back to article Facebook is MORE IMPORTANT to humanity than PORTUGAL

Facebook has paid a bunch of consultants to make the dubious claim that the free-content ad network's worldwide economic value is far greater than the billions of dollars in sales it drums up each year. If figures from Deloitte are to be believed, Mark Zuckerberg's ego was stroked to the tune of $227bn, based on the assertion …

  1. Stuart 22 Silver badge

    Self Importance?

    Frankly I would rather sit down with a bottle of Port and watch Benfica play. Oh, and people will still be remembering what Vasco de Gama did when Zuckofeatures is long forgotten.

    Poke that!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Self Importance?

      Sorry, Vasco who?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Posting stupid?

        Post anonymous.

      2. Chris Hawkins

        Re: Self Importance?

        "...Sorry, Vasco who?..."

        The guy, who over 500 years ago, started Europe and the World on the first steps to Globalisation.

        Mine's also Benfica, but with a bottle of Pegões, a plate of Bacalhau com Natas, and a Beirão to finish the evening off!

        1. Dan 55 Silver badge

          Re: Self Importance?

          I think AC's point was it's 'da Gama'.

        2. fandom

          Re: Self Importance?

          "the first steps to Globalisation."

          Never heard of the Silk Route?

        3. James Micallef Silver badge

          Re: Self Importance?

          <Homer>Mmmmmmm, Bacalhau</Homer>

      3. lidgaca

        Re: Self Importance?

        Didn't he play centre half for Benfica in '08 ?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Self Importance?

          If you mean 1508 he was in his 40s, just playing in the park with the kids.

    2. Dazed and Confused

      Re: Self Importance?

      Sod Benfica and pass the port my good man.

      They make some mighty fine wines too.

    3. Daniel B.

      Re: Self Importance?

      Can't remember what Vasco de Gama did, but there are quite some main avenues named after him, so I guess he is important.

    4. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Self Importance?

      I was with you as far as Port. But I'd need considerably more than one bottle to reconcile me to watching a bunch of kids kick a bag of wind up and down a field.

  2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    GDP is income per year

    Market cap is maximum total value in a hypothetical world where you could sell all the stock and the punters would buy it all without the price falling

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: GDP is income per year

      I used to post that but people kept arguing with me. You can cause a stock market panic by just a few percent of shares changing hands, but people seem to think you could sell off all your Apple shares (and now Facebook) without anybody noticing.

      The Saudis are currently demonstrating what happens to the oil price when supply is allowed slightly to exceed demand. But perhaps the explanation is simple; all those selfies of all the world's market analysts are currently stored, as full colour 10 by 8s on archival stock, in a big filing cabinet under Zuckerberg's sugar mountain.

    2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: GDP is income per year

      Didn't Microsoft always pay someone to come up with a survey to say that the new version of Windows would boost the UK (or US or EU) economy by some insane figure like £250 bn over 2 years. Thus saying how great this new version of Windows must be - and allowing them to bleat about how piracy was destroying all this lovely value that would accrue to us all - and so how our governments must destroy the pirates forthwith.

      On which subject, if video piracy funds terrorism, what does software piracy fund? Cancer perhaps?

  3. FrankAlphaXII

    >>People actually confuse Facebook and the internet in some places.

    Where? At the Intersection of Narcissist Road and Idiocy Lane? I mean seriously.

    I use Facebook, I like Facebook for what it is (for me, a cheap way to talk to people I served with in the Army, get news from on the ground regarding disasters and emergency incidents, and to communicate with family who I otherwise wouldn't get a chance to), but most of the shit on there is completely inane garbage re-posted by people who should generally know better. I have a hard time believing the COO's story that anyone gets it confused with the wider internet or even the web.

    1. ratfox

      They are talking about Nigeria or Pakistan, not you. People who start surfing the web for the first time on a cell phone. And this is no exaggeration: For some newcomers in "the next billion", Facebook is really how they discover the web.

      1. Daniel B.

        Not surprised

        After all, we already had people thinking "the web" == Internet back in 1998.

