Roger McNamee takes on big tech | The TED Interview


Hello. It's Chris Anderson today on TED talks daily where sharing an episode from my podcasts, the Ted interview that was recorded live at Ted twenty nineteen. I sat down with Roger McNamee. He's an early investor in Facebook and has since become one of that company's most outspoken critics in this fraught moment in social media history. We seek to understand what has gone wrong and how we should move forward. That was some important voices in the audience, and you'll get to hear questions from them to for more deep dives into great minds descent. The Ted interview wherever you get your podcasts. Mcnamee welcome to the Ted interview. What an honor, great to be here, Chris. So just to summarize a little more than a decade ago. You met Mark Zuckerberg you persuaded him not to take a billion dollar offer or encouraged him not to introduce him to Cheryl sambergen urged him to hire, you became an investor in Facebook and a passionate believer in the company, you step back bit from direct involvement is being directed visor to Mark and watched. And then this spring, you came out with a book in the title of the book was not my brilliant friend, Mark Zuckerberg. It was zonked waking up to the Facebook catastrophe. I mean at first blondes that seems like a pretty major betrayal, and your contention, is that it's not you who did the betraying. Well, here's what I believe, and I think it can always be criticized. But when I met, Mark was twenty two I thought he was different. And the other entrepreneurs of that era. If you think about it, the big success stories at a Silicon Valley over the past dozen years have included companies like Uber and Airbnb and lift companies like Spotify would just not base there. But comes out of that same goes system and there were two core driving principles. You know, one was that laws didn't apply. So you had a set of people whose basic principle was that the laws that govern the economy in their sector? Didn't apply stubby. Uber lift Airbnb, or once who said, I can develop an information advantage over one or the other constituencies in my ecosystem, which would be Spotify. The fintech companies and also Uber and lift relative to drivers. I thought Mark was different than that, and I was a huge huge believer in the company. And when when I retired from the business in two thousand fifteen and I started see things going wrong. I was shocked because I really thought Facebook at its core had a better value system. And that the product was designed to be both fun. And at least not harmful, what was the first thing that gave you pause for thought. So there were two that happened right in a row. The first was during the twenty sixteen democratic primary New Hampshire when I saw a Facebook group associated notionally with the Bernie Sanders, campaign, distributing misogynistic memes, and they were spreading violently among my friend group in a way that suggests that somebody was spending money to make them happen to get people into the group. And then the second thing was just a couple of months later. A corporation was expelled from Facebook for scrape using the ad tools to get data about anyone who expressed an interest in black lives matter. And they were then selling that data to police departments to Facebook did the right thing. They expelled him but the damage had been done right. These people civil rights had been violated and those two things really set me back. And so did you raise concerns with Facebook trying to find out what are the beginning? I didn't have. Data and almost immediately the United Kingdom had its referendum, leaving the European Union Brexit and breaks. It was when I started to see the oh my God. The ad tools. The same thing that makes post viral can be used in an electoral context and the side with the more inflammatory message would get a huge uplift. Right. So that's when I began to reach out to people, and I made a I lobbied messages into a lot of different people and I didn't have data and, you know, how data driven our world is. And so people were kind of going, Roger those things can't be related. And then in October two things happen that forced me to go into action. The first is housing and urban development cited Facebook because they add tools allow discrimination in housing in violation of fair housing. And then immediately after that, we heard that our intelligence agency said the Russians were trying to interfere in the election that is when I reached out to market share at the end of October of two thousand sixteen the thing that's puzzling about this is what to make of why this happened. But I mean one view would be that Facebook were excited to let. The platform be used in this way because they made a fortune from it. When you look at the numbers, if that was their intention, they shockingly undercharged because I think the Russians spent the number I saw, like one hundred thousand dollars or less full that they reached more than one hundred million hundred twenty six American. So I mean in an election, one hundred and thirty seven million people voted, so that is either the most cost effective advertising ever invented in the history of the planet, or a complete screw up a complete. I mean, does no scenario that hand that, that is the greatest advertising platform ever invented for. I mean, my sense is Facebook provides any marketer, with targeting. That is better than and more cost effective than anything that ever preceded it. I mean there's a reason why the stocks done so well. And there's a reason why I was such a big fan. It seemed to be something didn't hurt anybody in the problem here, Chris. And I think the issue with the Russians is that the way the incentives work and. This is not a Facebook. This is the valley and candidly, the whole US economy, which there really weren't any rules. And so the notion was get rid of all the friction and grow as rapidly global scale should possibly can. And in that context, everything was automated and it was. No one's job to ask the question. What could go wrong? So indeed seems like the heart of this. The origination of this is basically a kind of replicas naievety. It's a belief that look people are basically good. Our mission is to connect the world. If we connect the world as fast as the heck, we can, yes, we'll make money from this stuff, but it's it's going to be fundamentally good. And it just it just. Seven billion monthly users before anything really bad showed up on the platform. I mean you really listen. I say this is somebody who is currently a critic, but you still have to admire how extraordinary the accomplishment was to get to one point seven billion for anything went wrong. The problem was once you pass that threshold all of a sudden. Things start to go wrong all over the place and their basic business practices. Get looked at an completely different light, and you see that a wait a minute. The cost of getting here is higher than it looks. So a bunch of things happened while they were basically