Did Elon Musk break Facebook?

We were informed that Elon Musk’s firing of more than half of the paycheck-collectors at a social media company would result in a social media company’s service melting down, coughing up errors, etc. At first, Twitter soldiered on, but now the prediction has come true… about Facebook.

Has anyone else noticed how poorly Facebook works when a discussion gets complicated? I’m notified that someone responded and I click on the notification and get taken to an unrelated part of the discussion. I’m notified that someone responded and the response is not visible until I close the browser window and restart my Facebook web page (i.e., single-page app). Sometimes I respond and the text never appears in my own view, though it has been posted to the thread and can be viewed later. What I initially see is whitespace.

Readers: Which site is performing better right now from a purely technical point of view, Facebook or Twitter? Also, how do people feel about the 50,000+ people that Elon Musk fired at Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Meta/Facebook, and other Silicon Valley companies?

Separately, Facebook decided that I violated Community Standards by posting a reply that included the Web address of a local pinball dealer: https://www.thepinballdudes.net/

The pinball link was treated like content that questioned Anthony Fauci or the CDC or, even worse, one that expressed skepticism regarding the ability of a cloth mask to block an aerosol virus. Speaking of cloth masks, here’s the one that Dr. Fauci recommends wearing while playing pinball…

14 thoughts on “Did Elon Musk break Facebook?

  1. The Facebook conversation problem that you describe has existed for a long time. I believe they want to make it difficult to have conversations. Facebook, from the perspective of shareholders, is ideally a platform where people log in to see what their friends and family are up to, but ultimately see advertisements and other sponsored content.

  2. The Facebook web app has always worked about as well as software lions wrote as 10 year olds, but with a UC Berkeley degree & an ability to program quicksort on a whiteboard in under 10 minutes.

    Haven’t seen any material change in twitter other than the auto generated feed getting a lot more bland.

  3. I don’t know about Twitter because although I have an account to read other people’s Tweets and suggestions, I barely use it. I don’t trust for a femtosecond that this entire hullabaloo has blown over and Elon Musk is really in it for the long haul, not another head fake.

    But Facebook is still alive and well with censorship and I know that my posts are being shadow banned and/or “double secret probation” scrutinized because many, many people only see them after several days and then they’re like: “Whaaaaa?” I suppose that’s an improvement over the pre-election behavior, when I was regularly accused of violating Community Standards and my comments were blocked and/or frozen – many times for simple things like you say, posting the URL to a merchant.

    I stay away to the greatest extent possible from things that might get me tied up with their Thought Police. I’m not a “red-meat” MAGA/Meme kind of guy. I have lots of friends who are Democrats and for the most part we get along well, even when we’re “fighting” – we don’t need Nanny Zuckerberg to settle our disputes b/c for the most part we are *adults*. But FB can’t quit me. So whenever it happens I make sure to screenshot it and then make note of it as FB tries to send me back to third grade detention.

    My political posts are rather few and far between, and when I post them, I make sure that my commentary follows the incontrovertible, as-reported by bonafide journalists Truth of the Matter. ‘Cause I know what the #Truth is, if it’s good for me. I don’t post anything lurid or disgusting, I try not to be too juvenile, and if bonafide reporters say it in the New York Times, it must be true!

    In any case I do find, somewhat paradoxically, that my friends from High School are, as a group, more tolerant, more fun, and more forgiving and understanding when I disagree with them. Most people will also note that the majority of my “likes” and “cares” and “laugh” responses are from people who identify as WOMEN. I don’t know whether that’s just my writing style or because one of my previous bosses was a woman, and so I understand the value of *listening* when they comment, and responding back to them. They like that, apparently – and you can see how long-winded and conversational I am, so I like it too. Thus I get along just fine on FB with women who are Democrats as well as the Gun Nuts™ I was once a competition rifle shooter with: I just treat people with respect and tell the inside jokes where appropriate.

    I’m over 50 and well past the stage where I thought it was fun to emulate Jackass. I’ve often said that I would be willing to pay a little for FB and Twitter if they got their preposterous, condescending mitts off the things I was trying to say. ***k them.

    • BTW I am not a member of Instagram, SnapChat, Truth Social, only a very occasional user of Reddit (usually pertaining to obscure subjects), I’m not on the Dark Web, I stay away from almost everything except FB and my normal, mainstream media reading assignments and stuff I see on MSN. I am wary of technology – appreciative of the benefits where found, disdainful of the rest, and I’ve been around long enough to know why. I used to run a multi-line dial up RBBS PC bulletin board for several years, back when a 2400 baud Hayes Smartmodem was a nugget of pure magic. The only difference I see is that people have shorter attention spans, they can’t speak or write English, they are meaner and more coarsened and less tolerant of anything, many of them are now “I Give Zero ***ks” jaded by it all, etc. etc.

