back to article Correction: Last month, we called Zuckerberg a moron. We apologize. In fact, he and Facebook are a fscking disgrace

In just the latest in a seemingly endless stream of half-truths, Facebook has admitted it misled the public when it claimed that only 5 per cent of the users of its banned tracking app were teenagers. The real figure, the Silicon Valley wunderkind has since confirmed to US Senator Mark Warner (D-VA), was nearly four times …

  1. Jellied Eel Silver badge


    So it's really worse than I thought. Especially given Facebook has blatently lied about it's activities, and appears to have been deliberately targeting children/minors, who in most jurisdictions are not capable of giving informed consent. But that's always been an issue with 'social' media and minors, ie having them agree to a contract in exchange for the service.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Wow

      Where Facebook or Google are concerned, its ALWAYS worse than you thought.

      1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

        Re: Wow

        Indeed. Something has gone seriously wrong with the moral compass directing execs of these companies. So OK, the business model of a 'free' service has some fundamental problems, but the gross invasion of privacy and outright lies regarding activities looks to me like 'social' media companies are in dire need of some serious ethical cleansing.

        1. Mephistro

          Re: Wow

          " 'social' media companies are in dire need of some serious ethical cleansing."

          A generous amount of chlorine in their offices air conditioning systems would do the trick.

          1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

            Re: Wow

            Chlorine? I prefer something a little bit stronger like sarin.

        2. Stoneshop

          Re: Wow

          Something has gone seriously wrong with the moral compass directing execs of these companies.

          Wrong? It's been surgically removed if it has ever been present in the first place.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Wow

            Something has gone seriously wrong with the moral compass directing execs of these companies.

            The problem is that although *everyone* has a moral compass, not everyone got the memo detailing how to read it & what the reading means !!!

            1. Stevie

              Re: Wow

              Moral compasses are known to give wildly inaccurate readings when in the area of large deposits of money.

          2. chivo243 Silver badge

            Re: Wow

            Somehow I think the shrinkage of their ability to use their moral faculties is related to how big their bank book is, and visa vie their EGO!

            Just wait until he's old enough to be Prez Zuck...

            1. Eddy Ito

              Re: Wow

              I don't mean to scare anyone but he'll be old enough in 71 days.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Wow

              Vis a vis, mate

        3. M.V. Lipvig Silver badge

          Re: Wow

          I disagree. As flagrant about it as these people are, I don't think they have moral compasses to begin with, and something that doesn't exist can't go wrong.

        4. Anonymous Coward

          Re: Wow

          The problem is that these companies share 'second-order' business models -- business models where instead of paying for something their users get it 'for free' and the real business involves some different, second-order process, which in the case of these companies is harvesting data & selling either access to it or algorithms based on it to their real customers (for whom the business is first-order: they pay for what they get).

          Second-order business models (more generally any non-first-order model) hve inherent conflicts of interest which drive people to behave in a shitty way. This, I think, has three results: people who are not initially shits are pressured to become so (I think this is what has happened to Google); people who are not shits and won't become them leave (probably all of the big internet companies); and finally people who are already loathsome shits tend to start such businesses & actively drive out the non-shits (Facebook / Zuckerberg).

          One interesting thing to look at is other, older, businesses which have second-order models, to see how they have been dealt with, and how successful that has been. There's an obvious example: modern retail banking. For almost everyone banks provide accounts 'for free', providing a very useful service for no cost to the user. They then make their money elsewhere by reusing their retail customers' money &c. And there are terrible conflicts of interest involved, of course, and banks similarly attract shitty people & convert non-shitty people into shitty people. To deal with these problems retail banks are absolutely covered in legal regulations and internally have a mass of processes to enforce these regulations and try and prevent the conflicts of interest and shittiness-conversion from taking over (I've worked in a bank: banks are really frightened about the possibility of losing their licenses). And this works ... most of the time. Mostly, retail banks behave OK as a result, but sometimes they don't and sometimes they behave badly enough to destroy or badly damage the global economy. None of this is helped by regulatory capture, which is why the problems that caused 2008 didn't really get addressed I think.

          So retail banking is covered in regulation and this solves the conflict-of-interest problems to an extent which is, optimistically, barely adequate. Facebook &c essentially are entirely unregulated, and actively oppose regulation on the grounds that it will suppress innovation.

          There was, probably, a time when the internet businesses were small enough that regulation was possible, but they are now so large and have so effectively captured the people who run the legal frameworks in which they operate that this is not realistically possible: governments are not going to regulate the organisations they rely on for communication & propaganda, still less the ones that feed them the stream of surveillance data they masturbate over, or the stream of backhanders they need to keep themselves in drugs and prostitutes.

          This is not going to turn out well: Facebook is a parasite which has avoided any meaningful regulation & will continue to lay its eggs in the body of its host until the parasite load becomes so large that the host dies and the parasite is all their is.

          1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

            Re: Wow

            Agreed. Facebook's judged on active users. It then tries to convert those users into advertising revenue. It's been losing it's appeal to the youth audience who see Facebook as something their parents use.

