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Meta than before?

25 February, 2022

The social media behemoth formerly known as Facebook unveiled its new values this week, to widespread derision. Previously, its motto was “move fast and break things”, which arguably it did a good job of delivering on. New values propose that employees “build awesome things”, “move fast” and  “live in the future”.  

Values should be a guide to action. When we write values for our clients, we ask them to think if their employees will  look at their values, apply them to situations and know what to do as a result.  If so, you’re off to a good start. You probably know after a day working with your Metamates whether you have moved fast, or whether you’ve built awesome things. So as a guide to action, that’s a tick for the new Meta values.  

But for a business that is facing some very real and significant challenges to its whole reason for being – from its role in spreading misinformation to the impacts of Instagram on teenagers’ mental health – there is a real question mark about whether the new values do the other thing that values need to do, which is to guide good and responsible action. If they don’t do that, then they aren’t values, they are just a set of rules that set out how a business is going to make a profit.  

Meta has come a long way from the days when Mark Zuckerberg wanted to find a way to meet girls. And there is real merit to many of its products – from the ease with which small businesses can use its tools to connect with customers in a low cost accessible way to linking together communities and people around the world. But in a complex world, where the genie is out of the bottle, Meta would do well to think about what values it needs and wants its employees to live by, and whether its new values do that job.  Mark Zuckerberg, if you’re reading this, we’re happy to help. 

By Patrick Bapty

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