Mark Zuckerberg's Long Litany Of Failings - Mainstream Media Turns On Social Media

The mainstream media is a fickle beast beholden to the direction of the prevailing political winds. Unfortunately for Facebook, Google and Twitter, those winds have turned about face in recent weeks as the political establishment thrashes about in its misguided efforts to prove that – aided by social media - Russia changed the course of the 2016 presidential election. While Facebook’s share price has suffered very little so far, the mainstream media is going to work on the reputations of Facebook and its billionaire founder. For example, according to Vanity Fair last month.

"…the tech giant is broadly focused on repairing its reputation following revelations that its platform was weaponized by Russia in the 2016 election."

“Weaponized” seemed a very strong word to use.

With the social media platform deemed “fair game” in the mainstream media, the Financial Times has lined up Mark Zuckerberg in its crosshairs. The FT journalist who penned the piece on Zuckerberg, Edward Luce, is cut from establishment cloth…and then some. Luce is the son of Richard Luce, now Baron Luce, the former MP, former Lord Chamberlain to the Queen and Knight of the Garter. Edward Luce read PPE at Oxford, took a sabbatical as a speech writer for Larry Summers and is the FT’s chief US commentator.

We are no fans of Zuckerberg and sympathise with some of it, but we recognise a hatchet job when we see it. In the article, Luce accuses Zuckerberg of...

Self-evident observation, or “stating the bleeding obvious”, to use the English vernacular:

Here is what Mark Zuckerberg learned from his 30-state tour of the US: polarisation is rife and the country is suffering from an opioid crisis. Forgive me if I have to lie down for a moment. Yet it would be facile to tease Mr Zuckerberg for his self-evident observations. Some people are geniuses at one thing and bad at others. Mr Zuckerberg is a digital superstar with poor human skills.

Political inadequacy and insincerity:

Facebook’s co-founder is not the first Silicon Valley figure to show signs of political inadequacy - nor will he be the last. But he may be the most influential. He personifies the myopia of America’s coastal elites: they wish to do well by doing good. When it comes to a choice, the “doing good” bit tends to be forgotten. There is nothing wrong with doing well, especially if you are changing the world. Innovators are rightly celebrated. But there is a problem with presenting your prime motive as philanthropic when it is not. Mr Zuckerberg is one of the most successful monetisers of our age. Yet he talks as though he were an Episcopalian pastor. “Protecting our community is more important than maximising our profits,” Mr Zuckerberg said this month after Facebook posted its first ever $10bn quarterly earnings result — an almost 50 per cent year-on-year jump.

Self-promotion, acting like a Soviet dictator and losing touch with ordinary people:

When a leader goes on a “listening tour” it means they are marketing something. In the case of Hillary Clinton, it was herself. In the case of Mr Zuckerberg, it is also himself. Making a surprise announcement that Mr Zuckerberg would be having dinner with an ordinary family is the kind of thing a Soviet dictator would do — down to the phalanx of personal aides he brought with him. This is not how scholars find out what ordinary families are thinking. Nor is it a good way to launch a political campaign. Ten months after Mr Zuckerberg began his tour, speculation of a presidential bid has been shelved. Say what you like about Donald Trump but he knows how to give the appearance of understanding ordinary people.

Helping Russia in its attempts to secure Trump’s election victory:

More to the point, Facebook has turned into a toxic commodity since Mr Trump was elected. Big Tech is the new big tobacco in Washington. It is not a question of whether the regulatory backlash will come, but when and how. Mr Zuckerberg bears responsibility for this. Having denied Facebook’s “filter bubble” played any role in Mr Trump’s victory — or Russia’s part in helping clinch it — Mr Zuckerberg is the primary target of the Democratic backlash. He is now asking America to believe that he can turn Facebook’s news feed from an echo chamber into a public square. Revenue growth is no longer the priority. “None of that matters if our services are used in a way that doesn’t bring people closer together,” he says.

