‘No One Should Really Be On Here More Than 15 Minutes A Day,’ Say Executives
MENLO PARK, CA—Addressing concerns about the site’s alleged bias in how it displays news stories in users’ feeds, Facebook executives held a press conference Thursday to clarify that the social network was not intended to serve as anyone’s primary source of information, and that its 1.6 billion active users should, at most, be spending 15 minutes on the platform in a given day in the first place. “Facebook is a great place to connect with friends and family, but frankly, if you’re on our site for 20 minutes or longer during the day and you’re reading the articles on here as your main connection to what’s actually happening in the world, then I’d say you’re a little mistaken about what this site is actually all about,” said Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, adding that the platform was designed as a fun place for people to spend a few minutes of downtime once or twice a week and not as a tool for learning about major global events or societal issues. “People should mostly be using our site to say hello to old classmates and wish each other a happy birthday, or—if you’ve got a couple minutes to kill on a bus or you’re stuck waiting in a long line somewhere—there are some fun pictures to look at, but that’s really the limit. Just look at our name: ‘Facebook.’ That doesn’t sound much like a site for important social and political information or commentary, does it? I’m happy to show anyone how to get to a regular news site if you need a little help.” At press time, Zuckerberg was reminding users that reliable purveyors of news often contain words like “Tribune” or “Gazette” in their names and that it might be a good thing if, the next time they felt like returning to Facebook for a second or third time during a particular day, to visit one of these dedicated news sources instead.