We Still Have A Word For It

I’ve always been a skeptic of Facebook, mostly because I don’t understand how they make money. I mean, I know how they make money, but I don’t know why they make money. It’s just a crappy platform for the technologically inept to post pictures of their cat. Facebook charges companies a fee so they can put ads next to the picture of your cat, but why those companies do it is a mystery to me. The whole thing depends upon ordinary people being interesting and looking at those ads, which no one does.

You can’t cheat an honest man and the companies buying ads on Facebook are not Boy Scouts so it is no wonder that Mark Zuckerberg has been hustling them.

Mark Zuckerberg has a credibility problem.

The tech mogul’s Facebook just admitted to finding more “bugs” in the way it measures ads — and once again, those bugs benefited Facebook.

The social-networking giant said Wednesday it has found numerous errors in the ways it calculates how many people view its ads, artificially inflating their perceived value to advertisers and publishers.

Key metrics that Facebook has exaggerated include the weekly and monthly reach of marketers’ posts, which got inflated by 33 percent and 55 percent, respectively, as the site improperly included repeat visitors in its figures.

Elsewhere, Facebook admitted to exaggerating the number of full views that video ads received, as well as time spent by users reading fast-loading “Instant Articles” for publishers including The Post and the Wall Street Journal, both of which are owned by News Corp.

Facebook insisted that the messed-up metrics — which followed the company’s admission in September that it had inflated its reporting of video viewing times to advertisers by as much as 80 percent — didn’t affect billing to publishers and advertisers.

This stuff is not new. It appears to be the business model for Facebook. This video from a couple of years ago sounds a lot like what is in the NYPost story.

Of course, we have a word for this. It’s called fraud. There was a time when something like this would have resulted in the executives at Facebook being led out in chains. Advertisers should be walking away and the stock should be tanking, but that’s not the modern age. Robbing your customers and vendors is just the way it is done at this level. You never give a sucker and even break or smarten up a chump. Ours is a grifter culture where everyone is running a scam.

47 thoughts on “We Still Have A Word For It

  1. I don’t watch a lot of new movies, but I did see the Social Network a couple of years ago. The screenwriter Aaron Sorkin used court transcripts to flesh out the story, and the picture of Zuckerberg that emerges is that of a creepy and not-too-bright hustler who stole the idea for Facebook and then tried to ripoff his own business partner using a really amateurish securities fraud. Zuckerbeg comes across as a little Jew with a big chip on his shoulder who thinks he’s a lot smarter than he really is. That such an entitled jerk would still think he could still play people comes as no surprise.

  2. Don’t underestimate the power of Facebook in defeating Clinton. When the post-mortems come in, Facebook is going to be “discovered” to have been how the Deplorables kept each other motivated to get out and vote. It’s how people shared Hillary’s criminal email system, and how they shared all the times she lied to them. That video of her collapsing and having to be dragged into an SUV was an internet sensation that the media couldn’t cover up as they would ordinarily do.

    A lot of the Deplorables discovered on Facebook a way to just tell their lefty/liberal friends to pound sand.

    • I fully agree! Twitter too, which is ironic: both FB and Twit are owned & operated by the Left, yet those platforms served the Right very well. Every time the “fake news” was put out by the NYT, LAT, Boston Globe, CNN, MSNBC, and so forth- the Right got on to Facebook to tell all their friends what the real truth was, with links, and the same thing happened on Twitter. Instant worldwide communications, which couldn’t be censored in real time!

      (I’m still having withdrawal symptoms. I was spending hours on Twitter & FB, having a ball! Now things seem so quiet. There aren’t even any more daily rallys to watch. Oh well, guess it’s time to do something productive for a change.)

      I really do think that social media, which was once the Left’s playground, has been very valuable for the Right to pull the rug out from under them. Even now, Zuckerberg is on a campaign against “fake news” which he’s not getting away with, as too many people now know where the real “fake” news is coming from.

      The worm has turned! (Or is it that the frog has jumped?)