Avoiding Tax (indirectly via Facebook) and masking self-interest:

How will Mr Zuckerberg arrange this Kumbaya conversion? By boosting the community ties that only Facebook can offer. Readers will forgive me if I take another lie down. Mr Zuckerberg suffers from two delusions common to America’s new economy elites. They think they are nice people — indeed, most of them are. Mr Zuckerberg seems to be, too. But they tend to cloak their self-interest in righteous language. Talking about values has the collateral benefit of avoiding talking about wealth. If the rich are giving their money away to good causes, such as inner city schools and research into diseases, we should not dwell on taxes. Mr Zuckerberg is not funding any private wars in Africa. He is a good person. The fact that his company pays barely any tax is therefore irrelevant.

Destroying communities and the noble profession of journalism:

The second liberal delusion is to believe they have a truer grasp of people’s interests than voters themselves. In some cases that might be true. It is hard to see how abolishing health subsidies will help people who live in “flyover” America. But here is the crux. It does not matter how many times Mr Zuckerberg invokes the magic of online communities. They cannot substitute for the real ones that have gone missing. Bowling online together is no cure for bowling offline alone. The next time Mr Zuckerberg wants to showcase Facebook, he should invest some of his money in an actual place. It should be far away from any of America’s booming cities — say Youngstown, Ohio. For the price of a couple of days’ Facebook revenues, he could train thousands of people. He might even fund a newspaper to make up for social media’s destruction of local journalism. The effect could be electrifying. Such an example would bring a couple more benefits. First, it would demonstrate that Mr Zuckerberg can listen, rather than pretending to. Second, people will want to drop round to his place for dinner.

Having dinner with Mark Zuckerberg was way down the list at ZH, with top choices including Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin, Neil Young, Bruce Springsteen, Margaret Thatcher (if she was still alive), David Bowie (if he was still alive), John Lennon (ditto) and John F. Kennedy (ditto).

While we are finding the FT’s attempts at ridiculing Zuckerberg and his company entertaining, we are questioning whether it merely reflects the shifting political winds. Maybe there is more to it. When Pearson sold the Financial Times in 2015 after being the “proud proprietor” for almost 60 years, it cited the “inflection point in media, driven by the explosive growth of mobile and social”. 


greenskeeper carl peddling-fiction Fri, 11/17/2017 - 18:27 Permalink

While this does come off as a hatchet-job, he isn't wrong about a lot of it. I also can't figure out exactly why it is that so many are still so heavily invested in the 'muh russians' nonsense. I know a lot of it has to do with ratcheting up a new cold war, and preventing Trump from normalizing relations with Russia, but it all started, and stems from, a desire to make it look like it wasn't killery's fault she lost. Surely these people have to know that the clinton's days of relevance are coming to an end, and that she is a perenial loser. They gain nothing from continuing to allow her or bill to exert such control over things.  I think people give faceberg a lot more credit, intelligence wise, than he deserves. All he did was steal someone elses idea and improve it slightly. That hardly makes him a mental giant.

In reply to by peddling-fiction

joshnyce TeamDepends Fri, 11/17/2017 - 20:04 Permalink

First of all, if you correlate Fuckbook usage and votes in the last ellection, it will show almost no one who uses Fuckbook voted for Trump. In fact, Fuckbook was weaponized long ago for a liberal agenda.Second and even more ridiculous is the idea that Fuckerberg is good at anything. He's no digital superstar. He's a thief. Get that straight and the hachet job becomes much easier.

In reply to by TeamDepends

hidflect greenskeeper carl Fri, 11/17/2017 - 18:46 Permalink

The DNC cannot afford to have Millenials, Hispanics, Asians and other groups come in and become the new guard. None of them are sympathetic to the string-puller that runs them: Israel. So they have to circle the wagons and create phantoms with which to rally the thinning troops. Putin cock-blocked the Greater Israel Project when he propped up Syria infuriating Bibi's goal of a splintered neighbour ripe for absorbtion so he became the obvious candidate for Evil Nemisis. That's why Hillary got up and accused Putin of being like Hitler out of nowhere. It was a public demonstration of her fealty to Israel.

