Last week was a good week for me. I’m the new king of England, the Twinklevii lost the same lawsuit against me for the fifth time and they don’t get to do guest voices for The Simpsons like I did. I have a principle: If 12-year-old you wouldn’t be impressed by your current life, you haven’t won yet. Twelve-year-old Mark would be very impressed with 27-year-old Mark.
A Message From Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg
Tech reporters are a very special type of journalist. Specifically, they’re the type that doesn’t work.
First they reported that I’d joined Google+. I’m sorry, that’s too precise. They reported that I may have joined. No one even called my people to check. (Except CNET, but we brushed them off on principle.)
As I accidentally wrote to Robert Scoble (the sloppily engineered Android I was testing skipped past “Rob Reiner”), why are people so surprised that I’d have a Google account?
If there’s one thing I’ve learned reading 700 million status updates, it’s that people are predictable: You guys will complain about everything. Every time I change Facebook’s privacy settings, it takes exactly one day before the usual gang of idiots starts whining that this is an outrage and it’s the worst outrage ever and how dare I change the privacy settings again and Facebook is an Orwellian police state. Why so serious?
I knew there’d be a backlash no matter what I did. I mean, I had Justin blog about this thing last fucking year. I waited months to turn it on. I made sure it could tell your crotch from Anthony Wiener’s. I even added a button to turn off the feature. The security Nazis are griping that I should have made the face tagger “opt-in.” That’s geek slang for “no one will find it.”
Don’t listen to them. They’ll all leave it on. It gives them something to complain about, plus they’re dying to know if anyone’s posted a photo of them lately. “Look, here I am at the Total Surveillance State Conference in May. I’m standing right next to Bruce Schneier!”
Oh well, gotta hop. Corporate Communications wants me to personally answer Congressman Wiener’s staff. The Republicans are scouring the Web for more dick shots. See what happens when you give the Internet to someone born in 1964? Serves him right for using Twitter.
Photo via Big Think
The biggest problem in social networking is what I call Zuckerberg’s Law: The intelligence of a network decreases in direct proportion to the number of dumb fucks who sign up. You guys totally proved it this week.
For the three of you who missed the drama because you’re still on MySpace: I decided I would only eat meat from animals I kill myself. I asked a local chef for help, and she trained me to slaughter livestock the most humane way possible. You know how I used to gripe that if my investors say “adult supervision” one more time I’ll slit their throats? Turns out it’s easier than you think.
On Thursday I updated my status to “I just killed a pig and a goat.” Bam, 2,309 comments. I thought I’d posted to the PETA page by accident. Forbes or Fortune or whichever asked me to explain myself. I shouldn’t have bothered. The media have an uncanny ability to quote me word for word, and still get it wrong. You’d do better to get your news from Groupon.
Yeah, I know: My PR people got busted trying to plant bad stories about Google in the press, in places like Politico (I don’t read it, either) where big-government types would see them. The idea was to get Washington to turn up the heat on the Googlers over privacy, an issue we’ve managed to avoid at Facebook by completely ignoring it.
The problem isn’t that my flacks tried to smear a so-called competitor. Everyone does it. The problem is they got caught. I told them: Start a fake company called, oh, Privacy Foundation. Don’t tell the schmucks who run it where their funding comes from. Then stay out of the picture while the sock puppets passionately pitch USA Today that Google is an Orwellian nightmare. Make it a non-profit, I said. Reporters won’t bother to fact-check a word.
I’ve learned an important lesson: Never hire a publicist over thirty. Thank god she’s gone.
The backlash to what should have been an awesome prank is ruining my week. Not like anyone’s quitting Facebook. Good luck with that. But I’m stuck in emergency meetings with investors who need me to personally assure them that no, I’m not scared that Google Social Circle, formerly Google Buzz, formerly Google Wave, formerly Orkut (look it up) is a threat to Facebook.
When I started Facebook, I built it around a few simple ideas. People want to share and stay connected with their friends and the people around them. When you share more, the world becomes more open and connected.
Except the Middle East.
Look, it’s great that everyone thinks I’m responsible for a bunch of has-been despots having to hop a redeye to Caracas. But if whatshisname in Corporate Communications sends around another link about the Facebook Revolution, I’ll plotz. Ten years ago, Filipinos got sick of Erap Estrada’s same-old-same-old and revolted. Was it because of the smart mobs and their cellphones? No, those guys would’ve run Estrada out of Manila if they’d had to organize by standing in the street and yelling. Which they did.
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