October 01, 2011

Facebook enters PAC world (updated)

No, really. Facebook plans to start its own political action committee. This is ... kind of scary.

Hey, folks, you want FB using the money it will make off all your Timeline personal info to fund a PAC? Or even to use that info IN a PAC? You want Mark Zuckerberg selling your personal information to a U.S. Senate candidate from your state, or a House candidate from your Congressional district? Even if (or especially if) you are a supposedly stereotypical twentysomething who doesn't care about privacy (or politics) too much?

Anyway, let's look at that "information" side a bit more.

I don't care what Zuckerberg does with his money. I block all his ads, I don't play any of his Zynga games and I don't play any of his "games," either. So, any of his money doesn't come from me.

Information? Different issue entirely.

What's to stop him, from part of how his PAC operates, from selling information to political candidates? Given that, as part of legal controversies involving Facebook, it's been accused of data mining, selling your and my information is certainly something I would expect Zuckerberg to do.

What are his stances on political issues? Do you know? I don't. But, his Wikipedia page might share some information.
In 2010, Steven Levy, who authored the 1984 book Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution, wrote that Zuckerberg "clearly thinks of himself as a hacker." Zuckerberg said that "it's OK to break things" "to make them better." Facebook instituted "hackathons" held every six to eight weeks where participants would have one night to conceive of and complete a project. The company provided music, food, and beer at the hackathons, and many Facebook staff members, including Zuckerberg, regularly attended.
OK, as Occupy Wall Street, Julian Assange and others have demonstrated, people with hacker mentality often care more about breaking things for the sake of breaking things first, and only second, breaking things for some cause or other end result. It's not even libertarianism; it's self-centeredness.

Why this PAC?

Well, the last question is answered in the story; Marky Mark Zuckerberg is afraid that the federal regulation eyeball will get trained on him after it's done with Google. Uhh ... considering neither one of them created a PAC, isn't this shooting yourself in the foot? And, the general defensiveness behind that doesn't reflect well on Zuckerberg.

No comments: