In our latest podcast, “F**k It, Ship It!,” we hear directly from New York Times technology reporter Sheera Frenkel, who covers cybersecurity from San Francisco. Frenkel and fellow Times reporter Cecilia Kang co-authored a page-turner called An Ugly Truth: Inside Facebook’s Battle for Domination, which has been called “the ultimate takedown” by reviewers.
TTP Ep. 149 - Sheera Frenkel Episode
The meticulously reported book offers a behind-the-scenes look at Facebook, one of the most important technology companies of our time, and its many missteps: from privacy breaches and the mishandling of data to the rise of fake news and hate speech. The story takes readers across the globe.
What Can We Learn from Facebook?
The Facebook saga is packed with cautionary tales and lessons relevant to cybersecurity and the future of the Internet. In some sense, this story represents some of the biggest challenges facing society writ large today. In this podcast, Frenkel dives into:
- The real-world consequences of newly found access to the Internet, without proper safeguards, such as Facebook in Myanmar.
- The difference between freedom of speech and freedom of reach, and the problem with Facebook’s algorithms.
- The difficulties of distinguishing between mis/disinformation campaigns on social media and trustworthy news.
- Data privacy issues at Facebook, like giving engineers total access to predictive data.
- Why the people running Facebook, like Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg, made the decisions they did.
- The widespread societal impact of a “move fast and break things” mentality and absolute trust in Big Tech.
- The importance of media literacy to combat the rise of Big Tech and the challenges cited above.
Frenkel is an award-winning journalist. In 2019, she was part of a team of investigative journalists recognized as Pulitzer Prize finalists. The team also won the George Polk Award for National Reporting and the Gerald Loeb Award for Investigative Reporting.