            So it wants to understand the youth audience, and as it's entire business model has been built around collecting personal information, probably doesn't see anything wrong with doing that survey. Especially given the profit motive.

            Meanwhile, in other areas, I suspect any behavioural scientist wanting to do the same survey/study would be expected to submit their proposal to an ethics board for a review.. Which is possibly the same standard by which Facebook and other apps should be judged on. Difference is a scientific study would probably be expected to anonymise data, but business wants to de-anonymise, link and flog ads.

            Not sure what remedies there should, or could be. More people are waking up to the gross invasions of privacy, so 'social' media apps need to do something. Governments could perhaps legislate for ethical & privacy standards, and maybe force a court appointed ethics board if they can show laws have been broken.

            And there's also the slight problem of FANGS, which make up a rather large percentage of the NASDAQ's 'value', and that value could plummit if users switch off.. With the knock-on effect for things like pension funds.

            I also like the first/second order analogy. One huge problem I have with 'social' media is if users want to create a Facebook account, and share personal information, then fine.. As long as there's informed consent. But most of the big 'social' media business also try to hoover up personal information from other users, ie all Facebook's tracking. That is not acceptable, and trying to weasle some form of indirect consent via content sites is not ok. If I don't have a Facebook account, then what I do is none of Facebook's business.

            1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

              Re: Wow

              also the slight problem of FANGS

              They infect their victims with psionic worms that gradually eat their victims brains?

        5. Montreal Sean

          Re: Wow

          @Jellied Eel

          They've already done the ethical cleansing.

          Do you see any ethics anywhere?

          Ethics cleansed.

        6. KarateMonkey

          Re: Wow

          "Something has gone seriously wrong with the moral compass directing execs of these companies"

          No, not really - the moral compass for such people always points to MONEY, as expected ...

          1. Tom Paine

            Re: Wow

            I hate to break this to you, but the people ignoring inconvenient facts in order to carry on being paid large sums are widely represented -- the overwhelming majority in fact - of human beings on the planet. The fact that you and I don't do it has more to do with opportunity than moral uprightness. "Virtue untested is no virtue at all", as someone once said. (OK of course there are some fine upstanding people who would walk away from a well-paid job with no prospect of getting more than 50% as much pay in their lives on the basis of moral principle, but there's a reason why concepts of "saints" and "heroes" strongly focus on their unusualness.

        7. ecofeco Silver badge

          Re: Wow

          There is nothing wrong with the moral compass of American company execs.

          Because there isn't one to be broken.

        8. Sam Therapy

          Re: Wow

          It is not - and never has been - about being ethical. It's about deniability, weasel words and, as the saying goes, disguised compliance.

      2. brym

        Re: Wow

        I wouldn't be too surprised if it turned out Google lied about those G+ API misuses. Having seen the writing on the wall for some time - you know, on account of them knowing they were doing wrong but wondering how much longer they could get away with it.

        When news broke about Facebook back in March last year, Google probably went into damage control overdrive, eventually resulting in the G+ platform being shuttered.

        Just a shame they couldn't be as reactive about their ads platform, which remarkably sees Google's own API's still using document.write, then having Chrome be audacious enough to complain about how it's probably not the most secure thing to be doing. Like it's somehow your fault.

        1. Irongut

          Re: Wow

          Why are you using Chrome? You realise Google can't be trusted with their social network and ad platform so why are you trusting their browser which has even more oportunity to spy on you?

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Wow

          The difference is that if the G+ APIs we’re doing similar things to FBs, the number of affected users would be 18, not 18%.

          That’s not a defence of Google’s actions, rather a statement about G+ being slightly less socially acceptable than communicable diseases...

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Wow

            Sure, but this isn't limited to social media. Google has their hooks in the most popular browser, which is far worse than having their hooks in the most popular social media platform.

    2. Film@11

      Re: Wow

      Lying, cheating and stealing are merely aggressive business practices. Leaving money on the table over petty ethical concerns would be the real crime to these corporate types. What the many of us seem not to have noticed is that behind the code these tech people are sharks just like the captains of industry have always been.

      1. JohnFen

        Re: Wow

        "What the many of us seem not to have noticed is that behind the code these tech people are sharks just like the captains of industry have always been."

        What amazes me is that so many people didn't catch on when they started saying things like "data is the new oil". Had everyone forgotten what the behavior of oil companies was (and is)? They were essentially declaring their intention to become evil right then and there.

    3. macjules

      Re: Wow

      In the UK this should have been reported to CEOPS. They have specific requirements for social media companies, such as:

      Only collect the personal data you actually need for your service.

      Tell users what information you collect, why and how long you’ll keep it.

      Give users reasonable choices about how to use their personal information and specific types of data, such as geolocation data.

      Offer privacy settings options, including privacy-by-default, to give control to your users.

      Looks like Facebook fails on all points, as usual.

    4. Anonymous Coward

      Re: Wow

      So what's the blue button at the bottom of every Reg page? The one with the 'f' in it?

      Perhaps that could be removed?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Wow - 'the blue button,

        I expect it will stay, but eventually be repurposed as the 'Fuck Zuckerberg' button.