  3. I don’t feel sorry for Zuckerberg, the advertisers or the users of his service. What I always wonder is just how does a business model develop and get approved by Congress that allows personal privacy to be invaded and monetized the way they do? I am not naive but I am just asking. We all know it is a scam just like G**gle scanning your emails and collecting the same kinds of info for generating ad revenue also.

    When you watch a TV show and the host ask you to Tweet your vote for this singer or that singer, this UFC fighter or that fighter, no one cares what you really think. It simply generates revenues along the value chain. It says their are active “eyes” watching the screen and seeing every product placement or ad on the octagon.

    I understand the need for advertiser to know their target markets but the line has been crossed into criminal territory of “peeping Tom’s” and theft of personal information. And yet, because people use the service, they are deemed to have “opted in” and given sanction for such abuse. There is no protection except to not use said “services.” Well, that has been my choice and as further encroachment continues, I keep scaling back my use of services more and more, even to the point of paying for increased privacy/security. Nothing is free. That is my motto. These services are criminal in my mind and should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law … if we had any law.

  4. I know that Facebook still counts me as a member, I’m not.
    I setup a login once many years ago because that was the only way I could message a dying friend and say goodbye. I immediately canceled it only to discover that Facebook will not delete any page or user. Accidentally clicking on commenting on a site that only uses Facebook comments activates the damn account again, and again, ad nauseam…
    Fortunately I used a disposable email address to start it, so Facebook can’t reach me anymore. God I hate them!

    • A few years back Zuckerberg gave Newark NJ a gift, $200,000,00.00, to improve their school system. Zuckerberg met with the all black school board for a report on the improvements to the system and the expected huge leap in minority student performance. The school board reported more money was needed because the last 200million didn’t seem to increase student performance. When he asked what the money was used for the board spoke in platitudes and unicorns. By the time the meeting ended Zuckerberg had earned a new name, Suckerberg. How can anyone purportedly as bright as Suckerberg expect anything different?

  5. I’ve always suspected most of Facebook’s revenue comes from covert payments from the NSA and/or the CIA.

  6. The cultural marxists infect everything with their lies and moral corruption. This permeates everything they touch. It’s cultural diversity all right, the idea being diversion from every concept and idea of honor and virtue which are the bedrock traditions of western civilization. It’s why they are loosing their minds about Alt-Right, because Alt-right is immune to their toxicity. It just doesn’t care.

  7. Facebook is fascinating for a social pathologist. I’m old enough to remember when logo shirts first got popular. Every wannabe-comedian joked that you’re spending $20 to advertise Nike, when Nike should be paying you! (for best effect, say in Yakov Smirnov accent). But I wore them like everyone else, and when Facebook first got popular I too joined to to see what all the fuss was about… and soon enough I was posting the heterosexual male equivalent of cat pictures, and getting worked up about posts from my “friends,” half of whom were people from high school that I didn’t even like back then. So I quit, which not only made me a weirdo, but actually ended up costing me — just like you have to go well out of your way, and often pay more, to wear a non-logo shirt, you miss out on a nontrivial fraction of social interaction if you’re not on Facebook. Helluva scam, and as it turns out I’m as big a sucker as anyone….

  8. Zuckerberg, like Hillary Clinton has nothing to fear; he is a well known liberal progressive (like all the billionaire Silicon Valley folks) , big $$$ contributor to the demokratic/socialist/fascist party.
    Rest assured that the US Senator from Massachusetts, Elizabeth Warren (Pocahontas) will not get atop her tepee and demand he resign or be indicted.
    Contrast the treatment he will receive (i.e. a gentle slap on a pinkie finger – maybe) with that received by the CEO of Wells Fargo, John Stumpf, who worked for an infidel, non-anointed, evil business/industry (e.g, banking, finance, oil/gas, autos).
    He was subjected to the usual liberal/progressive/fascist Stalinist show trial where Pocahontas went into her best impression of that most eminent Nazi prosecutor/ judge/ executioner – Volksgerichtshof – Roland Freisler.

