Edward Dowling

Product Manager, powered by coffee.

Last week, Facebook announced safety notices for Messenger. Last year, I sketched out what it would look like if we warned people when they were talking to a possible scammer or child groomer. Together with my team’s designer, we refined and iterated it through multiple drafts. Last week, we got to tell the world about it. Already, it’s stopping 1 million potentially harmful conversations every week. I could not be more proud of the work I get to do each day, and the people I get to do it with.

The coverage has been balanced and positive, correctly calling out our efforts to keep people safe while also respecting their privacy. Our work has just begun, but I’m confident we’ll look back on this and be on the right side of history.

My dad yelling at a printer is the earliest memory of technology I have. It was also the first time I heard him drop the f-bomb. It was my mum's birthday and she was working late marking exam papers. My dad wanted to surprise her when she came home, with a long printed “Happy Birthday!” banner hanging in the living room. At the time we had a Compaq 386, connected to an Epson dot-matrix printer.

Try after try, paper jams and random errors thwarted our efforts. Time ticked on. Eventually, Dad threw a crumpled mass of paper on the floor, accompanied by an exasperated “FUCK”. I've never been good at biting my tongue, but somehow I instinctively knew to do it then.

We gave up, and hand-made a banner with marker pens instead. We greeted mum with hugs and presents, and never spoke of the failed printing attempt.

Moral of the story: I have a super computer on my wrist, but printing is still fucked. Some things will never change.