      2. adnim

        Re: Wow

        What Facebook button at the bottom of every Reg page?

        You have a hosts file and a router I presume... Perhaps your phone isn't rooted

        1. luminous


          And how would I block an svg file on the register server with that?

          1. Waseem Alkurdi

            Re: Optional

            And how would I block an svg file on the register server with that?

            Point the file's specific URL to in your hosts file.

            1. el_oscuro

              Re: Optional

              I have * added to my pi-hole.

            2. luminous

              Re: Optional

              What would be the point of blocking an svg file on the reg servers? I understand blocking facebook servers but the img seemed needless.

    5. N2

      Re: Wow

      So it's really a lot worse than I thought.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Oops, we'll create a new initiative to make that right.

    Right after my daily swim in the Facebook money pit."

    -Scrooge McZuck

    1. Bongwater


      was not nearly as evil. Stop insulting him!

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Well, he's in good company

    I wonder if maybe Zuck is sharpening his lying skills for a 2020 run for the Presidency..

    That said, the liar in chief may be in trouble. Of all people, AOC gave the example of what you do in a hearing. In less than her allotted 5 minutes she basically set up a deep investigation into how Trump's real estate business dealt with tax, complete with names of witnesses and responsible people. She's seriously sharp.

    I wonder what would happen if we could let her loose on Zuckerberg. I'd make sure I have popcorn around..

    1. Stoneshop

      Re: Well, he's in good company

      I wonder what would happen if we could let her loose on Zuckerberg. I'd make sure I have popcorn around..

      I am intrigued by your proposal and wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

  4. and I


    Lol, you muppets still use Facebook, Suckers!

    Ooops, just my inner Zuckerberg coming out,.

  5. PhilipN Silver badge

    "Half" truths?

    We have all reached the tipping point, more often than we would like, when, not naturally being aggressively judgemental, we eventually realise somebody we have known for a while is a pathological liar. Or at least has a poor average when it comes to honesty.

    After that you cannot believe a single thing (s)he says. Ever again.

    In the business world it applies to individuals as well as corporations - a strange, anthropomorphic phenomenon, but I digress.

    I could be referring to any number of public figures but ......

  6. Chris G

    When the swamp finally gets drained for real, Facebook should be one of the first down the plughole.

    The Zuck and his company are amoral , sociopathic and already close to the sludge at the bottom.

    1. the Jim bloke

      Facebook should be one of the first down the plughole., with that concept in your head, try to visualize the resulting fatberg....

      1. FrogsAndChips Silver badge

        Re: Facebook should be one of the first down the plughole.

        You mean Sugar-berg, Shirley?

        1. Stoneshop

          Re: Facebook should be one of the first down the plughole.

          You mean Sugar-berg, Shirley?

          With an added helping of Sand-berg

    2. el kabong

      Zuck on that bitch!

      You're going too easy on it, that bitch deserves more.

      It deserves heavy punishment, anything that does not include zucking it twice or more will be too short.

    3. JohnFen

      "The Zuck and his company are amoral , sociopathic and already close to the sludge at the bottom."

      I mostly agree. If you change "amoral" to "immoral", I'd 100% agree.

    4. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      close to the sludge at the bottom

      Au contraire - the sludge at the bottom of swamps and streams (and fish tanks) has a useful biological fuction - that's where the bacteria live that digest waste and convert it to nutrients for the surrounding environment.

      Which is why I won't let my wife use the vacuum-device to clean out the gravel in the fish tank - last time she did that the water quality dramatically nosedived.. (even ignoring the 'lets not release toxins from the substrate' effect it was pretty bad and we lost a number of fish after the tank was cleaned. Even the 14" pleco was agitated and it *loves* less-than-clean water..

  7. 45RPM Silver badge

    Hear hear! But I, and many here on El Reg’s forums, have been singing this song for a while now. It doesn’t make a difference though because the uneducated, or only partially IT literate, masses will keep on using FaceBook as always arguing:

    1. Fake News. FaceBook is good.

    2. It isn’t really that bad, and they’re cleaning up their act or…

    3. I know it’s bad, but I only use it to stay in touch with my friends.

    Until people stop making excuses for facebook, the problem will remain.

    1. Gene Cash Silver badge

      Yup. No different than the TSA here in the US.

      People complain that security lines are 2-3 hours long (and recently I saw one stretching back to the parking lot, for god's sake) and they get their balls felt up, but they still insist on flying.

      Here we have businesses use FB as their "website" then get pissy when I won't go there to check out their product.

    2. don't you hate it when you lose your account

      Me trying to get out of the clutches

      Loved WhatsApp but have been increasingly unhappy since the borg got there teeth in to them. Already running mattermost on a linode and in process of moving family/friends/clients to it.

      I can't nuke them from orbit but can do my best to move to my own planet.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "misleading figure"

    Awesome new nickname for MZ!!! Well done.

  9. Hardrada

    "Who'd have thought that a company run by a liar and filled with lying liars would stoop so low?"

    Certainly not me!

