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Inside Facebook Decisions on Subscriptions, Content Policing

What could Facebook have done to avoid the string of blunders that have bedeviled it for the past two years—from privacy scandals to the infestation of disinformation on its service?   

Had the company’s leadership made different decisions at key moments throughout its 15-year history, Facebook might be in a far better spot now, its critics have argued. This story is a closer examination of two such moments: the company’s rejection of the idea of doing a subscription version of Facebook and its decision to minimize the number of people policing content on the social network.

Both decisions continue to be a common topic of discussion. Facebook Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg and Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg are routinely quizzed about whether they would consider offering a paid, subscription version of Facebook without advertising. Neither has shown much interest in doing so, believing that keeping the service free allows more people to enjoy the benefits of the service, regardless of how much money they have.  

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