Facebook is fine when punishing others financially, but cries when others do it to them

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Facebook claims it's the champion of small businesses, but as soon as Apple's privacy changes affected Mark Zuckerberg's bottom line, it took it out on its small business partners.




Facebook may be this enormously successful corporation, but it's acting like a child whose allowance has been stopped. And like a child, it's blaming everyone else for issues it thinks are so unfair.

Specifically, it's so very unfair that Apple's App Tracking Transparency caused Facebook to take $10 billion off its forecast revenue. To ordinary people, that $10 billion is startling evidence that the personal information we so casually share is worth an enormous amount of money.

But to Facebook, we are not people. We are just providers of personal data and as a group, we've proved ourselves stupid enough to provide it by the bucketful.

Then whether Apple has genuinely created its privacy tools to help us, or it's a big marketing plot, Zuckerberg complains because it didn't ask Facebook's permission first.

Hence Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wanting to tell on Apple, to take Tim Cook to court. And then, Zuckerberg later petulantly saying no, it's fine, it's fine, we don't care, actually we're glad.




It's also going to make others feel the pain, though. Specifically US news publishers who, according to Axios, can forget getting paid by Facebook for news that the company scrapes to feed its devout users.

The words Facebook and paying don't often go together anyway. It's certainly not as if Facebook has been good for journalism.

Facebook signed various deals in 2019, agreeing to pay certain news publishers specific amounts for content that went on its News tab. But it changed its algorithm so that news got promoted less than updates from family and friends, and there's a decent chance you didn't even know there was a News tab.

Unsurprisingly, then, after three years of not promoting the News tab, Facebook can now say that people aren't using it.

"A lot has changed since we signed deals three years ago to test bringing additional news links to Facebook News in the US," a Facebook spokesperson told publication Axios. "Most people do not come to Facebook for news, and as a business it doesn't make sense to over-invest in areas that don't align with user preferences."

Only, it was Facebook's completely false reporting of user preferences, that led to the whole "pivot to video" movement from around 2016. Perhaps more than just the move from print to online, that pivot to video idea permanently destroyed so many news organizations.




Facebook's data proved people weren't reading news anymore, they were online to watch videos. So according to Vanity Fair, writers and editorial staff across the US were made redundant en masse, while video producers were hired.

But Facebook had exaggerated its figures by between 150% and 900%. Facebook denies this, but it later settled a lawsuit brought by advertisers over the issue.

Facebook paid out $40 million then, but some publishers who had pivoted to video simply could not move back and did not recover. While there are forces beyond Facebook that contributed to this, the University of North Carolina said that even before the coronavirus, 20 newspaper businesses were closing every month.

Pivot to VR

Now Facebook is pushing for VR and its grand plan to dominate the Metaverse, but it's going to make VR creators fund it. Adding together a "platform fee" and a commission on anything sold via its systems, the Facebook parent company plans to effectively charge developers 47.5%

This move was so egregious that for once Apple rose to the bait and commented publicly on that fee, and on Facebook's previously vocal criticisms about app store fees.

"Meta has repeatedly taken aim at Apple for charging developers a 30% commission for in-app purchases in the App Store -- and have used small businesses and creators as a scapegoat at every turn," said Apple Senior Director of Corporate Communications Fred Sainz.

"Now -- Meta seeks to charge those same creators significantly more than any other platform," continued Sainz. "[Meta's] announcement lays bare Meta's hypocrisy. It goes to show that while they seek to use Apple's platform for free, they happily take from the creators and small businesses that use their own."


Facebook champions small businesses in name only

Facebook has this childish willingness to cut off other people's money, yet whine when it's done back to it. But that doesn't mean its staff are not self-aware.

Someone in Facebook has realized that bleating like a child whose candy has been taken away is not going to get anyone on their side. And they've realized that claiming to be the champion defending small businesses is at least more likely to gain some traction.

Apple will never voluntarily budge on its privacy features, they are either too central to the company's very beliefs, or to the firm's marketing policies. But with issues like CSAM scanning, it has proved willing to back down or change course, at least temporarily, in the face of public opinion.