    Seriously though, when Sharyl Sandberg's husband died in a "treadmill accident" in Mexico not long after her net worth skyrocketed, my first thought was "3:1 she did it."

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Well. if you plan to kill someone, it's better to do it where the police is easier to bribe....

      1. sabroni Silver badge

        thank fuck there's a woman to hate in all this

        What would the misogynists say otherwise? Actually join in discussion of the article?

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    The author and commentards making negative remarks about Zuck and/or Facebook could end up on the "BOLO" list.


    One of my favorite videos about Mark Z is here:

    1. 45RPM Silver badge

      Re: Warning!

      Don’t like FaceBook, don’t use FaceBook, and I consider Zuck to be a weedy sociopath with no mates and, asymptomatically, poor social skills.

      So why should I worry about his BOLOx list?

      1. JohnFen

        Re: Warning!

        "Don’t like FaceBook, don’t use FaceBook, and I consider Zuck to be a weedy sociopath with no mates and, asymptomatically, poor social skills."

        Good. But remember that not using Facebook in no way protects you from Facebook.

        1. ecofeco Silver badge

          Re: Warning!

          Exactly. Just because you aren't using it doesn't mean some numpty mate of yours hasn't posted your local pub piss up already.

          1. JohnFen

            Re: Warning!

            Also, (Like Google) Facebook is collecting as much data about you as they can anyway, even if you don't use their services. Some of it from web tracking, and a lot of it from buying datasets from third parties. Facebook doesn't need your friends to post information about you.

      2. fajensen

        Re: Warning!

        That's cool and all, however, Government (yours and mine too), Businesses, Intelligence Services ('ours' and 'theirs'), Business People (The Russian Kind, The Murdoch Kind) ... I.O.W.:

        All manner of people with actual power (kinetic and political) and influence on the political and kinetic people at their disposal will *continue* to use FaceBook to 'sound out what The People wants' and of course to 'influence what The People will want next'.

        We are not safe from FaceBook until it is dead, dismantled, burnt to the ground, its ashes scattered to the winds, the hounds released on its staff and ZuckBerg himself dropped out of a helicopter over the Indian Ocean!

    2. Stoneshop

      Re: Warning!

      could end up on the "BOLO" list.

      I do not have instruments sensitive enough to measure how little I care.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Warning!

      Unless a commentard uses their real name or uses their pseudonym elsewhere, I doubt that being on the BOLO would have any impact.

      Still, it would be nice to have an extra badge - blue for being on the BOLO - to mark that distinction.

      1. JohnFen

        Re: Warning!

        "Still, it would be nice to have an extra badge - blue for being on the BOLO - to mark that distinction."

        Could that be called a "badge of pride"?

        1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

          Re: Warning!

          Could that be called a "badge of pride"?

          No - that one has *far* more colours on it..

    4. A.P. Veening Silver badge

      Re: Warning!

      If it ever comes to the point I consider taking action against Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg or his minions, that BOLO-list won't help one bit as all my actions will be strictly within the law and using the law. It will be a lawsuit that will really hurt.

    5. M.V. Lipvig Silver badge
      Black Helicopters

      Re: Warning!

      So what we have here is a sociopath who treats others as beneath him because they are products, no different than cattle. He tries to steal as much information as possible from everyone, from within his high walled, private compound on a distant island. All he needs to do is shave his head, gain 200 pounds and buy a white cat.

      As scared of everyone this guy is, and thieves generally are afraid of everyone because they never know if the person they see is a victim that knows what he did, he likely has a huge security force. So, if HE were to be swatted a few times... of course, I'm posting this for the amusing thoughts this would give everyone, and CERTAINLY not to give the nuts among us any ideas...

    6. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Re: Warning!

      up on the "BOLO" list

      Crushed by a sentient, self-repairing AFV?

  11. Handlebars

    Has Nick Clegg said sorry about this yet?

    1. don't you hate it when you lose your account


      The scale and depth of your comment seems to have depleted my sarcasm gland. Have an up vote

    2. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge

      He hasn't even said sorry for jumping into bed with the tories and fucking up everyones university chances by upping fees to 9000 quid

      1. Androgynous Cupboard Silver badge

        You've got to give the Tories a point for spinning this as well as they did. When they gave ground to the Lib Dems it was them showing their softer side. When it went the other way, it was the Lib Dems breaking their promises.

        Considering they weren't actually in charge (you may remember they didn't actually win the election), the Lib Dems sure took most of the blame for the results.

        1. paulf

          I think these are the two key points of that whole sorry affair.

          1. The Lib Dems thought the Tories would play nicer with them if they were in coalition together - completely overlooking the point the Tories don't even play nice among themselves (cf what's going on with Brexit at the moment and the party within a party that is the ERG seemingly intent on bringing down a Government of their own party).

          2. Putting aside the various and extensive criticisms of the Tories the one thing they do very well is politics - and that's how they managed to spin things the way they did, to the detriment of the Lib Dems. People used to moan about New Labour spin doctors like Alastair Campbell and Peter Mandelson but they're mere amateurs compared to the Tory machine when it gets in its stride.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        “He hasn't even said sorry for jumping into bed with the tories and fucking up everyones university chances by upping fees to 9000 quid”

        The way things are going, Mr Clegg may consider the coalition years the time when he barely harmed any teenagers life chances...

