Home / Collectivism / Surveillance Grid / Facebook CEO Admits that he Called his Users ‘Dumb Fucks’
Facebook CEO Admits that he Called his Users ‘Dumb Fucks’ zuckerberg dumb fuck 620x330

Facebook CEO Admits that he Called his Users ‘Dumb Fucks’

mark-zuckerberg-and-giving-the-finger-gallery  Facebook CEO Admits that he Called his Users ‘Dumb Fucks’ mark zuckerberg and giving the finger galleryA public outrage over Facebook’s casual attitude towards the privacy of its 400 million users is threatening to snowball into a full-blown crisis as high-profile members start closing their accounts. [8]  The Silicon Alley Insider has a transcript of IMs between a then-19-year-old Zuckerberg, shortly after he launched Facebook, and a college friend. The correspondence, published by the Business Insider website, shows a 19-year-old Zuckerberg firing off scattergun thoughts about business, social networks – and user privacy.  [6]  Zuckerberg appears to confirm in one message that he secretly hacked into the website of the Harvard University newspaper, the Crimson, by guessing the emails and passwords of two people in the college database. [6] “So I want to read what they said about me before the article came out and after I complained,” he told a friend. “So I’m just like trying the email/passwords of everyone who put that they’re in the Crimson. I wonder if the school tracks stuff like that.” [6]  In another message, Zuckerberg boasts about deactivating college students’ accounts on the internal Harvard social network, ConnectU. “I got bored so I started deactivating accounts on ConnectU haha,” the future cyber-grandee writes.  At one point, Zuckerberg’s comments, strung together: “Yeah so if you ever need info about anyone at Harvard. Just ask. I have over 4,000 emails, pictures, addresses, SNS.” Asked how, he responds: “People just submitted it. I don’t know why. They ‘trust me.’ Dumb fucks.” [7] Facebook was started by a bunch of college students, so hearing they acted like a bunch of frat guys isn’t exactly surprising nor is it likely to worry anyone. However, what is worrying is that Mark Zuckerberg was so casual about giving out users’ details. [9] This provide more amunitions for Mark Zuckerberg’s privacy critics.  Judging from the recent number of tell-all books, an Oscar-nominated film depicting his not-so-innocent rise to the top, and news reports exposing some despicable episodes from his past (and present)—it’s quite obvious that Mark Zuckerberg is slowly becoming one of Silicon Valley’s biggest douchebags. [1] Former employees have exposed his dirty laundry and labeled him an egomaniac fixated on marching to the beat of his own drum, even if it means stomping on others in the process. Needless to say, as Facebook’s financials begin to flounder, the Zuck’s arrogance is beginning to lose its charm. [1]

wymtunkbwmiascork29s  Facebook CEO Admits that he Called his Users ‘Dumb Fucks’ wymtunkbwmiascork29sfucking_mark_zuckerberg  Facebook CEO Admits that he Called his Users ‘Dumb Fucks’ fucking mark zuckerbergThe “dumb fucks” episode can be seen just a “silly dorm-room chitchat” by some people, writes Nicholas Carlson, “but the exchange does reveal that Facebook’s aggressive attitude toward privacy may have begun early on.”  [11] The truth is that this comment really does appear to reflect Mark’s own views of privacy, which seem to be that people shouldn’t care about it as much as they do — an attitude that very much reflects the attitude of his generation.  [3] After all, here’s what early Facebook engineering boss, Harvard alum, and Zuckerberg confidant Charlie Cheever said in David Kirkpatrick’s brilliantly-reported upcoming book The Facebook Effect.  “I feel Mark doesn’t believe in privacy that much, or at least believes in privacy as a stepping stone. Maybe he’s right, maybe he’s wrong.” [3] Facebook didn’t deny the authenticity of the “dumb fucks” conversation. [1] [6] But Facebook seems to deem the situation serious enough to have called an ‘all hands’ meeting of its staff  to address concerns over data protection. [8] “We’re not going to debate claims from anonymous sources or dated allegations that attempt to characterize Mark’s and Facebook’s views toward privacy,” said a statement, adding that the “privacy and security of our users’ information is of paramount important to us.” [7] Meantime, Facebook execs are addressing employee concerns on the subject, notes the Los Angeles Times. [10]