Nobody will stand up for Facebook, but surely most of us would for small businesses. Facebook's claim of being a champion for small businesses is risible, and it does not stand up to even a moment's examination.

But then it's newspapers that would surely be the first to examine this issue. They won't and they can't because Zuckerberg's actions either killed them directly, or weakened them so corporations could buy them en masse and consolidate newsrooms and production far away from the target market.

Facebook faces little push-back from actual small businesses like newspapers, because it's entire existence has been about destroying them.

Read on AppleInsider
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 21
    God I hate Facebook and Zuckerbag. Not really a big fan of Apple either. Neither are your friends but Apple is the devil you know. 
    JP234williamlondontmay
  • Reply 2 of 21
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 2,109member
    A very good analyses. I've completely pulled out of the FB/Meta empire, and won't be going back. History will show that the company is a cancer on the core of free democratic society, a pox on civil discourse, and toxic to all that the values we in the west have spent centuries trying to defend. 


    edited August 3 JP234Anilu_777scstrrfwilliamlondonTRAGlolliversconosciutotmayjony0watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 21
    JP234JP234 Posts: 80member
    To me, Facebook in 2025 will be equivalent to AOL in 2022. All but irrelevant to anyone under the age of 65. And rarely used even then. My 90 year old uncle and aunt have AOL email and Facebook accounts, and last time I visited, they had unread messages going back three years, and my aunt had forgotten they even had a Facebook page! I checked out 2 years ago, and don't miss the person it had molded me into.
    sconosciutoscstrrflolliverjony0watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 21
  • Reply 5 of 21
    JP234JP234 Posts: 80member
    Skeptical said:
    God I hate Facebook and Zuckerbag. Not really a big fan of Apple either. Neither are your friends but Apple is the devil you know. 
    Comparing a company that makes something (the best products and services in the world), with a company that derives 100% of its revenue from mining customers' data to sell to advertisers is a questionable conflation.
    DAalsethstompymike1radarthekatsconosciutoscstrrfwilliamlondonlollivertmaytdknox
  • Reply 6 of 21
    jcs2305jcs2305 Posts: 1,290member
    JP234 said:
    Skeptical said:
    God I hate Facebook and Zuckerbag. Not really a big fan of Apple either. Neither are your friends but Apple is the devil you know. 
    Comparing a company that makes something (the best products and services in the world), with a company that derives 100% of its revenue from mining customers' data to sell to advertisers is a questionable conflation.
    Two large companies that care nothing about you unless they are making money from you, as either the customer or the product? I think it's a perfectly reasonable comparison.

    We need to stop defending Apple as if they are our friends..they aren't. We enjoy their products and the service they offer as part of being a customer, additionally if you are a stock holder you enjoy the dividends as well B) .. that's it.

    JP234williamlondonTRAG
  • Reply 7 of 21
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 2,109member
    jcs2305 said:
    JP234 said:
    Skeptical said:
    God I hate Facebook and Zuckerbag. Not really a big fan of Apple either. Neither are your friends but Apple is the devil you know. 
    Comparing a company that makes something (the best products and services in the world), with a company that derives 100% of its revenue from mining customers' data to sell to advertisers is a questionable conflation.
    Two large companies that care nothing about you unless they are making money from you, as either the customer or the product? I think it's a perfectly reasonable comparison.

    We need to stop defending Apple as if they are our friends..they aren't. We enjoy their products and the service they offer as part of being a customer, additionally if you are a stock holder you enjoy the dividends as well B) .. that's it.

    Pause for a second. “Two large companies that care nothing about you unless they are making money from you” is the very definition of a corporation. If they didn’t they would be charities. It becomes a ‘water is wet’ statement and is essentially meaningless. Better to focus on HOW some companies make money from you. In this case Apple is making money by producing actual products that people like, while Meta is mining private personal data to sell. One is selling TO us and the other is selling US. 
    edited August 3 muthuk_vanalingamstompymike1bluefire1auxiodewmescstrrfwilliamlondonhlee1169lolliver
  • Reply 8 of 21
    JCS, I've worked with folks from FB... several times. Nice folks (except for one, looking at you Melissa), very talented, but goddamn it listen to me when I tell you this... THOSE PEOPLE WILL HORK UP EVERY BIT OF DATA ON YOU THAT THEY CAN. YOUR KIDS AS WELL.

    i was horrified when I found myself working on a project related to Messenger for Kids.

