Students visited Facebook and WhatsApp on the fourth day of the Digital Safari trip. Adam Parsell and Blake Rex, our two McIntire alumni, were the hosts for the beautiful Facebook campus tour. While students raised a series of difficult questions about Facebook’s business ethics, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, and data protection, Adam and Blake were able to offer their insightful comments to bridge Facebook’s vision and the firm’s work-in-progress seamlessly. It was clear that Adam and Blake’s strong business acumen and rich experience enabled them to guide the students to think critically, more importantly, they allowed students to contribute to the conversation in a constructive way. In short, the hosts gave an in-depth introduction of the new company-wide policy. They listed two revolve themes for imagining a secure platform to regain trust from Facebook’s customers and the press. First, Facebook users will be able to interact privately and encrypt messages. Second, Facebook will seek to integrate WhatsApp, Instagram, and Messenger and create an inter-platform communication for its users.
After students gained a better understanding of Facebook’s line of business, culture, and work atmosphere, they re-explored the campus and indulged in international delicate for lunch. Interestingly, Facebook announced the leaving of its Chief Product Officer after the decision to integrate its apps more tightly and use more encryption during students’ lunch time. Is Facebook’s new outlined strategy a prudent decision? Let’s allow the market to decide.
By Kenneth Lin