exploited by bad actors, so there's the Cambridge Analytica story where data was sold innocently for academic purposes, and then abused should Facebook seeing that coming possibly. But at some point they must have had the sickening realization. Holy crap. Look, what's look. What's happened for? We got even if money was the motive they almost no money for this, but they allow themselves to be exploited to spectacular degree the way I look at that experience was when Zinger came along with farmville and the poker game they essentially reverse engineered Facebook. And they figured out a way to get it friends lists. And they begin a campaign of sharing the data the Federal Trade Commission goes no, they do a consent decree in twenty eleven that basically says there has to be informed prior consent before anybody's day. They shared my understanding. I can't I can't prove this Meyer standards to Facebook essentially move forward. So there was no consent decree and continued to operate through twenty fourteen with that basic notion of if there was a way to gain competitive advantage by the trading of user data. They were going to do it, and privacy was not a consideration that was in the discussion, and so what should have happened that because suddenly it became very, very apparent that been this horrifying hack of enormous consequence. What should have happened that not a hack? They were using the tools the way they were designed. So essentially, this was the unintended consequence of a well intended strategy done by really bad actors who had a really clever strategy. So when I went to them on the thirtieth Tober I sent this. Op-ed. I was drafting toba twenty twenty sixteen so it's nine days before the election. It basically focuses on the issue with the Bernie Sanders campaign, it focuses on the black lives matter on Brexit and on the housing urban development. And obey say, look guys, I think there is a problem with the algorithms, there's a problem with the business model. You gotta get on top of this. I'm not thinking it's going to affect the outcome of the twenty sixteen election. I'm just reaching out to my friends with what I perceive as this failure mode that suddenly being exposed and their response, which under the context was maybe understandable was Roger. These are just isolated things we appreciate you reaching out. We value your input. We're gonna turn you over to Dan rose, who's going to help you figure out if there's really something here, we have this conversations, then the US election happens, and I go to Dan, I say, Dan, you got Brexit. You got the US election where you are potentially involved in the outcome. You got at least two big civil. Oh, writes things that I can see you have got to do a Johnson and Johnson did when somebody put poison and bottles of Tylenol in Chicago, Illinois in one thousand nine hundred eighty two which is they took every bottle off of every shelf without being asked like instantly, and they didn't put him back till they invented tamper-proof patchy my point was you have to leap to the defense that people use your product. This is what Boeing should have done with a seven thirty seven max. You do not want to be forced to do the right thing, because it kills your brand, and I said, you guys have a trust business, and I spent three months, three months pleading with Dan to do the right. So they could have said in your view should have said. Alert world. American people, we've noticed something terrible's happened on our platform. A huge number of ads have been got out there that frankly are not fact based here are the steps were doing to shut it down. Meanwhile, beware, I could have said that and should have said that my belief was the simple thing to do was to send an Email to every single person. Touched by the Russian interference, one hundred twenty six million people on Facebook, the twenty million Instagram, saying, we are, really apologized, but the Russians have manipulated the election. The United States have interfered in it, and you're affected here, or all the eggs, you saw every one of these was not authentic, and that might have worked, it might not work, but it would have been better than what they did. I mean, if you put yourself in an show shoes at that point, you've built this extraordinary company in record time you'll really considered around. The world in the most idealistic terms by seventy people. Your whole self narrative is this is an exceptional organization, fundamentally our interests are aligned with a better world. The thought of going public with something that could slash the value of the company could scare away bunch of uses that would the various makes you sick, and I can just about understand why someone would say this copy. Right. Wait, let's white that slowdown. Maybe we aren't understanding this full way. Maybe it'll go away. Can you understand why up? No. What I asked him to do was to do that investigation, which apparently they did do by the summer of twenty seventeen for sure. Knew the dimensions of the problem, and they still tried to brazen their way through it, and my simple point to them was, if I'm right? This is not going to end. Well, you should protect your brand protect your reputation. And I'm sure if they had that time over, they would probably agree that we screwed up. We absolutely should have got ahead of this. I think it's fair to say that now the company has taken at least some steps outdoor. But we heard on Monday nights Carol while it is here in the audience extraordinary talk about horrifying odds that the place during the Brexit campaign that will never fully accounted for. A Facebook employee spoke to me afterwards and said that, that may have been chew, then now it is impossible to buy political ads in that way. Do agree that at least speak to this specific case they have taken some prevention measures they have. But what they've done is to protect against a repeat of two thousand sixteen without thinking about the dynamic system that is Facebook in how many other ways there are to accomplish that same thing. So here's what I give Mark Norma's credit for Marcus out, speaking publicly, which is not a natural place for him. And I really applaud that I wish Google were as engaged in this conversation as Marcus. I believe Mark wants to solve this problem. What I'm afraid is that the underlying business model is the root cause I mean, that seems to be possible to imagine a business model that is based on advertising. But the says you can't place misleading political ads that, that in itself, would not cripple the business bottle. That's all they have they have, I think sought, at least to do is to put strong limits on the types of political be now. Yeah. Except it's really hard to monitor because the only people who see the ends of the people are intended to receive it. And so you have this issue, and this is what I think, actually two thousand sixteen where they pick these three groups suburban white women people of color in young people. And they, they essentially