    DO. NOT. TRUST. META.

    How TF do you think they pay for all the servers and high-priced talent? A service that millions of ordinary folks use for free?

    I recently had cause to start a new FB page with an entirely different handle and entirely different circle of friends. Completely separate from my OG FB acct. It was very interesting to watch the interaction. For instance I found out very quickly who in that new group was doing a search on me; those people very quickly became suggested to me as new connections on my OG account. Watching how the ads and news feed changed in my new acct as I did this and that online was also very interesting.

    ANYBODY who purchases any hardware from Meta (Portal, whatever) is a bloody fool.
    edited August 3 scstrrfhlee1169stompylolliverjony0watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 21
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 3,509moderator
    jcs2305 said:
    JP234 said:
    Skeptical said:
    God I hate Facebook and Zuckerbag. Not really a big fan of Apple either. Neither are your friends but Apple is the devil you know. 
    Comparing a company that makes something (the best products and services in the world), with a company that derives 100% of its revenue from mining customers' data to sell to advertisers is a questionable conflation.
    Two large companies that care nothing about you unless they are making money from you, as either the customer or the product? I think it's a perfectly reasonable comparison.

    We need to stop defending Apple as if they are our friends..they aren't. We enjoy their products and the service they offer as part of being a customer, additionally if you are a stock holder you enjoy the dividends as well B) .. that's it.

    Apple’s gear is more compute efficient than the competition.  That means it uses less energy to accomplish the same tasks, and that reduces our dependence on fossil fuels.  Apple directly reduces its own dependence on fossil fuels through its internal use of solar and its push to make its suppliers more energy efficient. 

    Apple does similar work on reducing environmental damage from its operations and those of its suppliers.  

    Apple also produces a hardware/software stack that lives longer in our hands than the competition.  iPhones regularly are passed along two or three times after the initial user has decided to trade up, providing six or more years of useful life; significantly longer than much of its competition. 

    Apple stands up for social issues, funding and directing its technologies toward STEM education for underprivileged and underserved populations.  The company and its management donate to causes and ask their employees to do so as well.  

    I could go on…
    scstrrfwilliamlondonlollivertmayjony0watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 21
    jimh2jimh2 Posts: 425member
    JP234 said:
    To me, Facebook in 2025 will be equivalent to AOL in 2022. All but irrelevant to anyone under the age of 65. And rarely used even then. My 90 year old uncle and aunt have AOL email and Facebook accounts, and last time I visited, they had unread messages going back three years, and my aunt had forgotten they even had a Facebook page! I checked out 2 years ago, and don't miss the person it had molded me into.
    That is spot on. I have been telling everyone I know that the cool kids left long, long ago. I have never had an account as I don't want anyone to know what I am up to unless I see them in person or talk to them on the phone or via email or text. Publishing your life for others to see is a terrible idea all the way around. Unfortunately the young ones have migrated to an even lower IQ platform with Tik Tok and to a degree Instagram, which is the next old person platform.
    scstrrflolliversconosciutomuthuk_vanalingamjony0watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 21
    dewmedewme Posts: 4,303member
    DAalseth said:
    A very good analyses. I've completely pulled out of the FB/Meta empire, and won't be going back. History will show that the company is a cancer on the core of free democratic society, a pox on civil discourse, and toxic to all that the values we in the west have spent centuries trying to defend. 


    Facebook is is particularly adept at exploiting very well understood human weaknesses and frailties for their own financial gain. They are by no means alone in their exploitation of human vulnerabilities, so no matter what becomes of Facebook there will always be someone or something poised to take their place. 
    auxioDAalsethliketheskylolliversconosciutomuthuk_vanalingamjony0watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 21
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,355member
    Skeptical said:
    God I hate Facebook and Zuckerbag. Not really a big fan of Apple either. Neither are your friends but Apple is the devil you know. 
    Well, considering you think Apple is the devil and you're not a fan, curious why you've decided that trolling on a board dedicated to Apple products is something that is worth your time? 