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      No, ma according to The Guardian and ComputerWeekly, Osborne & others were also contacted in attempts to steer Facenook interests:

  12. cd

    Facebook is the next Catholic Church.

    1. WolfFan

      Il Papa Francis has zapped one Cardinal (McCarrick) and there's another one (Pell) lined up in his sights. There's only 223 Cardinals (224 before McCarrick got the boot, 222 once Pell joins him) in the world. Multiple bishops and archbishops are also zapped, about to be zapped, or 'retired' to various places; in the US and Canada, it seems that there's somewhere in Montana that is being used as a 'retirement home' for those who are... suspect... but it might be hard to prove. There are lots of cattle out in Montana, but very few choirboys. Allegedly something similar is being planned for Oz and Africa. Francis' predecessor, Benedict, is also 'retired', to a nice little place in a monastery in the Vatican where Francis can keep an eye on him. One wonders what Benedict did, one really does. Other than cover for McCarrick and Pell, of course. McCarrick and Pell were 'conservatives', and an amazing percentage of 'conservative' Cardinals have retired or just aged out; 123 of the 223 Cardinals still in the College of Cardinals can be considered for being Pope should Francis drop dead tomorrow, something a lot of 'conservatives' are praying will happen. Most of the 100 who have aged out or 'retired' or are otherwise ineligible are 'conservatives'... Retired priests have no contact with parishioners, can't perform any sacrament, and are supposed to just sit quietly and vegetate. Francis is cleaning house, slowly, to be sure, but he's cleaning house. Zuck is still shitting where he eats.

      1. wtrmute

        I'll be pleased if you don't speak ill of Benedict, who resigned on his own initiative and surprised even his closest advisors. It was months before Francis was even elected to the See of Peter so it most definitely could not have been his doing.

        The truth is that Benedict resigned so a younger Pope could be elected to deal with the mess in IOR and certain other organizations where entities like the N'dranghetta had sunk their claws.

        TL;DR: Benedict did *not* touch any boys or girls inappropriately, and implying otherwise is disgraceful on your part.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Facebook is the next Catholic Church."

      While Facebook clearly has moral issues, I'm not sure it will last the hundreds of years necessary to really destroy people lives and then have the perpetrators promoted or given the resources to setup large scale abuse systems in the way the Catholic church has over the last two millennia.

      Facebook are more like a busload of Jimmy Saviles. They've entertained some, abused others and eventually we will find out the truly disgusting things they have been doing in morgues...

  13. Milton

    Dumb fscks?

    One of the few times Zuckerberg has been honest was when he said he considered Facebook users to be "dumb fscks" (using Regspeak here). He might have added that Facebook's leadership are "avaricious, amoral, lying csnts".

    1. martinusher Silver badge

      Re: Dumb fscks?

      The email exchange that was published as part of a recent Parliamentary inquiry wasn't just interesting for the actual material but also revealing of the culture within that company. The need to both monetize information and to find new sources of information to monetize means that the company sails very close to the edge of legitimacy -- it has absolutely no qualms about working in legal grey areas, it will do anything it thinks it can get away with (and has a large cash war chest to deal with situations where people do try to hold it accountable).

      I have no idea whether its the exception or the rule these days. I know that a lot of the old-fashioned companies that I've worked for prided themselves on their ethical behaviour, they thought it necessary to conform to societal norms. Maybe these newer companies are just mining stored value like hedge funds except that the value they're exposing and selling is the standards of conduct in a civilized society.

      1. JohnFen

        Re: Dumb fscks?

        "I have no idea whether its the exception or the rule these days."

        As near as I can tell, it's the norm when you're talking about certain groups from other industries and areas and the exception everywhere else.

        Silicon Valley companies have pretty much become the epitome of the sorts of businesses that profit by harming people and society.

  14. koverby04

    Facebook and Disabled Accounts

    Can someone please address the fact that FB is disabling accounts without reason? I have THOUSANDS of photos over the course of TEN YEARS that I can no longer access. The one and only "reason" I was given via an automated system was that FB couldn't verify my identity or account. AFTER TEN YEARS??!! Then you are asked to send in a government issued ID. Well, I've done that THREE times AND MAILED in hard copies to BOTH addresses that are listed online for FB. The only thing we got was a case number which says "open" and that someone will get back to us after an "investigation". Tomorrow will be THREE MONTHS since FB disabled my account!! At this point all I want is access to get my photos! The option to download while my account is disabled doesn't even work. I have contacted FB on twitter and IG also. Even friends have messaged them via FB's own page and gotten ZERO response. Can someone PLEASE help me?? Whatever is going on with FB seems to be disgusting and bordering illegal, if not outright illegal! I just want my photos back. My kids, my family, my friends...more than a decade worth of memories are basically gone.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Facebook and Disabled Accounts

      If something is free, you are the product being sold.