concocted messages that would suppress the vote in an election, where seventy seven thousand eight hundred people in three states decided the outcome, it is not at all inconceivable, that the Trump election campaign over Facebook played a huge role in deciding the outcome. And what I'm saying here is that if we look at the, the Russian part of it, stamping that out, stamping out, foreign engagement, our elections is really essential. But I think it's just as important to prevent manipulation domestically that is designed to discuss. People from voting or whatever. I mean you can say, well, there's always been voter suppression. I'm going, but they've never been tools like this before, and I think you just have to step back and have the debate about what is democracy. How important is it to get everybody to be registered? How important is everybody to vote? How important is it to have a level playing field where what I was point out? Chris is that there was roughly a seventeen to one advantage to Trump's advertising and Facebook over Clinton's in part, because the nature of the message was perfectly tuned to its audience. So it was much more viral and I don't want to relitigate twenty sixteen two thousand sixteen is done. Okay. What I'm worried about is that anybody can do that, right. Some guy at a school board in California hired in his really firm to try to do it in a school board election. I mean it's really nut. So how easy this stuff is to do. And again, Facebook didn't do the some purpose, but they created the world's great advertising platform. When you have that it's volunteer. You would argue that just for democracy at the very least there should be some restriction or compulsion for social media companies, any company in the case of political advertising that caught me done in the dark. I it's that even if you're going to target people at the very least the ads that need to be out there that companies shouldn't hold the secret to me sounds like a pretty reasonable point of view. Does anyone agree with that? No one agrees with that. Some saying why allows them tolsey that we had lukewarm approval of the last question, what I'm hearing is what about this is an alternative to say money. Corrupts politics. We just should not allow political ads on social networks. Little little little over. Okay. Look, I'd love to move on from the political question to some of the other issues that people talk about so took about outrage and felt about this because I know this was another Leah where are you had about facial, one of the things that Tristan Harris taught me early on. Was that smartphones changed marketing in a really profound way? Because historically, if you go back, one hundred years, people have used persuasion, to get people's attention. But when you put it on a smartphone, you could target it individuals. So the Facebook today is two and a half billion monthly users, which means two and a half billion Truman shows each person can have their own reality. When I was a kid. There was a filter bubble in the United States called network television. Everyone my age watch the Kennedy funeral. The Beatles on it Sola, and then the moon landing we had Walter Cronkite, who changed our view of the Vietnam war like as. A country all at once and the thing people complained about, and that filter bubble was conformity. Now which have smartphones is you can now target each person individually, the initial business was targeted as to pay for this, but then they got to this notion of behavioral prediction, Facebook, Google and other people in this ad model. They're selling behavioral predictions to advertisers, because if you can predict if you know that somebody's only two steps from buying a car that adds worthwhile. The more than if they're twenty steps away. Right. So the close yard of the prediction of where they are in that purchase process. The more valuable the ad is so there in behavioral prediction, but to make that work. They have to get past our public face. Right. We all have this thing that makes us more alike, when we're in groups, they wanna find out, how do you react, if I show, you something that's anti semitic. How do you react if I show you hate speech? How do you react, if I show you violence? How do you react by show? You something that makes everyone else afraid from their point is it doesn't matter which way you react. But they got to get through that, that filter but I worry that the economic incentives right now. But Russia, you and I, we both know lots of people working for tech companies, do you think that a significant proportion of them a thinking? They're saying, haha we've cracked it. We know how to make a ton of money if we can just dial up the outrage among us. Imagine how many millions of people are going to flock to our platform and stay in a magin the amount of advertising, we can sell them. Let's done that. I don't think they think that way at all. I think they look at this, and they're engineers and their job is to increase engagement, so the gonna promote whatever does it if tomorrow morning. Pictures of Basset hounds promoted the most engagement. That's what they would be putting on everybody's so at that is what works the other stuff works in so naturally as an engineer, you're always fine tuning, and remember, nobody sees the whole picture. There are hundreds and maybe thousands of people working in these algorithms, and the each have Lentini little piece seen the whole pictures really hard. But the way this is portrayed in the media and the public is getting really angry about this. Is that this is some intentional conspiracy by evil Silicon Valley. And I just think that the way I see it is, this is an example of a I gone amok, Nick Bostrom used to write about the problem with AI is that it may have different goals from us. If you built an AI to make paper clips and say, make as many as you can, and you give enough intelligence, you'll turn around one day and suddenly say that it's munched up New York City to turn into paperclips because got say, don't do that. By marketing attention and trying to build an attention economy to stop point. I think for so much of Silicon Valley is humans a basically good. If we give people a voice if we give people a choice, they're going to teach each other the world will get better, the truth will just be a quick click away, even if someone does something, you mean the crowd will correct them. And they missed what every tabloid publisher has known one hundred years, which is the way to get secularization. If that's your goal is to be gory to be dramatic to be sexual to put all the outrage out their Facebook, and to some extent, Twitter and Google have turned us on into Rupert Murdoch's and into sort of saying, you know. Wow, we can be our own tabloid publisher look at all the attention, we can get by forgetting reason maximizing for each other's lizard, brains. We've created an internet. Eliza brains. I totally agree with that. If you read the book, one of the things, you'll discover is, I don't have anything