12 votes

Facebook's reputation is so bad, the company must pay even more now to hire and retain talent

13 comments

  1. [3]
    Micycle_the_Bichael
    (edited )
    Link
    I’m interested to see how the general attitude towards FAANG/MANGA has changed since I graduated. Back when I was about to graduate I remember most everyone applying to Google, Apple, and Amazon...

    I’m interested to see how the general attitude towards FAANG/MANGA has changed since I graduated. Back when I was about to graduate I remember most everyone applying to Google, Apple, and Amazon for good pay while working on interesting problems, and people applying to Facebook did so pretty transparently because they wanted to make money and didn’t care about what they worked on (nothing wrong with that, just a difference I noticed). Now I really don’t know anyone who talks about working at Netflix, opinions of working at Facebook, Google, and Amazon seem to be “you work there if you want to sell your soul to make money” and I really honestly just don’t hear anyone talk about Apple at all anymore. Feels like the companies use to have some sort of prestige to them that it doesn’t seem to have anymore (though maybe that’s because I’m not interacting with college seniors anymore and am talking to established developers who currently have jobs)

    9 votes
    1. hungariantoast
      Link Parent
      My school's ACM chapter kept trying to hype a series of talks by a Facebook engineer. The talks were a mix of technical, and then the usual trash like how to improve your "hirability" I didn't...

      My school's ACM chapter kept trying to hype a series of talks by a Facebook engineer. The talks were a mix of technical, and then the usual trash like how to improve your "hirability"

      I didn't bother going to any of the talks, but in the group chat for the chapter there was definitely a lot of chat like "why would we want to listen to someone who makes the world worse?"

      9 votes
    2. stu2b50
      Link Parent
      It wasn't too long ago I was actively recruiting (as in, looking for a job), and the view of FAANG as far as I remember was G - rest and vest, tendency to lowball you compared to its peer...

      It wasn't too long ago I was actively recruiting (as in, looking for a job), and the view of FAANG as far as I remember was

      G - rest and vest, tendency to lowball you compared to its peer companies without other offers to negotiate

      Amazon - definitely lot more "pays a lot, but rough environment" - lots of banana jokes, dread pirate bezos, etc. For what it's worth I know people who work at Amazon and apparently find it fine WLB wise.

      Apple - didn't hear as much about them, although they hire way more hardware people (they even sponsored some of the low level/EE classes at my university).

      Facebook - pays probably the most ("rockstar" returning interns can get >$300k/yr TCs), WLB seems worse than Google

      Netflix - most prestigious, but also the most cutthroat


      In terms of prestigious, for the most part it was N > Google & Facebook > Amazon. Apple not talked about enough (mainly because it seems they hire significantly less) to place them.

      7 votes
  2. [4]
    teaearlgraycold
    Link
    Nice to know I’m not the only one who would never work for them. I’m happy to let their recruiters know that I’m not interested and specifically mention it’s for ethical reasons.

    Nice to know I’m not the only one who would never work for them. I’m happy to let their recruiters know that I’m not interested and specifically mention it’s for ethical reasons.

    6 votes
    1. [3]
      feigneddork
      Link Parent
      I had an email from one of their recruiters last month which I didn't actively seek out just because of being associated with Facebook. I didn't even reply back, but that was out of laziness and...

      I had an email from one of their recruiters last month which I didn't actively seek out just because of being associated with Facebook.

      I didn't even reply back, but that was out of laziness and it being on my gmail account which I rarely check.

      1. [2]
        teaearlgraycold
        Link Parent
        You should let them know they’re too shady to work for. It’s a small act but if enough people do it they will start to change.

        You should let them know they’re too shady to work for. It’s a small act but if enough people do it they will start to change.

        11 votes
        1. feigneddork
          Link Parent
          That is a good point, might do that.

          That is a good point, might do that.

          4 votes
  3. [6]
    dootdoot
    Link
    I would like to ask why everyone is mad at Facebook. I hear the sentiment frequently but when I ask people to explain IRL I get a variety of answers which I find interesting.

