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Towards a valuation of Facebook

Summary:
The Guardian witters about how we should truly value Facebook:On 2 June, facing an unprecedented public protest by Facebook employees, Mark Zuckerberg told his staff that even if they disagreed with some of his decisions he hoped they agreed that “the net impact of the different things that we’re doing in the world is positive”, according to a transcript published by Vox. “I really believe it is,” he added. As with all of Facebook’s algorithms, there is no transparency on how Facebook arrived at this net positive impact. We can only look at the outcomes and attempt to reverse engineer the decisions that produced them.Nick Clegg’s attempt to produce a valuation is also mentioned.The thing is such a valuation is trivially easy to perform. We can 0 and should - look at the outcomes.Some 3

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The Guardian witters about how we should truly value Facebook:

On 2 June, facing an unprecedented public protest by Facebook employees, Mark Zuckerberg told his staff that even if they disagreed with some of his decisions he hoped they agreed that “the net impact of the different things that we’re doing in the world is positive”, according to a transcript published by Vox. “I really believe it is,” he added.

As with all of Facebook’s algorithms, there is no transparency on how Facebook arrived at this net positive impact. We can only look at the outcomes and attempt to reverse engineer the decisions that produced them.

Nick Clegg’s attempt to produce a valuation is also mentioned.

The thing is such a valuation is trivially easy to perform. We can 0 and should - look at the outcomes.

Some 3 billion people think that Facebook adds value to their lives. They do so by using Facebook - humans tend not to do thing that do not increase the utility of the human beings doing the doing.

We do not get to define that increased utility, nor do you and nor even does someone wittering in The Guardian. Increased utility is defined and determined by the individuals trying to maximise it.

How else could it possibly be in a liberal polity? The entire point of which is that we all get to live our own lives by our own lights and good luck to all who sail in that societal boat.

That getting on for half of humanity thinks Facebook is a pretty good idea does rather tell us that it’s a pretty good idea. The alternative is that the elite tells the proles what they may do which is many things but it’s not liberal.

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Tim Worstall
Tim Worstall is a British-born writer and Senior Fellow of the Adam Smith Institute. Worstall is a regular contributor to Forbes and the Register. He has also written for the Guardian, the New York Times, PandoDaily, the Daily Telegraph blogs, the Times, and The Wall Street Journal. In 2010 his blog was listed as one of the top 100 UK political blogs by Total Politics.

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