    Also, not a single fucking person here believes Apple is their "friend". Enough with this absurd and childish straw man. People like Apple because their products work well for them, and they enjoy them and benefit from using them. But trolls like you have to keep banging on the "not your friend" line as if you're sharing some incredible revelation, or you have some deep wisdom to impart. You don't. Not in the slightest. You're going with the laziest possible form of "they're all bad!", which requires zero analysis or thought. 
    edited August 3 williamlondonstompylolliversconosciutojony0watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 21
    JP234JP234 Posts: 80member
    jc
    Two large companies that care nothing about you unless they are making money from you, as either the customer or the product? I think it's a perfectly reasonable comparison. 

    We need to stop defending Apple as if they are our friends..they aren't. We enjoy their products and the service they offer as part of being a customer, additionally if you are a stock holder you enjoy the dividends as well B) .. that's it.

    This is America, a capitalist society. You need to stop criticizing a publicly-held company for making a profit. Apple is not owned by some faceless entity, it is owned by me, my friends, my neighbors and countless legions of others. We agree with their decisions, and if we don't, we either sell our ownership stakes or vote against that with which we disagree. In return, Apple supplies us with the essential communications devices on which we all rely, and rewards us handsomely for our support.
    williamlondondewmejony0watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 21
    9secondkox29secondkox2 Posts: 1,327member
    Great article. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 21
    9secondkox29secondkox2 Posts: 1,327member
    Facebook values the monetary value of you, but not actual you. That’s why they censor/ban/label anything you say that they dont like while selling everyone you can’t say anything about. 
    sconosciutowatto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 21
    chadbagchadbag Posts: 1,689member
    I, for one, am glad of FB new obsession with VR.  They're going to waste a huge amount of money creating a sysyem that most people won't have an interest in most of the time.   People are nit waiting for a "metaverse.". We're it all 30 year olds living in our parent's basement.    There are great vertical applications (meaning specific industry solutions for specific problems) for which VR is ideal and useful.  But those are specific solutions for specific segments.   They are not the "cash cow" of general consumer data slurping they have now.  

    I have a FB account.   I rarely make posts on my own "wall" or whatever it is called now.   Every once in a while.  I do occasionally comment on articles or other people's posts.  And I am subscribed to a whole lot of special interest / hobby groups.  Where people share specific hobby related technical info or ask questions.  That, the hobby and special interest groups, and just having a link to people from my past and present that I've found and "friended" on FB are the main benefits. 

    I have a rule of never clicking on an ad or sponsored link.  If the ad looks interesting I look them up outside of FB to inform myself and/or make a purchase.   

    Same with all the social media.  I almost never post anything personal.    I make comments on others and passively "consume" other folks' posts.  The one exception is i hav a hobby / "business" based account on Twitter and Instagram and FB by association where I post pictures of (my) model trains. 
    dewmeDAalsethwatto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 21
    dewmedewme Posts: 4,303member
    chadbag said:
    I, for one, am glad of FB new obsession with VR.  They're going to waste a huge amount of money creating a sysyem that most people won't have an interest in most of the time.   People are nit waiting for a "metaverse.". We're it all 30 year olds living in our parent's basement.    There are great vertical applications (meaning specific industry solutions for specific problems) for which VR is ideal and useful.  But those are specific solutions for specific segments.   They are not the "cash cow" of general consumer data slurping they have now.  

    I have a FB account.   I rarely make posts on my own "wall" or whatever it is called now.   Every once in a while.  I do occasionally comment on articles or other people's posts.  And I am subscribed to a whole lot of special interest / hobby groups.  Where people share specific hobby related technical info or ask questions.  That, the hobby and special interest groups, and just having a link to people from my past and present that I've found and "friended" on FB are the main benefits. 

    I have a rule of never clicking on an ad or sponsored link.  If the ad looks interesting I look them up outside of FB to inform myself and/or make a purchase.   

    Same with all the social media.  I almost never post anything personal.    I make comments on others and passively "consume" other folks' posts.  The one exception is i hav a hobby / "business" based account on Twitter and Instagram and FB by association where I post pictures of (my) model trains. 