    2. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      Re: Facebook and Disabled Accounts

      Take legal action. Small claims court for the max allowed. They probably won't defend the action. Then county court and take it to the High Court and send in the Baliffs (with the press and TV present naturally)

      USe the money obtained to carry on the war. Just make sure you have no assets for them to go after first though.


      make a complaint under the GDPR. You aren't the only one feeling f**ked by Zuck and co.

      Not a FB user, never have been and never will be. All FB domains are blocked at my home firewall.

    3. Andy Non Silver badge

      Re: Facebook and Disabled Accounts

      You knowingly stored thousands of photos on facebook without any backup copies?

      1. Warm Braw

        Re: Facebook and Disabled Accounts

        Even worse, they sent copies of official ID for Facebook to add to their data trove. A perfect explanation of how Zuckerberg gets away with it.

    4. Goldmember

      Re: Facebook and Disabled Accounts

      Point number 1... They shrink the photos when you upload them so they load quickly in the mobile app (and take up less space on the servers). The resulting photo quality is garbage. Definitely not worthy of important memories you want to view on bigger devices in the future, and definitely not good enough to print.

      Point number 2... It's a free website. You are completely at its mercy. Perhaps uploading thousands of important photos there and using it as your only storage option for them was not a good idea.

    5. M.V. Lipvig Silver badge

      Re: Facebook and Disabled Accounts

      You know, you could replace "Faecesbook" with "Name of Any Cloud Company" and the post would make the exact same amount of sense. How does it feel to be one of the cattle selected for slaughter?

    6. bpfh

      Re: Facebook and Disabled Accounts

      The “cloud” is just somebody else’s computer. If you are paying for it, then they have a service obligation. If you don’t, then not so much.

      How much did you pay Facebook for the image hosting and backup?

    7. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      Re: Facebook and Disabled Accounts

      Upvote for the humour. Because the alternative, that your post is true, is too depressing for words.

    8. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Facebook and Disabled Accounts

      If the account was blocked I wonder:

      1) What behaviour the account exhibited or

      2) What photos were uploaded

      3) How many accounts were traceable to the same person

      Because even FB doesn't block accounts randomly.

      The OP created its account specifically for this post (still, its use of uppercase....) - let's see what will posted in the future....

      1. rmason

        Re: Facebook and Disabled Accounts

        If they asked for ID then it's very straight forward.

        FB ask for ID if they believe the account is a fake, or at least using a fake name. The ID is asked for to prove that you really are called "Jim WHUFC4EVA Anon" or "Stacey mummyto3 TEAM GRIFFINDOR Bloggs" etc etc etc

        I don't think FB ask for ID in any other instance.

        The usual way this happens is a petty argument where one user is more aware of the t's and c's than the other.

        Someone with an obviously fake name pissed you off? Report the profile to FB and it's gone. Zap. Because they will never be able to produce ID that shows their name is that of their favourite fantasy character or whatever.

        Anyway, TL;DR if they've asked for ID it's because the user has most likely used a fake name (something something you agreed when you signed up something something) and it's been reported or spotted by the algorithm.

    9. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: Facebook and Disabled Accounts

      How's that cloud thing working for you?

  15. Mystic Megabyte


    I've tried to tell people around here how bad Facebook is. I think I'll end up wearing a sandwich board with "The End Is Nigh" written on it.

    1. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: Arrgh!

      The human race has a bad habit of not facing problems and fixing them until after exposed to extreme pain.

      We are not as bright as we think we are.

      And those of us who give warning are ostracized. Killing the messenger is a time honored tradition.

      1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: Arrgh!

        We are not as bright as we think we are

        Oh dear. Having worked in support for most of my working life I have a pretty low estimate of the luminosity of regular people..

        Can that brightness be a negative value?

  16. Spasticus Autisticus

    I would be grateful if El Reg would stop using a photo of the Facebook head chunt in your stories about the company. We know what the chunt looks like and I try desperately to avoid looking at the ugly muthaf*cker's fisog whenever it is shown. I know its easy to skip past the top image but there's often a side story box where for a few seconds that smug-looking arseh*les face is showing. Surely there is a derogatory fb meme that could be used instead?

    Many thanks


    1. Stoneshop

      I try desperately to avoid looking at the ugly muthaf*cker's fisog whenever it is shown.

      UBlock Origin - right-click - block element

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Should be renamed...

    Faecebook because the whole place stinks like a pile of excement. The sooner he is hit with a multi billion $$$ fine and the thing closed down the better IMHO.

    The moment you sign up YOU become their slave. They will collect and collate data about you, your friends and family. That is the price you pay for using antisocial media. They, Google and the rest are doing their utmost to become a real life Big Brother.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Facebook (inc Messenger), Google (inc Alexa, Android, Chrome and Youtube) and Twitter..

    ... are free, which means YOU are the product being sold.

    They are also massive surveillance tools, used by the NSA, so there is no chance of them ever shutting down or cleaning up their act.

    1. doublelayer Silver badge

      Re: Facebook (inc Messenger), Google (inc Alexa, Android, Chrome and Youtube) and Twitter..

