The Zuckerberg Files: A Discourse Analysis of Zuckerberg's Public Language

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Willoughby, Jenna
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Social networking sites like Facebook have a daily impact on nearly every person in society as they shape social interactions and identities. These SNS hold a lot of personal information, such as characteristics, interests, and relationships, so it is important to analyze their policies on information privacy. The Zuckerberg Files is all publicly available content from Mark Zuckerberg including articles, interviews, press events, earnings calls, letters to shareholders and Facebook posts. Transcripts were uploaded to the qualitative data analysis software called Nvivo and then coded for questions and quotations by Zuckerberg. The questions were then further coded for advertising, AI, financial, future of Facebook,, privacy, virtual reality, and so on. Using Nvivo, we queried the data to see where particular content reoccurs and find exact matches of the content or find stemmed words, synonyms and generalizations. The software also allows us to find the most frequent words in the transcripts and for Zuckerberg the most frequent words are "people", "think", "Facebook", and "know". In this project we are concerned with privacy, so I can easily go to the "privacy" node and see every source of data that is talking about privacy. I can easily locate the quote from Zuckerberg, "I think the right thing is to make it so that certain information, by default, is always private" (Heussner, 2010). Although Mark Zuckerberg himself does enact online privacy policies, Facebook is undeniably a major influence in SNS and sets the precedence for future privacy policies.