    I think you've pointed out that there is nothing inherently wrong with the concept behind Facebook. If everyone who participates in Facebook is open, honest, kind, and unable to hide behind the negatives often associated with how some people abuse anonymity, what is there to really dislike about the "worldwide connected community" concept? Many of the negatives of social media platforms aren't inherent to the platforms themselves, they're the direct result of the behaviors that some people exhibit on those platforms, including Facebook itself.

    Putting the issues with people behaving badly aside, Facebook is remiss in not making it very clear how they are actually paying for the services they purport as being "free" to "members." Apple's privacy features that expose Facebook's behaviors have obviously had a big impact into Facebook's recruiting efforts. This response is very telling and indicates that even if Facebook is revealing the details of their private data farming operation somewhere in their terms of service, a large number of their users were oblivious to these terms before Apple shined a bright light on them.

    As long as people are comfortable with Facebook's private data, behavioral, and social network harvesting processes and have explicitly opted into being part of the cash crop that Facebook cultivates, after being warned, I don't see that there is much of an issue. I'm also involved in hobbies that seem to gravitate around the use of Facebook rather than a website. Since I don't participate in Facebook at all I'm unable to stay in the loop for anything that is exclusively done through Facebook. This is an inconvenience, but one that I've decided to live with. Likewise, businesses that rely on Facebook for customer facing interactions are opaque to me. So far, so good, and because it's my choice I can't complain and don't really care what happens to Facebook one way or the other.
    chadbagliketheskywatto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 21
    chadbag said:
    I, for one, am glad of FB new obsession with VR.  They're going to waste a huge amount of money creating a sysyem that most people won't have an interest in most of the time.   People are [not] waiting for a "metaverse.". We're [not] all 30 year olds living in our parent's basement.    There are great vertical applications (meaning specific industry solutions for specific problems) for which VR is ideal and useful.  But those are specific solutions for specific segments.   They are not the "cash cow" of general consumer data slurping they have now.
    You may want to recall that “personal” computers were first only for spreadsheets (VisiCalc anyone?) and businesspeople, later they became essential tools for school, home (gaming), and now, even to access most government services as well. Meta is playing a very long game. Eventually once us old farts die off, the metaverse will likely be where most transactions, social connection, provision of goods, and more takes place.

    All of that said, I’m not convinced that Meta will succeed in being successful there, in fact it may actually be Apple that will be successful in the metaverse. But don’t kid yourself that the new & upcoming kids some not yet born won’t be (much) more virtual than us oldies typing things on keyboards!
    edited August 3 sconosciutodewme
  • Reply 19 of 21
    I can no longer edit my comment upthread so here's a new one re: my experiences working with FB.

    Focus group. In the course of a discussion, one of the respondents brought up the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Although the person couldn't fully articulate what it was about, they knew it was bad.

    The scoffing and contempt for this person's concerns on behalf of the FB folks was disgusting.
    jony0watto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 21
    DAalseth said:
    jcs2305 said:
    JP234 said:
    Skeptical said:
    God I hate Facebook and Zuckerbag. Not really a big fan of Apple either. Neither are your friends but Apple is the devil you know. 
    Comparing a company that makes something (the best products and services in the world), with a company that derives 100% of its revenue from mining customers' data to sell to advertisers is a questionable conflation.
    Two large companies that care nothing about you unless they are making money from you, as either the customer or the product? I think it's a perfectly reasonable comparison.

    We need to stop defending Apple as if they are our friends..they aren't. We enjoy their products and the service they offer as part of being a customer, additionally if you are a stock holder you enjoy the dividends as well B) .. that's it.

    Pause for a second. “Two large companies that care nothing about you unless they are making money from you” is the very definition of a corporation. If they didn’t they would be charities. It becomes a ‘water is wet’ statement and is essentially meaningless. Better to focus on HOW some companies make money from you. In this case Apple is making money by producing actual products that people like, while Meta is mining private personal data to sell. One is selling TO us and the other is selling US. 
    Very well said! Apple sells something to you, FB sells you to something.
    sconosciutowatto_cobra
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