    Of course the only entity totally immune to any transgressions against the citizenry is THE GOVERNMENT. The citizenry has zero recourse when THE GOVERNMENT totally screws over the people. So Stumpf’s Wells Fargo may have cost folks, what? – a couple hundred bucks each? (yes, it’s wrong, shouldn’t have happened, etc) .

    But Pocahontas, Obama – and their liberal/progressive/fascist policies they shove down the throats of the citizenry – cost tens of thousands of folks their jobs and their livelihoods (see coal mining, coal fired power plants shut, prohibition of piplelines, fracking,etc)., and what happens to Obama, Pocahontas, et. al., ?? – they get to retire on a full pension, full medical benefits all paid for by the citizenry.

    Maybe it’s time that members of our political ruling class are forced to stand before a Judge Roland Freisler wannabe and receive the treatment that they are so willing to have others receive.

  9. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iicJYTAApbA

    You’ll appreciate this. I always think of it when I see marketing and products. How many commercials are on TV for soap in all its glorious forms? No, that car won’t change your life or make you cool. (Well, my sweet ruby red F150 with the black leather interior FX4 does, but that’s beside the point.) And, that happiness from eating hamburgers with your hip friends won’t last.

    And this one too: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DGVeZ4XLo4Y

    I just spent 10 minutes between three friends in two counties coordinating a race meeting on Tuesday while drinking my coffee. My mom is flying out for Thanksgiving, just messaged me that her flight is on time. And, a whole group of us like-minded Deplorables have been having a grand old time criticizing Trump’s cabinet picks for their complete lack of gas chamber, concentration camp, slave army and sex re-assignment expertise. I mean, how are we going to invade Poland at this rate?? It’s good fun. In many ways Facebook does for communication what the iphone did for device-management: it puts everything in one place. Birthday cards? Check! Pictures of the kids at their orchestra concert? Check! Cross-country relay planning? Check! Political activism? Check! Bragging about how awesome your miserable life is without having to clean the house and invite people over? Check, aaaand CHECK!

    Facebook has its utility. The issues with it mainly come down to scrolling past all the ads to read about what your friends are up to, but everything on the web is plastered with ads, so not particularly troubling. Corporations are spying on us all far better than the NSA ever will!

    The problem Zuckerberg has is that F/B is a commodity, like a telephone. Somebody’s going to come along and offer to port all your data and contacts over to their new platform which works better without the pesky annoyances of F/B. They’ll be the Samsung to his Apple. The Home Depot to his Lowes. The Walmart to his Target. Or, vice versa, wouldn’t that be something?

    I don’t mind it so much, and with my mom, two sisters, brother, and many of my close friends all now living 2-3 time zones away, it is very helpful for keeping in touch without turning every phone call into a Hallmark commercial.

    • The old adage is you learn the value of something as soon you put a price on it. If FB charged $5 a month, how many subscribers would they lose? Since a majority of the accounts are dormant or fake, those would go away obviously. My guess is once you got to $10 a month, the number of people willing to be on FB falls below the critical mass needed to be an ongoing concern. By that I mean it becomes a boutique service. My guess is the fake ad metrics they are doing is not really about robbing their advertisers on specific ad buys, but to rob investors. FB has a P/E north of $40. Given that it is no longer a growth company, that P/E should be a third of what it is, but having $200 Billion in market cap disappear would be a problem so they phony up the statistics.

      • You are right! If you put a cover charge on it, many would opt out of using Facebook. They like it because it is “free” not knowing the part about, or not caring that their privacy is being invaded and information sold downline to create a revenue stream that is probably larger than the ad revenue. The user data is what will provide the “hits/clicks/views” for many other products in the future based on the pychographics developed from all the info people giveaway about themselves. And then there is the use that info will be made of by the gummint.

        Let’s face it, pun intended, today’s society is a bunch of freeloaders who think that anything labelled “free” is good. Bunch of idiots.

