Friday, April 13, 2018

The Right-Cheek Ass Clown for April, 2018

How quickly time flies! It's time once again to sift through the teeming throngs of worthies and select

The Right-Cheek Ass Clown for April, 2018

This time, like every time, it's hard to select a single most-worthy Ass Clown on whom to bestow the award, but I think I'm going to pass over strong candidates like Scott Pruitt, Paul Ryan, and Vladimir Putin and name as our Right-Cheek Ass Clown for the month

Mark Zuckerberg

The founder and CEO of Facebook spent about ten hours this week testifying before scores of members of Congress who were shocked (shocked, I tell you!) about Facebook's misuse of the information hoovered up from tens of millions of users.

Now, in the interest of full disclosure, I should tell you that I am an avid user of Facebook. My association with the platform began in 2009, when one of my old high school friends encouraged her classmates to start Facebook pages and post photos in advance of our 45th reunion so that we would have a better chance of recognizing each other. Since then, Facebook has been one of my major ways to remain in touch with family and friends, distribute my blog, and share my thoughts on a wide range of issues. With a background in cyber policy and security, I went into this with my eyes open, wary of over-sharing, well aware that the platform was free because the information I posted would be shared with advertisers, and carefully locking down the security of my pages as best I could - something that Facebook made difficult and cumbersome to do. What I, and many others, were surprised (not shocked, really) to learn was the extent to which the Facebook platform was able to collect information from people who didn't even use the program, and to share that information not only with advertisers*, but with political operatives who used it for nefarious ends.  

Mr Zuckerberg's defense of Facebook's policies was, in large part, disingenuous and self-serving. I would like to believe that he will change the popular service and make it harder for data miners to abuse the information we make available ... but I doubt he will either want or be able to do so. The genie is out of the bottle and the toothpaste won't go back into the tube. Like the Sorcerer's Apprentice, Mr Zuckerberg has released powers that can be used for good or for not-so-good ... and as a result of his philosophies and business model, the not-so-good may be pulling ahead.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Dear Readers, Mark Zuckerberg is named as our Right-Cheek Ass Clown for April, 2008. And you can share that on Facebook if you wish.

Have a good day. Come back tomorrow for Cartoon Saturday - you know you need it. More thoughts then.


* This is, after all, the devil's bargain we make when we use "free" services.


Mike said...

The question has come up, 'Would you pay for facebook?' My answer is, 'eeeeeh I not sure.' But these days I get all my left wing biased news from Facebook. I guess I could start visiting all those sites directly. But then THEY ask for money.

eViL pOp TaRt said...

I'm very disenchanted with social media at present. Facebook especially.

Cloudia said...

"as a result of his philosophies and business model, the not-so-good may be pulling ahead." A LOT between THOSE lines!

allenwoodhaven said...

Well chosen. I'm not on Facebook, but understand it generally. At a minimum, they should make it opt-in for sharing information rather than opt-out being made difficult, if not impossible.

Elvis Wearing a Bra on His Head said...

There's a fly in the ointment when it comes to social media.

Chuck the Grumpy Cat said...

He deserved the honor!