Facebook’s Big Tobacco Moment, And Congress Will Talk And Then Do Nothing

The Senate Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, and Data Security heard testimony Tuesday from Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen, a former employee of the tech giant. In a rare show of bipartisanship, a bloc of Republicans and Democrats joined together to demand action against the company.

Haugen, who used to work as a lead product manager for Facebook’s civic misinformation team, came before the Senate to discuss the company’s internal practices, with special emphasis placed on the ways that these practices disproportionately affect children.

Haugen explained, “I’m here today because I believe Facebook’s products harm children, stoke division, and weaken our democracy.”

She added, “I believe in the potential of Facebook, we can have social media we enjoy, that connects us without tearing apart our democracy, putting our children in danger, and sowing ethnic violence around the world. We can do better.”

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) observed during his opening remarks that predatory targeting and marketing practices by Facebook have “put profits ahead of people.”

The whistleblower said that during her time at the company, she often saw the company faced with a choice between “its own profits and our safety.” When these conflicts arose, Haugen said, the company “consistently resolve[d] these conflicts in favor of its own profits.”

Yes, but so does Congress and Facebook will just pay them off under the table and they’ll get their hands slapped. They will pontificate and then let it slide like they do with anything.

I’m surprised that it even got this far with as illiterate as Congress is about technology. Zuckerberg toys with them when he has to testify while the suits in Washington grill them with questions prepared by their assistants, but don’t have a clue regarding what they are talking about.

This also is likely to be a sideshow while they push their infrastructure pork bill to create socialism through when we aren’t looking.

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As you know if you look a few posts down, I loathe Facebook, but they act like they are above the law and certainly above congress, especially the group that is in there now. They are the biggest bunch of do nothings except cancel culture people and promote everything our country doesn’t stand for.

Expect nothing and you won’t be disappointed.

Why Did Facebook Go Down?

Facebook and its sister properties Instagram and WhatsApp are suffering from ongoing, global outages. We don’t yet know why this happened, but the how is clear: Earlier this morning, something inside Facebook caused the company to revoke key digital records that tell computers and other Internet-enabled devices how to find these destinations online.Kentik’s view of the Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp outage.

Doug Madory is director of internet analysis at Kentik, a San Francisco-based network monitoring company. Madory said at approximately 11:39 a.m. ET today (15:39 UTC), someone at Facebook caused an update to be made to the company’s Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) records. BGP is a mechanism by which Internet service providers of the world share information about which providers are responsible for routing Internet traffic to which specific groups of Internet addresses.

In simpler terms, sometime this morning Facebook took away the map telling the world’s computers how to find its various online properties. As a result, when one types Facebook.com into a web browser, the browser has no idea where to find Facebook.com, and so returns an error page.

More at Krebs on Security.

As Don Surber said, I made $7 billion more than Zuckerberg did yesterday.

Life is better without this site, especially for teenage girls it is reported. I hope others see that and help to eliminate insincere social media from their lives, but I doubt it. If they did, they’d stop trying to be like others (especially celebtards and sportstards) and be themselves

For me, it is an introvert thing. I eliminated it because I didn’t want to see what others had to say, or be connected to groups I have consciously left behind because of Mauerbaurtraurigheit.

It’s Not Friday, Three horrible Facts, And a Silver Lining

Three Horrible Facts 1 Today Is Not Friday 2 Tomorrow Is ...

But, I’m retired so everyday is Saturday for me. I don’t have deadlines or conference calls or personnel issues today. Man I don’t miss work.

I don’t miss Facebook that went down yesterday. I didn’t even know it until I read about it. I’m glad to have that ball and chain out of my life also.

I have a brother-in-Law who is retired not by choice, but defined his life by his job. He doesn’t know what to do. I feel sorry for him. Life is much greater than your job.

For now, I’ll pet my dog and enjoy what comes next.

Facebook Still Sucks

To get a full understanding of how bad it is, the WSJ ran a series on the Facebook files recently. Link here but it might require a subscription. It points out the obvious, but also that it’s such a screwed up company now that it can’t get out of it’s own way.

It talked about how it ruins the lives of people, especially teen aged girls. Zuckerberg then said how it enhances peoples lives in a washing machine spin of doublespeak.

They block who they don’t like and let who they do like post anything, even against their own policies.

Now the Facebook fact checkers just censored peer reviewed science because it doesn’t fit the narrative.

And this about Zuck:

Facebook Investor: Company Paid $5 Billion to FTC as ‘Quid Pro Quo’ to Shield Zuckerberg

Fortunately, I don’t care as I cancelled them. It along with Twitter are helping to ruin the country and people’s lives around the world. It has taken a political position on things. I don’t care which side it picks, but it should have been a neutral platform.

Instead, it is now a high school place where you are a part of the in crowd or not. Those with a triple digit IQ should move to a better and more productive place, like going outside and enjoying life.

It was too childish for me and I didn’t want to open it anymore to see the spew that comes from it.

I still talk to those who really are my friends. Most of them were never on Facebook.

