In 2012, Zuckerberg hosted "World Hack Moscow" and gave prizes for figuring out how to mine Facebook friends' data

Mark Zuckerberg himself hosted World Hack Moscow, a hackathon in October 2012, handing the mic to Facebook product manager to Simon Cross, who walked the developers through the process of using Facebook's API to gather data on a users' friends, showing them how to get "a ton of information" on the entire friend graph of a Facebook user who gave simple permissions to their apps.

As Slashdot reader Theodp points out, Cross was the Facebook spokesexec who, three years later, was shoved out in front of the press to explain why giving developers this kind of access was a bad idea and to try to calm down furious developers who'd come to rely on the API for their apps.

In a 2012 video, Facebook's Simon Cross shows the Moscow crowd how they can "get a ton of other information" on Facebook users and their friends. "We now have an access token, so now let's make the same request again and see what happens," Cross explains (YouTube). "We've got a little bit more data, but now we can start doing really interesting stuff. We can get my friends. We can get some more information about one of my friends. Here's Connor, who you'll meet later. Say 'hello,' Connor. He's waving. And we can also get a ton of other information as well."

Cross, ironically, was the spokesperson Facebook later tapped in 2015 to explain to the press why giving friends' data to apps was a horrible idea that had to be curtailed lest Facebook lose its users' trust. Cross told reporters that Mark Zuckerberg said one of Facebook's new slogans was 'People First', because "if people don't feel comfortable using Facebook and specifically logging in Facebook and using Facebook in apps, we don't have a platform, we don't have developers."

Mark Zuckerberg and the 2012 Facebook Moscow Hack 50 [Theodp/Slashdot]