Politics

Facebook Skates, Again

The social media giant is politically untouchable.

Image Credit: Shutterstock

Facebook is a fact of life. I use it and you may too. You could be reading this on Facebook. It’s also a monopoly, a ravenous beast that has stalked and consumed prey without a hiccup. It lies, cheats, suppresses, and gets away with it.

It has figured out how to survive and prosper. It gives the product away for free and that product is public exposure, the one thing politicians crave above all else. So they make big noises and then do nothing about it, afraid the beast will turn on them and destroy their careers. Michael Goodwin of the New York Post has some good analysis on Facebook and why it skates.

Goodwin: The news that the Facebook whistleblower would tell her story to Congress electrified Washington and the tech giant’s critics. Senators from both parties were salivating and whistleblower Frances Haugen didn’t disappoint, with an incisive condemnation of how her former employer knowingly enticed children and young teens in an insatiable dash for cash.

“There is no accountability” for Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s founder and CEO, said Haugen, who believes the company repeatedly lied about the content of its internal research.

Do you support individual military members being able to opt out of getting the COVID vaccine?

By completing the poll, you agree to receive emails from LifeZette, occasional offers from our partners and that you've read and agree to our privacy policy and legal statement.

She released documents showing Facebook hid Instagram’s negative effects on teens’ mental health and revealed how it exempts popular users from rules, failed to block drug cartels and human traffickers from its platforms and said America’s national security was jeopardized.

“The documents I have provided to Congress prove that Facebook has repeatedly misled the public,” Haugen said. “I came forward at great personal risk because I believe we still have time to act.” She was a compelling witness, and having told her story first to The Wall Street Journal and then “60 Minutes,” Haugen was able to shape her testimony into a simple morality play about good and evil rather than present confusing data and jargon about algorithms. It made for captivating television, and the bipartisan amen chorus in Congress would lead any mildly informed observer to believe that Congress is about to drop the hammer.

All the years of huffing and puffing about Big Tech’s abuses, then doing nothing, would come to an end because Haugen had delivered the goods. Finally, the company had gone too far and Congress would punish it. Or maybe not. Because even as she was laying bare some of the dirty secrets, investors weighed in with their own verdict by buying Facebook stock and driving up the price. Whatever Congress is going to do, if anything, Wall Street apparently doesn’t think it will have much of an impact on profits, which hit a staggering $30 billion last year…

The result is that, despite Haugen’s bold move to pull back the curtains, there is no universal confidence that Congress will take big action. It is more likely the headline risk of her claims will soon fade, just as it has after many previous accusations.

David Kamioner
meet the author

David Kamioner is a veteran of U.S. Army Intelligence and an honors graduate of the University of Maryland's European Division. He also served with the Pershing Nuclear Brigade and the First Infantry Division. Subsequent to that he worked for two decades as a political consultant, was part of the American Red Cross Hurricane Katrina disaster relief effort in Louisiana, ran a homeless shelter for veterans in Philadelphia, and taught as a college instructor. He serves as a Contributing Editor for LifeZette.

Join the Discussion

COMMENTS POLICY: We have no tolerance for messages of violence, racism, vulgarity, obscenity or other such discourteous behavior. Thank you for contributing to a respectful and useful online dialogue.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
3 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
sam jones
sam jones
10 months ago

Government is not the solution to the problem, Government is the problem. Remember this when decrying Facebook’s monopoly.

Jay Dee
Jay Dee
10 months ago

So quit using Facebook. I only use it to post cat pictures and send birthday greetings. Facebook is no longer suitable for serious adult conversations. These occur elsewhere.

David M Foster Jr
David M Foster Jr
10 months ago

Fakebook must be split apart. That is the only possible way to control such a monstrous company which can do so much harm.