For Introverts, not being on it also lets you escape from a lot of noise that sucks your personal energy and time.

How Social Media Works Against You

I’ve written extensively about this, especially in Internet Road Rage. Go read it to see who these cowards are.

No matter what you do, someone has a beef (vegans will get me here, just another example) with whatever you say.

It used to be don’t talk politics, religion or something else at Thanksgiving or you’ll piss off someone in your family. Now, just like someone and you are one of Hillary’s deplorables (She gave the the best example, why I’m using politics here hoping to draw some ire from a commenter to prove my point. I could care less about her or her opinions other than it works).

Now, you can’t say anything on social media without someone being offended. I think it’s funny if they fall for it though because it just shows how shallow people are. Just go to Quora, hater (twitter) or Fakebook to find a large group of the clueless. That they are trying to censor people who don’t agree with them just shows bias and ignorance.

So, you can either be smart and blow off the idiots looking to be offended or trying to prove their point to the world, or just fall in line with the masses and get into it.

Covid Facts Not Matching The Narrative, It’s How To Manipulate

Well, this won’t be my most popular post, but if you read about me up top, I see patterns. A lot of what has happened smelled wrong to me. I could still be wrong, but I’ll bet a lot of people think the only accident was it escaping the lab it was created in. I see deceit (well, they are politicians), misdirection (a typical PR trick) and a lot of obfuscation. The MSM covers it like the second coming.

I’ll bet I catch some flack from the censors and from subscribers who disagree, but everyone is entitled to their own opinion. I heard they are stopping articles that say HCQ cures it so read quick as this might not be up long.

Here’s mine, I don’t know the real answer and may never as might not a lot of people. What I do believe is that what actually happened isn’t what we were told and that a lot more will come out about it. I think a lot of eyes are going to be opened about what is going down right now.

Number 6 just gave me another reason to think social media has a dark side and they are one of the faces.

Number 8 looks like it is true based on his emails. Amazon pulled his book so something is up.

I’m seeing guns, beer, cash, hotel stays, joints and a lot of other bribes to get the vaccine. How about letting people make up their own minds before we get to step 4 on the top meme?

Bacon and Bombings, Testing the Censors

I love bacon. It’s what I thought of when I saw this. Then of course, I recognized an opportunity to test out the censorship of WordPress.

I think a lot of the tech companies are loony about free speech and who is allowed to have it. That’s why I put stuff up that I know others will get mad about. It’s not about you honey, this is poking the dragon ever so slightly at first.

I self-censored Fake Book and Twitter so I can’t go after them, but then I’d have to be in that cesspool to get kicked out. I left that social media shithole behind to better my life. It worked.

Introverted Social Media

It doesn’t take many posts for you to see that I think Fake book and Twatter are the cesspools of the Internet. More hate is spilled there than Iran towards Israel and the USA.

I happily quit both. My life is better and while I didn’t waste a lot of time on them, it still was mostly useless.

I always hated those friend recommendations because I’m sure they were on the other side also. My rule was if you aren’t my friend then you aren’t worth being my fake book friend either. I happily forgot most of the people I grew up with and didn’t want to find them again, let alone reconnect.

It’s as bad as a phone call for an introvert without first warning that you are about to intrude on my life. There was an introvert on the team that invented texting to avoid that phone call.

When I saw this one, I realized that it was time to dump fake book. I also can’t stand that they are the arbiters of free speech and who is allowed on, so I made the decision for them. I don’t want to be in a place of hate or that has special rules for people who they don’t agree with personally, and went to other platforms that don’t suggest people I’d rather not see or hear from again in life.

Today’s Most Ironic Head Line Of The Day

From the WSJ:

China Is Now Sending Twitter Users to Prison for Posts Most Chinese Can’t See

Two of the most restrictive groups censorship wise are going at each other here to ban information that was made to be published, go figure. Note: It refers to the CCP government, not the Chinese people.

Both are paranoid and neither are really helping anyone get better. My advice, leave both.

MLK On Darkness, Hate and Love

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. - Martin Luther King, Jr.

Yes, I’d rather post the I have a dream, but politicians won’t let us make it come true.

Instead, this is a lesser known quote, but there has been a lot of hate and darkness (Twitter, Facebook, the elections, need I go on?). I for one am tired of it.

For today, I’m letting the Reverend point out what the problem is. He also gave us the answer, if anyone will listen. I hope I”m not alone.

I’m Shocked, Social Media Causes Depression

Social Media, the place where you can make yourself look better to feel good about yourself when someone likes the tripe you post. Aside from being little more than a digital high school, a cesspool of hate (Twitter) and one of the biggest time wasters invented, it appears to causes depression.

In recent years, a number of studies have linked heavy social media use to an increased risk of depression.

“But then you have to ask the chicken-and-egg question,” said study author Dr. Brian Primack, a professor of public health at the University of Arkansas, in Fayetteville.

On one hand, he said, excessive time on Twitter or Facebook might fuel depression symptoms. On the other, people with depression might withdraw from face-to-face interactions and spend more time online.