unkind to say about any of the people not Mark not shirl ninety the people working Cummings. I believe this is a cultural problem that took place, not just in Silicon Valley but across the whole country. I mean think about this. There's a local Bank in my community coal Wells Fargo, right? They got busted for taking money essentially from millions of their account holders, and nobody got punished for it, right? The banks get bussed in two thousand eight for blowing up the entire comedy. Nobody punished for it, right? I mean we live in a time where there are no rules and there's no enforcement, and these are really smart. People who saw and right, essentially, all this unclaimed data and all this unclaimed opportunity, and at the beginning, it seemed to throw off nothing but goodness. Right. And by the time the bad stuff hit, we were so deep into it, that it was really hard to reverse feel. I get all that. That doesn't mean we should ignore it. But if it for a moment, we change the conversation from being look how. Evil Silicon Valley has become to being holy crap. This is a massive screw up, then conversation becomes, is there a design fix like I personally believe that there are sort of thousands of people in these companies right now, trying to figure out how the hell we get round this, and, you know, Tristan Harris himself as sort of these principles of humane design where the goal is instead of just maximizing attention. How'd you create value? How'd you make someone go? I learned something this was special. And he'll my question to my question to you, if Mark and Cheryl had two choices in front of them one where they make a lot less money. But the still have a profitable company, but they have a much healthier ecosystem, where people aren't so motivated to amplify lizard, brain material and are more motivated to be cross partisan and so forth. Do you think they would take that choice? I, surely hope, they would and the, you know, that was the choice that I recently went to them with. And we're I've carefully tried to position myself in this place of talking by business malls. Because to your point about design, you know, I don't think you can just fix this. You know, Mark solution almost everything has been more code more AI, the promise that once people have a preference bubble, which is when the when they actually believe in anti vaccine when they actually believe the climate change is nonsense when they're in that point. There's no technology. That's a human thing, right? A lot of this is about face to face and getting together people in bridging gaps. Right. And I think it has to start with the people use the products at the end of the day, we have been willing to accept a deal that we do not understand the actual thing that's going on inside. These companies is not that we're giving a little bit of personal data. They're getting better ad targeting. Okay. There is way more going on here than that. And the. The stuff that's going beyond that is having an impact on people's lives broadly, even people who are not on these platforms. You did not need to be on Facebook in me on Mark to be dead. You just needed to be a rowing, you did not need to be on Facebook or YouTube in Christchurch, New Zealand to be dead. You just need to be one of those mosques. This stuff is affecting people who are not on these platforms in ways. We cannot recover from. I mean, I think everyone here would agree that the consequences some of what happened on social media horrifying people have died. People elections have been affected. It is horrifying threat to future. But to me, it really matters. How we talk about it to avoid igniting a situation where the people who could fix it won't because they are so attacked feel unfairly attack. So the question is not was Har. The question is how much of it is an intended, screw up, and how much is greed motivated or some other motivated evil missing touch because the white because this really matters and. There was a moment last year. For example, where on the surface like Mark came out that, you know, the big apology, they changed policies. And as a result of the changes they made they lost over one hundred billion dollars in market capital, something on a single day. If I remember right meaningless. Well. Any evidence. Of his is to make it Wall Street is I've been doing investing for thirty six years while street remains a mystery stocks backup to practically it's high. So my one observation of greed versus unintended. I believe that the culture of the US economy, very much favors, monopolists and really encourages monopoly to the point where, you know, Peter Thiel Nazi in the Wall Street Journal skin speeches on monopoly is the right way to do things and intellectually understand his point. It is. However, contrary to the basic ethos of the United States of America, where we associated monopoly with monarchy, and we associated small business in competition with the American way and my point about this. Chris is that I don't think it has to be either or the sensually, the greed is good mentality of Gordon gecko has been the way businesses are run. We've abandoned the five stakeholders the fi. Stakeholders are shareholders employees. The communities were employees lived customers and suppliers. And now all we care about is the investors. And that makes you really short her. Basically means you sacrifice a lot of things that are in the public interest for the almighty buck, and you can just blame the shareholders for any bed thing you do. And my point is I think that tech didn't create that Silicon Valley didn't create that. But it is one of the exemplars of that problem run, but is not really in the Beck and call of investors. He's got majority control one good night's sleep away from the Piff and hang where he wakes up and realizes he can do more good. It's fixing the business model Facebook than can with thousands chance. Sucker Bergen initiatives. I wonder whether I'm just speculating, but it's quite possible that in his mind sitting becoming an big billionaire is the number one thing driving might also just be he wants to continue to build something views incredibly cool, incredibly. And he's just doing it in some ways very wrong. I haven't known Mark really intimately in ten years, right? So I, I don't want to pretend like I know the thing I will say that the Mark, I knew was very idealistic. I think he, he viewed connecting the whole world is. So obviously good thing than justified, whatever it took to get there. And I think that there's some things he missed along the way. Because if you look at it, you realize that, that his vision didn't have to go wrong, but it would a really helped if circuit breakers and containment strategies for motion contagion had been built into the system would have really helped if he had made. Maintained the religious adherence to authenticate identity, which was there at the beginning. I mean the reason I fell in love with Facebook, the beginning. I was convinced that the fact that you used your school