In reply to by greenskeeper carl

Cardinal Fang Omen IV Fri, 11/17/2017 - 18:35 Permalink

This is the true debate.

I hold the opposite notion. If Facebook takes down the NYT, I am good with that because you know eventually FB is gonna go by the wayside.

It's like Craig Newmark (Craigslist) taking out newspapers by killing classified ads.

I don't like the guy's politics, but I am forever grateful to him for gravely wounding newspapers so that FB can kill them off.

What we need to look at is the post NYT/FB world and how that will look.

In reply to by Omen IV

Endgame Napoleon True Blue Sat, 11/18/2017 - 01:30 Permalink

Amazingly, the CL people make it all from a few paid real estate ads in only a few cities.

I do not even use FB, but living in a Trump state, I can assure you that a ton of people who voted for Trump use it, loading their baby show-off pics on it all day long, oftentimes at work.

Most people do not use that site for political discourse.

They are not a news organization, making the MSM attack puzzling, especially since Zuckerberg is a liberal or a progressive or seems to be, like most of the MSM.

It looks like either jealousy or a revenge of the [insert a word that starts with a t] on a nerd.

The TV media controlled the distribution of the public discourse on political topics for decades, reaping far more profit from it than newspapers, where the policies were always described in far more detail.

Now, social media distributes those newspaper articles through links, drumming up debate in the comment lines, resulting in a bypassing or sometimes mocking of the once-king-of-the-hill TV media.

The TV people are making a ton of money off of Trump coverage due to its entertainment value, as they did during the heyday of the Clinton sex scandal, but back then, they were more respected as news sources.

It is probably because they were the ones funneling news consumers back to the newspapers, where the detailed content is. Now, it is social media that serves this function, and the TV media look more like entertainers all the time.

In reply to by True Blue

GreatUncle Endgame Napoleon Sat, 11/18/2017 - 06:17 Permalink

Families use it to keep in touch but after that it is worthless.Why would you post on Facebook any political content that may object when it will be immediately censored?Also I believe through experimentation Facebook run a tier level of user ... liked and not liked.Not liked get a whole different experience to the liked liberalist who rah-rah's war and hugs a refugee from said war.

In reply to by Endgame Napoleon

Jeffersonian Liberal GreatUncle Sat, 11/18/2017 - 11:29 Permalink

It is worse than worthless.

It is a disease.

I am watching first-hand how it sucks people into 24x7 communication and feeling cut off and deprived if they go a few hours without their digital connection.

It is sick, if you ask me (even if you don't).

This is especially true of women. I know it was a running joke all through the 50's, 60's, and 70's how women were frequently on the phone with their girlfriends talking about nothing and absolutely nothing.

But could you imagine how categorically insane it would have been for the women of those decades to have been on the phone while on the toilet, sitting at the breakfast table, driving to the store, walking through the aisles, while running on a treadmill, sitting at their desk at work, on the drive home, while straightening the room?

It is a disease. It is the woman's porn addiction.

In reply to by GreatUncle

Jeffersonian Liberal Michael Musashi Sat, 11/18/2017 - 11:32 Permalink

(((He))) doesn't consider himself 'white.' (((He))) considers himself to be descended from a race that is entirely unique and not white and destined by God to rule over humanity.

Communism is the vehicle they created in order to put in place that global, ruling authority. The second phase was for them to control that global, ruling authority.

When Communism earned itself the reputation of being bloodthirsty murderers and genocidal maniacs (as well as a failed economic system), they softened its marketing appeal by changing it to Socialism.

In reply to by Michael Musashi

helloimjohnnycat Michael Musashi Sat, 11/18/2017 - 15:24 Permalink

I liked how he looked when talking to, what a dweeby little shit-ass.Indeed, that was another Dukakis event and Zuck is too stupid to realize.His zio-commie backers / handlers will run that faggot-hole for the top spot if that's what they think will continue to ruin us / waste us.F-book's team can pretend being a multi-cult mish-mash, but it's 100 % joo smegma.