So Primack and his colleagues decided to see whether social media use made a difference in young adults’ risk of future depression.

It did, according to their report, which was published online Dec. 10 in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

The study included nearly 1,000 adults aged 18 to 30 who were depression-free at the outset, based on a standard questionnaire. All reported on their usual social media time and were assessed for depression again six months later.

By that time, nearly 10% fit the criteria for depression.

Overall, depression risk rose in tandem with time spent on social media.

Full report here

Monday Saying – Why Not To Trust Social Media

The only source of information for most people now is a machine that is designed to partially inform people, misinform people, spread conspiracy theories, and lies faster than facts.”- Tristan Harris
The alternate view by Mark Manson is this:

Social media algorithms do not manipulate and push users into believing awful things. People already believe the awful things and social media simply spreads them more easily. Critics like Harris imply that tech companies are sitting in Silicon Valley scheming for ways to extract more ad dollars from people’s anxiety and misinformation.

Either way, it points out that there isn’t that much good to it the way it exists. At best it is a time waster for most.  At worst it is the above.

I say think for yourself and stop believing the group think on Twitter, Fakebook, Instagram and the other time suck platforms.
They could be a a useful tool for sharing pertinent information, but it just isn’t that way.   There is so much out there that spending more than 5 minuted a day on this probably isn’t helping your life.

I’ll leave you with this thought.

How Facebook Causes Depression

Scroll down a few posts and you’ll see other articles I’ve posted that talk about Social Media ruining people’s lives.  It’s their outside daring you to compare, unfortunately to your inside.

Spending too much time on “social media” sites like Facebook is making people more than just miserable. It may also be making them depressed.

A new study conducted by psychologists at the University of Pennsylvania has shown — for the first time — a causal link between time spent on social media and depression and loneliness, the researchers said.

It concluded that those who drastically cut back their use of sites like Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat often saw a marked improvement in their mood and in how they felt about their lives.

Many of those who began the study with moderate clinical depression finished just a few weeks later with very mild symptoms, she says.

The study, “No More FOMO: Limiting Social Media Decreases Loneliness and Depression,” was conducted by Melissa Hunt, Rachel Marx, Courtney Lipson and Jordyn Young, is being published by the peer-reviewed Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology.

For the study, Hunt and her team studied 143 undergraduates at the University of Pennsylvania over a number of weeks. They tested their mood and sense of well-being using seven different established scales. Half of the participants carried on using social media sites as normal. (Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat did not respond to request for comment.)

The other half were restricted to ten minutes per day for each of the three sites studied: Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat, the most popular sites for the age group. (Use was tracked through regular screen shots from the participants’ phones showing battery data.)

Net result: Those who cut back on social media use saw “clinically significant” falls in depression and in loneliness over the course of the study. Their rates of both measures fell sharply, while those among the so-called “control” group, who did not change their behavior, saw no improvement.

This isn’t the first study to find a link between social media use, on the one hand, and depression and loneliness on the other. But previous studies have mainly just shown there is a correlation, and the researchers allege that this shows a “causal connection.”

So I ask, why do you do it to yourselves?  Facebook has a model to make you feel worse while they steal your privacy and track you to sell your profile to everyone and anyone.

Social Media, Ruining Your Life Part 2

I recently posted how Social Media is probably making your life worse, especially those who have to look anything up to know everything.  Even more, those whose lives and feelings are governed by their online image and how many likes they got vs. others are losing out on life to a device.

The other issue is having your face buried in your phone while walking.  You are clueless to the world around you.  See the video above.

UPDATE: Getting Cosmetic Surgery for Snapchat Dysmorphia

This is by far the most narcissistic thing I’ve read.  People (tide pod eaters) are getting surgery to look like the filters they use on their Snapchat because they don’t look good enough in life because it is wreaking havoc on their self-esteem.  The report in the journal JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery claims that these filters can sometimes trigger body dysmorphic disorder, a mental illness that can lead to compulsive tendencies and unnecessary beauty procedures, among other negative outcomes.

A study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that people who were regular users of social media were twice as likely to feel lonely than those that were light users.

Another study released found that social media, especially Instagram, deepened feelings of anxiety and inadequacy for 15 to 24 year olds.

Go play outside and leave your phone in your pocket.  Also, don’t live your life on social media and you won’t be so self-obsessed.

UPDATE: A study came out stating that good social media don’t out weigh the bad:

(Reuters Health) – For young adults, the adverse effect of negative social media experiences on mental health outweigh any potential benefits of positive experiences, a study of university students suggests.

Each 10 percent increase in a student’s negative experiences on social media was associated with a 20 percent increase in the odds of depressive symptoms, researchers found.

But positive experiences on social media were only weakly linked to lower depressive symptoms. Each 10 percent increase in positive social media interaction was associated with only a four percent drop in depressive symptoms – a difference so small that it might have been due to chance.

“This is not inconsistent with the way we see things in the offline world . . . The negative things we encounter in the world count more than positive ones,” said study leader Brian A. Primack, director of the Center for Research on Media, Technology and Health at the University of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania.

