Meta: Grade School Behavior?

September 9, 2022

Despite being the domain of Baby Boomers and conspiracy theorists, Facebook is still a powerful tech company. Facebook is not afraid to sell out its users despite proclamations of loving support, but Apple Insider discusses its hypocritical behavior: “Facebook Is fine When Punishing Others Financially, But Cries When Others Do It To Them.”

Zuckerberg and his company processes behaviors similar to an elementary school bully: it acts big and tough, but when it is confronted and injured Facebook runs away crying. Facebook is acting like the aforementioned bully, because Apple has affected its profits. Apple changed its privacy policies, thus preventing Facebook from harvesting dollars from user data.

Despite Facebook claiming it does not sell data, it does. Apple added the Apple App Tracking Transparency to mobile devices, so users can prevent third-party Web sites (i.e. Facebook) from sharing data. Facebook did not like that, so Zuckerberg threatened to take Apple to court, then changed his mind. He decided to ruin other companies’ bottom lines to save his own. Facebook released data that showed users are reading less, so the company will not pay publishers for news articles.

This has led large media companies to fire writers and switch over to video production:

“But Facebook had exaggerated its figures by between 150% and 900%. Facebook denies this, but it later settled a lawsuit brought by advertisers over the issue. Facebook paid out $40 million then, but some publishers who had pivoted to video simply could not move back and did not recover. While there are forces beyond Facebook that contributed to this, the University of North Carolina said that even before the coronavirus, 20 newspaper businesses were closing every month.”

Facebook has now turned to VR, but is riding on the backs of creators to drive funding for the platform. Facebook was critical of Apple’s 30% commission fee from its app store purchases, so when Apple discovered Facebook’s Meta fees they had to say something:

“’Now — Meta seeks to charge those same creators significantly more than any other platform,’[said Apple Senior Director of Corporate Communications Fred Sainz.] ‘[Meta’s] announcement lays bare Meta’s hypocrisy. It goes to show that while they seek to use Apple’s platform for free, they happily take from the creators and small businesses that use their own.’”

Would a neutral observer use the word “hypocritical” to describe some Meta actions? Sure, and may add the term “zucker squeeze.”

Whitney Grace, September 4, 2022

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