      I even tell people never to Text me, because I almost never answer Texts. Email me or call me. I am halfway in the “I’m abandoning the Internet” bag invented by John Walker of Fourmilab.


      So all the money and smack talk means very little to me. I could leave it all behind in a heartbeat.

    • Final thought: In addition to my wonderful HS friends (and a precious few from later years of my life) I like FB because of the Private Groups. I’m a member of a Watch Repair (wristwatches) group where people who have gone *all* the way down the wristwatch rabbit hole while they ask for help and puzzle over whether they can straighten the mainspring on a vintage 1960s Seiko, etc. These are thousands of people from all around the globe, so we keep politics out of the discussions and there are some fine people there who are generous with their knowledge and time.

      I’m also a member of the C3 Corvette Discussion Group because I once owned a 1968 Red on Red 4 Speed Convertible and I like looking and talking about things people are still doing (in some ways now more than ever) with those beautiful, quirky cars.

      So FB’s Private Groups are its best feature, IMHO, and the good ones are almost blissfully unmolested by our asinine, brain-damaged politics.

  4. It’s hard to tell if Microsoft, Amazon, Google, Meta fired the right people, i.e., the social justice Twitter politicians and diversity consultants who have made life hell for everyone in the past decade and are also responsible for canceling many people.

    If they did, good riddance. But usually middle management is in cahoots with these people and gives them good reviews, so probably they fired the quiet top performers.

    • @Anonymous: FB should just write some code and every time you post a thought or a comment that’s anything other than: “I had a bowel movement this morning, at 6:47 a.m., right on time thanks to Miralax!” it should glow in several shades of red, purple and orange with a fiery halo and a glyph that rotates with a couple of skulls and butcher knives twirling around above the notice:

      “Processing for Social Score Updates and Fact Checking” and then autocorrect anything its algorithms and people find offensive. Don’t worry about how FB knows you really did have a bowel movement. They know.

      Then, if the post fails on a graded scale of A-F by getting a B-, it covers your post with an opaque Grim Reaper proclaiming: “This Person Might as Well Be Dead When the Next Implementation of Social Score Monitoring Is Fully Deployed. Abandon All Hope, Ye Who Dare to Click Here.”

  5. My level of involvement with pinball is going to my local pub, dropping in a few quarters, and whacking the flippers. But I meet a lot of interesting people who are pinball fanatics. They talk about brands and models and famous pinball machines of yore.

    Are you planning to buy a pinball machine for home?

  6. “Dr” Phil: you post a url about thespians, balls, and dudes and complain Facebook filtered it? I figured you would approve since you are so discriminatory against LQBTQALSDF++ folks, and that is obviously a link about gays acting, or acting gay.

    • @Mike: Have you ever seen a group of exhausted, sweaty, hirsute and so beefy they are crammed into a booth at an all-night diner, throwing shade, telling stories and gesticulating wildly, so loudly that they can be overheard from halfway across the restaurant? Right around 3 a.m., talking about the night’s adventures and meetups? Then, while you giggle away trying to look like you don’t notice, the manager has to be called (by another party) to request they tone it down a notch? At which point they get even louder? Finally the manager says: “You’re disturbing our other guests. It’s 3 a.m. If you can’t tone it down a little I’m afraid we will have to deny you service and escort you out of the restaurant?”

      I have. On several occasions! They’re hilarious! A group of drag queens like that can lift one right out of the doldrums with their vicious, cutting humor. Good breakfast at 3 a.m. in this place too, not something to miss.

  7. The problem with woke is that they are stupid. Like, really stupid. And stupidity doesn’t mix well with software engineering.

    And to add insult to injury wokesters (neing fundamentally collectivists) create rather hostile work environment to competent software guys, who are often on introverted side and hate the participation rituals like Agile.

  8. As for the censorship, possibly a Facebook AI “decided” that the “James Bond 007 pinball machine” engages in IP violation (film/music snippets).

    Got to love the “how we make decisions” popup, which, like all woke waffling, says exactly nothing. They should add the word “harm” for better effect.

  9. I’ve never used Facebook, but recently helped my mom setup a new iPad. I was shocked to see just how lousy the Facebook app is. FB has essentially unlimited resources to develop a native app, but it looks like a badly html web app. Mom wanted to turned off the conversation panel, then expand the news panel to fill the rest of the screen. Several hours later I gave up, so although she’s got a much bigger 12.9” screen, much of it is blank.

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