Is Facebook Evil?
Welcome to Question of the Day. It gives interns something to do!
It seems like it’s time for the biannual hand-wringing over how powerful Facebook is and how it could potentially sell all of our personal details to evil advertisers. First there was that business with the company’s IPO, which was a disaster, partly thanks to some apparently artificial stock price inflation, which had nothing to do with the site but reminded you that Zuckerberg was a dick. Then there was a flurry of extremely dumb people posting non-legally-binding “privacy notices” on their walls because they were paranoid about their precious information getting violated. Is it time to put them on the official List of Naughty Corporations? We asked some people—real-life people, not internet people—if they thought Facebook was evil.
Mitch, psychology major: No, but a lot of my friends deleted it though because they think it’s mainstream now. I was thinking of it too.
Of getting rid of it?
Yeah, but I just graduated college and it’s a good way to stay in touch with everyone. It’s fine as long as you don’t abuse it and spend your whole life on it.
Have you ever been in a Facebook fight?
No way. I’ve never even been in a real fight. I’m not that type of guy.
Joelle, fashion major: No, I don’t. It’s like a new way of getting to know people.
Do you use it everyday?
Yes, I cannot imagine life without Facebook.
What are you using it for?
Well, if I go to a bar and meet a cute guy and I know his name or he knows mine, we can find each other on Facebook and I can see if he’s creepy.
How can you tell if he’s creepy? Does the profile picture give it away?
Yeah, I guess, and Facebook also lets you know if he’s gay or not. Especially because this is New York, you never know who’s gay and who’s not.
Vincent, homeless: Never heard of it.
You’ve never heard of Facebook? I don’t believe you. You’ve never heard of Facebook?
Oh, yeah, Facebook, maybe I’ve heard of it.
Do you think it’s evil?
Nah, it’s all the same bologna. I don’t pay it no mind.
Do you know anyone on Facebook?
No, I’ve been out on the street five, six years now. I don’t know nobody on Facebook.
Lee, painter: Steve Jobs is the antichrist.
Wait, what? I was talking about Facebook, but I’ll bite. Are you glad Steve Jobs is dead?
I don’t care if he’s dead or not.
Well, he is dead. I’m guessing you do not have Facebook?
No, do you?
Uh, I do but…
It’s OK, I checked out Facebook once, too.
Terry, truck driver: I think the whole fucking internet is evil.
Oh, yeah. There’s no doubt about it. Facebook is bad because you’re gonna get people talking bad about each other and bullying each other. Nothing really good comes out of Facebook.
There’s been some Facebook-related suicides.
It’s going to increase. Do you know the logo for the Apple computer?
Yeah, it’s an apple.
No, it’s a bite out of an apple. Do you know what that represents? The forbidden fruit. Steve Jobs knew what he was doing all along. He knew he was creating something good and evil at the same time.
I guess that means he’s an evil genius.
I guess so. My friend from Staten Island has a kid. She’s 12. A middle-aged man started talking to her on Facebook, trying to get with her sexually.
Clara, student: Yes.
Do you have one?
Yes, I do. I might get rid of it soon. People use it to create fictional or bettered versions of themselves for people to see.
Like when fat people try out different camera angles so that they don’t look fat?
Yeah, stuff like that.
You should get rid of it today.
I can’t, I need to use it for stalking.
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