Email address that authenticated identity was gonna keep trolls out. And that was gonna make Facebook bigger than Google at that time. And the thing is, I think Mark thinks he's given the world gift and I would be at all shocked if he's just sitting there wondering what the hell is everybody's so unhappy about and I'm sitting there going Mark, we're not unhappy, but the gift were unhappy about these unintended consequences of what you did, and it's time to address those and not by nitpicking -ly, fixing the symptoms that showed up in twenty sixteen but rather by going back and looking at the conditions of the business model that allowed that stuff to happen in the first place. I mean, why is it that we allow targeted voter suppression as an election? Why, why do we allow companies to provide services to? Campaigns. They're all these things that you look at you just go hang on just a sec. There are real problems with this model and they're. I want to come into those problems just to spend a second just talking about the gift because even there's, there's a huge gift, you took about two three billion uses there are a lot of people around the world, whose internet experience is Facebook. I have met many people who have learned what they've learned on the internet via Facebook, and who through Facebook have been connected to a wide group of people from many countries who have transformed that loves them. And there's probably literally if you poke into the hundreds of millions of stories of human connection, the worked out, the right way. So let's put that on a table. And not forget that is there. And how come back to the crop. Talk about monopoly because the type of monopoly that these tech companies have is not the traditional type of monopoly. It's not that they are squeezing up the price of product because they're the ones who can supply that product. It's a different type of monopoly. What is it is? So here's the problem beginning, nineteen Eighty-one. We changed our philosophy about antitrust and we basically said the only measure of consumer harm. We're going to look at any longer. Is price increases in price? So we're not gonna worry about lesson of supply. We're not going to worry about terms and conditions right now we're about any of those kinds of things pollution anything. We're just going to look at increased price and the problem was we see these products is free. But that's actually incorrect, what you really have. Here is a barter of data from the consumer for services. So if you wanna understand if there's been price increase, you have to look at the change in the value of data given up relative to the change in value of services received. And there it is demonstrably true that the value of data given up his much gray. It's growing much more rapidly in the via the services being received the serve each individual service doesn't change by g mail doesn't change that much. The blue after Facebook didn't change that much Messager doesn't change that much. And yet is a simple marker the average revenue for users been going up very, very rapidly. And so there is. Whole project going on to bring eighty trust bear here using that hypothesis antitrust has been dormant back to ninety four in the Microsoft case. So I don't even know if we can get this thing into first gear, but that whole discussion I think it takes on weight because these guys do behave monopolistically as people in almost every sector, the, the basic argument is that when a company when a single company gets control of too much data that is dangerous simple way to if you're Snapchat, you have one data set you're up against Facebook, which has a minimum seven or eight completely, discreet data. So it's thinking about Google right searches one data set Email identity apps give you location, right? All these other data sets when you put them together. The value goes up by more than a linear amount, and it creates all of these walls, and moats that prevent competition as well as creating network effects on this something. Hugely creepy and alarming about thinking of single company knowing this about us this about assist about stuff that we don't even know. And then, you know, serving an ad that somehow exploits all these things that we don't know how they came to put that in front of us. Well, how about how about some even creepy? Let's just do the Pokemon go on here. Right. You guys remember Google glass. Right. People going around. We called him glass holes. Right. And we didn't like they had to take it back, take into lab and reformulated in Google apps as video game, right? Spin it out his Niane tech. It's called poke mongo. They get a billion people going around with their smartphones. And what are they doing? Right. It's image recognition. It's falling routes going places, but it's also allowing for some really interesting experience and behavioral manipulation if we put a Pokemon in private property will people knock on the door of total stranger to get the Pokemon. Yeah. They will. How about if we put it in a place? You gotta climb over fence. Well that too. What if we put it in a Starbucks? Oh my God. They'll go into a Starbucks. Well, how about if we put it in the third Starbucks, and then give them ten sets off? They go to that one. They will right. I mean the key thing understand, is when you're in the world of, of behavioral prediction behavioral manipulation there becomes a divergence between your purpose and the purpose of the app. And the thing that we don't know the thing we have to have a conversation about is that these guys are really smart. There are no rules. We essentially allowed them to take control of massive data sets of unclaimed data right? Google drives up and down the street. They call it street view and only the Germans pushback. So then they do satellite few, they do Google glass, ninety two Pokemon go, right. Then they go on a choir. All of our data. Right. The banking data location data from Sella companies, you know, health and wellness apps. Right. They get all those data sets. They create the data avatar and they run experiments, right? Well, let's stop. So this is this is concerning. But I'm also I'm also now we're calling now we're in the same place. I also think there's a conversation though about about language, you talk about behavior minute relation lot, which is a creepy terminent and the stressful term, and you'll bring people out in the streets, which may be the right thing to do. But when someone a coquette on TV fifty years ago that was behavior relation advertising is to meet the question is, I think we have to be more careful about the language here and try to separate genuinely creepy intent from reasonable use of data. So so can I push back on that for just a sec because I'm not talking about intent. I'm talking about about action. Okay. And what I'm saying here is, let's concede that the intent was honorable throughout. Okay. Which I am prepared to do in have done throughout my, my activism. I'm simply saying that what winds up happening because the