"Whether we like it or not, we would not exist without Facebook."
June 27, 2020 6:41 PM   Subscribe

The impact of public opinion towards Facebook has been growing as more and more people are holding the company and its founder to task for its conduct. But that impact goes beyond the scope of Facebook itself, as the operations of Facebook more and more bleed into the operations of the ostensibly independent Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, impacting those working there. (SLRe/code)
posted by NoxAeternum (15 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
 
Sorry, not sorry.
posted by hwestiii at 7:14 PM on June 27


I am currently working on a CZI-funded project and this article gives me pause. Thank you for posting it.
posted by brainwane at 7:58 PM on June 27 [1 favorite]


Billionaires like Zuckerberg tend to point to their ambitious charities to push back against higher taxes, deflect scrutiny from their companies’ corporate practices, or even justify why billionaires like them should exist.

@teddyschleifer: Scoop — Bill Gates is exploring ways to convince other billionaires to donate more for coronavirus.

Ideas that Gates has considered include launching a new COVID fund for billionaires who signed the Giving Pledge, per sources.
@aoc: If only there were some public fund billionaires could pay into along with everyone else that helps fund our infrastructure, hospitals, and public systems all at once.

It could even be a modest % of what they earn every year. We could have an agency collect it and everything

If it helps, they could think of it as a subscription service to living in an advanced society.

Just imagine billionaires paying enough so teachers in the US don’t have to work multiple jobs and sell their own blood plasma to survive. Call me radical, but it might be worth it
I get it, the current system exists and there are currently billionaires who aren't actively ruining the world and the lives of people to get even richer, or are at least spit-shining their reputations by dumping a few million on good causes. But Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is so very right -- we shouldn't have to hope that billionaires are giving back a portion of their Smaug-like hoard. I'm fully on #TeamRadical, and I don't think anyone should be able to extract enough wealth from systems to become a billionaire.

We shouldn't be celebrating the times that billionaires have some ethics, or guilt, and fund worthwhile causes. They're operating in a broken system and reaped the rewards, and they chose to be slightly humane. They could also fund politicians who change laws so they wouldn't be billionaires, and instead fund public systems, but that won't happen.

And to brainwane and everyone else working for the "make me look good" philanthropic efforts, thank you. You're doing your best in this broken system.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:04 PM on June 27 [27 favorites]


Bill Gates and Microsoft were the worst back in the day. They destroyed the company who's products I used to use to make a living, with shitty Access, Visual Basic, and C#. (Bonus points if you can guess the company's products I was using). I used to revile him.

Given the current crop of tech Billionaires, I kind of have changed my opinions. Remember when Larry Ellison was the worst? Zuckerberg has moved way up on the list. Worse than the Kochs? Or Bezos? Shit, this timeline..l
posted by Windopaene at 9:11 PM on June 27 [4 favorites]


This is super interesting. I know a few folks at CZI, and I can imagine this current moment is very tough for them.
posted by feckless at 9:33 PM on June 27


I know many here use Facebook and I respect their staff but at minimum the site inspires depression and invades privacy, and at maximum warp it's an engine for electoral manipulation and racist indoctrination. I devoutly hope for its demise and Zuckerberg's downfall. Sorry, have felt that way for a long time now.
posted by bearwife at 10:52 PM on June 27 [27 favorites]


as the operations of Facebook more and more bleed into the operations of the ostensibly independent Chan Zuckerberg Initiative

Please don't use the word "independent". This organization is not independent. Its existence is predicated on dependence.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 11:42 PM on June 27


Here is the direct non-Google-AMP link to the Vox Recode story for those who prefer less Google intrusion into their web surfing.
posted by zaixfeep at 12:09 AM on June 28 [8 favorites]


Bill Gates and Microsoft were the worst back in the day. ... Given the current crop of tech Billionaires, I kind of have changed my opinions.

No need. The mere fact of anyone having billions to their name implies a staggeringly horrendous amount of economic violence on their part. Next to the monstrous scale of that, the value of their philanthropic efforts or of their endorsements of fascism basically amounts to a rounding error.
posted by invitapriore at 12:41 AM on June 28 [3 favorites]


Jesus nailed this one, whether or not you're a Christian :- if you make a show of giving to charity, then it isn't charity.
posted by Cardinal Fang at 1:12 AM on June 28 [4 favorites]


Please don't use the word "independent". This organization is not independent. Its existence is predicated on dependence.

Which is why I said "ostensibly independent". The two very much are interconnected, but they are portrayed as independent, and it's important to note the dissonance.
posted by NoxAeternum at 1:32 AM on June 28 [5 favorites]


Slowly but surely, one begins to suspect that Facebook is not a positive influence on society.
posted by From Bklyn at 5:27 AM on June 28 [6 favorites]


Reminder for those with retirement plans that hinge on convenience financial products: Ask your FP if any of your mutual funds include Facebook shares. If so, please consider dropping that fund from your portfolio.

Zuck must be bucked.
posted by Construction Concern at 5:34 AM on June 28 [4 favorites]


They destroyed the company who's products I used to use to make a living, with shitty Access, Visual Basic, and C#. (Bonus points if you can guess the company's products I was using).

Going to go out on a limb here...Borland?
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 12:13 PM on June 28


Worse than the Kochs? Or Bezos?

No.
posted by atoxyl at 12:35 PM on June 28


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