      • Well, I do think the platform is mainly just a Big Data vacuum to suck up consumer preferences and trends. I can mention I am looking for a new snowboard on Facebook, and suddenly all the web pages I visit are putting pictures of snowboards in front of me. I just accept it for what it is. I agree that if they charged for it, there would be a reality check on the actual size of their market. Charging for it causes another problem too: in most places where people pay a fee to use a service, they are doing so with the expectation that they will not have advertising. (e.g. Netflix, Commercial-free Hulu, etc.) Regular TV has this problem. About 15 minutes into any movie on TV, a commercial will come on, and I’ll realize I could be watching it commercial-free via streaming.

        Also, like anything else involving consumers, a product will emerge to compete with it. Once somebody figures out a model for porting customer data, and a price where they can offer it and make it profitable, I think you’ll see a lot of people jump over. Facebook is not something the kids are using. It’s mostly grownups and grandparents keeping up with each other. They tend to have money, and a willingness to pay $5/mo for this kind of thing.

        • We old timers should remind ourselves that $5/mo today equals 50¢/mo in the ’50s-’60s, i.e. the price of a couple of beers back then. I fall into this trap all the time.

  10. I’m reading up on modern Russia for this very reason. A grifter culture where everyone’s running a scam… nobody believes a word the Media says…. the government is a hindrance to be avoided at best, a shackle at worst…. zero social trust at any level…. religion and culture nonexistent, having been systematically destroyed from the top… Party membership the only way to advancement… yep, leaving aside Russian, umm, “uniquenesses,” this sounds awful damn familiar.

  11. Old adage: Half of my advertising works, half of it doesn’t. Trouble is I don’t know which half.

    Modern adage: Non of my advertising works, but I know it it keeps newspapers and the electronic media going and I like these people a lot because they think like me (or say they do)

  12. Until about a month ago I was a dug in hold out. I finally relented and signed on for a couple reasons. One, because the young people in my tribe never check their email anymore, and, two, curiosity. I told myself I’d step in carefully, staying in the shallows.

    I can’t claim it’s been eye-opening because my discernment skills are fine-tuned. I never click on ads because malware is a real and present danger in the wild wild world of internet.

    My question is: what difference do Zuck’s numbers make? If I decided to pay money to advertise I’d be paying attention to my numbers. Clicks are worthless if they don’t equate to sales. What am I missing?

    No one can scam or grift me without my permission.

    • Isn’t that the rub Meema? You aren’t going to pay Faceplant and then “trust” them to report numbers that “they” produce. No, you would expect some kind of independent auditing or have your own finger in the wind measuring the velocity of things. And besides those numbers, the real proof is bottom line results… sales. If there is no correlation, then you know your money is wasted.

    • You really hit the nail on the head.
      Those who advertise on Facebook (or anywhere else) do so voluntarily. No one is forcing them to do this .
      The advertisers, in theory, have ways to assess the benefits of their advertising dollars.
      If they refuse to do this, it’s their own damn fault.
      Who do you blame??? The drug pusher or the individual who sticks the needle into his/her own veins??

      We still have the (rapidly disappearing) right in the USA – as individuals – to make sub-optimal or wrong or stupid decisions. And blaming the purveyors of dubious/bad policies/products, etc,. is really only half of the problem.

  13. Zman, what’s your take on the madness being exhibited by the left? it really feels like they are going to force the rest of the country to smash them hard. Do you see something like the Spanish Civil War occurring here?

    • It is what has been observed with UFO and doomsday cults.

      –A belief must be held with deep conviction and it must have some relevance to action, that is, to what the believer does or how he or she behaves. In this case, they were sure the forces of light would triumph over the forces of evil

      –The person holding the belief must have committed himself to it; that is, for the sake of his belief, he must have taken some important action that is difficult to undo. In general, the more important such actions are, and the more difficult they are to undo, the greater is the individual’s commitment to the belief. In this case, think of the #NeverTrump loons and their Progressive enablers making bold predictions that it would be a Clinton landslide. They bet their reputations on it.

      –The belief must be sufficiently specific and sufficiently concerned with the real world so that events may unequivocally refute the belief.

      –Such undeniable disconfirmatory evidence must occur and must be recognized by the individual holding the belief.