way the. Centers of the business model work, you wind up getting creepy outcomes. If you are the person who's, who's who thinks they're playing Pokemon go. And they're being tested as to what they will do. And what they won't do. It doesn't matter that the person had good intent right? I mean it like if you run over somebody by accident kill them, you're not guilty of murder guilty of manslaughter. Right. And my point is, you can have unintended bad consequences for which you are still responsible. And that's what I'm saying. This is like chemical companies. We used to let chemical companies poor chromium mercury into freshwater, right? One day, we woke up and realized those extra knowledge should be borne by the people, create them. Right. That's all I'm talking about here. I'm not saying, you know, I'm not saying that they're bad people. I don't think for a minute. They think of what they're doing is behavioral manipulation. But it doesn't matter that is what it is. Right think they would says he'll manipulation. And that's what all advertising is. And always has the question is, is that data? So his example that everyone can agree as dangerous, if a company, what to put together a clue from this behavior in this behavior, and this behavior and decide here's an addictive personality defa. We will of ties them some painkiller because we know that gonna go for, and then they'll forever, and we're gonna get rich evil evil evil. But if the intention is what if we could put together west someone is this moment in time with what we know about the preferences? We could give them an added saying, you know what fifty meters from you. You is that you've dreamed of your whole life. One stop the car now pullover and get it. And, you know, maybe that would actually be a positive contribution to someone's life and that's happening, right? Hopefully in this thing that the incentives of caused that to happen. I don't hear those stories getting told that much, but I'd love to believe it happened accepted the story is being told me the question is what then happens because you'll pressing hard for like antitrust fundamental that several companies should be broken up, like Facebook Google. What I really want to do is I want to create space for alternative business models. So I'm less focused on the break-up model than I am on. I don't think it's fair to have companies maintaining a market and then favoring their own products inside the market, so Amazon, Google Facebook, all do that. And historically we have not allowed that as a country. I don't think that should be allowed. I'd like to look at this the way we looked at long distance, well, where we went in from an antitrust point of view into AT, and T and said, we're going to have competition long distance, you have to provide lines to MCI and sprint, and they're going to compete with you over your own network in order to introduce competition. You could do the same thing here by setting an arbitrary limit so that a company came with a new business model, got access to say their first ten fifty or one hundred million users over Google, and Facebook right, based on having a different business model. The same thing that happened guys. So that's where I go. I'm not focused on break up. Because my view is, if you don't change the business model breaking up is just going to cause some Bristol, small proliferate. And so what I'd rather see is a change in the business model. Accompanied by antitrust that allows for startups to happen. I believe fixing this problem created a bigger business opportunity than the business. We have today in tech, every single wave started with an antitrust, case AT and T and fifty-six creates computers in create a Silicon Valley, with by taking the transistor public domain IBM in the sixties create software and PC's AT, and T, and the second time creates cellular telephony and broadband, which is the internet and then Microsoft, which creates Google and all that. So I just wanna follow that path. And but I really really, really want to change the business. The tech companies might argue that if we to allow technology to empower people to the max cont do that without knowing data, the motifs actually knows about some of the more it can do for them in principle, so. I'm wondering whether there is the solution to this is to allow consumers much more transparency to be able to control that own data here. I have a Bank account. Here's my data. It's whatever blockchain protected. Whatever I control that I can license it to companies companies have to tell me which of that data, they're using which they are adding to whatever. But, but I control it isn't that a way, I think absolutely. But here's where I would start the probably today if you start from the status quo, you're negotiating down from one hundred and you wind up at, at the global data protection regulation, which only addresses the data you put into the system. It doesn't touch the meta data about what you're doing. It doesn't touch your browser history, and it doesn't touch all the third party data. This available to be bought so your banking data your health, data, your location, data and all that. And so, I would rather zero base what we're doing and then have the negotiation there about what should be. Allowed. Okay. And again, I'm an active swamp taking the pure form just as they're taking the pure form from their point of view now, and I wanna have the debate will come down somewhere in the middle. I am not an absolutist on any of this. But I think if we don't at least actively consider what it would look like to eliminate all of, you know. Why is it possible to follow people around the web? Let's Google G mail, right? I mean, they tell you their platform, not a media company. Right. So they're common carrier, but they're read near your emails for their economic benefit if they were at the postal service or FedEx go to jail for that. I mean we've never had a conversation about what uses of data legitimate, which ones are not. I mean, the health data. I mean hip is not perfect. But like doctors can't sell your Meshal cycle, right? Right. I mean yet that is what happens today. And my own point is we need to understand. We all have to get everybody up to speed on what's going on, and then have the debate and maybe I don't win. And I'm cool with that. You've done an amazing job of highlighting a huge number of issues is taking courage to do it. You've risked losing friendships. You've had Silicon Valley and, you know you've. It's remarkable, I'm not I don't know of a similar story of someone who's done that u-turn and come out so passionately and eloquently. So definitely want to recognize that. I think it would be citing with this group to by all means a Chris question for Raja. But also, let's think about the way forward. Thank you so much. Thank you. It's so powerful your voice on the subjects. So this is Carol Cadwalader. Who is my hero? Nobody was lifting kilkare listening on the puck cost. Carol gave the opening talk at Ted. An absolute -ly ignited, the