In reply to by Michael Musashi

DeathMerchant Fri, 11/17/2017 - 18:10 Permalink

Zuckerberg's creation is a reflection of his own flaws. It is a mirror of his own personality and the insecurity and endless need of approval he has sought his whole life leading to its creation. It is Zuckerberg made virtually. It is not a success nor is it a triumph, it is a window into a flawed psyche. It spreads as an infecton because it is.

Endgame Napoleon Conscious Reviver Sat, 11/18/2017 - 01:41 Permalink

The tech innovations all seem to build on the work of previous programmers. It is not just the famous ones; a bunch of brilliant CS people worked on that stuff over the decades with no recognition and no big financial reward. Wikipedia has articles on many of them.

They all just improve on the guy before them’s invention. Gates and Allen bought a program from a guy at a Seattle computer shop, improving it, but that program apparently came from this eccentric, brillant PhD who was not a great businessman. His business name sounded like it was inspired by Star Wars, and unlike Gates and Allen, he did not know how to deal with “the suits.”

In reply to by Conscious Reviver

Vageling Endgame Napoleon Sat, 11/18/2017 - 07:23 Permalink

True. And they made a fortune strutting around like they're so damn "inspiring". I see Hollywackos do it too. These so called popstars. Nothing inspiring about them. Meanwhile these " tech" guys gave the spy guys all they could hope for. Every fucking thing you do, they know. Since these guys have no ethics it doesn't bother them nor the dangers that come with it. They're tools. Buncha virtue signaling beta muppets. I don't need the - insert piece of death tree that's only good for my cat to shit on - to point that out to me. Anyone with a functional brain already knew this.However, just like the Tylers wonder, why this muppet? And why now? Faggotboy Suckeredyou went rouge? LMAO! Nah, that cuck doesn't dare. There is some hidden agenda here which is not cristal clear to me. Sure, these idiots always eat their own. No loyalty. But why the "hitpiece"? He must have done something not to the liking of the cabal.

In reply to by Endgame Napoleon

Brazen Heist Fri, 11/17/2017 - 18:20 Permalink

The Left is eating itself. I can't believe these establishment cocksuckers like FT actually think a bunch of "Russian" facebook ads were pivotal enough to swing one of the biggest elections in the world.Then again, its all but a pretext to justify the Russophobia and distract away from DNC corruption and shortcomings. Pathetic!

serotonindumptruck Brazen Heist Fri, 11/17/2017 - 19:36 Permalink

The so-called Right isn't doing much better, as the nation has never been more divided that it currently is.My friends and family are frequently asking me to open/reactivate my disabled facebook account, as they believe that this is the best way for me to stay in touch with them.Facebook won't allow anyone to post or share articles from ZH or many other alt-right news sites, although Drudge, Infowars and Breitbart seem to be permitted.That should tell people everything they need to know about censorship on FB and zuckerberg's policies.

In reply to by Brazen Heist

Brazen Heist serotonindumptruck Fri, 11/17/2017 - 19:55 Permalink

Facebook is the worst possible way to stay in touch....I wouldn't trust a centralized NSA/CIA backdoored server with the details of my private life. Then again, I don't share many personal details online. I share them with face to face contact.It's sad that so many people are volunteering very personal data online to an advertising corporation.As if we couldn't survive life before Google.

In reply to by serotonindumptruck

Vageling Brazen Heist Sat, 11/18/2017 - 07:47 Permalink

Explain that to kids who grew up with it and don't know any better. I was born mid 80's. I saw how it all evolved even to the worse. These kids can't imagine a life without. Also has to do with parenting. My mom would storm in and pull the plug of the PlayStation and told me to go out and play with other kids as a normal kid does. Still thankful. People lack social skills, all hiding behind a screen. I even refuse conversations in WhatsApp. Just call me to meet up or send me an app (though I refuse to waste money on a data plan too) to meet up. Kids nowadays... Zombified. And the parents encourage it. Morons.

