Video: Do you remember Facebook’s terrible TV ad back in April that tried to “apologise” for abusing your data? It was disingenuous garbage. But with Facebook back in the news after the company lost $US120 billion ($162 billion) in value last week, John Oliver has revived the ad. Only this time the TV spot has a little more honesty.
Facebook’s original ad tried to remind you of all the “friends” you have on the platform, while issuing a half-arsed apology for “fake news” and “data misuse”. But HBO’s Last Week Tonight changes the ad ever-so-slightly to highlight the only thing Facebook actually cares about: Harvesting your data to make a ton of money.
You can watch John Oliver’s fake ad on YouTube in a segment that opens with the original TV ad. But if you can’t watch the video for some reason we have a transcript below.
John Oliver’s fake ad says:
You came here for the friends. You got to know the friends of your friends. We came here for your data. And the data of everyone you’ve ever come into contact with. From your old friends from middle school to your grandma. To your grandma’s friends from middle school.
And your data enabled us to make a fuck-ton of money form corporations, app developers and political campaigns. Then we discovered your uncle used to have ties to the Klan. And guess what? We realised we could make a fuck-ton of money off that shit too.
Seriously you guys, we were making so much money off of you, you don’t even understand. But then, you found out about it. And we had to testify and issue bullshit apology ads, all so we could lose $120 billion.
But here’s the thing: Nothing’s really gonna change. We’ve got your data. We’ve got your friends. And, really, where are you gonna go? Friendster?
Fuck you. That’s why we’re gonna keep finding subtle ways to violate your privacy. So we can carry on doing what this place was built for. Functioning as a haven for racist trolls. A way for your to feel jealous of people you haven’t seen in years. And a place for your to fritter your life away while watching videos of cats eating corn, dogs riding horses, and kids... beating the shit out of each other. All while we make an ungodly amount of money.
Facebook: We own who you are.
Facebook has had a rough week. Well, it’s had a rough year. And much like every social media company, it’s perpetually 18 months away from being a ghost town. Because the internet is a big place. And humanity is notoriously fickle.
Can Facebook survive? Only time will tell. But no matter what happens, we know that future history books will be able to cite Facebook as a contributor to the global rise of fascism and complicit in literal genocide. But at least we got some marginally funny videos along the way.