Facebook May Not Be Ready for Its Closeup

Mark Zuckerberg and his company aren't used to 'primetime scrutiny'
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 1, 2012 5:38 PM CST
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Is he ready for the 'harsh light of public company life?"   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – Facebook is finally on its way to becoming a public company, but are Mark Zuckerberg and crew prepared for what that truly means? Guardian columnist (and Newser founder) Michael Wolff has his doubts. "I don't think that Facebook, with its messianic ambitions and squirrelly zeal, is actually ready for the harsh light of public company life," he writes. "It has grown up in such a bubble of cultishness and doctrine, that primetime scrutiny could shortly become very uncomfortable." As a private company, Facebook has been able to stay largely "tightlipped" about everything from financing to privacy policies to its "data thirst." No more.

That change will make it harder to pull off the "ultimate Facebook sell"—the notion that Zuckerberg "has created a wholly-owned internet, which can not only monitor behavior but can encourage it, and regulate it, and dominate so much of it that Facebook inevitably becomes the platform for modern life." Now it must try to complete this $100 billion quest for "universal integration" in the public eye. "It's a speculative dream and breathtaking power grab, which, in the end, I don't think they'll get away with," writes Wolff. "Granted, so far they have." Read the full column here. (Read more Facebook stories.)

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