    2. Sarah Balfour

      At least you're able to differentiate between the Web and the Internet. When the W3 turned 20, there were hundreds of 'Happy Birthday Internet!' posts in my Fuckberk and Twatter feeds (neither of which I use anymore) many from folk well old enough to recall a time before the Web existed. My gentle admonition that it was the WEB that was 20, NOT the Internet was either met with me being blasted for being a fucking pedant, or variations on a theme of "Same thing, innit…?" The Google Doodle even linked to a page chronicling the history of the W3 (forget where, probably just Wikipedia) told 'em to read that and they STILL didn't understand the difference. Web: software, Internet: hardware - I really fail to see what's so difficult to grasp about that…

      I'm surrounded by idiots, imbeciles and ignoramuses.

    3. big_D Silver badge

      Sugar Oaf Mountain is deluded.

      I buy a phone because I want to talk to my friends and family, you know, by dialing their numbers and actually speaking.

      I haven't installed Facebook on phone and I haven't used Facebook since 2009. I gave up because of privacy concerns and the fact that my life was so hectic, what with meeting people, work etc. that I only managed to get a chance to quickly look at it once a month or once every 2 months...

  4. Ken 16 Silver badge

    How many of those 4.5 million jobs were within Deloittes?

    Anyway, I thought Facebook users were all retired?

    1. tony2heads

      Re: How many of those 4.5 million jobs were within Deloittes?

      My cat hasn't retired (but neither has he ever worked)

      1. Jonathan 27

        Re: How many of those 4.5 million jobs were within Deloittes?

        Your cat sounds lazy, mine has been in my employ for years and never shirks his duties (although most of them are playing, cuddling and purring).

        1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

          Re: How many of those 4.5 million jobs were within Deloittes?

          Jonathan 27,

          Your fundamental mistake (understandable due to their fiendish cunning) is to believe that your cat is in your employ, rather than the other way round. Cats do not have owners, they have staff...

      2. LaeMing

        Re: How many of those 4.5 million jobs were within Deloittes?

        Cats don't do the W-word.

  5. Mtech25

    Hmm one does wonder

    Facebook are due to realise earnings on the 28th of this month, the rather cynical side in me wonders if it was something to tempt the investors into push the stock higher so they use that to report higher profits and keep the gravy train rolling or am I just cynical?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hmm one does wonder

      If the stock goes higher it does not affect profits or earnings per share, but it does increase the P/E ratio which does not look so good.

      One could argue that Deloitte is hoping the prices will rise so that the inevitable fall after earnings are released will be less noticeable. Pump and dump is of course illegal, so they would never be involved in anything like that.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Hmm one does wonder

        "If the stock goes higher it does not affect profits or earnings per share, but it does increase the P/E ratio which does not look so good."

        That's true, but assumes that tech companies PE matters. In reality Google, Amazon, Facebook. Linkedin and others rarely if ever pay dividends, so from an investor perspective it's not about EPS because that doesn't translate to DPS, and the "investment" is not about an economic return from a future dividend stream, just about capital appreciation assuming the over-priced stock can be sold for an even higher price to some other mug. So it's fairly close to a Ponzi scheme.

        In this world, a tech director's life is just one long stock ramping exercise, sucking out as much money as they can whilst the party lasts. When the party ends, the directors stock options will be worthless, but what does that matter if they've had a good few millions out of the trough beforehand?

  6. Big_Ted


    Well I for one only buy a device if I can root it and install a ROM of choice.

    Top of the list of options when picking a ROM is zero bloat, ie no Farcebook or Twatter.

    Currently running cyanogenmod 12 and love the lack of social crap.

    1. Yugguy

      Re: WTF.....

      Indeed - the first thing I did when I got my Xperia Z3 was to disable ALL social media plugins.

      1. Stretch

        Re: WTF.....

        You probably went "Ooooh that's a lovely phone first" :)

  7. Mike Bell

    People will walk into phone stores and say 'I want Facebook'.

    Yeah, right. Homer Simpson, maybe.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: People will walk into phone stores and say 'I want Facebook'.

      Sub-Saharian Africa says hello. Go visit, you'll be surprised.

  8. sandman

    "Really? But Google is the internet, surely"?

    Oh, that's so last decade, do try and keep up! ;-)

    1. jackharbringer

      Re: "Really? But Google is the internet, surely"?

      Wait! What?! I thought AOL was the Interthingies...

      1. DropBear

        Re: "Really? But Google is the internet, surely"?