“If you have four different classes in college, the fourth class that you did poorly in probably took up all your mental energy,” he told Reuters Health by phone.

Primack said he believes social media lends itself to negativity bias because it is saturated with positive experiences that leave people jaded.

YOU ARE BEING WATCHED

I talked with friends at the gym who are or were in law enforcement  In cop terms they are always made by others because they are constantly looking around.  They are aware of their environment, potential danger, potentially dangerous people and escape routes.  As you can see in the video of fails, these people are vulnerable to all of the above.

Guess how else you are vulnerable with your head buried in a screen?  It doesn’t take a genius to know that Facebook, Google, Amazon and every other site is not only tracking your clicks, but are tracking where you go and what you do.

We used to have instructions, a map and intuition to get where we were going and for the most part, we got there.  millennial’s can’t get to the 7-11 without Google Maps now.  It’s also funny how they can know everything, but have knowledge of very little.  Take away their phone and not only would they not run into things, they’d have to actually learn about how things really work and how to navigate (I’m not discriminating here, I know directionally challenged relatives my age who fall into this category).  Looking up something on your phone doesn’t make you smart.

YOU ARE GIVING THE PERV’S A FREE TICKET

I’m not in law enforcement, but I put my phone away and watch others, especially those watching girls.  It’s almost a sport.   It used to be if a guy was looking in the wrong part of a girl, they got busted immediately.  It was like watching a tennis match seeing the heads turn when a cute girl walked by.  They had to use mirrored sunglasses and just glance when they could and not let their wives/girlfriends catch them.   Now, instead of having to glance behind sunglasses, the perv’s just look down or up (or up and down) anyone they want and modesty just goes out the window.  It’s truly tasteless, but if you had your head out of the phone, you wouldn’t be getting eyeballed so lasciviously.

GET A LIFE

It’s amazing to watch people now escape to their phone in what used to be a social situation.  So stop running into things and get a life.

FACEBOOK IS DESIGNED TO EXPLOIT HUMAN VULNERABILITIES

Recently, former Facebook president Sean Parker pointed out how Facebook is hurting people.

When Facebook was getting going, I had these people who would come up to me and they would say, ‘I’m not on social media.’ And I would say, ‘OK. You know, you will be. And then they would say, ‘No, no, no. I value my real-life interactions. I value the moment. I value presence. I value intimacy.’ And I would say, … ‘We’ll get you eventually.’

Parker discussed the possible psychological effects of social media and Facebook in particular, especially for children who are now growing up in a digitally connected age:

I don’t know if I really understood the consequences of what I was saying, because [of] the unintended consequences of a network when it grows to a billion or 2 billion people and … it literally changes your relationship with society, with each other … It probably interferes with productivity in weird ways. God only knows what it’s doing to our children’s brains.

The former Facebook President discussed the company’s initial aim, which was mainly centered around drawing in and building their audience:

The thought process that went into building these applications, Facebook being the first of them, … was all about: ‘How do we consume as much of your time and conscious attention as possible?’ And that means that we need to sort of give you a little dopamine hit every once in a while, because someone liked or commented on a photo or a post or whatever. And that’s going to get you to contribute more content, and that’s going to get you … more likes and comments.

Parker described Facebook’s appeal as a “social-validation feedback loop” which exploits human psychology to keep users coming back to the app:

It’s a social-validation feedback loop … exactly the kind of thing that a hacker like myself would come up with, because you’re exploiting a vulnerability in human psychology. The inventors, creators — it’s me, it’s Mark [Zuckerberg], it’s Kevin Systrom on Instagram, it’s all of these people — understood this consciously. And we did it anyway.

Parker also briefly discussed how his vast wealth is likely to allow him to live longer than the average person due to advances in medical science

Social Media, Making Your Life Worse Just By Using It, And it Proves Sturgeon’s Law

I tend to notice trends early.  I quit Twitter 4 years ago as soon as work didn’t (unofficially) require it.  Almost every time I used it, the conversation degraded by the 3rd or 4th tweet into something political, followed by unsubstantiated name calling.  You have to have a thick skin and a terse personality to want to survive out there.

A few years later I tried helping a friend get on Facebook and we both decided that it was like a high school reunion, or being in high school where you make up stuff to seem like your life is better than others.  He finally told me to stop and to not put him on.  At that point it dawned on me that most of social media falls under Sturgeon’s Law:

Sturgeon’s Law: 90% of everything is crap.

 

There might be a corollary that 99% of social media is crap.

The trend I noticed besides people acting false was that I never felt better after being on twitter and I loathe Facebook for the same reason.  This was 5-8 years ago and now the studies are coming out proving what I noticed.

A recent article in the USA today talked about another high schoolish trend, mob mentality.

Social media also has polluted our more general life, with the ability to form online mobs increasing, as Prof. Glenn Reynolds aka Instapundit recently wrote in USA Today:

People enjoy forming mobs. Mobs allow people to do things they’d be afraid to do on their own, to steal, to hurt and kill, to burn and destroy — and also to feel set free from the bonds of civil society, to experience a kind of atavistic catharsis, a feeling of power and a solidarity with their fellow rioters, in a way that’s otherwise difficult to achieve, especially without suffering serious consequences….