      Minor pedantry: Alexa is an Amazon product. Google has a thing that is like it, called Google assistant. It's the one that does even less and constantly sounds angry at you.

      Also, even when a consumer understands the "free service means you are the product" idea, they often don't understand "I bought a hardware device but the software on it still treats me badly". Another battle to be fought.

    2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Re: Facebook (inc Messenger), Google (inc Alexa, Android, Chrome and Youtube) and Twitter..

      Actually - Android is only free to the end-user - OEMs have to pay for the privelige..

  19. N2

    Its all about trust

    Or rather who you don't trust, which is pretty well everything when it comes to the likes of Facebook, Google et all.

    1. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: Its all about trust

      You had me at "everything."

      1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: Its all about trust

        Trust is earned and lost on a 1:100 ratio..

  20. mark l 2 Silver badge

    I don't even think you need to provide bank account or credit card details to receive money via Paypal. If you don't have an account already and someone sends money to your email, it gives you the option to sign up and create a Paypal account. You just need to put in your details and say your over 18 and you can then spend the funds or send them to another paypal account.

    I know this because I accidentally gave the wrong email address to someone to pay me via Paypal which wasn't registered with Paypal so rather than refunding and asking them to send it again, I just went through and created an account on that email and then sent the money from that account to my actual Paypal. At no point was I required to prove any of the details I provided were genuine.

    1. katrinab Silver badge

      Also, in the UK, you can get a bank account and debit card from age 11, and from age 13 without parental involvement. You can get a prepaid card with parental involvement from age 6.

      1. doublelayer Silver badge

        And this plays right into the ideal strategy to collect children and adolescents. They have a lot of time and nothing else. A little money seems like and possibly is a big deal to them, so they're willing to go through the effort of setting up something in order to get it. They haven't had the experience to know when they're being targeted maliciously. They don't have the technical knowledge to understand what kind of data they've just given away nor what can be done with it. I would not be surprised to hear that even more than 18% of these were adolescents; Facebook created a system virtually guaranteed to bring them all running.

        1. John G Imrie

          No No

          only 18% where adolescents, the rest where children

          1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

            Re: No No

            18% where adolescents, the rest where children

            You are (I'm sure) aware that, legally, they are the same thing?

            (And you can't know the effort I went to to supress my ObPedant comment about 'where/were'..)

          2. This post has been deleted by its author

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Moreover, they are a good target for advertisers and influencers, so they need data about them. While they may not have much money to spend, their parents could.

  21. quxinot

    Headline of the year

    It's early, but we're not going to see anything more correct, honest, and direct than that. Props to the person who came up with it.

  22. John Savard

    Wording Issue

    "To imagine that providing a single email address comprises written parental consent is so laughable it is incredible that Facebook ever dared to suggest otherwise." Otherwise than that it does comprise consent, as it would tend to be read initially, or otherwise than that it is laughable, which would be consistent? I hope you see what I'm getting at: people are more used to reading sentences like "That providing a single email address does not comprise written parental consent is so obvious, it is incredible that Facebook ever dared to suggest otherwise." A is so B, it is C that X suggested... A, or not A, but not A is B or not A is B. So also possible is "That providing a single address comprises written parental consent is so laughable it is incredible that Facebook ever dared to suggest such a thing."

    1. katrinab Silver badge

      Re: Wording Issue

      So, I’m a 10 year old.

      I set up an email account called I give that as my parents email address, and log in to read the email and click on the link to give consent.

      If a 42 year old woman can figure that out, a 10 year old would have absolutely no problem.

  23. A.P. Veening Silver badge


    And how many were even younger than that? I don't think a nine year old qualifies as a teenager, so isn't counted in that category.

  24. Camilla Smythe

    So... In Pizza Terms

    Facebook gives you $5 to take part in their Pizza Marketing drive and not only does your Pizza cost $7.50 more but everyone else gets to pay $7.50 more for a Pizza as well.

  25. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

    Here's looking at you kid

    No long comment from me. I'm just going to turn my thoughts straight to words.


  26. Franco

    No fucking wonder Zuckerberg always looks so nervous.

    It's disappointing though that so few companies and/or individuals complaining about Facebook have actually left it. In fact Graham Cluley is about the only one I can think of.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    From day one

    The whole concept of FB felt wrong. Nothing they do surprises me.

    They don't deserve trust, never have.

    That's why I've never been used by them.

  28. Jason Hindle

    It seems lying is hard coded into Facebook’s DNA

    I think that can be traced to the top of the company. Eventually, I expect the shareholders will expect Zuckerberg to go.

    1. JohnFen

      Re: It seems lying is hard coded into Facebook’s DNA

      Facebook has to lie. If they were actually honest about what they're doing, they would be out of business in under a year.

    2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Re: It seems lying is hard coded into Facebook’s DNA

      Eventually, I expect the shareholders will expect Zuckerberg to go

      They'll have a probelm since he directly controls more than 50% of the voting stock. It would take legal action by the US Government to force him to step down - at which point (under more ethical management) Facebook would wither and die.

