The tech giant’s carefree years of unregulated, untaxed growth are coming to an end.
Facebook is projected to boost sales by 46 percent and double net income, but make no mistake: It had a terrible year. Despite its financial performance, the social media giant is facing a reckoning in 2018 as regulators close in on several fronts.
The main issue cuts to the core of the company itself: Rather than “building global community,” as founder Mark Zuckerberg sees Facebook’s mission, it is “ripping apart the social fabric.”
Those are the words of Chamath Palihapitiya, the company’s former vice president of user growth. He doesn’t allow his kids to use Facebook because he doesn’t want them to become slaves to “short-term, dopamine-driven feedback loops.”
Palihapitya’s criticism echoes that of Facebook’s first president, Sean Parker: “It literally changes your relationship with society, with each other … God only knows what it’s doing to our children’s brains.”
.. Facebook, like Google, books almost all its non-U.S. revenue in Ireland with its low corporate tax rate — and pays most of it to a tax haven for the use of intellectual property rights. The practice resulted in a 10.1 percent effective tax rate for Facebook in the third quarter of 2017.
.. On Tuesday, Facebook announced that it will start booking revenue from large ad sales in the countries they occur, not Ireland.
Thank you to the majority of Alabamians for loving our country more than you hated Democrats. Thank you for voting as citizens, not as members of a tribe.
.. I have peered into this tribal abyss.
.. Back in the late 1970s, when I was covering the Lebanese civil war, a story made the rounds in Beirut that the Lebanese Christian Phalangist militia had come up with a novel way of discovering a Palestinian trying to pass through one of its checkpoints. The Phalangists would show the driver a tomato and ask: What’s this? If the driver used the standard Lebanese pronunciation, “banadurra,” he was allowed to pass. If he used the Palestinian pronunciation, “bandora,” he could be pulled out of his car and shot on the spot.
That is tribal politics at its raw essence: It doesn’t matter how you live your life or what you aspire to for your society. All that matters is your sectarian or tribal identity, revealed by how you pronounce the word for tomato.
Middle Easterners have a saying for this kind of thinking: “Me and my brother against my cousin. Me, my brother and my cousin against the outsider.”.. Facebook executive Chamath Palihapitiya tell CNBC on Tuesday that social media is creating a society that confuses “popularity” with “truth.”