But now there’s a new kind of mob, an online mob. And judging by the events of the past week, this new mob is becoming a more frequent problem. Part of that is because it’s easier (and safer) to be part of an online mob than one in the real world.

Joining a real mob requires you to leave your house, go somewhere else, and experience risks and discomforts. Joining an online mob can be done from an easy chair at home.

There are times that I post something and bizarre comments come it, so much so that I have to moderate them according to the policy on the sidebar.  Some just violate the policy too much.  It’s like twitter, if it can get political it usually does.  Since I’ve posted a lot about the military and patriotism, I caught a lot of crap.

I read a blog post by Legal Insurrection that noted the increase in suicides and the link that may exist between the two.

A New, More Rigorous Study Confirms: The More You Use Facebook, the Worse You Feel

Social Media and Teen Depression: The Two Go Hand-In-Hand

Rise in teen suicide connected to social media popularity: study

Suicide rate’s increase can be tied to social media, technology: Dr. Marc Siegel

Using Many Social Media Platforms Linked With Depression, Anxiety Risk

Why don’t people just put it down?  It looks to be like the new next cigarette, just as addictive and equally as bad for you.

As for me, I can go about my day enjoying not getting into useless tweet storms and having my head glued to my phone.  Hell, I won’t even put Facebook on because I don’t want them in my life.

I’d like to say the higher IQ people would be immune to this, but it’s not true.  They are just as susceptible to this and it goes under things they shouldn’t do.

WHAT FACEBOOK KNOWS AND IT ISN’T TELLING YOU

It preys on Women’s emotions and other mind altering and interfering techniques and the company KNOWS THAT IT IS DOING IT.

Even former Facebook President Sean Parker realizes the pitfalls of Facebook:

The former Facebook President discussed the company’s initial aim, which was mainly centered around drawing in and building their audience:

The thought process that went into building these applications, Facebook being the first of them, … was all about: ‘How do we consume as much of your time and conscious attention as possible?’ And that means that we need to sort of give you a little dopamine hit every once in a while, because someone liked or commented on a photo or a post or whatever. And that’s going to get you to contribute more content, and that’s going to get you … more likes and comments.

Parker described Facebook’s appeal as a “social-validation feedback loop” which exploits human psychology to keep users coming back to the app:

It’s a social-validation feedback loop … exactly the kind of thing that a hacker like myself would come up with, because you’re exploiting a vulnerability in human psychology. The inventors, creators — it’s me, it’s Mark [Zuckerberg], it’s Kevin Systrom on Instagram, it’s all of these people — understood this consciously. And we did it anyway.

Comments such as this from Facebook former President, combined with Facebook’s mishandling of user data, has led to a greater level of distrust around the company. What was previously seen as just a website by many users was becoming better known as a data collection company.

It turns out that platforms like Facebook are the “Junk Food For the Soul”.  In other words crap that isn’t good for you.

When the name of the article is Facebook was designed to exploit human vulnerability, there is a big problem.

THE CESSPOOL OF HATE AND DISCRIMINATION BY TWITTER

Just say something, anything and pretty soon it can turn into a hate storm if you offend someone or anyone.  I saw someone post here’s a picture of a rock, let the arguing begin just to prove it and it did.

Now, it looks like Twitter the company is shadow banning users and groups of users just because someone complained that they don’t like the person’s views, even if they aren’t a follower.

When I check I often find that a user who has blocked me is someone I have never interacted with. So why the block? Often, it’s due to being on a block list created by a liberal activist group. Twitter supports block lists and makes it easy for users to mass-block entire universes of people they don’t even know.

But Twitter now uses factors such as the number of people who have blocked an account to determine whether to classify it as “low quality” content. The company also uses the number of complaints or reports on the account. If the number of these exceeds certain thresholds, an account can be deemed low quality and access to tweets from that user are severely diminished.

I couldn’t wait to leave that platform of time-wasting and hate and my life is better because of it.

Schaeffer’s Law’s of the Digital Age – The Non-Racial Master/Slave Paradigm Through Digital Monitoring

Schaeffer’s First Law of the Digital Age:

The Global Digital Infrastructure (GDI) connects all human life on the planet into a single, giant, metastasizing organism throbbing with incredible potential for advancing human good, expanding knowledge exponentially, invading our lives with unimaginable malice and evil, and transforming unsuspecting users into helpless and obedient cyborgs.

Schaeffer’s Second Law of the Digital Age:

Each breakthrough in utility deriving from advances in the Global Digital Domain is accompanied by equal or greater vulnerabilities and potential detriments to quality of life.  Anything that can do amazingly great things for you can almost always do terribly awful things to you as well.

Schaeffer’s Third Law of the Digital Age:

It’s impossible to make or enforce laws to guard the people against the dangers of global digital power and impossible to prevent exponential growth in this power.  The Zuckerbergs and Bezoses and Googles of the world may propose to use their power benevolently, but they plan to use it and grow it without limit.  They claim they’ll be good masters, but they mean to be masters.