room, there was a massive standing ovation electrifying Carol. And So, Chris, I really hate what you'll say about good intentions gone wrong. We can buy that. But it has to be followed with action. And so, you know, I spoke to my talk about the case of Brexit thing, the Petrie dish for Trump. And. I've been agitating in Burson for public inquiry but it's not going to happen, because government is complicit in many of these crimes, and said that thing I was thinking about in the last day was about some source of people's truth inquiry trying to gather in all of the data and doing CSI Brexit, essentially a kind of forensic examination. And so say again, if Facebook if they have turned the corner, if, if they want to be well-intentioned Facebook hand over that data lettuce it. So, so crystal thank you for the question because I think we actually do need to do the study, you're talking about, so they're two different things going on. We need to understand what the failure modes are, and we need to help the companies get to a place where it's safe for them to open up to share everything that they know everything that they've learned because at the end of the day, I mean, what I would be in favor of would be giving them an amnesty. The St. right in order to open up all the books, right? Let us e everything that was done. Hi. I would actually I would urge you not to seek amnesty for I feel that, that will, I think that's would put us right back in what you very eloquently said, was the problem with say the golden Sachs bail out, or that there was never there was never any consequences for terrible behavior. And if Facebook are all the tech companies get amnesty, then there will still be no belief. They'll be no consequences for people doing something wrong. And it would just tell generation of more tech people that look how many billions of dollars you can make and just get away with it. Thank you. We're gonna go here. You have a story to tell right right here. Wait a minute this. So this is Chris for Wiley. Can people hear me? Yes. On high very cool to have you here. Hi. I recognize terraced. So my name's Christopher Wiley. I'm the Cambridge analytical whistleblower. And. Fantastic Carol, by the way. So I've been talking with a lot of members of congress might concern about, you know, we call them filter bubbles or segmentation for me. I worry that what is happening on Facebook. More broadly, on the internet is actually a new form of segregation. And when you think about when you think about the impact, why why it matters for us to be able to sit in the same space and have the same common experiences so that we can be citizens together. Thank you. So my name is Paul and sale, and I previously served as the executive secretary of South Africa's Truth and reconciliation commission and therefore resonate, very strongly carols point about the they needs to be some form of truth. Because what we did at the truth commission is we try to establish who did what to whom and Creighton official record that would stand the test of time and be handed down from generation to generation, and I think the trick here is we still don't yet have an official reckoning when it comes to breaks of when comes to the US election and many more elections, I would add about who did what to whom on the platform Facebook and I think that what we need to do is create a record which says it is no longer permissible to spread the lie that Facebook hasn't been used as a platform that is demonstrably affected the results of elections. And once we establish. That as a fact, then let the remedies begin. Thank you. Hey, roger. So you're someone who's benefited from the platform, you have a lot of friends, and Silicon Valley, or people that, you know, you're highly influential yet, we see this happening over the last couple of years. And you've written a book, what else have you done? Have you gone to Washington? Are you working with? Are you bringing thank tank together like what more can you do? Particularly I have I go to Washington every single month. So the book tells the story of all of that going there in the summer of twenty seventeen building a coalition Tristan, effectively triggering the hearings that happened a training, the committees to do the hearings working with the Federal Trade Commission, working with the anti-trust division of the Justice department, we're doing our best, but there's a very small number of us. Okay. And we're looking for volunteers. And if you'd like to volunteer, my basic point is don't look at me, as the gating item here, there's so much to be done here in so many smart, people do the thing that you can do, but significant part of the tech briefing of many members. Of congress in the Senate came from your group. Well, Rene duress, did most of it? And, you know, the thing I would say is, is, you know, until the fall, twenty seventeen congress new is certainly knew the sun would come up tomorrow, that it didn't need to worry about tech. Right. So we're catching up. Hi, my name's Samantha essence. I just wanted to touch on two things that I heard that I think are really important to digest one Chrissy who actually said it, which was concept of kind of selling back, our data or licensing out. And I think what's really critical, we understand there would be a huge disenfranchised group of people who would have no idea what that truly means. And that's part of the reason why right now, they're openly just giving away their data to these companies for the use of game or any of those types of things. So I want to keep that in mind second, I want to circle back to this concept that humans are neatly good because history tells us. Sometimes they're not right. And this, this concept of greed, so you talked about would they if they could, you know, wouldn't hurt their business model trade doing business as so that they can really dig into the good. And I I'm going to say, I don't know because I think there is so much greed in our society, and perhaps some of the behavioral things we need to study is, why do we allow greet to drive us and. And. Wouldn't wouldn't when you start thinking about data analyzing this way it becomes that. They're paradoxes in this. So if you think about Facebook as a fifty five billion dollar revenues company, there's about two point three two point four billion regular uses basically, the company's getting about twenty twenty five dollars per user per year from advertisers, but that is massively tilted towards the US in the US that getting more than one hundred dollars. I want to say odd revenue per user, much of the rest of the world, they're getting almost nothing. I mean one way if you wanted to put it this way, the current structure is the rich subsidizing service for the poor? The data of the poor is not worth that much getting connection, or whatever for much less money than those of us who are being served expensive adds to buy houses or whatever. And so in trying to imagine a different model for Facebook. It's really hard, right? Like I think Jaron