Mark Zuckerberg admits in a New Yorker profile that he mocked early Facebook users for trusting him with their personal information. A youthful indiscretion, the Facebook founder says he’s much more mature now, at the ripe age of 26. [4]  The now notorious “dumb fucks” comment, first published by former Valleywag Nicholas Carlson at Silicon Alley Insider, is now confirmed by Zuckerberg himself in Jose Antonio Vargas’s New Yorker piece. [11] When asked Zuckerberg about the IMs that have already been published online, and that I have also obtained and confirmed, he said that he “absolutely” regretted them. [5] Zuckerberg told Vargas, “I think I’ve grown and learned a lot” since those instant messages. [4] “If you’re going to go on to build a service that is influential and that a lot of people rely on, then you need to be mature, right?” he said. [5]  Nevertheless, those messages will have proved painfully embarrassing for the Facebook founder who has attempted to draw a line under his Harvard days and be the responsible, but still hoody-wearing, internet executive his investors yearn for him to be. [6] Zuckerberg’s sophomoric former self, he insists, shouldn’t define who he is now. But he knows that it does, and that, because of the upcoming release of “The Social Network,” it will surely continue to do so. The movie is a scathing portrait, and the image of an unsmiling, insecure, and sexed-up young man will be hard to overcome. Zuckerberg said, “I think a lot people will look at that stuff, you know, when I was nineteen, and say, ‘Oh, well, he was like that. . . . He must still be like that, right?’ ” [5]

Facebook is currently in the spotlight for its relentlessly increasing exposure of data its users assumed was private. [2] We remember that Facebook caused particular outrage in December last year when it informed its users it had changed their privacy settings so that private information, including name, profile picture, gender, city, networks and friends could all be seen by strangers. [8] Users had to go into their privacy settings and opt-out if they wanted to change this default setting. That may sound simple, but the New York Times recently found that Facebook’s privacy settings had a combination of 50 different settings and 170 options.  [8] Some, like gdgt.com co-founder Peter Rojas – hardly a technophobe – found it simpler to announce they were deactivating their account.  [8] This week the European Commission’s data protection working party told Facebook the changes it had made in December were “unacceptable”. It said the default setting on social networking groups ought to be for information only to be shared with “self-selected contacts”. [8] “Providers of social networking sites should be aware that it would be a breach of data protection law if they use personal data of other individuals contained in a user profile for commercial purposes if these other individuals have not given their free and unambiguous consent,” the working party said in a statement. [8]

And yet the old quote resounds precisely because Facebook continues to stir up privacy controversies at regular intervals. Zuckerberg justifies his privacy rollbacks by saying the social norms have changed. [1] Facebook’s ‘all-hands’ meeting is not expected to lead to any changes in its policy – and bloggers claim that far from caving in to privacy advocates, the website is planning to strengthen its presence in Washington in order to lobby for its own interests. [8]  The reality is Facebook, which is a free service to its users, is sitting on a hoard of data which is incredibly valuable to advertisers. Without that data, it cannot possibly justify the $11bn valuation recently placed on it by Forbes. [8] Facebook’s data stash is regarded as something quite special. It’s authenticated against a real person, and the users tend to be over 35 and middle class – the ideal demographic for selling high value goods and services. In addition, users have so far been ‘sticky’ to Facebook, something quite exceptional since social networks fall out of fashion (Friends Reunited, Friendster) as quickly as they attract users. [2] The damaging messages doesn’t seems to have derailed the stratospheric success of Facebook. Zuckerberg was named Time’s person of the year in 2010, just months after the controversial “dumb fucks” exchanges became public.  Recently, the social network cemented its place in US business history with a public offering expected to value Facebook at $104bn and make its founder one of the richest people on Earth. [6]

[1] Alex Bracetti, Mark Zuckerberg’s 13 Douchiest Moments, Complex, Sep 6, 2012
[2] Andrew Orlowski, Facebook founder called trusting users dumb f*cks. Peace Prize for Mr Zuckerberg?, The Register, 14 May 2010 at 11:33
[3] Nicholas Carlson, Well, These New Zuckerberg IMs Won’t Help Facebook’s Privacy Problems, The Business Insider, May 13, 2010, 11:19 AM
[4] Ryan Tate, Facebook CEO Admits To Calling Users ‘Dumb Fucks’, Gawker, 9/13/10 1:11pm
[5] Nicholas Carlson, “Embarrassing And Damaging” Zuckerberg IMs Confirmed By Zuckerberg, The New Yorker,  The Business Insider, Sep. 13, 2010, 9:34 AM
[6] Josh Halliday, Facebook: Mark Zuckerberg college messages reveal steely ambition, The Guardian,  Friday 18 May 2012 13.20 BST
[8] Tim Edwards, Are users ‘dumb fucks’ for trusting data to Facebook?, The Week,  15:28 – Fri 14 May 2010
[9] Jane McEntegart, Facebook CEO Called Trusting Users ”Dumb F***s”, Tom’s Guide, May 14, 2010 4:40 PM
[10] The business and culture of our digital lives, L.A. Times, May 13, 2010 |  3:37 pm
[11] Jose Antonio Vargas, The Face of Facebook. Mark Zuckerberg opens up, The New Yorker, September 20, 2010 Issue


About Bill Wallace

Bill Wallace is a self-fashioned writter, a computer programmer and cybermarketer from Quebec City, Canada who decided to enter the political arena after his disillusionment with the socialist system under which he was living in the French Canadian province of Quebec.

Send this to a friend