      –The individual believer must have social support. It is unlikely that one isolated believer could withstand the kind of disconfirming evidence that has been specified. If, however, the believer is a member of a group of convinced persons who can support one another, the belief may be maintained and the believers may attempt to proselytize or persuade nonmembers that the belief is correct.

      The last bit is why the Progs and #NT’ers are bellowing in public. They are crying out for support from their coreligionists.

      • They are also trying to intimidate Trump, especially the large outlets like the NYT, CNN, etc. It has worked in the past with other Republican administrations. I am hoping that Trump continues to fight back hard, continues to loudly and relentlessly call them dishonest and very bad people. This public battle will keep his base awake and aware and guarantee his re-election. The madness on the left will be their undoing.

        • Trump is a lot like Nixon, in that he has always wanted to be accepted by the rich and powerful. The difference is Trump has largely succeeded at this in his business dealings. The exception is he has always been mocked by the political commentariat. Unlike Nixon, he does not appear to be consumed by this. Instead, he is motivated to make his success the rebuke to these people. That’s encouraging. Frankly, his willingness to consider Mittens for State is the best news I’ve heard since the election. It suggest Trump is focused on being really good at this and not being distracted by petty politics. Romney would be very good at State. He would also be a good adviser to Trump.

          • I agree, here’s an example of Trump tweets from today’s news re Pence being abused last night in NY:

            “Our wonderful future V.P. Mike Pence was harassed last night at the theater by the cast of Hamilton, cameras blazing. This should not happen!” Trump tweeted.

            “The Theater must always be a safe and special place. The cast of Hamilton was very rude last night to a very good man, Mike Pence. Apologize!” he tweeted minutes later.

            Go Donald.

          • I agree. And it shows that Trump is not a dick. Romney said some dick-like things about the Trumpster, Donald lets them roll off his back. How about Cruz for SC? On a slightly OT note: Howie Carr is referring to the allegedly Republican governor of MA as “Tall Deval”. Makes me laugh.

          • I am interested to know more about why you think romney would be good either as SoS or as an Advisor? As far as I am concerned, he is part of the old guard with limited experience and questionable at that, RomneyCare, Bain & Co., Olympics, etc.) and doesn’t fit with what we need today.

      • Read When Prophecy Fails, social psychologist Leon Festinger’s seminal study of this behavior.

        Full title: When Prophecy Fails: A Social and Psychological Study of a Modern Group That Predicted the Destruction of the World, to give you an idea what its about.

        • “Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly; and one by one.” —
          Charles Mackay, Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds (1845)

  14. I remember Zman’s anecdote the other day about noticing as a young pup that advertising expenditures did not correlate with improved sales.

    So, in regarding the folks who spend their companies’ money on Facebook ads, it is well to keep in mind the entire Fields quote, “You can’t cheat an honest man, never give a sucker an even break or smarten up a chump.”

    • Fields was (is?) an underappreciated genius. ” I remember when we were lost in the wilds of Afghanistan. We lost out corkscrew and had to survive on food and water for more than three days!”

  15. Our grifter culture has been running a scam for decades. Most of America is too decent to believe such people exist. They do,and have profited quite well at the Federal level.

  16. And I suspect this also explains the mystery of those spam forum postings bragging about making $87.56 per hour working from home -you know the ones I’m talking about.

  17. The reincarnation of P.T.Barnum. Only he gets the people to entertain themselves and pay him for it. Genius.

  18. Z-man, the companies buying add space on Facebook are headed by ruthless businessmen. Why do these men not wise up and stop wasting their add money?

    • They aren’t ruthless, they are stupid. Keep it coming, I get to video chat with my friends in Europe for free. And piss off my liberal friends endlessly.

  19. Pingback: Everyone is running a scam | IowaDawg Musings & More

  20. For good or bad Facebook is integrated into all facets of my friends and family members lives,I’m ok with it as long as I can piggyback on my wifes account as I know quite a few people do who don’t want the whole profile thing, it has more of a reach than many believe…oh and I don’t like cats real or in picture!

    • I find it deliciously ironic that this hip new thing is mostly used by old farts like me to look at pictures of friends

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