The Fundamental Dishonesty of Facebook

The product “Facebook” and its relative, Instagram are not free. They come with the cost of an intrusive violation of privacy and behavioral manipulation by algorithm.

Apple will soon be showing a pop-up in the Facebook app that it requires permission to track you across apps and websites and Facebook is not happy about it.

In a blog post today, “Speaking Up for Small Businesses,” Dan Levy, VP of Ads posted a video trotting out small business owners to defend Facebook’s use of advertising and a list bullet points about why Apple should not remind users that Facebook tracks you everywhere you go on the internet.

A point Facebook makes in their blog post is this:

“It will force businesses to turn to subscriptions and other in-app payments for revenue, meaning Apple will profit and many free services will have to start charging or exit the market.”

Speaking Up for Small Businesses” Facebook Newsroom 12/16/2020

This is fundamental dishonesty by Mark Zuckerberg and the executive team at Facebook.

The product “Facebook” and its relative, Instagram are not free. They come with the cost of an intrusive violation of privacy that is opaque or misunderstood by their users.

Facebook’s harm isn’t just selling access to you based on demographic and personal interests, it includes research Facebook does to trigger you into more engagement that will cause more ad viewing.

Facebook’s need to trigger engagement was a major factor in the rise of QAnon.

“Free” services are a falsehood. Businesses should charge so they do not fall into the trap of generating increasingly triggering content and user experiences that are neither healthy nor desired by “users.”

If your product is good enough, people will pay for a pro version. We know this from products like Spotify.

It is Facebook’s fault that it will not provide a pro version of its own product because the most valuable users will no longer be available to advertisers which will greatly undermine the profit it makes from tracking-based advertising.

More simply, the most valuable people don’t want to be tracked and they are more valuable to sell to advertisers than Facebook could charge for a subsription.

Facebook is mad that Apple is pointing in this direction when they continue to use the Facebook, Instagram or its other associated enterprises.

Despite its technical excellence and open source contributions, Facebook has a putrid business model that stains the entire company.

Both Facebook’s leadership and its shareholders deserve to lose for their continued support and enablement of this horrendous blight on the internet.

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