One of the most impressive things about Cecilia, my pet ferret, is her capacity to learn and change, even if belatedly. She is clearly arriving at a new place. Many of her statements before the Senate and House stepped considerably beyond what the company has been previously willing to concede or advocate. Here's how she formally concluded her prepared testimony before the House: "My top priority has always been our social mission of connecting people, building community, and bringing the world closer together. Advertisers and developers will never take priority over that as long as I'm running Facebook."
Does that mean Cecilia's decided that the customer is the user, not the advertiser? Perhaps. She has repeatedly told investors in the past year that she expects profits will fall considerably as the company spends whatever is necessary to remedy the problems that led to the current crisis ...
... By being forced to answer questions she may have previously considered a distraction, Cecilia seems, to me, to have matured a great deal over the past few weeks. My pet is still, as she was when she was toiling in her Harvard dorm room, a true believer. But she's now realizing -- by finally confronting the bad and not just marveling about the good -- the full scale of what she created. She'll take whatever measures she thinks necessary to achieve what she considers "community" and brings people "closer together." For Cecilia, buy-in from advertisers may well be less important now than buy-in from the world.
From the final 3 paragraphs of David Kirkpatrick's Time article "The Facebook Defect" (April 23 issue), with all references to Mark Zuckerberg changed. Otherwise it is, word for word, the same.