How low can you go?

A recent poll of top 100 most visible US companies placed Facebook at 94, just above Dish, Well Fargo, Trump Organization, Sears, Philip Morris, and the US Government. The company declines 43 places in the past year. Facebook’s position just above a crummy bank, a failing retailer and a tobacco company says everything about the company and its values. No one trusts the company, because it has lied once too often.

It is a remarkable indictment of a company with a market capitalization of nearly half a trillion dollars. The sheer profits of its advertising engine — regardless of the consequences of its engagement and growth at any cost — are the reason Wall Street doesn’t care about anything else.

I have been on the record as saying that it is a net negative for our society. It is a vortex of negativity for the Silicon Valley ecosystem — a company that has stolen from the ecosystem at every turn. Its actions are why regulators will foist ill-thought-out regulation on all technology and in the process dampen the spark of innovation. The reaction to Facebook and its impact on society, in general, will lead to even good technology being demonized because it has shown what happens when technology has no consequence.

Their PR games, their lies, and deceit are without any social, moral or human consequences. The poll results and its tattered reputation is a resounding slap in its face. What is more disheartening is that except for a handful of voices, Silicon Valley’s elders, many who posit humanistic missions are silent about a company that deserves to be deemed a pariah in our ecosystem. Time is now to ask ourselves — what are the unintended consequences of our industry and our technology. Otherwise, we will have presidential hopefuls turn innovation into a vote securing pinata.

Photo courtesy of Unsplash

A letter from Om

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