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A GOOD FRIEND

“We came here for your data”—John Oliver fixed Facebook’s cringe-worthy apology

By Edmund Heaphy
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

John Oliver didn’t buy the genteel, faux-conciliatory tones of Facebook’s recent apologies, which have included  a TV ad saying it was going to change. So he made his own version.

It’s brutal—and almost entirely because it’s more honest.

Oliver’s, shown on his HBO show Last Week Tonight yesterday (July 29), underlines the contradiction at the heart of Facebook’s message.

Spam, clickbait, fake news and data misuse didn’t just “happen” on Facebook. Instead, they’re a direct result of the social media giant’s business model, which rewards it for turning a blind eye to misbehavior. “Fuck you. Facebook was doing exactly what it was built for. That’s why it was worth $600 billion,” Oliver says in a preamble to the revised ad.

If the company was being more candid, it might include lines like Oliver’s version: “We came here for your data. And the data of everyone you’ve ever come into contact with.” Or, perhaps, this:

That’s why we’re going to 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 you 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.

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