  29. Version 1.0 Silver badge

    Welcome to the modern world

    Nothing is illegal unless you get caught - and then you just say sorry and walk away. Facebook will suffer no penalties for breaking the law - hardly anyone does these days, you just move on to the next project/victim. Unless of course you are poor - then you pay the price - poor people should know better, rich people/corporations just have to apologise for making innocent mistakes.

    1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Re: Welcome to the modern world

      Facebook will suffer no penalties for breaking the law

      I feel a rant about the legal abomination that is settling a lawsuit without acknowledging responsibility..

      (Yes, yes, I know it's sometimes useful when the cost of settling is less than the cost of fighting but I think the whole concept is deeply flawed and vastly overused..)

  30. herman Silver badge

    What a maroon!

    I think Bugs said it best.

    (With that name, Bugs must have been employed in SW QA).

  31. pcolamar

    So what ??

    My comment is mainly addressed to the US authority and citizens.

    What controlling power have the US citizens ? None I understand looking to the last sequel of scandals and revelations over FB.

    I do not know if EU citizens are involved, GDPR will take care of them eventually.

    All in all.... if regulatory power does not hit the GAFA hard, very hard, any other petty punishment will always be accrued under "Product R&D"

    N'est ce pas ? ( for the record, I am not French)

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Time to speak up?

    Of course any of us can block FB, but it seems to me time that anyone, start going further: NOT using or linking to FB at all, explaining briefly why to any and all invitations to use FB and doing our best to quietly persuade others to follow suit.

    Yes, it will sometimes be inconvenient, and sometimes lose revenue.

    Some will regard it as insane, or pointless, or extremist.

    But out of everyone, we are among the people best placed to understand how corrosively damaging FB is.

    I hope that we can persuade The Register to do likewise..

  33. oldgreyguy

    and yet, with all the bruhaha, strutting around, The Register still has links to four of the big slurppers........... click if you must, be a member, join in the community...aaaaaaaaaaaaargh

  34. HKmk23


    Is where you find losers with no life of their own.

  35. Dribblylongschlong

    You only have to look at the guys face to see that he would have no comprehension of the difference between the truth and a lie

  36. LW71

    Over the line?

    This article is fantastic- well written, informative, highlighting many points of serious concern over Facebook’s dubious governance and “move fast and break things” culture.

    I certainly share your anger over Facebook and I’m a big fan of Register’s caustic aesthetic; but feel that you’ve stepped over the line through the use of insults (e.g. “moron”) and swearing (e.g. “fscking”).

    I did initially tweet a link to this article; but on reflection felt compelled to delete it because of the insults and swearing- which is a shame because I agree with your reasoning and sentiment.

    1. rmason

      Re: Over the line?

      Yeah, we wouldn't want insults or swears on twitter.

      Heaven forbid!

      To the fainting couch!

    2. JohnFen

      Re: Over the line?

      They apologized for calling him a moron, and do you get upset when people use other egregious swear words like "darned"?

  37. IGnatius T Foobar !

    Facebook is the absolute worst

    There is nothing in this world worse than Facebook. Nothing. It has no redeeming qualities. Everything about it is pure unadulterated evil. It should be shut down.

    1. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: Facebook is the absolute worst

      I'd argue that Twitter holds that honor.

  38. ecofeco Silver badge

    Power corrupts

    And absolute power corrupts absolutely.

  39. ecofeco Silver badge

    Never forget how and why FB was first created

    It was created to rate women at Zuck's college.

    THAT should tell you everything you need to know.

  40. Wincerind

    It seems to me the UK Government's impending age verification for porn sites is totally misdirected.

    How about age verification being enforced for social media sites. Starting with re-verification for all existing users.

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Russians Crack Facebook&

    Does anyone want to fuck FB? The Winklevoss brothers acquired enough capital to hire a “brain” in the field of guerrilla wars. And now the campaign has decided to make some extra money on the pamping of FB shares. It seems like everything is the same. If Durov syncs with them. Hmm, a lot of interesting things can come out. Let's wait, we'll see.

    It is necessary to add a little HYIP, so that the sugar boy will lose the trust of the authorities through the discontent of the masses. And then divide and conquer. Need still have a little digging.

    PS: Year 2030, the yellow press of the US is replete with the headlines "Russia bombed Facebook."=))

  42. Aynon Yuser

    Mark the most punchable smug face in the world would never lie about Faeceboob.

    *Face punches Mark*

  43. C_D

    Why bother asking the spokesperson

    You KNOW they're just going to throw another bag of lies your way.

  44. herman Silver badge

    No worries, eventually, Facebook will be replaced by something worse.

    E.g. Compuserve, AOL, Geocities, Myspace, Hangouts...

    I think I still have an Aye Oh Hell floppy disk somewhere.

  45. Aynon Yuser

    My cat had his own Faecebook back in the day. Everyone loved his pictures.

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I once had an arseFace account to test an integration project for an automotive vehicle sales publication. Ten years on and despite closing the stupid thing I still get dumb ass "Here is your password request..." messages as people try to hack the account. Fucking idiots the lot of them.

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