Facebook Fables

Milwaukee       It has finally come to the point where it is impossible to believe anything that Facebook says.  Yes, I know the goalpost keeps moving, but this is ridiculous!

Take today for example.

An analysis in the New York Times compared the number of fake accounts that Facebook claims to have closed in the last 12-months is over 2 billion accounts at the clip of 7 million per day. The Times was doing simple addition from the regular transparency reports that Facebook has been posting recently as their credibility crashed faster than a website.  They also claim that they have a couple of billion “active” users.  Something is wrong with the math here, brothers and sisters.

They also reported that Facebook was telling its investors that there was no appreciable difference in the number of fake accounts that it was deep sixing.  How could that jibe with the reports of having closed billions of accounts?  They also claimed that they can catch these fakers within seconds of their establishing a new account, but on the other hand they want to not move too fast, they claim, because it might be a real person.  See what I mean about fables?  You can’t talk out of both sides of your mouth and have any credibility.

A former classmate of Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, is also reportedly monitoring them closely.  He might have a bit of a chip on his shoulder since he was behind an early iteration of the Face, before Zuckerberg took it all and ran.  Regardless, he argues that the number of duplicate accounts may be at the same level as fake accounts, casting even more shade over Facebook’s claims of billions of active users.  Yes, the rules say no double-dipping of accounts, but who among us doesn’t know folks with more than one account?  He may be wrong on his speculation about the scale of the problem, but he’s definitely right that there’s a lot of dupes out there.

Meanwhile, Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s #2 honcho, was claiming at the same time to investors that despite all of their troubles, they were making goo-gobs of money still.  She also claimed that they could make significant investments in security, and it would not curtail profits. If so, why haven’t they done so before this?   Is this another Facebook fable?

Zuckerberg also recently claimed that Facebook users really and truly wanted ads on their Facebook pages.  Researchers writing in the op-ed section of the Times also called that balderdash, and you know in your heart that they are right.  There’s no one anywhere who is just dying to see an ad anywhere, including on Facebook.  Let’s list this as another big Facebook whooper!

Who can believe anything that any of these Facebook folks say anymore?  Come forward and identify yourself if you do.  There’s a bridge in Brooklyn for sale that’s just waiting for your name on it.

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Please enjoy Vicky Emerson’s The Reckoning. Thanks to KABF.

And Fine Mess by Interpol

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Facebook Playing Duck-and-Cover, Distraction, and Delay

AP Photo/Martin Meissner

Nashville     Quit Facebook?  How can we?  There are countries ACORN works where Facebook and the internet are synonymous.  We have learned how to use Facebook as an organizing tool in England in recruiting members to the ACORN Tenant Union.  We use it as a communications tool in many of our organizing drives and campaigns.  Facebook is a substitute website for many of our efforts.  We use its calling service between some of our offices because it is better than Skype.  In places like Honduras and many countries in Europe, WhatsApp is as important, and often more useful, than knowing someone’s mobile phone number.  My own family shares information on a separate WhatsApp group for just the four of us.

So, just because we can’t quit, doesn’t mean we like Facebook.  On, no, don’t make that mistake.

Of course, there’s the privacy thing, but we’re fighting guided missiles with toothpicks whether it’s Facebook, Google, Amazon, or the rest of the tech terrors. Unless you’re whispering, forget about it.

Facebook is increasingly standing at the front of the line as the face of the evil empire.  The steady dripping and dropping of bad news about the company and their foot dragging and lame ass excuses for their irresponsible and dissembling conduct is even causing their stock price to drop which may get their attention because it seems to be about the only thing that CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg and his number 2 partner Sheryl Sandberg really care about in addition to the profit-and-loss statement.

Now with new revelations in a deeply reported story in the New York Times, about the internal machinations of the company and its efforts to avoid scrutiny, evade responsibility, deflect and harm competitors, and resist regulation, our distrust of the company and its leadership is on steroids.  They hired a Republican, rightwing opposition research company to try to hurt their competitors when they were under attack.  They tried to claim that protestors angry at Facebook’s antics and mismanagement were being paid by George Soros.  They leveraged contributions to defamation groups to claim that protest actions singling out Zuckerberg and Sandberg were anti-Semitic because of their religion rather than their irresponsibility.  They cashiered their security chief for investigating the Russian exploitation of their platform and telling board members the truth about the inadequacy of their effort to stop it.  Sandberg, as supervisor of their political efforts, hired Republican lobbyists and tried to manipulate key Senators and Congressman on both sides of the aisle by shifting positions on certain bills, hiring their staff, and direct contributions and threats.  New York Senator Chuck Schumer was compromised and enlisted in this effort with a child working for Facebook.  Perhaps worse, according to company insiders, Sandberg and Zuckerberg were so concerned about their “brands,” their legacy, and their own personal interests, projects, and ambitions, that they let their self-interest trump the public interest of all of their users.  This is not just mismanagement this is plain and simple terrible and unaccountable leadership.

Need I say, that’s not all.

The long call for grownups in the room is a misdirection pass.  With 2.2 billion users, Facebook is a global force.

For all of our sakes here and around the world, we need to get a grip and regulate this company so that it does no more harm.  We need to see management change and rules put in place, and we need to see it done now.

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