Valleywag’s Owen Thomas worries that Facebook is headed for a fall, instigated by a 60 Minutes story in the works. Look out for a “major exposé on Facebook coming soon on the hard-hitting CBS news show,” he warns.
Sometimes, when CBS has the late game on Sundays, we sort of doze off, and when we wake up, 60 Minutes is on, and we end up watching a few minutes of it. So we’re reasonably confident about this one: Owen’s wrong. 60 Minutes doesn’t do much in the way of major exposes these days. They’re expensive and difficult to do, and it’s a lot easier to just interview the Eagles about their new album.
Remember, most of 60 Minutes’ audience hasn’t heard of Facebook, so expect the piece to be a sort of primer: Mark Zuckerberg is a Harvard dropout. He wears sandals. He’s worth billions! etc. There will be an obligatory nod to a “privacy controversy,” followed by a clip of Facebook’s privacy officer, explaining that Facebook takes privacy seriously, etc. Cue the Metamucil ads.
60 Minutes isn’t going to create a problem for Facebook, because Facebook is already making its own mess: It introduced a poorly thought-through marketing strategy — Beacon — and rather than admit its mistake, it is making it worse by politely telling users who complain about it to go pound sand. If Facebook comes undone by this, it won’t be able to blame Lesley Stahl.