Clegg’s Excuse

The Wall Street journal has been running stories on how Facebook ignores its own research findings about the many harms of its inherently dangerous products.

Sir Nick Clegg, former British Vice-PM and currently Facebook’s VP for Global Affairs and Communications, has just issued the official Facebook retort. Here it is:

Sir Nick isn’t stupid. So you have to wonder how he sleeps at night.

It’s also fascinating how effects that are really quite simple, if admittedly embarrassing, become “complex issues” in such minds. It sounds like Sir Nick genuinely believes this gigantically convenient interpretive shift.

In any event, this is a prime example of a big business using its own research as a vehicle to deny, rather than respect, elementary truths — even when these truths encompass matters of life and death for very large numbers of people.

This tactic is certainly not an anomaly in the corporate world.

Facebook Knows What It’s Doing

Facebook knows it’s in the business of delivering eyeballs to big business marketers.

It also knows — and does not care — that, in doing this, it is fueling the American right’s continuing flight from rationality.

The WSJ reporters go on to explain that the FB brass know about this and choose to ignore it.

What was it that Upton Sinclair said about incomes and their effects on human minds?

Least Surprising News

eyeball Advertising Age for March 30 includes a story titled “Brands Just Can’t Seem to Quit Facebook.”

Well, duh.

Facebook exists to collect marketing data, to perform for corporations what people with cameras and stopwatches do inside corporate workspaces.

According to this report, at most 5 of Facebook’s top 1,000 advertisers even might have ceased using the platform as a result of the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Most likely, none have.

“This speaks to how important Facebook is as an advertising channel, and that brands are surely making the decision that the benefits of the platform outweigh the smaller risks of brand damage due to association with it,” [marketing research firm CEO Gabe] Gottlieb says.

As Gottlieb knows, the institutional fact is that the spying done by Facebook and an ever-expanding portion of the rest of the infrastructure for off-the-job life is every bit as vital to corporate capitalists as is detailed knowledge of paid labor processes. Barring a huge popular uprising against them and their system, the powers-that-be are simply never going to desist from gathering such data. Power concedes nothing, and scrambles to cover its trail when important concessions threaten to get discussed. Hence, this phony little mea culpa melodrama.

Hypocrisy, Thy Name is Corporation

captain_renault The mega-marketing platform known as the National Football League is taking some heat for its employment (Captain Renault is shocked!) of violent people.

The NFL’s hypocrisy, meanwhile, is a mere grain of sand compared to that of its sponsors. To wit:

“The behaviors are disgusting, absolutely unacceptable, and completely fly in the face of the values we at PepsiCo believe in and cherish.”

Thank you, sugar-water pusher!

“We are not yet satisfied with the league’s handling of behaviors that so clearly go against our own company culture and moral code.”

That’s Budweiser talking.

“As a brand that has always supported women and stood for female empowerment, COVERGIRL believes domestic violence is completely unacceptable.”

Yes, make-up is all about empowerment and equality.

“McDonald’s is a family brand.”

The only howler bigger than these shameless lies about corporate values is the suggestion that any of these capitalist behemoths might ever refrain from availing themselves of the NFL’s services as an eyeballs-and-eardrums rancher.