Facebook, Redux

“$34B Ameros for spreading lies…”

Faceberg COO Sheryl Sandberg had an exclusive interview with Axios. She told Mike ‘Payola’ Allen that Facebook will help investigators looking into Russian election tampering on their network, but they are not changing their business model. You—the user of Facebook—are the product, and you will remain the product that they sell to their customers, the advertisers. Faceberg brings in $34 billion dollars in revenue annually, most of which comes from advertising

Some details:

  • Sandberg held firm to the company’s longstanding hard line on free speech, saying the company would not remove the Russian-linked ads if they were posted by “legitimate people” and not fake accounts. “The thing about free expression is that when you you allow free expression, you allow free expression.”
  • Facebook, she said, would have run an ad purchased by Rep. Marsha Blackburn that was blocked on Twitter because of anti-abortion language the platform called inflammatory. “When you cut off speech for one person, you cut off speech for other people.”
  • Asked about whether the Trump campaign’s ad targeting overlapped with the targeting used by Russian pages, Sandberg dodged the question multiple times. Instead she offered a defense of the sprawling targeted ad operation that has made Facebook billions.

It’s a very compelling argument to defend free speech so absolutely. I’ve been thinking a lot about that this morning, and while I agree, I also think that a platform with the reach that Facebook enjoys has a responsibility. Our failed media doesn’t have the reach of Facebook and has much more regulatory scrutiny. Sandberg’s argument is like a gun manufacturer claiming that they had no idea a gun could be used to kill people.

They can control ads to the point that they can target left-handed, blue-eyed people who live on the north side of a street. I think that the brilliant engineers of Faceberg can determine who bought the ads and make the ads clear that ads are ads.

Faceberg probably cannot stop the Rage Uncles from intentionally spreading lies and hoaxes, but when discovered, FB can delete those posts, put those authors on probation, or kick them off. Journalists can get canned for making up stories, FB can too.

It’s ridiculous that they don’t take any action.

This entry was posted in Facebook or Faceberg, Social Media, The Death of the Social Media. Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Facebook, Redux

  1. JTO says:

    I think you have nailed it in the last line – they could, if they wanted to.
    That they don’t, means they don’t want to.
    There’s gold in them thar rage uncles’ posts and our frantic denunciations.

    Yours in solidarity from the Arctic Socialist Hellscape of Waffles and Brown Cheese.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. If you know how Facebook works, and you insist on clicking on the click-bait, you’re on your own. Problem? Some people might be too stupid to use the Internet. Used to be everything to the right of your text pile was click-bait. Now ads are sneaked into “stories” that unwitting “customers” may decide to check out. Back in the day, say Windows 95 or so, the Internet was already hazardous for incompetent users; now it’s moreso. I know, I’m an old, so my opinion is just yapping to the young ones. Fuck em.

    Liked by 1 person

    • tengrain says:

      I deleted my FB account years and years ago after my stalker showed up at work. FB did less than nothing to help me and did everything to help the stalker.

      What I’m trying to say is that I have no idea what it looks like now. Back then the phishing was incredible, and yeah, the ads were in the right column. You could train yourself to never look there, which I suppose led them to embed the ads in the text.

      Rgds,

      TG

      Like

  3. Facebook doesn’t care who runs the US as long as they get to keep their money. They made the strategic decision that Putin Trump was better for their interests than Clinton.

    A weakened, failing US doesn’t bother them.

    They’re the Silicon Valley Masters of The Universe, the rules don’t apply to them, so when the world is a dystopic fascist corporate dictatorship, they think they’ll be on top.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sirius Lunacy says:

    Advertiser: We need to get an ad out to only people who have a mole on their left ass cheek.
    Facebook: Sure, no problem. We have a list of those people right here.

    Government investigator: We need to know which advertisements were placed by Russian operatives.
    Facebook: There’s just no way for us to determine that, sorry.

    Like

  5. Big Bad Bald Bastard says:

    They may claim to be socially liberal, but the execs are looking forward to their Trump tax cuts. Hey, that’s more money they can give to bogus charities, like charter schools.

    Like

    • tengrain says:

      B-4: the plutocrats of Silicon Valley are not liberals and (mostly) never have been. At best they are Libertarians (first time “best” and “libertarian” have been in the same sentence, methinks). The rank-and-file of Silicon Valley maybe are center-left, but it is no bastion of leftists. I lived there for decades, and trust me, nothing sends them to the ballot box faster than trying to kill any kind of socialism.

      Rgds,

      TG

      Like

  6. AuroraS says:

    It’s funny how they get all BUT MUH FREE SPEECH when it lines their pockets. Facebook is not the government, they’re a private company that can choose to deny service to anyone for any reason, provided that reason is not due to being a member of a protected class. They need to cut the fundamental misunderstanding of the 1st Amendment bullshit. They can cut the mic of whoever they want, but they don’t, because it’s more profitable this way.

    We’re not getting any sort of regulation out of this Congress. I’m still screaming about the Fairness Doctrine not being a thing anymore…

    Like

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