Mark Zuckerberg, the dream son-in-law for every Jewish Mom is in big trouble but all of us should be so blessed to be in such a dilemma. A little bit about his background and success story before we get into his tzurises. He is a Westchester kid who, while in Harvard, developed a social networking company with a bunch of dorm friends that eventually bloomed into his current firm, Facebook. Most of us belong to this freebie service that is now a gigantic business. Its revenue from its ads is nearly $40 billion annually with total assets nearly $84 billion. It now has more than 2.2 billion monthly active users.
But its success is also Facebook’s biggest problem. Because of its popularity, it has been under congressional and media scrutiny over its privacy and psychological effects it has on users. It has faced tremendous pressure over the amount of fake news, hate speech and the showing of violence on its services. Most recently its future is a bit uncertain following revelations that its data from over 87 million users may have been improperly accessed by another firm, Cambridge Analytica. Zuckerberg, to his credit, testifying at a rare joint meeting of the Senate Commerce and Judiciary Committees stated, “We didn’t take a broad enough view of our responsibility and that was a big mistake.
It was my mistake, and I’m sorry.” We know many lawyers who would have counseled him to keep his mouth shut since his testimony might come back to haunt him in future civil or criminal proceedings. The FTC has chimed in with allegations that Facebook did not get users’ “affirmative express consent before enacting changes that override their privacy preferences.” It also prohibited the social network from misrepresenting the privacy or security of its users’ data. Although Facebook has said that users freely share information many people do not pay attention to the fine print. This data scandal could change user behavior across the technological board. Throw into this mess, the Federal Election Commission’s recent announcement that political advertisements online will soon have to identify their sponsors. This is in the wake of Russia’s disinformation campaign, which utilized Facebook accounts .
Its stock price has dropped from a high of about $220 in July to its current value of $154 per share. This frightens pension and mutual fund managers who have invested heavily and perhaps foolishly on the company’s once bright future and income. There is now a clamor for the company, not to be disbanded but to be re-engineered under new leadership. And of course, if this be the case, Mr. Mark Zuckerberg will have to go. If he is terminated by the company he fathered, he will not walk the unemployment line, put in for unemployment neither will he apply for welfare. This multi-billionaire, not yet even 40 years old can live a life of luxury undreamed of by every single one of his customers. He tried, succeeded and is now a victim of his success. That’s life.
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