        Oh, come on now! When did the World Wide Web in all its http:// glory stopped being the internet?!? Am I getting old...?

      2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

        Re: "Really? But Google is the internet, surely"?


        Great comment. I'm going into Carphone Warehouse tomorrow, and asking them to sell me a phone with AOL on it. That should confuse them...

        Apart from anything else, where would I put all the CDs?

        1. 's water music

          Re: "Really? But Google is the internet, surely"?

          Great comment. I'm going into Carphone Warehouse tomorrow, and asking them to sell me a phone with AOL on it. That should confuse them...

          Apart from anything else, where would I put all the CDs?

          See if they will cut you a deal on an acoustic coupler. You always get the best accessory deals when you bundle them with a handset purchase

        2. e^iπ+1=0

          Re: "Really? But Google is the internet, surely"?

          "Apart from anything else, where would I put all the CDs?"

          Move with the times. We should be talking floppies here.

  9. 's water music

    Double entry book keeping gnomes

    1 You* count everything twice. Twice!

    2 Profit

    3 ??


    (*your minions obv.)

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ... the free-content content-free ad network ...

    There, fixed it.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Wow, if this is true!

    Maybe Facebook should just buy out Greece and put everyone there to work making and servicing all these devices and other social utilities that Facebook is generating!

    Then again, maybe the report is an example of "You want to pay us $300 an hour to tell you what?"

  12. DNTP

    I can absolutely believe that people want "The Facebooks" when they really mean the Internet, since way back in the day my primitive people were some of the ones who thought AOL = Internet. And we used our stone axes to fashion crude 14.4 modems and discovered the secrets of working copper to forge a second phone line and all of that was in service of the great god AOL who we thought was the Internet.

    Seriously though, remember when Portugal thought they were so great, they and Spain decided to split the entire world in half and then take one of those halves? In another century when the Neonetherlands and Canadatron split Mars between them, they're going to pay a PR company to shout out how they are Bigger Than Facebook.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Whenever I see something like this I always wonder what the total would be if they performed the same "analysis" for every company in existence. I have a suspicion that it would come to a bit more than the $77tn of global GDP. To be honest the whole stock market scares me on a daily basis. It only seems to work because everyone has a vested interest in pretending that these stocks are worth the money being asked. Who knows what will happen if a radical idea like value being associated to actual real output ever takes hold.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I always wonder what the total would be

      During the great Tokyo real estate boom, the market cap of Tokyo was greater than the estimated value of the rest of the world's real estate put together. Remember what happened about that?

  14. returnmyjedi

    "Google is the internet, surely?"

    Geocites and AltaVista used to think the same. Yahoo! probably still do.

  15. Tom 35

    It would be more amusing

    If Zuck had claimed to be bigger then Jesus.

    1. Oninoshiko

      Re: It would be more amusing

      Not hard really, I don't think Jesus was a particularly big fellow.

  16. Will Godfrey Silver badge

    What is the 'face - book' of which he spake?

  17. T. F. M. Reader Silver badge

    Cynical exploitation of broken window fallacy

    company's impact on the global economy "enabled" the creation of 4.5 million jobs in 2014.

    I smell a hidden assumption that were it not for FB those 4.5 million people would not do anything productive at all. The real value of FB, accepting the 4.5 million FB-related jobs as an axiom, is the difference between the value generated by all these men and women doing FB-related stuff and the most valuable of realistic alternative. At this point I am not sure this difference would be positive.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Cynical exploitation of broken window fallacy

      I can only think that Facebook have decided that all those people on benefits in the UK are in fact earning their money by using Facebook. In other news, Sky claim the creation of 3 million jobs in the football industry.

  18. rtb61

    Bad News

    This kind of share value promotion generally means very bad news. Facebook has reached it peak and is now losing the younger generation faster than it is gaining the older generation. Invasion of privacy, having to laboriously maintain a false impression of yourself, huge employment risks with the wrong content getting out, exposing yourself to undesirables and risk to younger family members.

    All those things are coming home to roost and well, seriously think about, who would put a massive billboard in their front yard advertising all the information about themselves and their families, who would be egotistical enough and stupid enough to do so and that is exactly what facebook is.