In reply to by Brazen Heist

Endgame Napoleon Brazen Heist Sat, 11/18/2017 - 01:53 Permalink

No one voted for Trump due to Russian FaceBook ads. Most on the left do not want to address the underlying economic issues that did lead to the Trump victory any more than most on the right. They always want to divert back to hyped social issues, some of which are mostly fictional, like the BS about a campus rape culture or the assertion that [institutional] racism is rampant. Comments on social media are NOT institutional racism. Some of the social issue drumbeat has some connection to reality. There is an opioid crisis in some parts of this country, but even in those areas, the vast majority of Trump voters do NOT have that problem. Most underemployed Americans cannot afford any extras, including that vice. That, too, is a hyped issue to avoid the structural economic problems.

In reply to by Brazen Heist

gdpetti Fri, 11/17/2017 - 18:20 Permalink

All these 'angel invested' companies so beloved by the Street, CIA etc.... are the same as the entire OWO establishment.... expendable. They have served their purposes and now their own useful role is for the 'fake revolution meme'... so martial law can be declared, bank holiday, police state etc.... perferrably before Mother Nature arrives to clean house... which will make the NWO coming out party much more difficult to enjoy.

Thebighouse Fri, 11/17/2017 - 18:20 Permalink

Wow DeathMerchant!That was insightful and darn right spot on!Poetically said too!Now ....change your handle....focus on the positive....death merchant....we will all get there...don't push it!

The Greek horse Fri, 11/17/2017 - 18:27 Permalink

Great comments by everyone I see some troll already got to down vote you folks.. SUCKERBURG is a CIA tool he did not invent FACEBOOK he stole that idea from the twins at Harvard My source is ZH it's all I need. JUST like the old days pick up the phone and call people you have not seen..

Sudden Debt Fri, 11/17/2017 - 18:42 Permalink

And never mind that facebook is trying to milk companies to the bone right now.PAY PAY PAY!! That's not social anymore, that's GREEDY MEDIA Social? People are cattle for them. They rob people of their private information like crazy! The facebook pixels are now everywhere! People are being tracked like you won't believe!And now Europe wants to control social media even more... it's becomming so fucked up that I can't understand why people are staying on it.What I do know is that kids are leaving it and going to blogs outside of facebook. Only older people are still on it.

GreatUncle Sudden Debt Sat, 11/18/2017 - 06:24 Permalink

When the boomers are finally robbed by the likes of Zuckerberg being the only ones left it will become nothing.On facebook, actually wrote an app for a company but then because they made it so complex and expensive to get approval junked it.More on conscience, you expect me to support you by doing this and the company I was working for yet you make it so difficult to do anything.Then you stumble into the mechanism how they flag and block posts to censor people and that people do not even realise.After that my Facebook got closed, the email had been transferred onto my domain so I just block any communication from Facebook now.It's gone, forever and all they can do if anything is email into nothingness.

In reply to by Sudden Debt

Karmageddon Fri, 11/17/2017 - 18:50 Permalink

Facebook zombies deserve to have their privacy violated. Morons the lot of them, posting photos of their mundane lives in the hope of cheap validation...

Endgame Napoleon Karmageddon Sat, 11/18/2017 - 02:16 Permalink

It is better than those kindergarten meeting circles in financial services jobs, where frequently absentee momma managers tell their frequently absentee momma-clique enployees to arrange chairs in a circle so that they can tell fellow work-club mommas a bunch of mundane minutiae about parenting, one by one, going around the circle, taking turns telling colleagues the details of daily life. You are not a “culture fit” for these”jobs” if you do not participate in such live, in-person, mom-bonding activities with great relish. These [employed] Americans also connect in-person by comparing FB sites, merging the in-the-flesh mom bonding with the cyber mom bonding. Beyond the walled garden of social media—in the real world of on-site human interaction—there is a lot of orchestrated social engagement with a depth level of less than an inch.

In reply to by Karmageddon