Facebook is a parasite. That isn’t hyperbole. It’s literally their business model. Here’s how the Centers for Disease Control defines a parasite:
A parasite is an organism that lives on or in a host organism and gets its food from or at the expense of its host.
Today, Facebook continued its parasitic behavior. Not content with the still-continuing PR nightmare sparked by their complicity in covering up the genocide in Myanmar, aiding both Brexit and Trump’s election by giving Cambridge Analytica unfettered access to millions of user profiles without its users’ consent, and being one of the go-to places to buy and sell Nazi memorabilia, Facebook wants us all to know that we are nothing more than meat vessels to be exploited in their insatiable desire to surpass Bond villain-levels of world domination. Per the Wall Street Journal:
The social-media giant has asked large U.S. banks to share detailed financial information about their customers, including card transactions and checking-account balances, as part of an effort to offer new services to users.
Facebook increasingly wants to be a platform where people buy and sell goods and services, besides connecting with friends. The company over the past year asked JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Citigroup Inc. and U.S. Bancorp to discuss potential offerings it could host for bank customers on Facebook Messenger, said people familiar with the matter.
Here’s how wild this report is: the architects of the 2008 financial crisis that wiped out 40% of all middle class wealth are the good guys in this story, as the WSJ continued:
Data privacy is a sticking point in the banks’ conversations with Facebook, according to people familiar with the matter. The talks are taking place as Facebook faces several investigations over its ties to political analytics firm Cambridge Analytica, which accessed data on as many 87 million Facebook users without their consent.
One large U.S. bank pulled away from talks due to privacy concerns, some of the people said.
Of course, the banks aren’t hesitant to join Facebook in this plan because of any moral quandary, but thanks to liability concerns and just straight greed. Facebook’s inability to keep Cambridge Analytica away from sensitive user data is no-doubt informing the banks’ trepidation, and the message hidden in there is that Facebook may not be competent enough to pull off the operation they’re pitching to our financial titans. Besides, if you’re a megalith like JPMorgan, why farm a massive operation out to Facebook when you could just build a platform to snag user data yourself? That’s why the banks created Zelle instead of partnering with PayPal or Venmo.
Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook have launched a sprawling PR campaign in the wake of this year’s never-ending disastrous news cycle which has proven that they can be just as evil as any other gigantic conglomerate, and Facebook is asserting that “when this place does what it was built for, then we all get a little closer.”
Bullshit. Facebook was built specifically to harvest user data. Mark Zuckerberg wouldn’t have turned down $1 billion from Yahoo back when people actually liked his product if he didn’t think it could be worth more than that astronomical amount of money, and boy was he right. Letting friends and families connect across the globe isn’t what fuels Facebook—it’s selling the data from those interactions to anyone willing to buy it. Last Week Tonight made the honest version of Facebook’s near-ubiquitous commercial effectively apologizing for acting like a sociopath.
Facebook lost $120 billion off its market cap after a disastrous earnings call where they announced they were going to make less money the rest of the year, but that said more about Wall Street’s complete lack of understanding of the tech industry than Facebook’s long-term struggles. Facebook isn’t going anywhere any time soon, and its stock closed up 4% today on news of its offer to siphon off user data from the banks—which should be all the evidence we need of what “this place was built for.”
Jacob Weindling is a staff writer for Paste politics. Follow him on Twitter at @Jakeweindling.