The end of the social network

Facebook may be turning 20 on February 4th, but it is just as much of a magnet for controversy and cash today as when it was a brash, break-everything teenager. On January 31st Mark Zuckerberg, the social network’s founder, was harangued by American senators over the spread of harmful material. The next day he announced another set of glittering results for Meta, Facebook’s parent company, which is now valued at $1.2trn. Yet even as social media reliably draw vast amounts of attention from addicts and critics alike, they are undergoing a profound but little-noticed transformation.

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