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Home / Business / Facebook's $ 5B FTC bot was so ridiculous that the stock price went up after the announcement / Boing Boing

Facebook's $ 5B FTC bot was so ridiculous that the stock price went up after the announcement / Boing Boing



In 2011, the US Federal Trade Commission sent Facebook under consent agreement after the company "tricked consumers into telling them they could keep their information on Facebook private, and then repeatedly [allowed] it was shared and published."

In this way, the FTC generally works that if it catches a company that does something terrible, it issues one of those "consent decisions" which means "don't do it again, or we take away the company."

But Facebook did it again. Hard. And instead of shutting down Facebook, the FTC dropped them at $ 5B, which may sound like much, it's only about 30% of the revenue from a single quarter and less than a quarter of its annual profit. It is basically a license fee for crime, a tax on offenses that allows the company to retain the vast majority of profits from criminal activities.

And the street knows it. After the FTC announced the book, Facebook's share price went up .

And as Peter Kafka notes, the cost of regulatory compliance is also not a deterrent either: Facebook pays fines, eats the cost of a few more lawyers and PR people to ensure compliance with this new order and continue with business of , uh, issuing a new worldwide currency while revealing underpaid contractors to cruel videos of people being murdered for $ 15 an hour.

Facebook's $ 5 Billion FTC is an embarrassing joke [Nilay Patel/The Verge]

( Photo: Jason McELweenie, CC-BY, modified )
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Cory Doctorow

I write books. My last is: a YA graphic novel called In Real Life (with Jen Wang); a nonfiction book on art and the internet called information will not be free: the laws of the Internet age (with introductions by Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer) and a YA science fiction novel called Homeland (that's the sequel to the little brother). I'm talking about everything and I tweet and thumb too.

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