Facebook’s total focus on privacy could crowd out more important issues

F8 is a conference where Facebook executives talk about the future — and at Facebook, the future is flexible. In 2015, the future was video. The next year, the future was bots. The year after that, the future was augmented reality — and also a project to let you hear with your skin. All of those technologies eventually found their way into Facebook’s products, in some form — well, all except the skin hearing thing. But none really shifted the company away from its core product: an infinitely scrolling feed of updates interrupted with highly targeted advertising.

This year, the company sought to break with that tradition. Nearly every speaker at today’s F8 keynote, starting with Mark Zuckerberg, repeated a version of the phrase “the...

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