I’m not a conspiracy person, rather an observer of trends and patterns.  Haven’t we been down this path before in history where there are classes of people?  This time, they start as digital helpers like Alexa, Echo, Google assistant or Siri, but at what point are they re-directing our lives?  Aren’t there always people who try to control your lives thus enriching their lives both in money and power.

Since there are hackers constantly attacking the cloud, where your data is stored and accessible, when you lose control over your life?  The digital hacks can be found at Krebsonsecurity.com.

It has already begun with your digital footprint being tracked, monitored and being sold off to advertisers, but where does it stop, the Jetson’s?

I advise that you carefully monitor who is monitoring you, even the government.

Now for fun, why is that in the movies that the robots always try to take over the world and kill humans?

Facebore – The Facebook IPO Dissapointment

UPDATE: This article best sums it up….If there was any doubt that Wall Street is a sucker’s game designed to take money from stupid people and put it into the hands of bankers and powerful corporations, Facebook’s initial public offering should clear that up.

Well, the facts speak for themselves.  What was supposed to be the next sliced bread was a big nothing except for the insiders who already got their money.

Expectations had it being the next Google, zooming into the hundreds of dollars with overnight millionaires.  While it was the most traded IPO ever, it ended where it started and the big bang for IPO’s are usually at the beginning of a stock downturn. (see the Groupon IPO bust).

In fact it was a BLACKEYE for the NASDAQ:

By Bloomberg

Facebook Inc.’s (NASDAQ: FB) debut on the NASDAQ Stock Market turned into another setback for American equity exchanges, with the $16 billion initial public offering plagued by delays in trade confirmations, crossed quotes and signs that orders were mishandled.

The pricing of the first transaction took a half hour longer than NASDAQ planned. About 30 minutes later, the second largest U.S. equities exchange operator reported an issue confirming trades from the opening auction with the brokerages that placed them. Nasdaq later established an appeals process for investors whose instructions weren’t carried out.

Scrutiny of American equity markets intensified in March when Bats Global Markets Inc., the third-largest U.S. stock exchange owner, withdrew its IPO after failing to trade on its own platform. Nasdaq’s mishaps, on a day when the most anticipated IPO of the year eked out a gain of 0.6 percent, disappointed investors hoping to erase the memory of Bats.

“It certainly wasn’t their best day,” Larry Tabb, chief executive officer of research firm Tabb Group LLC in New York, said in a phone interview. “That said, it also wasn’t a complete disaster. NASDAQ really needs to investigate what the challenges are and fix them quickly. There was a lot riding on this IPO and apparently it didn’t go so well.”

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said it will review the trading. NASDAQ spokesman Robert Madden didn’t return calls and e-mails seeking comment. Jonathan Thaw, a spokesman for Menlo Park, California-based Facebook, declined to comment

BUYERS ARE MORE EDUCATED, OR HAVE BEEN BURNED TOO MANY TIMES

I suppose you could trace this back to the internet bubble. Regular investors have been burned too many times.  Sure Google was a killing, but Facebook had a business model and P/E that didn’t impress.  There was too much hype, not enough value and seemingly not enough surety on the IPO.

The Trader sums it up:

The truth is that Facebook is a toy, a dreamworld, a figment of the imagination. Zuckerberg wanted to make the world a more connected place (and build a huge database of personal preferences), and he succeeded thanks to a huge slathering of venture capital. That’s an accomplishment, but it’s not a business. While the angel investors and college-dorm engineers will feel gratified at paper gains, it is becoming hard to ignore that there is no great profit engine under the venture. In fact, the big money coming into Facebook just seems to be money from new investors — they raised eighteen times as much in their flotation yesterday as they did in a whole year of advertising revenue. For an established business with such huge market penetration, they’re veering dangerously close to Bernie Madoff’s business model.

Worst of All:

Even the NYT notes:

The company’s bankers had to buy shares to keep the stock from falling below its offering price, raising questions about how the stock will fare next week.

YAHOO LAWSUIT

There might be other reasons that held back the success offering, not the least of which was a pending lawsuit:

Actually, Facebook hinted at a pending legal battle with Yahoo in Amendment No. 2 to its S-1 form, filed on March 7.

In that memo, Facebook admitted that it is “involved in a number of lawsuits.” That trend, it acknowledged, is likely to continue as it faces “increasing competition.”

Facebook received a letter from Yahoo on February 27 that “alleged that a number of our products infringe the claims of 13 of Yahoo’s patents.” At the time the second amendment was filed, Facebook was “still in the process of investigating the allegations contained in the letter.”

ARE THEY WAITING FOR A DEAL:
Perhaps the real deal and best price will be waiting for a low of under $20 and picking it up then.  Even if you only make a few dollars per share, it’s better than the few cents that the first day delivered.