    I would like to ask why everyone is mad at Facebook. I hear the sentiment frequently but when I ask people to explain IRL I get a variety of answers which I find interesting.

    1 vote
    1. [2]
      Protected
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      The thing is, there are many different reasons to dislike them. I'm going to list what I remember off the top of my head. I am not going to confirm any of it today, so some of it may be...
      • Exemplary

      The thing is, there are many different reasons to dislike them. I'm going to list what I remember off the top of my head. I am not going to confirm any of it today, so some of it may be misremembered (do let me know if you look into any of this).

      They're a sleazy company built from the very start on dubious practices like sharing photos of other people without their consent or exploiting microtransaction addiction (see the early Facebook Platform and Facebook Cash).

      Decision making in the company is controlled entirely by one person, Mark Zuckerberg, who has majority control of decision making shares and cannot be removed. He could single handedly fix any issues with Facebook if he wanted. Nevertheless, he seems consistently unwilling to be ethical and resolve any of the problems and scandals tied to the company. But he's more than happy to go before US congress, act arrogant and give non-answers to every question. He's also known for screwing over his first partner in the company (as seen in the movie The Social Network).

      They unashamedly mine their users' data for all its worth, turning around and selling it to advertisers and partners. Their early privacy options were either non-existent or a joke. It is well known that they keep (or at least kept) shadow profiles of millions of people who never signed in to use their product at all, based on data provided by their users about friends in their photos or mined from their users' e-mail inboxes, which they request(ed) access to.

      "Share on Facebook" buttons track users, including people without a Facebook account, everywhere they exist. Though these can be reliably blocked by a good adblocker.

      It doesn't help that early key people in the company include copyright infringement advocate Sean Parker and investor Peter Thiel (Paypal, Palantir), who is the kind of person who seems to believe both in surveillance and that governments should be beholden to major corporations (wording mine).

      The Facebook product itself is terrible to work with. Historically, several incomplete, mismatched versions of their documentation pages were floating around and it was hard to figure out what still applied. Features were broken/made incompatible very frequently, such that if you built something to work with Facebook it would probably not last a year. Some companies had or have specialists on the roll whose only job is to stop Facebook integrations from breaking.

      They were involved in multiple scandals, most notably the Cambridge Analytica scandal, in which they shared their users' personal data with other entities in straight out illegal ways (such as by sharing data that cannot legally be shared without proactive consent, depending on the jurisdiction).

      Their advertising product has been known a few years ago to be a scam due to the existent of symbiotic "ad clicker farm" outfits in developing countries. People (or bots?) fraudolently log tons of clicks on ads, inflating their click through statistics, which means the advertisers are getting far less exposure for what they paid that they thought they would. I don't quite remember why they did this, but I remember the logic made sense at the time.

      Even when Facebook attempts to be charitable, they do it wrong, such as when they introduced free Internet access to certain underdeveloped areas... except not really. This "Internet" was locked down to allow only Facebook services plus a few other handpicked, whitelisted sites. This is self-serving, anticompetitive in those countries, bad for the users in those countries and violates Net Neutrality.

      Their algorithms have been known to create "echo chambers," that is, they endeavour to engage their users by showing content that has been determined to inflate their emotions, including political and medical misinformation. This creates angry, misinformed zealots and has become a serious social problem.

      Often, their users are locked out of their accounts seemingly at random. The only recourse is to send them a high quality scan of legal ID, which considering the other points above is something you may not want to do. If you owned VR games on the Oculus store, you will be locked out of all your games. Their other services all essentially require an account for anything beyond previewing a page.

      Oh, does anyone remember when their creepy attempts to entice and market to preteens came to light? That wasn't that long ago, right?

      I'll let you know if I remember more stuff!

