins than the US, has a problem with this — about balancing that fine line between social good and economic gains.
I’m cautious and tend to be a little pessimistic about this, and for good cause. If I myself had a site with a billion users, I could easy get out of control. It’s human nature. Zuckerberg’s got to be a little careful here. I’m not saying he’ll get greedy; he might contain the greed and not do morally unjust stuff here.
I’d much rather that Zuckerberg and Co take the initiative now with their billionth user online to keep improving Facebook. And by that I mean serving the user base with less pretentious stuff — for example, by “abusing” friends less for a few cheap ads. It’s not cool using your friends and users to “make money”. I’d say do something like probably use that bit of cash for good. Give it to charity (if you do already, give more). Most of us equate Facebook as a huge platform where friends “make” money. We don’t really like that. None of us wants to see our friends “sell” us stuff “just like that”.
Use the power of a billion wisely.
PS: This is outright horrible.