THE WORLD MARKETS INFLUENCE

Another speculation is that it suffered from the rest of the world.  The problems with Greece and Spain are well documented.  One thing I didn’t consider was this, An oversold rally is in the works:

From a technical standpoint, our markets peaked in February, yet price drifted marginally higher. As the S&P 500 (^GSPC) rang the bell on our target of 1365 +/- 15 basis point handles, we paused. It was not a shorting opportunity, based upon the persistent bearishness that grew as price moved higher. But after weeks of basing between our levels, the market set itself up for a sprint higher into 1420, suggesting but not reaching irrational exuberance. From that intersection, we saw price decelerate in a downward spiral by 115 handles, or about 9%.

So we must ask ourselves the one question that is more important than Facebook’s (FB) $104 billion IPO: Are we still in a healthy sustained upward move, or are we in a state of bearishness that is being masked by love for Apple (AAPL) or Facebook?

THE OTHER SIDE OF THE COIN

There are some positives with this pointed out by a smarter mind than me, Social Media expert Jeremiah Owyang, read more at this link:

Despite yesterday’s IPO closed at nearly opening price, it’s important to pause and think about how this company’s market cap reached $100 billion (for context, Pepsi is at par at $106b).  We’re already seeing many become wealthy, from newly minted millionaires in brand new M3s at the local car wash in silicon valley, to the investors, VC, and ecosystem that will benefit from the revenues, we need to pause and think why.

So what is so important to pause and think about? Why do I say the Business Model is “Brilliant”?  Facebook’s business model smashed the traditional manufacturing style we see with consumer products, and instead built a  ’consumer platform’ that enabled many around them. In fact, the Facebook business model is brilliant for the following reasons:

  1. Brilliant because the users do the work.   In many companies, hiring paid or unpaid interns is a source of scale, or even off shoring work to developing regions.  In the case of Facebook, there are 900,000,000+ unpaid members that are generating meaningful content and value to each other.   In fact, official Facebook stats indicate that 526b million of them are active each day, many of which are using mobile devices and applications to connect to Facebook as they traverse the world.  While Facebook continues to grow, third parties are observing that the rate of growth may retarding, what’s important to remember  is that most of the commercial base that brands want to seek are likely within Facebook.

WHAT NEXT?

It either goes up or down in price.  The initial IPO money to be made has been made, but the long term money will be made by the savvy investors who can buy a bargain price and wait for it to go up.  The state of the Euro and the EU as well as the debt crisis worldwide may weigh on the price.  I believe that this has changed how IPO’s will be handled in the future as it didn’t skyrocket like it should have (many theories on that).

Further, Exotic car dealers and realtors in Palo Alto are now set to collect a lot of money from the overnight millionaires.

All in all, I congratulate Zuckerberg et al who created a product, jobs, the next new widget and helped the economy.  Bono made $1.5 billion for example and exceeded Paul McCartney as the wealthiest musician.

I’ll bet it still eats at the Winklevii though because as they say, if they could have created Facebook, they would have created Facebook.

POSTMORTEM

It appears that the management at Facebook is suspect also.  While owning 27% of the stock but having 57% control by Zuckerberg is telling.  Most entrepreneurs are good at developing their product, but are bad at running companies.

Further, this from the WSJ on fumbling the IPO:

Less than three days before Facebook Inc.’s FB -9.77% initial public offering, Chief Financial Officer David Ebersman decided to boost the number of shares the company would offer investors by 25%, said people familiar with the planning. His main adviser at lead underwriter Morgan Stanley MS +0.90% assured him there was plenty of demand, they said.

Facebook shares slid sharply for a second straight day as analysts for at least two of Facebook’s lead underwriters revised their financial forecasts for the company while it was holding IPO roadshow meetings. David Benoit has details on The News Hub. Photo: Reuters.

That decision by the 41-year-old Facebook executive may have doomed any real chance the social-networking company had that its stock would jump on its first day of trading—a hallmark of successful IPOs. On Tuesday, the second full day of trading, Facebook shares fell $3.03, or 8.9%, to $31, after falling 11% on Monday. Investors are blaming the downdraft on the last-moment expansion of the offering.

And this:

Interviews with more than a dozen people involved in the IPO reveal that Facebook approached its deal differently than companies typically do. Mr. Ebersman kept a close grip on every important decision on the stock offering, not deferring to his bankers the way many companies do, according to the people familiar with planning.

Facebook Overnight Millionaires and Employee Turnover

chatango Pictures, Images and Photos

Update: As predicted, the brain drain has begun with executives leaving and others questioning Zuckerberg’s leadership ability.

As we all know, Facebook will go public in a huge IPO.  This will create many mega-millionaires overnight who work there.

I wonder what the drain in human intellectual property will be when they don’t have to work like maniacs anymore.

WHY PEOPLE WORK

Most people work only because they get paid.  A common cliche is that work is a 4 letter word.  Otherwise, they wouldn’t put up with the job they have, proven by frequent job shifts over a lifetime.  They leave for a better opportunity, or a bigger paycheck.  My observation (not scientific) is that if the paycheck wasn’t a part of the deal, the job wouldn’t get done.

