Another day – another Facebook™ (FB) scandal.
It seems those that were naive to take Mark Zuckerberg at his word when he defended his company and practices before congress a month or so back are suddenly shocked (shocked!) to have it revealed that maybe he wasn’t being so forthcoming, or truthful during his responses to questioning. That is – if he even answered at all.
In pure politician style his lips may have been moving, but just like the old joke portends – that doesn’t mean something remotely truthful is being said. Usually, quite the contrary.
Yet, all jokes aside, there’s one thing politicians don’t laugh at – it’s the idea of being politician’d from someone who is not. And Mark has been doing that as of late, in spades.
I have written about this far too many times over the years to list. Every time FB suddenly found itself in the middle of some brouhaha where it stepped on someone toes, or slighted some group, it would orchestrate some form of apology outreach with the laughably scripted and stylized excuse I coined the, “Gee, golly-whiz…”
That is: only if that group was considered large or vocal enough to warrant a response in the first place. Everyone else? Screw you – welcome to FB.
The warning signs that something was terribly wrong (as well as possibly unlawful) have been emerging over the last few years at a dizzying pace. The first high-profile (which I believe is still pending) was launched in 2016 by Steven Crowder of “Louder with Crowder” where he alleges that FB was censoring or suppressing his material because of his political bias.
However, those that just focused on the “political bias” issue, I believed, were missing the greater point and expressed it. Here’s what I said about it in May of 2016. To wit:
“As I see things, Crowder used Facebook for business purposes. He also paid (as in actual monetary payments) to Facebook for the sole purpose to help grow or maintain his brand. He paid (that word “paid” is where everything changes and hinges) Facebook for that help. If Facebook was taking his money while simultaneously suppressing either his content or, the viewership that was implied he would reach? All while he was being told (or sold) something different? There’s a term for that and it’s called: a criminal offense.”
The reason why I pointed this one out, in-particular was it seemed to be the beginning for setting a precedent as to exactly what FB could be facing in the near future (as in lawsuits and more) because from a standpoint of law – not opinion – FB’s entire advertising model, as well as records, were at risk of being brought into the courts for examination.
Remember: FB, as a business, more than likely has the lawful and unassailable right to publish, or not publish, anything posted on its platform, which I wholeheartedly endorse.
What they do not have a right to, and should be held accountable both civilly, as well as criminally: is sell (as in collect actually money) a product described as one thing – then behind the scenes, knowingly and purposefully deliver something different.
That’s called deception, and there are laws on the books for precisely that. And the Crowder suit has all the appearance of exposing just that, which is why I am of the opinion, Zuck-and-Crew suddenly made an abrupt shift and publicly began addressing this issue quite publicly thereafter and since.
Hint: Remember the “sit down” with conservative publishers that happened in near unison or slightly after?
This “meaningful meeting” as was described across most media outlets via my opinion and acumen was pure theatre, only for FB to have the ability to argue, should they need to, in some kind of future court proceeding: “Look, we tried to get to the bottom of issues, we even asked directly for their insights as to help us blah, blah, blah.” And said so. Again from the same article:
“This (in my opinion) is a “look over here” part of both misdirection, as well as to help build any evidence for defense that may be needed if the real “conservative” nightmare plays out in a way of charges which Facebook itself thought (or acted as if) it was immune to. i.e., Accusations of underhanded business practices which effected businesses unfairly, as well as adversely, that may need to be both defended against in court. And/or monetary damages to plaintiffs are possibly awarded.
The more I looked at who was invited, where, and the format – the more I saw PR text-book damage control (which is really useless when administered in such fashion) and more “discovery” and “narrative setting” for Facebook if or when needed in the future.”
What has happened since? Hint – more charges and evidence that FB has been doing even more of the same. And – a lot of other things that are much, much worse.
The problem with the “worse” part? It’s now the politicians (U.S. as well as Europe) weighing into the quagmire of arguments with both a bullseye on FB’s business model, as well as – its wallet. And Mark is looking more like an ill-prepared, glitch filled robot, being readied for a dismantling than the touted “well prepared” business executive being touted. i.e,, Not only is old schtick not cutting it? His responses, posture, eye contact, cadence, and more looks completely ridiculous if not child like.
If you think this is over-the-top type criticism? Fair point, so as evidence to this I would ask you to watch Mark in his latest political theater appearance before the EU Parliament last month. You can find links to the entire meeting, but here’s one link consisting of highlights that describes exactly what I’m arguing. Just fast-forward to about the 8 minute mark thereabout and what you’ll see are two stunning revelations.
First: One of the panelists is incensed about Mark’s answers of no meaning. The frustration appears unified across the panel.
But that’s not the most informative part via my eye.
At about the 9-minute-mark, Mark demonstrates exactly how out-of-place, ill-prepared, and robotic he truly is. So much so anyone with a modicum of business acumen will understand just how eye-opening this revelation is. i.e., He’s far too programmed and that’s all there is. There’s no real there, there.
As I’ve professed many times prior – Mark (as well as many in “The Valley”) all seem to have been schooled by the same speech writers, coaches, and lawyers. (Think Susan Holmes of Theranos™ infamy)
The canned: acknowledge, repeat, thanks for the question, then respond with meaningless drivel is so formulaic, it’s laughable.
You’ll see this type of “coaching” at work as he addresses the room: his head and eyes sweep across the room from side to side in a vacant manner. That’s a “coached” mannerism that is supposed to be used or taken as a guide to help facilitate the idea of inclusion into your audience. But when it’s used and employed as Mark has clearly been “schooled” to do? It shows there’s no there, there. Only programming.
Where this really shows just how programmed he is, and why it demonstrates (all my opinion) FB need at-all-costs to stay on message and not say anything that could be used against them, takes place at the end.
At the end of this meeting Mark is seen clearly following the programming – but then the programming shows just how consuming it’s being deployed when he follows the usual “look at the person speaking at, or too you, directly,” as he does.
But then, as others are speaking too him – he never turns his head and keeps it pointing directly at the facilitator to his right as his eyes can clearly be seen shifting too-and-fro as people are directing questions at him. I can only sum it up as what one gets when the cross a “deer in the headlights” with a “déjà vu moment” in the Matrix. It’s that bizarre.
Yet, it shows by far the most concrete example of just how programmed and choreographed every detail has been met and scripted out for Mark. For if a situation arose (which it clearly did) that would put Mark in a situation where he might not have the answers, or may compromise any further statements? The programming appears to have instructed him to: Run out the clock. Don’t respond, don’t do or say anything further.
And that’s precisely what he did, to the letter.
Only problem now is in following that “program” made him look and appear “programmed.” Literally. Therefore, not truthful in his responses. Not only that, his frozen-in-place moment appeared to not only made him look childlike, but from my acumen showed just how scared (and possibly at risk) the entire FB bottom-line and model probably is. For when you go to that length of preparedness? You give more reasons to question, rather than reasons for accepting.
Again: when the CEO of one of the most prominent, as well as prosperous companies, with enormous reach and influence, has been schooled and trained to the point of not being able, or possibly allowed, to interact unless robotically scripted? You know there’s real trouble on the horizon. As in real money and regulation.
But don’t worry about Mark, I’m sure he’ll probably have sold out by then.
© 2018 Mark St.Cyr