Anyone who knows me, knows I hate Facebook. The company’s CEO is as crooked as they come. Mark Zuckerberg, the current CEO and the guy who fraudulently calls himself the “founder” of Facebook, was hired as a contractor to create Facebook when he was in college. But as Zuckerthief was writing the code he decided he liked the site and wanted to steal it. So he avoided contact with his employers for weeks and then launched the site himself. BusinessInsider has the best reporting on the details of the theft with interviews of those involved in the founding of FB, including instant messages and emails from Zuckerberg and others. Zuckerberg was, of course, sued. But like most corporations and the wealthy in this country, he avoided prison by paying off his victims AND got to keep the website he stole. Imagine for a second that you pay someone to build your home, but he decides he likes it so he keeps it. You sue him and he’s ordered to pay you less than its worth, plus he gets to keep your house. That’s what Zuckerthief did; he stole someone’s property and was allowed to keep it. I guess crime does pay.
Its even been reported that Zuckerberg used private login data from Facebook servers to login to user’s accounts and read their emails. What a creep.
Prior to Facebook, we all guarded our private information from corporations and criminals on the internet. Facebook changed all that. Now your personal information is out there for the entire world to see. Identity thieves use FB to mine your information and purchase goods and services in your name. Con artists use affinity fraud methods to infiltrate your groups of “friends” and run their scams. Spammers use clickjacking to hack Facebook accounts and send spam to your groups of friends. And now sources say Facebook will release a mobile app in mid-March that will track your mobile location and let everyone know where you are at any given time, even when the app is not running on your mobile device. Imagine how beneficial this will be to stalkers, angry ex-spouses after a messy divorce, or even pedophiles. As one article explains:
It’s a technique that would likely require the social networking site to ask permission from users. But there’s a loophole – Facebook may have already gotten consent from its users to run the feature.
The app may fall under Facebook’s data policy – which tells users that a company may use location information “to tell you and your friends about people or events nearby, or to offer deals to you that you might be interested in.”
“When we get your GPS location, we put it together with other location information we have about you (like your current city)…but we only keep it until it is no longer useful to provide you services, like keeping your last GPS coordinates to send you relevant notifications,” the data use policy says.
Facebook is not only dangerous for personal use, its harmful to business. As I reported in 2011, Facebook is the main source of malware and viruses when employees use social media at work.
Facebook’s Zuckerberg is working to defeat Democrats. Recently, Zuckerberg announced that he intends to have a fundraiser at his home for Republican Chris Christie, a likely 2016 presidential candidate. In addition to being known for his loud-mouthed, right-wing rants, Christie is the reason that New Jersey does not have marriage equality. Imagine the who’s-who of conservative donors that will be welcomed into Zuckerberg’s home; the Koch brothers? The Heritage Foundation? Think about this the next time you’re on Facebook: the ads that run on your Facebook page make millions for billionaire Zuckerberg, which he’ll use to defeat Democrats in 2014.
If none of this gives you a reason to boycott Facebook, here’s something else you should know. We are now learning that Facebook has followed the example of other shady, anti-American corporations when it comes to avoiding payment of their fair share of taxes. In 2012, Facebook took in over a billion dollars in profit, but paid zero in taxes. Oh it gets worse. They are actually getting $429 million in tax rebates. As ThinkProgress.org reports:
Facebook’s income tax refunds stem from the company’s use of a single tax break, the tax deductibility of executive stock options.
This is sounding more and more like something Romney’s Bain Capital would do. What’s next? Facebook moves its headquarters to the Cayman Islands? Ships the programming jobs to India? You and I pay our fair share of taxes every year, but corporations like Facebook make billions in profits and pay zero taxes, and even get millions in tax rebates.
Listen, its your choice to stay with Facebook. There are other social media sites that are working to compete with FB, but its hard to make the change when they have a monopoly on the market. But at some point a person has to decide whether bad corporate behavior should have consequences.