March 26, 2018

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg took out full page ads in major Sunday newspapers (I’ll let the irony of that sink in for a while…Okay, ready to continue?) to apologize over the recent scandal involving unauthorized data gathering. The ad read, “We have a responsibility to protect your information. If we can’t, we don’t deserve it.”

Almost as hard to believe as the apology (and the fact that it ran in dead-tree newspapers) is the idea that anyone was really shocked by the idea of their personal information being mined for marketing and advertising uses by social media sites. It has to be because this particular company did business with the Trump campaign, since Facebook hardly made it a secret that they were giddy to use their databases to help Obama and Hillary.

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The entire business model of social media sites is that they give people a “free” platform to talk about themselves, and the site makes money selling their information and attention to marketers. Sure, it stinks that the specific privacy violation wasn’t spelled out in the terms of service agreement, but how many people actually read it - or for that matter, read any TOS agreement - before clicking “Accept”?

If Facebook, Twitter, Google (owner of YouTube) and other tech giants really want to convince me that they are ready to be responsible, then make terms of service agreements shorter and clearer, and start highlighting the most important aspects, such as loss of privacy, right up front. Also, how about respecting free speech instead of promoting liberal speech and censoring and demonetizing conservative speech? Stop using biased leftwing sources such as the Southern Poverty Law Center to smear people and organizations as racist or “fake news” and barring them from the Internet.

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Zuckerberg has already opened himself up to the possibility of government regulation. Is it going to take some Teddy Roosevelt-level trustbusting to restore trust in the tech giants that they aren’t micromanaging the free flow of information for their own partisan political ends?

I guess we’ll find out. If they censor this post, I’ll let you know via an ad in the Penny Saver or by carrier pigeon.


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Comments 1-11 of 11

  • Georgina Molnar

    04/10/2018 03:43 PM

    I thought for some time that something was fishy when all of a sudden instead of friends on Facebook I was getting so many advertisements on my page.
    Sure enough what used to be Friends only and family turned out to be PUBLIC,( so who changed that???) wasn't me. I was so upset when I saw that I stopped right away being on Facebook. That explained why I wasn't seeing friends any more but all of this junk. all of this political stuff.
    I was wondering what happened to all of my friends & Family I wasn't seeing them post things any more.
    Also I never gave my cell phone number on there and that also explains why I was getting all of these cell phone calls with NO names.
    The only phone calls that I got were from family or my friend.
    So that explains why some days it was Hillery and other days it was Trump all over my Facebook page.
    So that is how he has gotten so RICH. I hope that they throw the book at him.
    Georgina Molnar

  • jack macdonald

    03/31/2018 10:09 AM

    Zuckerberg has done more harm to our election process than the Russians could. He is a communist weasel who has the power to interfere with election outcomes. What he has done should be punished under the Sedition act. He should be fined a billion or two of his ill gotten wealth and sent to jail. This money could be used to build the wall or fund Social Security and Medicare. That might send a message to others of the same ilk. What he attempted is also immoral in every way.

  • Charles M

    03/28/2018 04:05 PM

    That arrogant little twerp deserves his comeuppance in the markets where it hurts. Those of us with half a brain knew our personal info was being sold, and for the most part that is only annoying - we have all experienced that feeling you get when you search for a lamp to buy, for example, and for the next two weeks you get hit with lamp ads from vendors. What is totally unconscionable is knowing your info is being used against you in political campaigns by people of opposing views supplied by arrogant libtard creeps like Suckerberg and the rest in Silicon Valley or LA where there are no conservatives, only "causes". People are fools to utilize "social media" to bare their souls - it will come back to bite...unless, of course, your are a whacko mass murderer or ISIS soldier-in -waiting.

  • kath

    03/27/2018 03:14 PM

    Whoops. The foolish double negative slang was not funny or fitting. Corrected to
    i choose to be no april fool

  • kath

    03/27/2018 03:05 PM

    In agreement, Mr Huckabee & comments. As so much lately, reminds me of when I lost even more respect & trust of a past coworker laughing his comment of that he does what he wants & asks forgiveness later. God Bless America , His universe & y'all. Happy Passover & Happy Resurrection day, aint being no april fool

  • Jeanette beadle

    03/27/2018 02:31 PM

    I have had a couple conservative comments disappear from FB. AND I'M not a person they would care about.

  • Jay French

    03/27/2018 11:58 AM

    Rumors about that Zuckerman sold off a large number of FakeBook stock shares immediately prior to the revelation.
    Such would be Insider Trading & well worthy of an investigation by the SEC.
    Billionaire in jail ?

  • Gary L Koch

    03/27/2018 11:51 AM

    Another phony apology. Too many of these people do and say things which is fully intended and this is their true feeling or intention. Their apology is only rendered because of outcry from some source. If they didn't really mean to say or do something, why was it said or done? Phony apologies!

  • Georgina Molnar

    03/27/2018 11:37 AM

    Mike I have thought for years that we were being used for our information. I have been with Face Book for 9 years and decided to pull the plug on them before this information came out.
    I enjoyed keeping in touch with people that I haven't seen in years, but I have long noticed that all the people that I used to see on Face Book have disappeared and in their place advertisements have taken over. I decided I wasn't going to use it any more at the same time that this hit the news.
    I left it there but I will not be viewing it as I said Good Bye to my friends on there. I will not be viewing it but left it for the Messenger part so some of my family can message me who don't have Apple products.
    Keep up the good work Mike. I love these letters and LOVE your show. Been following you since you ran for President.

  • Phyllis Ann Thrasher

    03/27/2018 11:36 AM

    I wrote a very simple comment on FB last evening about the picture of David Hogg being so angry looking and that I thought he could use Anger Management class. Well within 10 seconds the comment was all in Red and a note popped up saying would not post! First time ever happening to me. And yes I voted for Mr Trump and will again if given the chance. Reckon any connection ?

  • Mike Smith

    03/27/2018 11:29 AM

    Don't forget that publishing articles such as these (or maybe more accurately, denial of wrongdoing) in a published dead-tree newspaper is an example of an apology and an attempt at forming the style of reconciliation that might be acceptable to a court that might decide to continue with the same pattern after losing a case brought against them. It's also a funds transfer to friends in the course of business.