Then there are a few who really like to work like my Dad.  His life was his work (HVAC engineer) and he loved it.  My uncle was a pilot who also loved his job.  Both regretted their retirement.

Finally, there are a few who love what they do because it is their passion.  It has been said that if you do what you really love, it isn’t work.  These are usually the most successful people.

MILLIONAIRE HEAVEN

When Facebook goes public and there will be a group of people created who are the overnight millionaires, many will move on.  Some of them are the creative minds behind what has made the company the success it has been.  Sure you can hire more programmers and throw options at them, but they are in the category of working for a paycheck.  Many won’t have the need (some the desire) to work.  I watched many friends I had at Amazon become millionaires and quit.  They went on to do what they wanted to because they sold stock and had the money to do so.

The people that lived and breathed the Facebook that we know it have and hold the history and the reason that it is what it is today.  That knowledge can’t be replaced.

What will be the brain drain at Facebook?  I’m sure there are loyal employees who will stay.  The executives will likely stay because they already are rich and at that point it is a matter of power, not money.  Others, I’m not so sure.

WILL THEY SELL

You bet they will.  There is already a lot of insider selling:

Insiders and early Facebook investors are taking advantage of increasing investor demand and selling more of their stock in the company’s initial public offering, the company said Wednesday.

Facebook said in a regulatory filing that 84 million shares, worth up to $3.2 billion, are being added to what’s shaping up to be the decade’s hottest IPO.

Facebook’s stock is expected to begin trading on the Nasdaq Stock Market on Friday under the ticker symbol “FB”.

The entire increase comes from insiders and early investors, so the company won’t benefit from the additional sales.

The biggest increases come from investment firms DST Global and Tiger Global. Goldman Sachs is doubling the number of shares it is selling. Facebook board members Peter Thiel and James Breyer are also selling more shares.

Even the Motley Fool is predicting investors will get burned.

Facebook’s IPO: A Quick Way to Go Broke
Facebook’s IPO will create at least 1,000 millionaires, estimates The Wall Street Journal. Founder Mark Zuckerberg is cashing out $1 billion worth of shares. But most investors who buy shares will get burned…

REASONS TO SELL

Recently, it was stated that Facebook could be a passing fad.  This fact is not lost on those looking to make a killing.

If you recall Palm, Friendster, Sony Walkmans and other technologies, or beanie babies and tickle me Elmo’s, fads come and go quickly.  As Qui-Gon Jin said: There is always a bigger fish.  This means the next bigger and better Social Network or better idea is already being worked on.  Innovation drives technology and history has proven it…..ask 3com, Wang, Digital or many others.

We already know that they economy is still in a recession and cash is king.  If this IPO is anything like Groupon, it will trend high, then the price will go down and people want the most bang for their buck.  I know I’d dump it all and diversify by day 2.  I can’t comment as to whether I’d quit as I don’t know the culture, but I’ve worked for paranoid owners before and I know that it is a tough environment.  Zuckerberg has publicly stated that it’s good to be paranoid.  If that was the case, this is the time to bail.

It’s no secret that Facebook is not fully baked on their mobile strategy or execution yet either.  That is a pretty large faux pas.

Worst of all, millions are choosing to not be on Facebook or are just saying no to it.  Many of these are in the high wealth category.

Compound that with the fact that Google is killing Facebook in advertising revenue with Facebook even facing declining revenue:

A comparison of the two companies from WordStream, a search marketing management company, suggests that Facebook is a much less effective ad medium than Google. (The caveat here is that WordStream is, obviously, rather more dependent on Google than Facebook as a medium.)

So how much brain drain and personnel IP will leave?  Time will tell, but I’m sure there are a lot of folks contemplating this issue as I write.  The pressure of work, making a killing on stock or losing a fortune takes its toll on the workers.

I had a lot of friends at Cisco when they were flying high in the market.  While others played solitaire at the other technology companies, Cisco employees spent half their day watching the stock price to see how high it would go and calculate how rich they were.  The problem was that they weren’t vested.  I hope that Zuckerberg and lawyers are smart enough to make their employee options at least 3-5 years before they are fully vested to keep the best and brightest there.  Still, some might be mailing it in until year 3 while dreaming of being rich.

The average Joe won’t get rich anyway because here are the people who have made the money:

My final comment on the greatest brain drain comes in the form of 2 people, Paul Allan and Steve Wozniak.  They got out and went on to different lives, but I’m not sure they still held the passion they had while building their company’s.

Will the New Facebook Take Over Linkedin?

Not for me. There is already too much information available out there and Facebook just increased it. Regardless of the predictions, I don’t see it happening completely.  Some will like millennials, but boomers are much more conservative.  Also, a lot of youngsters don’t go to Facebook as their parents are on, enough reason to not put your life there.

I keep my professional life on Linkedin and my personal life on Facebook, family and real friends only. I like I assume others will keep it that way based on conversations I’ve had. I don’t want to have pictures of co-workers in compromising situations (guaranteed to happen) on my professional profile.

I can screw around a bit on Facebook, but even then I keep it tame as the world doesn’t need to know that much about me.