Lanier came. Here last year and said, the problem is that we're trying to get to this stuff of free. We should be selling service, if you were to sell a service, it's not clear that you could have that business model work because in the US, you'd have to charge over one hundred dollars per person, which would mean a lot of people wouldn't sign up what you mean, you'd have to charge more than that. The might not be a business there. What, what if we don't fix these problems? That's a risk. We may be forced to run because the thing we have to get prepared for right? It's the governments are getting really unhappy with the bad stuff that's going on. Right. New Zealand looks at this stuff. Right. The UK is thinking about much more onerous stuff. It's not crazy. Imagine a country shutting down services, the next time something goes wrong to keep things from spreading early. And I just think it's incumbent on the industry to get into the game. And recognize that the business model as it's currently being practice is not sustainable. I think Bill joy has. The when information is so powerful that it's a weapon, then we have to think about regulating information. So we're facing that with this companies now it's distasteful to regulate the information in a way that suspensive to our belief in free speech, but we've done for far too long as exempted the technology industry from liability in the days of software, they had, they didn't have to the congress passed a law. They were exempt from general merchant, to -bility warranty of fitness of the software. Microsoft, couldn't be sued if for consequential damages of any kind for flaws in their software. So it seems to me that the kind of exemption, we've given these guys that they can publish whatever they want, and they don't take any responsibility. When they're clearly a publisher as much as the newspapers aperture is unacceptable. Now, you could say, well that won't solve this general problem that we've been talking about here, but I think that's not true because if they were forced to behave in a way that they had essentially lures. Called strict liability for certain of the things that they published that would force their business models to be renovated, in a way, that would fix many of these other other problems, aside effect. I'll take a single example, this issue of the sandy, hook, parents and Facebook. They were publishing which drove the sandy hook parents into hiding, if a newspaper had done that they would be out of business, and they've got exemption from liability from that should be removed. My name's Osceola fund, the conversation, actually, quite ironic and interesting because an African foreign entities have been meddling in the political autonomy of African sovereign nations for so long. So it's actually quite ironic for the first time to see you western entities deal with their own creation. And how smells there on? I mean long before cobalt was found in Congo. This has been going on. So I guess my question to you is, how can we think differently about the capitalistic framework? Right. Ken investors start to incentivize or behaviorally, manipulate us to support and give our data to companies that incentivize us. You know, Mike, either from a data tax of some sort and support companies that are doing the right thing, so to speak with our data, not manipulating, so really simply put let's remember the capitalism requires someone historically, the government to set rules and apply enforcement equally across the whole population. We currently do not have that in the United States of America, so reinstating that would be great. And then I think changing the value system back to the old model of recognizing that every business has at least five constituencies, right. Shareholders employees, the communities where they live, which might even be viewed as the whole country in the whole world supply. And customers, I think changing that philosophy really help. But I do think that this is about a broken culture of what used to be called capitalism is now something else. But your point about colonialism is, that's exactly how I see it. So I think the instinct of pretty much ever knew comes to Ted is, as a problem self you Roger have highlighted in the most graphic way some really truly deeply intense problems that we're facing now. And I just, you know, I full of dread. But I also hope that people are out there, working to solve these problems, and I would like to wrap this up by telling us, what is your prognosis, do you think we can build a way out of this? Regulate away out of this. A combination of all the about. So I'm actually incredibly optimistic in the past year in the United States. I think we've had five teacher labor actions that worked with. No blowback the air traffic, controllers that partial sickout. Ended the government shutdown McDonald's abandoned their fight against the fifteen dollar minimum wage. Elizabeth Warren, introduced antitrust policy that bunch Republicans said to me, I can't believe we let a democrat beat us to the punch, and this idea. Right. Because it was teddy Roosevelt and William Howard tafs basic approach, I'm going out there and what I find is that everybody I meet, whether they're on FOX or mess NBC, whether on FOX business, or CNBC, whether they're on conservative talk radio or NPR everybody, sits there and goes I get it. There's something wrong, and we all have a role to play in this. And the thing is, we don't have to give up the products we love because these businesses are not going to go away, if they do what I want them to do. I mean, there's so many pieces of Facebook that are unmonitored is it could be monetize without hurting. Anybody I mean this is nuts. It is not this is about a power argument. Okay. Can they do it their way or do they have to actually sit at a table and talk? About the right thing to do. I believe that Mark and Cheryl, Larry and Sergei and everybody else's Volve. This is capable of getting this thing. Right. And I I wanna see a truth commission. I want to see an end to digital colonialism. Right. I wanna see everybody benefiting from the next wave of technology. I wanna see the next big thing. But I, we gotta get together and say it isn't about left to right. It's about right and wrong. Well. Or somebody if you're listening, if you want to have a conversation, I'm here, brench, listen, Roger McNamee and. Take community. Got that. Thank you for coming and taking pot and what is probably the most important conversation of this moment. Thank you. Okay. That's a wrap for this episode. Do consider sharing it with anyone, you know who wants to Deepa into ideas. Please consider rating and reviewing Ted interview on apple itunes, or wherever you listen to this show was produced by Michelle Quint and edited by Sharon mushy. He production manager is Roxanne high lash mix engineer David Herman and Athena is by Allison Leyton Brown. Thanks so much for listening, c- against it. For more TED talks to Ted dot com.

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