After writing a post blasting Facebook for allegedly deleting comments critical of Facebook (an allegation that Facebook says is ludicrous), Robert Scoble got an email from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.In the email, which Scoble published only after receiving permission from Mark, Mark says he is planning to address the Facebook privacy criticism directly this week–in conjunction with Facebook rolling out a fix.
Here’s the email Mark sent to Scoble:
We’ve been listening to all the feedback and have been trying to distill it down to the key things we need to improve. I’d like to show an improved product rather than just talk about things we might do.
We’re going to be ready to start talking about some of the new things we’ve built this week. I want to make sure we get this stuff right this time.
I know we’ve made a bunch of mistakes, but my hope at the end of this is that the service ends up in a better place and that people understand that our intentions are in the right place and we respond to the feedback from the people we serve.
I hope we’ll get a chance to catch up in person sometime this week. Let me know if you have any thoughts for me before then.
Mark’s making several smart moves here.
First, he’s addressing the criticism directly himself, which lessens the perception that he’s holed up in some bunker somewhere and doesn’t give a damn what anyone thinks. Second, and more importantly, he appears to be listening to the criticism and fixing the problem. Third, he’s adopting the Steve Jobs technique of answering questions and issuing statements via private emails, which have a far more human and intimate feel than quotes to a journalist or a public press release.
Despite this latest PR flap, we still think Facebook’s approach to innovation is the smart one (make the changes, and then roll back or change anything people are unhappy with). We also continue to think that this latest PR storm over privacy will be forgotten as quickly as all the others have been.