Words of Advice:

"If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

"Flying the Airplane is More Important than Radioing Your Plight to a Person on the Ground
Who is Incapable of Understanding or Doing Anything About It." -- Unknown

“Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level
and then beat you with experience.” -- Mark Twain

"Colt .45s; putting bad guys underground since 1873." -- Unknown

"Stay Strapped or Get Clapped." -- probably not Mr. Rogers

"Let’s eat all of these people!” — Venom

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

I am Shocked, Shocked, to Learn That Facebook Puts Profits Ahead of People

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Tuesday finally addressed the series of claims made by whistleblower Frances Haugen, denying that the social media company prioritizes its profits over the safety of its users.

“At the heart of these accusations is this idea that we prioritize profit over safety and well-being,” Zuckerberg said in a post on his Facebook profile. “That’s just not true.

Well, it's pretty clear that The World's Richest Android has a lying module installed in his central processor. Putting profits ahead of people and public safety is what corporations do. Companies are amoral constructs, only slightly constrained by law and public opinion. The Wall Street Journal reported that Facebook has been whitelisting some accounts of celebrities and other VIPs to flaunt Facebook's rules on false, sexually suggestive, offensive or other prohibited content. Supposedly, what was supposed to happen was that their posts were allowed and flagged for review by higher-ups, but in practice, that didn't happen until there was a public blowout.

So they got away with saying stuff that, if you or I posted it, we'd end up in FB Jail.

When you think about how online services work, that just makes sense. It's all about the eyeballs, page views, clicks. The more people who look at things, the more they see the ads of FB's customers and the more money Zuckerberg takes home. If there is a controversial comment that gets people mad, or upset or responding and looking at other things, FB makes more money.

This current flap is about Zuckerberg and Facebook, but let's be real: Amoral, unethical and even criminal behavior is what companies will, by and large, always do if it makes them more money.

Let's list a few, shall we?
  • Ford choosing to defend lawsuits instead of fixing the "exploding Pinto" problem.
  • Purdue Pharma and the Sackler family aggressively working to flood the country with opiods.
  • Big Tobacco
  • Exxon and other oil companies having hard data forty years ago of the reality of climate change.
  • GM aggressively investing in and then scrapping mass transit systems in the 1940s.
  • GM choosing tetraethyl lead over ethanol for an octane booster (the public health dangers of leaded fuels were a known known.)
  • Every car company, except Volvo, fighting the installation of seat belts.
  • Paint companies making leaded paint for more than seventy years after the hazards of lead paint were known.
  • A.H Robins and the Dalkon Shield IUD,
  • Firestone's exploding tires.

If you spend a little bit of time looking into it, you'll find no shortage of company after company that knew that its products were defective, harmful or even deadly and did nothing about it until public pressure got too much or the legal issues were too great. A lot of people have forgotten that government regulation and inspection of many industries came about because those industries were deliberately selling ineffective or contaminated goods.

Companies have no core values other than making money. That Facebook operates that way should shock no sentient adult.

9 comments:

Tod Germanica said...

The difference between ordinary evil corporations and Facebook is the foreign subversion and treason aspect. The massive and effective Russian bot farms constantly flood Putin's lies into American homes with no possibility of being answered with the truth. The Zuckerberg and Putin treason and subversion parternership brings FB billions and advances Putin's dictatorship. This could not happen unless one US political party was foreign subverted. 'Better a Russian Than a Democrat'. Foreign subversion aided by US traitors is how our republic is destroyed. Remember that when you use Facebook you are aiding our domestic and foreign enemies.

w3ski said...

Looking back thru Google, the Firestine tires I knew to blow up were so long ago, I had to do a specific search for the Firestone 500 tires.
It seems to be an ongoing problem for them thru the years.
How sad.
w3ski

dinthebeast said...

The fact that the shutdown and bad publicity cost Zuckerberg six billion dollars and affected him not one whit is all the evidence one needs to support massive tax increases for the obscenely wealthy.

-Doug in Sugar Pine

Iron City said...

I would submit that the foreign subversion aspect is not particularly unique to Facebook. Oil companies are fine with paying whatever needs paid to countries or countries power players for the rights to pump petroleum. Ford was happy to deal with Nazis and Stalin's USSR. And lots of other companies did and do the same.

Comrade Misfit is bang on right with corporations being essentially amoral with the goal of making money. It is so much easier to view your company mission as that rather than getting all tangled up in considerations like public good, morality, and other "soft" things that are so hard to measure. Just show me the money.

And then when the public/governments get tangled up with corporations in things like public private partnerships to do water supply, roads, and trash collection they wonder why the corporations don't play nice for the public good.

Jones, Jon Jones said...

My 77 Z-28 came with Firestone 500's. You golden if you had a Pinto and 500's.

Stewart Dean said...

Until the C-suite does jail time instead of laughing while they pay even enormous fines as "the cost of doing business", Nothing. Will. Change.

Comrade Misfit said...

Stewart, exactly correct. They’ll throw some underlings to the wolves. Maybe pay him/her a lot of money to take the fall.

dan gerene said...

In the middle 50's Ford offered a seat belt and padded dash package but the buying public didn't want to pay for it. At that time many people erroneously thought it was better to be thrown clear of an accident. But it still boils down to the fact that profit comes first. Sometimes the government has to step in for the public good but the people that are in charge (congress) bend to the big corporations until the public outcry finally out weighs their loyalty to their donors (paymasters).

Eck! said...

The owner of a fighting rink get paid every time two opponents
step into the ring.

I see facebook and others like that. They have no opinion
(that's amoral!) but those that play are paying the ringmaster
with their clicks (browser data and the like). So if you play
your entry price is your data, and your also the mark.

They can also be played by those that claim to be in it for
themselves. In the end you have average Joe/jane and
companies/groups on FB as its the cheapest advertising bugle
in town. One person advertises if only an opinion and the
others are the marks and FB collects the vig from both the
seller and buyer no matter the "it" be it ideological or
a real product.

So blaming FB for their way is like ragging on the cow for
making your cereal soggy.

Your not only being screwed by FB, its the person next to you.
Just remember you wanted in and they of course let you in.



Eck!