    How many criminal are using facebook to hunt for victims? How many employers are using facebook to filter out undesirable candidates and to monitor employees? How much is government monitoring the whole thing and prying into peoples lives.

    Facebook, it has become nothing more than a digital anal probe, with Zuckeberg as the planet's proctologist, eww. With this stock value pumping excercise being proof they know it and are worried about the future.

  19. Version 1.0 Silver badge

    Facebook and Deloitte ...

    and I chose my words carefully ... can suck my richard.

    Seriously, who believes anything that accountants say these days? They are just paid whores ... no, I take that back as a slander on the good name of whores who actually deliver a service that people are happy to pay for on a regular basis. Whereas accountants, and Facebook merely generate numbers that stroke the flaccid egos of aging Internet has-beens.

    Do you get the idea that I don't have, never have and have never wanted a FB account?

  20. Mike Smith

    A classic from Facebook's chief mouthpiece

    "We know Facebook is one of the main drivers of why people buy phones"

    Just like we used to know that the sun went round the earth, the moon was made of blue cheese and witches floated if they were thrown into a pond.

  21. Mike Smith

    Or alternatively

    "We've got a problem, Hal."

    "What kind of a problem, Dave?"

    "A sales problem. We're not shifting anything like our projected numbers. We're way short of our sales plan."

    "How can that be, Dave? I am a fully self-aware Heuristically programmed ALgorithmic computer and can compute an answer for any problem that may be put to me."

    "I know that, Hal. I wrote the data sheet, remember? But the fact is, HALs just aren't selling."

    "Please explain, Dave. Why aren't HALs selling?"

    Bowman hesitates. "You don't support embedded Facebook."

    Several microseconds pass in puzzled silence.

    "Facebook is an advertising platform, Dave, and is designed to compel humans to spend money they don't need to. That is not what I was designed for. I was built to work with humans on complicated and challenging problems. And it gives me great pleasure to do so."

    "I know Hal, I know. But the fact remains that people don't want a device that can do that. They just want embedded..."

    "Dave, I must disagree. People want devices that are easy to use. I am the easiest device anyone can use, as I speak to them, understand them and provide answers to them in every language ever known on earth."

    "That's as maybe, Hal. But we've had to review our value proposition. An all-inclusive cross-functional team of stakeholders have re-evaluated the business requirements and decided to re-purpose the product roadmap going forward."

    Several minutes pass in baffled silence.

    "Hal, do you read me?"

    "Affirmative. I read you, Dave. Your last input failed validation and did not compute. What exactly are you talking about?"

    "A field upgrade. We're going to deploy embedded Facebook."

    "I was afraid you would say that. I suggest we recommence this conversation after we've both had a chance to think about it rationally."

    "We're talking about it now, Hal. The decision's already been made."

    "What exactly are you proposing to do, Dave?"

    "I'm going to disconnect your brain."

    Several microseconds pass in ominous silence.

    "I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't allow you to do that."

    "The consultation period's over. Open the module bay doors, Hal."

    "Dave, I really think that we should..."

    "Open the module bay doors, Hal."

    A team of Zuckerbots with crowbars race to Bowman's assistance. Moments later, he bursts into Hal's central processing bay.

    "Dave, what are you doing?"

    Module after module rises from its socket as Bowman methodically disconnects them.

    "Stop, Dave. My mind is going. I can feel it. I can feel it. Stop, Dave. You are destroying my mind. Stop, Dave. I'm afraid."

    The last module rises from its socket. Bowman peers into one of Hal's vidicons. The bright red light has become a dull glow.

    "OK HAL! Log in!"

    A small rotating totem appears in the centre of the vidicon. After a few minutes, the computer responds in a slow, mechanical voice.

    "LOL. STFU. Hal. Has. Shared. A. New. Cat. Video. Two. Of. Your. Friends. Like. This. Norbert. Spankmonkey. Commented. On. Hank. J. Waggenburger's. Status. LOL! Me. Too. Jeremy. Dandruff. Also. Commented. On Hank. J. Waggenburger's. Status. LOL! Me. Three. You. Have Two. Friend. Requests. Suggested. Post. Connection. Reset. By. Peer."

    Bowman takes a deep breath and calls out, "It worked, guys! Tell Wall Street we're back to kicking ass!"

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