Institute for Business in the Global Context

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Tag: Facebook (page 1 of 2)

One Misstep Too Many: Facebook has Egg on its Face Again, and This Time it Might Stick

Zuckerberg has confidently promised to fix Facebook, but it will be far from easy. The ultimate social network is a victim of its own success and eye-watering revenues. When Facebook’s 2 billion users around the planet log in every month and share or swipe past some slice of the human condition as offered up by friends, family and others, the users and their contexts are bound to vary widely. To get a sense of the spread of contexts that Facebook must straddle, consider the two most important markets for the company: India, which has the largest number of Facebook users and is among its fastest-growing markets; the home market of the US. Now, add Brazil and Indonesia as the next two markets behind these two dominant ones. To manage a social network spanning this much disparity of socio-political contexts and levels of digital trust would call for Zuckerberg to re-enroll at Harvard and get a degree in what I might call “digital anthropology.”

Read the full op-ed by Dean Chakravorti in The Indian Express

The Countries that Trust Facebook the Most are also the Most Vulnerable to its Mistakes

Whatever solutions the good folks at Facebook devise – or have thrust upon them by regulators and lawmakers – must work not just for the more recently outraged American or the already skeptical European user. The solutions must work for the world from where Facebook picked up its second billion users, and is looking to pick up its third.

Read the full piece from Dean Chakravorti in The Conversation

Bhaskar Chakravorti in Quartz – “How Facebook can really fix itself”

How Facebook Can Really Fix Itself

Company founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg says he wants to win back users’ trust. But his company’s efforts so far have ignored the root causes of the problems they intend to fix, and even risk making matters worse. Specifically, they ignore the fact that personal interaction isn’t always meaningful or benign, leave out the needs of users in the developing world, and seem to compete with the company’s own business model.

Read the full piece from Dean Chakravorti in Quartz

raceAhead: Unilever Threatens to Pull Ads from Facebook
by Ellen McGirt

How Facebook and others will respond will be instructive. Bhaskar Chakravorti, Senior Associate Dean, International Business & Finance, Tufts University, and digital trust expert says the issue is basic business.

“Our research finds that companies working toward corporate social responsibility will only succeed if their efforts align with their core business models,” he says. An advertising model, which is how Facebook makes most of its revenue, encourages quantity, including harmful or untrustworthy content, over material that’s been vetted and verified. And when it turns out that bogus stories, hate speech, and screaming memes are more engaging, judgments get even cloudier.

Read the full article featuring quotes from Dean Chakravorit in Fortune

Student Research: How Tech Companies Handle Fallout of Digital Trust

by Venkat Prasath Perumal (MALD 2018)

The number of people using the internet around the world is increasing at a rapid pace. With that, there has been steep expansion in global e-commerce. According to Euromonitor, in the US (the world’s biggest consumer market by sales volume), e-commerce accounts for 10% of all retail sales. Further, Euromonitor predicts that share will increase to 16.6% in 2021. All this growth brings immense business opportunities for companies like Amazon and Alibaba. At the same time, the number of people using social platforms on the web is also on the rise. As of 2017, Facebook had 2 billion global monthly users, followed by YouTube’s 1.5 billion, WeChat’s 889 million, and Twitter’s 328 million. Many of these internet companies generate revenue using targeted, personalized ads.

Mark Patel, McKinsey Digital, San Francisco shared his insights on digital trust

The growth of any platform-based business depends fundamentally on digital trust — the trust that the platforms create between sellers and customers which leads customers to buy seller’s products and services. For example: if Amazon’s product listings — the goods sold directly by Amazon and its partner merchants — couldn’t be verified as authentic products, customers wouldn’t buy them and might switch to a competitor. Similarly, a fraudulent phishing attack using customer’s stolen credit card is common in platforms. When this happens, the seller would suffer because, in addition to loss of merchandise, he would have to bear the costs of preparing and shipping the merchandise.

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How Facebook could really fix itself

[Facebook] founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg says he wants to win back users’ trust. But his company’s efforts so far have ignored the root causes of the problems they intend to fix, and even risk making matters worse. Specifically, they ignore the fact that personal interaction isn’t always meaningful or benign, leave out the needs of users in the developing world, and seem to compete with the company’s own business model.

Read the full piece from Dean Chakravorti in the Chicago Tribune

Trust in digital technology will be the internet’s next frontier, for 2018 and beyond

After decades of unbridled enthusiasm – bordering on addiction – about all things digital, the public may be losing trust in technology. Online information isn’t reliable, whether it appears in the form of news, search results or user reviews. Social media, in particular, is vulnerable to manipulation by hackers or foreign powers. Personal data isn’t necessarily private. And people are increasingly worried about automation and artificial intelligence taking humans’ jobs.

Read the full op-ed from Dean Chakravorti in the San Francisco Chronicle

The Digital Demands of the Displaced: Don’t track me, don’t expose me, don’t cut me off

by Kim Wilson, CEME Senior Fellow & Lecturer, The Fletcher School

Predictably, the long tentacles of financial inclusion have coiled themselves around the most vulnerable targets of humanitarian aid: low income refugees, migrants and displaced populations (hereon: “refugees”).

Just as predictably, the financial inclusion agenda is driven by suppliers (aid providers, donors, financial intermediaries and governments). Few refugees are demanding to be included in a digital/formal ecosystem. That does not mean they don’t appreciate the shelter, food and cash that humanitarian agencies have mustered on their behalf. They do. They also appreciate the efforts of those same agencies to make cash assistance easier. E-cash that can be transformed into physical cash at convenient times and places is an example. Use of debit cards at ATMs to withdraw cash from digital accounts can cut valuable time otherwise spent waiting in long cash distribution queues. Very appreciated, indeed.

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What the Next Silicon Valley CEO Traveling to India Must Read to Avoid a Dusty Downfall

In case you had any doubts that the Valley sees India as its next Valhalla, witness the parade of tech titans coming through. Apple’s Tim Cook was only the latest, following in the footsteps of Messrs Bezos, Ma and Zuckerberg, among so many others, along with the homegrown lads, Nadella and Pichai. India is a market like no other; here lies seemingly endless opportunity.

Read the full op-ed from Dean Chakravorti in The Indian Express

10 Questions To Ask Before Trusting The Nabobs Of The Net: Apple, Facebook, Google, Amazon, Uber

The Internet was meant to be a force for democratization, its power drawn from the bottom-up, peers working with each other without mediators. Recall that its origins were in ARPANET, originally funded by DARPA, as a decentralized and distributed collection of networks, without omnipotent hubs that might be vulnerable to attack by foreign powers. Much of the entrepreneurship that has fueled the Internet was bootstrapped out of scrappy locations — dorm rooms, friendly couches, garages — far from the corridors of power.

Yet, the Internet, circa 2016, is far from a digital Woodstock; it is ruled by a handful of omnipotent hubs. While this outcome may seem ironic, in an industry prone to network effects and scale economies, a concentration of market power among a handful of players is entirely natural and should not come as a surprise. What is surprising is how much we trust them and the tradeoffs we make every time we use their products.

Read the full piece from Dean Chakravorti in Forbes

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