      15 votes
      1. cfabbro
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        The whole Myanmar Rohingya genocide debacle is probably worth mentioning too: Facebook admits it was used to 'incite offline violence' in Myanmar Rohingya sue Facebook for $150bn over Myanmar hate...
        4 votes
    2. wervenyt
      Link Parent
      In short, they've created a surveillance engine that leverages network effects and the addictive sense of keeping up to date with news and your friends and family in order to collect immense...

      In short, they've created a surveillance engine that leverages network effects and the addictive sense of keeping up to date with news and your friends and family in order to collect immense quantities of data. They use that data to sell hyperspecific advertising spots, then also to construct each individual's feed specifically to manipulate their emotions so that they spend more time scrolling through it, seeing more of those ads. Then, they use that ad money to buy potential competitors (Instagram, WhatsApp, etc) and mine those platforms for data as well.

      Knowledge is power, and not only do they have a lot of information on even people who don't use their services thanks to trackers on third party sites and data which their friends and family share, they also determine the majority of the news and gossip that's viewed by their users.

      See also, Cambridge Analytica, effects of social media on mental health, the rise of neofascism in the last decade.

      7 votes
    3. [2]
      dootdoot
      Link Parent
      Thank you all for engaging meaningfully! I would like to add my .02 here as well Similar to @wervenyt I am not comfortable with their use of addictive UX to get people to keep coming back to their...

      Thank you all for engaging meaningfully!

      I would like to add my .02 here as well

      Similar to @wervenyt I am not comfortable with their use of addictive UX to get people to keep coming back to their site (often referred to as growth hacking). I’m also not comfortable with Twitter and LinkedIn doing this, but I haven’t seen them similarly criticized (what do younguys think?). Right now I think the social media market is in a race to the bottom, where they all feel that they have to use these tactics even if they don’t like them. Usually govt regulation would be the solution here but I’m not even sure how to go about that? And I certainly dont trust congress to do a good job at it.

      Re: echo chambers, fake news, and responsibility. I acknowledge this is an American perspective with American values in an international conversation. I would not want a private company to become the gatekeeper of truth. Philosophically, I think forbidding information is never the answer - it should be greater education. I can’t think of a historical situation where I wish some viewpoint had been suppressed or think it was a good idea to suppress a viewpoint. Further, in practical terms, if they build this capability to sensor viewpoints, I think it would be easier for the government to coerce them into suppressing more … ‘grey’ issues. Imagine if during the last presidency the administration got a sympathetic judge to order FB to suppress ‘fake news’ about the election being fair. By the time the courts sorted it out the damage would be done. I believe that free information is better. On the other hand, we all agree that certain things have no place - e.g. incitement to violence. So it would be easy to frame this as a conversation of degrees - where do we draw the line? It’s a tough issue I dont think I have an easy solution for. I think FB made mistakes but theyre not malicious.

      2 votes
      1. Protected
        Link Parent
        Major corporations are very good at dilluting responsability for their mistakes. After all, they don't have a will of their own--their direction emerges from smaller decisions by participating...

        not malicious

        Major corporations are very good at dilluting responsability for their mistakes. After all, they don't have a will of their own--their direction emerges from smaller decisions by participating actors. Shareholders could ultimately replace the executive, but that means their power as owners is at least two degrees of separation removed from harmful actors, and when the money those actors are making through unethical means is already in their pockets it can be hard to even want to break that inertia. At scale, you can certainly justify your own lack of ethics as a shareholder by thinking "everyone else would have to want to fix it, how likely is that to happen?"

        Except, of course, Facebook is rare in that it has a single person as leader and controlling owner. "Facebook is evil" may be an oversimplification, but there are things one might say about Zuckerberg I wouldn't say in polite company.

        EDIT (I was going to post this as a separate reply but today I learned you only get one!):

        govt regulation

        It scares me though that this problem deals with changes to the actual psyche of the affected people to the point where it changes the way they participate in politics. It's a dangerous system that's capable of self-perpetuating; it has the power and the will to effectively suppress that education that you (and I) think is so important and crucial. This is already happening. At that point how do you break out of the cycle of misinformation?

        2 votes