Roughly 50 protesters occupied the front of Zuck’s Liberty Hill manse on Monday morning, shaking their fists over shady Facebook practices like allowing falsehoods in political ads, spreading misinformation, and profiting off our personal data.
Longtime readers of this blog know that Mark Zuckerberg has a house near Dolores Park, often easy to spot because of the excessive security detail, and well-known after the Chronicle published a photo of the place in early 2016. That common knowledge that a certain house belongs to the founder and CEO of the ethically challenged social media giant makes the location something of a target for demonstrations, like the one that took place this morning, as Mission Local reports on a protest outside Mark Zuckerberg’s house hoping to take the boy-king to task for the platform’s eager monetization of misinformation and obviously fraudulent political advertising.
Protestors chanting “wake up Zuck.” They want Facebook to change its political ads policy. pic.twitter.com/W4eTwSwVQT— Queenie Wong (@QWongSJ) February 17, 2020
This morning’s protest has apparently been in the works for a few days, organized by a collection of advocacy groups that includes the Raging Granny Action League. Below we see a tweet from watchdog group Media Alliance promoting the event, and there was an Eventbrite invite to this morning’s proceedings that does mention a similar gathering in Palo Alto, where Zuckerberg owns (and tears down) several properties. But Zuck wasn't even home in the Bay Area at all — he's currently in Brussels trying to stave off some new regulations in the EU.
#PresidentsDay can seem meaningless, but spend an hour at Zuckerberg's roost in SF to say manipulative AI targeting of deceptive political ads by millionaire plutocrats for profit is the sabotage of democracy #Facebook needs to stop it. #ProtestFacebook https://t.co/m8xPu8bS6b— Media Alliance (@twrling) February 15, 2020
That said, “around 45 protesters” rallied in front of the tech mogul’s home. “Facebook needs to take responsibility for what they’re doing — they need to get the lies off of their platform,” Global Exchange activist Ted Lewis told the crowd, per Mission Local. “Political advertising could contain the most blatant falsehood and they refuse to do anything about it.”
Phrases such as “Wake the Zuck Up!,” “Zuck sold out democracy,” and “Don’t sell my private data, were also chalked upon his sidewalk, as reported by CNet’s Queenie Wong.
Wake the Zuck Up! Zuck sold out democracy. Don’t sell my private data. Those are some of the phrases written in chalk outside of Zuckerberg’s house in SF. pic.twitter.com/40ncJJRbmx— Queenie Wong (@QWongSJ) February 17, 2020
Facebook is rightfully catching terrible flak for happily selling false political advertisements, a practice which Twitter has announced they’ll stop doing.
Protestors says they’re tired of waiting for the government to regulate Facebook. pic.twitter.com/GMyaW8Ta33— Queenie Wong (@QWongSJ) February 17, 2020
And hey, it’s our old friend and full-time shit-stirrer Michael Petrelis, also rallying with the occupiers! But the disinformation problem could be spreading faster than activists can organize. Curiously widely endorsed presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg is now engaging in the practice of paying influencers to post memes for him, which Facebook will also gladly allow as long as their beaks are getting wet too. Bloomberg has now surpassed Trump’s Facebook spending, dropping more than $1 million a day on the platform according to The Hill, previewing our dystopian future wherein U.S. presidential elections are exclusively waged between billionaires and effectively determined by who spent more on Facebook ads.
Overheard at protest at Zuckerberg’s SF house: security guards asked protestors not to lean signs against his home. pic.twitter.com/KVRp7iX1lH— Queenie Wong (@QWongSJ) February 17, 2020