Just when it seems Facebook can’t get more sinister, more Orwellian or more mercenary, it does — announcing its own branded global cryptocurrency.
Does this strike anyone else as terrifying? A company that has operated with impunity, under zero federal regulations, whose CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, has been called — in a hapless act of political theater — to explain his shadowy practices before Congress, yet has never offered specific correctives to any of his outfit’s failings or overreaches or unintended consequences, makes its next big move this?
As declarations go, it’s astonishing. Zuckerberg is out for nothing less than dominion over us all.
If you’re one of the site’s 2.6 billion users, Facebook’s operators know where you are all the time, whether you’re logged on or not. They know what you’re buying, even if you’re in a brick-and-mortar shop. They scan photos you upload for biometrics. They mine your data and sell it to advertisers, but they won’t say how much of it, only that it’s a small amount, promise.
Facebook’s not the product. We are.
Fake news, authoritarian propaganda, abuse by genocidal forces or ruthless dictators, Russian interference in our most recent presidential election — whoops, says Facebook.
They do, after all, move fast and break things.
Facebook outsources the monitoring and taking down of dark materials — murders, child pornography and all manner of depravity — to contractors, and as The Verge reported last week, employees at a company called Cognizant were overworked, underpaid and ill-equipped to view such traumatizing content all day, every day, with even their bathroom breaks surveilled and limited.
Earlier this month, Business Insider reported that 68 percent of shareholders want Zuckerberg out as chairman. But that doesn’t matter, because Zuckerberg holds so much controlling stock that he simply ignored the vote.