Of course, it would have been impossible to predict the effects of the internet’s presence in our lives. But in calling for everyone to get on Facebook, I should have made a better stab at guessing what could go wrong if we all did. What would be the implications for privacy if we were all using Facebook on our phones — how much could this one service glean about you by being in your pocket all the time? How would Facebook’s ability to bring people together play out in the world — would it be a bigger boon to freedom fighters battling repressive governments, or would it, say, help aggrieved Americans attack their Capitol? What would the implications for speech and media be if this single company became a central clearinghouse in the global discourse?
These are difficult questions, some of them impossible to answer now, let alone then. But I should at least have thought to ask them.