Oct 7, 2021
Think back for a moment, if you’re old enough, to a time before social media, mobile phones or the internet. Think back to the good ‘ole evil corporate empires. Whether it was big tobacco or Exxon with their oil spills, the companies we used to hate on created tangible health risks. Now fast forward to today. The Darth Vaders of the world are largely dead but in their place is a New Order of evil, creating a whole new set of risks. At the top of the list, Facebook.
The original concept for Facebook, or The Facebook as it were, was great. It gave us a chance to reconnect with people we lost touch with. But somewhere between talking to old teammates and stalking that high school crush to see if they got fat, bald or both, Facebook realized the power it had. Getting people hooked on tobacco via nicotine is one thing, but feeding and festering ideological fissures is not only a hell of a lot more profitable, it’s also not subject to lawsuits. The 1st Amendment and Section 230 offer social media companies the cover tobacco companies could only dream of having.
As Facebook lost the “The” and became more and more intertwined in our daily lives, they expanded their empire. Acquiring Instagram gave them control of images we share and “like”. Whatsapp brought Facebook into the communications industry. Today, Facebook knows who your friends are, what you’re saying to those friends and what types of images appeal to you. That’s a wealth of information which, to their credit, they’ve monetized.
No one forces us to log onto social media. But it’s as much a part of our lives as listening to music or watching TV/movies. Even the badass Marlboro Man is jealous of the nerdy Harvard dropout’s ability to proliferate throughout our lives.
It’s hard to believe today’s Facebook is what Mark Zuckerberg originally had in mind. Then again, no one thought cute little Anikin Skywalker would go on to become sci-fi’s Michael Myers. The question becomes, what do we do?
There’s an argument to be made that Facebook should be split into several different companies, diluting their power in the process. There’s a separate, but no less legitimate argument, that Section 230 needs changing, forcing a bit more accountability and liability on social media companies. Or maybe, just maybe, the answer is we shouldn’t start smoking to begin with and keep the social media activity to a little harmless stalking.
When we tossed Joe Camel over the side of the Death Star, we thought we killed him. Boy were we mistaken. You can’t kill evil. It just comes back in a different form.
Written by Dylan Ratigan and Josh Fabian
Options involve risk and are not suitable for all investors. Please read Characteristics and Risks of Standardized Options before deciding to invest in options.
tastytrade content is provided solely by tastytrade, Inc. (“tastytrade”) and is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not, nor is it intended to be, trading or investment advice or a recommendation that any security, futures contract, transaction or investment strategy is suitable for any person. Trading securities can involve high risk and the loss of any funds invested. tastytrade, through its content, financial programming or otherwise, does not provide investment or financial advice or make investment recommendations. Investment information provided may not be appropriate for all investors, and is provided without respect to individual investor financial sophistication, financial situation, investing time horizon or risk tolerance. tastytrade is not in the business of transacting securities trades, nor does it direct client commodity accounts or give commodity trading advice tailored to any particular client’s situation or investment objectives. Supporting documentation for any claims (including claims made on behalf of options programs), comparison, statistics, or other technical data, if applicable, will be supplied upon request. tastytrade is not a licensed financial advisor, registered investment advisor, or a registered broker-dealer. Options, futures and futures options are not suitable for all investors. Prior to trading securities products, please read the Characteristics and Risks of Standardized Options and the Risk Disclosure for Futures and Options found on tastyworks.com.
tastytrade is a trademark/servicemark owned by tastytrade.
tastyworks, Inc. ("tastyworks") is a registered broker-dealer and member of FINRA, NFA and SIPC. tastyworks offers self-directed brokerage accounts to its customers. tastyworks does not give financial or trading advice nor does it make investment recommendations. You alone are responsible for making your investment and trading decisions and for evaluating the merits and risks associated with the use of tastyworks’ systems, services or products. tastyworks is a wholly owned subsidiary of tastytrade, Inc (“tastytrade”).
tastyworks, Inc. (“tastyworks”) has entered into a Marketing Agreement with tastytrade (“Marketing Agent”) whereby tastyworks pays compensation to Marketing Agent to recommend tastyworks’ brokerage services. The existence of this Marketing Agreement should not be deemed as an endorsement or recommendation of Marketing Agent by tastyworks. tastytrade is the parent company of tastyworks. tastyworks and Marketing Agent are separate entities with their own products and services. tastytrade has different privacy policies than tastyworks.
Quiet Foundation, Inc. (“Quiet Foundation”) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of tastytrade The information on quietfoundation.com is intended for U.S. residents only. All investing involves the risk of loss. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results. Quiet Foundation does not make suitability determinations, nor does it make investment recommendations. You alone are responsible for making your investment and trading decisions and for evaluating the merits and risks associated with the use of Quiet Foundation’s systems, services or products.