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Dialogue with recent Facebook interviewees, employees reveals unusual corporate atmosphere

 With over 800 million users, Facebook qualifies as either a global phenomenon or a virulent plague, depending on who you ask. The Palo Alto-based search engine has expanded across the globe and is now making inroads to China. Everything seems to be going Facebook's way, which may be why employees have gotten cocky.

"They want an global presence, you know? They want to be as indelible as e-mail." says a source who recently spent time inside the social network's offices.
That 'global presence' has been a topic of speculation for months now. Will the Facebook/Baidu partnership come to fruition? Can the world's largest social network expand unchecked into its last unconquered territory? As one employee in Facebook's advertising department put it, "We won't stop until every person on Earth has a Facebook page."

Nearly half of America has a Facebook profile. The site is rapidly running out of room for expansion in the first world. Google has struggled and flip-flopped over Chinese censorship laws, but Facebook has kept their cards much closer to their chests. Mark Zuckerberg seems happy to tailor his site to local guidelines, as long as it brings him more users. According to a source who recently spent several weeks inside of Facebook's hiring process, "They know that they need to have a global presence, and so they're very aggressively moving towards that."

Facebook is reportedly preparing to send a "friend request" to China.
[Image Source: Artist Speaks Out]

Facebook places a lot of value on having a 'lean' team. Doing as much as possible with a small core of quality people. There are only around 2,000 employees in the entire company. But rapid expansion has brought about the need for more hands on deck. The social network is heavily recruiting new employees in advertising- specifically, advertiser relations.

"They really need to build out more scalable solutions to handle clients that probably aren't paying as much...the long tail of advertisers, basically. Businesses that aren't spending enough to justify a 'high touch' human relationship, but still need to have some sort of help."

Censorship has been a major issue for Facebook here in the United States. And many have speculated what degree of censorship the company will agree to over in China. As it currently stands, Facebook leaves the management of questionable content up to individual employees acting as moderators.

"Right now they've just got people sort of, independently making that choice [to censor content] and I guess they get sort of hive-mind buyout from other people in the company. 'Can an ad show alcohol?' or 'Can an ad show tobacco', vice-type stuff."

My source added, "They're making it up as they go along."

As slapdash as it sounds, this policy may be the best thing for Facebook right now. Committing to any sort of broad, clear censorship policy would only draw fire when it is inevitably compromised in the name of expansion.

Facebook is a young company, with a powerful 'creation myth'. Their CEO is one of the most influential people on earth- and his employees know it. Multiple sources within Facebook report a sort of "cult worship" around Mark Zuckerberg.

Sources close to Facebook report "cult worship" of CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg, within the firm.  [Image Source: imgur]

"The reverence with which they treat [Zuckerberg] is just kind of goofy."

That sort of attitude is only likely to deepen as Facebook goes from success to success. But continued growth with such a lean organization has also caused some issues for the social network. One employee described the corporate atmosphere as "homogenous". This source compared the current Facebook atmosphere to Schmidt-era Google, as the vitality of its dorm-room youth retreated before the advance of stolid bureaucracy.

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Oy vey..
By Richlet on 12/6/2011 11:26:53 PM , Rating: 2
Multiple sources within Facebook report a sort of "cult worship" around Mark Zuckerberg.

Do we really need another Steve Jobs? We just got rid of one.

I'll seriously never understand the almost religious worship for guys who were smart, creative, and a bit lucky.

I mean, it's great that they had success, and built really good products or services, but treating them like demi-gods.. They're just people, people.

RE: Oy vey..
By Spuke on 12/7/2011 12:33:16 PM , Rating: 4
They're just people, people.
That's the problem. They aren't seen as people. We're all taught that the super successful are special and their type of success is unachievable. All BS. Everything they know can be taught to most people (some are just plain idiots..sorry). Just takes an open mind and some desire (which really what makes these people special, if anything).

RE: Oy vey..
By schmandel on 12/9/2011 12:36:49 AM , Rating: 3
He's a mediocre man for a mediocre time. There's certainly nothing particularly interesting or innovative technically about Facebook.

Once you cut through the lets-all-sing-kumbaya-together bnllshlt, Facebook is just a confidence scheme built to collect consumer information with the only guideline being that if they can somehow get it must have belonged to them to begin with.

I have had a dozen Facebook ids created for various reasons over time, none of them in any way truthful, all registered with email accounts that are not used for any other purpose. You can take their user numbers with a grain of salt, I know they are more than happy to keep bogus accounts around as long as they don't make trouble. It takes less than a week for spam to find a newly registered email address once it is given to Facebook. Oh wait, didn't they say they didn't do that? Given the reality, there's no reason to believe anything they say.

Facebook must die. If they want to get all freaky-we're-on-a-mission about it before it happens, their hubris only makes the prospect of seeing their demise that much sweeter.

RE: Oy vey..
By MrBlastman on 12/9/2011 11:57:38 AM , Rating: 2
Facebook is basically the new Geocities of old--with far less flexibility on page layout along with a cookie-cutter, easy to setup approach to creating your own page. That's about it. That is all it is.

Oh, whoops, I forgot to mention the other thing it does have versus Geocities (in much larger quantities)--data mining. Lots of data mining. Lots of selling your information to other companies. It is a marketer's wet dream and anyone who partakes in it is viewed simply as an additional profit vehicle. Individual benefit and gain from Facescam is little compared with the fat profits they reap off of it.

So yeah, people, keep using Facebook. Keep giving away all your "private," personal information for free.

LOL.. good luck with that
By kattanna on 12/9/2011 11:05:24 AM , Rating: 3
We won't stop until every person on Earth has a Facebook page

considering there are more people on the planet who dont even have electricity then those who do, thats one hell of a boast

RE: LOL.. good luck with that
By schmandel on 12/9/2011 2:55:01 PM , Rating: 2
Acutely myopic self-adulation by naïve tech weenies revealing their first-world parochialism? I haven't seen so much of this kind of hubris in one place since the dot-com bubble of the 1990s :)

By p05esto on 12/6/2011 11:39:51 PM , Rating: 3
Facebook is so full of it. I've got like 10 profiles just myself for testing web applications and don't use 10 of them (freaking hate Facebook). My wife does Farmville and has like 20 accounts herself for gathering money or whatever stupid thing she does with them. My point is that most of the accounts are fakes, I know far more people who don't use Facebook than do. Maybe it's just my old age of 35, but I really don't get the point of Facebook anymore. I saw my old friends from high school and now don't care. Goodbye FB.

Why use the junk in the 1st place
By KOOLTIME on 12/7/2011 6:41:31 PM , Rating: 2
I mean who would use such a web site in the 1st place, real socialism is gone, and sitting behind a keyboard hiding from personal interaction is very disturbing.

Its also very unsafe thing to do as well. Sure everyone claims its secure and what not, but its never secure, as most folks simply dont understand how things work over time.
Just need 1 bad employee with enough clearance to have a bad day and ruin many lives for it.

The Ultimate Data Mine!
By Adam M on 12/11/2011 5:31:05 PM , Rating: 2
I held out on getting a Facebook page as long as I could. When it comes to social networking I am a proud Luddite. I would rather have a real conversation with a real friend, in the real world. I joined to keep in touch with a few people out of town. I must say it is a very poorly maintained Facebook page. A page I would gladly delete if needed. A goal of global Facebook domination may be just the reason I need.

"There's no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance." -- Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer
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