In its latest display of public penitence in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Facebook released a new ad today acknowledging past fuckups while promising to do better. Titled “Facebook Here Together”—an apparent reference to our everlasting blood pact with the social media giant—the video serves as the company’s most explicit admission yet that, yes, the website kind of turned to shit.
“We came here for the friends, and got to know the friends of our friends,” says a voice over wistful piano notes. “But then something happened. We had to deal with spam, clickbait, fake news, and data misuse.”
Ah yes, “something happened.” Unfortunately, the exact source of this calamity evidently remains a mystery. Was it an act of god? Aliens? The inevitable result of creating a platform dedicated to maximising ad revenue through exploits in human consciousness while only belatedly addressing exploits by bad actors on that very same platform? Perhaps only Mark Zuckerberg himself knows for sure.
If he does, he’ll have plenty of chances to try to identify this “something”: According to The Verge, this is just one in a series of ads Facebook is currently rolling out, with others offering messages “like ‘fake news is not your friend’ and ‘spam is not your friend.’”
Facebook, of course, has always been your friend. Any ideas about where your old friend went wrong?