Armstrong Economics Blog/BigTech Re-Posted May 7, 2021 by Martin Armstrong
There is a massive campaign unfolding against Facebook. The biggest and most stupid mistake they made was to take sides in politics by banning and canceling anyone with who they disagree. Besides all of that, Facebook has invaded people’s privacy like no other platform. They track everything you do and sell that info to the highest bidder. The number of active users of Facebook (those people who have logged onto the site in the previous month) has reached a historic high of 2.45 billion. To put this in some context, approximately 32% of the global population now uses the social media platform, and the trend line of participation is still going up. About 63% of American adults are on Facebook and 65% of the youth.
Back in 2004, when a 19-year-old Zuckerberg had just started building Facebook, he sent his Harvard friends a series of instant messages in which he marveled at the fact that 4,000 people had volunteered their personal information to his nascent social network. “People just submitted it … I don’t know why … They ‘trust me’ … dumb fucks.”
In 2019, Facebook was ordered to create new layers of oversight for its collection and handling of users’ data by the Federal Trade Commission. The FTC detailed a privacy settlement with the social network. Still, the FTC buckled to the lobbying power of Facebook. The F.T.C.’s commissioners approved the restrictions in a 3-to-2 vote but drew very sharp criticism for not going far enough. The FTC utterly failed to curb the data collection of the world’s largest social media company. Republican and Democratic lawmakers even said that the settlement was a drop in the bucket for Facebook, The FTC failed to limit a core practice that has repeatedly raised privacy questions, and since they have ventured into manipulating elections precisely as the Russians were accused of back in 2016. The people simply being victims of this cancel culture is growing exponentially.
So just how stupid are people? It seems to be very stupid. Back in 2018, the Observer revealed how Cambridge Analytica, a company funded by conservative billionaire Robert Mercer, acquired and exploited the data associated with 50 million Facebook profiles. It appears that while Facebook had been aware of what the Observer described as “unprecedented data harvesting” for two years, it did not notify the affected users.