April 9, 2018

The puzzling story about Steve Wozniak leaving Facebook.

Well, first of all, I didn't even know Apple's co-founder Steve Wozniak worked at Facebook. What's he done? Is he important? But look at this reason he gives for suddenly up and quitting:
"Users provide every detail of their life to Facebook and ... Facebook makes a lot of advertising money off this," he said in an email to USA TODAY. "The profits are all based on the user’s info, but the users get none of the profits back.... Apple makes its money off of good products, not off of you," Wozniak said. "As they say, with Facebook, you are the product."
Yeah — "as they say" — it's what everybody knows. You get something free and the website is monetized with advertising, just like TV, but Facebook is especially well positioned to show advertisers who will see the ads. We've known this for a long time, and people don't seem to mind that they're getting precision-aimed ads. Some of us even like that about the advertising. For example, I see mostly ads for shoes and clothes from sellers I like.

If Wozniak is leaving now, isn't he leaving to get away from the current scandal about letting other organizations get the data to use in politics and whatever fallout is impending from Mark Zuckerberg's testimony in Congress tomorrow?
On Sunday, [Wozniak] deactivated his Facebook account after posting the following message: "I am in the process of leaving Facebook. It's brought me more negatives than positives. Apple has more secure ways to share things about yourself. I can still deal with old school email and text messages."
Apple is better, he says. Perhaps he's remonetizing himself.

ADDED: Commenters are telling me that Wozniak isn't "leaving" Facebook in the sense that we normally hear about executives leaving a firm. He's just "leaving" it as another user like you and me. That's not worth writing a news article about! I misread that because I assumed USA Today would report news!

45 comments:

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Well, first of all, I didn't even know Apple's co-founder Steve Wozniak worked at Facebook.

From reading your excerpt, it sounds like he was not employed at Facebook, he just had an account. He is leaving in the sense that he is closing his account, not quitting a job.

Unknown said...

I'm shocked, shocked I tell you, that Facebook is leveraging user data to make money through advertisements!

A rat leaves a sinking ship.

-sw

mccullough said...

The Courage of Comey. Another weasel.

Quaestor said...

But, but, he was the GOOD Steve!

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Having now read the article, I see that he was a user of Facebook, not an employee.

rehajm said...

It's a little late for Woz to be peeing your pants over Facebook's business model. He's cultivated a 'for the people' image for himself so getting out might let him keep that up.

Bob Boyd said...

Shorter Wozniak: "Dat muddafuggin' Zuckabug..."

Kevin said...

"I assumed USA Today would report news!"

Fool you once...

Kevin said...

USA Today prints headlines and anything which can be made into a colorful chart.

Some people think those constitute news.

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

I left Assbook years ago.

rehajm said...

Did you really believe he worked at Facebook? Dude's worth over $10 billion. I mean maybe a board member 'cause that's fun and all..

EDH said...

Is there time to still short FB stock?

Fernandistien said...

"the users get none of the profits back"

Millions of people use Facebook anyway, so they're getting something they want. "Users" don't get any of the profits back when they buy a car, either.

Nonapod said...

If Facebook offered a premium pay service where users gave them a few dollars a month and in exchange they wouldn't sell their data, would anybody subscribe to it?

tim maguire said...

It's still news. In the same sense that Elon Musk pulling his Facebook pages is news--a prominent techie has abandoned this particular bit of tech.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

ADDED: Commenters are telling me...

Oh, commenters (plural?) are telling you that? It's a shame these commenters don't have any sort of identifiers which could be used to give credit* where credit is due...

:)

*some commenters already have their own tag, so you wouldn't even need to create a new one.

The Germans Have A Word For That. said...

Perhaps Althouse remembers A. J. Weberman. He was the guy who went through Bob Dylan's garbage, trying to find things of possible importance that Dylan threw away. He believed it helped him understand Dylan better.

He was considered a nut.

Forty-plus years later Zuckerberg takes this basic approach on a grand scale and becomes a billionaire.

All the things you digitally 'discarded' -- a quick look at a website, a click-and-forget-it on a meme or an ad, a email that you considered gone once you sent it -- all of your digital trash is combed through to find out more about you.

And to make money on what they find.

AJ was a nut, a stalker. Except.

From Wiki on AJ:

"(Journalist John Semley)recognises the garbologist as furthering a "philosophical and anthropological tradition" observed by French poet Charles Baudelaire, in the latter's celebration of the city chiffonier (or rag-picker), and practiced in the work of German philosopher Walter Benjamin"...

Mark Zuckerberg, internet chiffonier.

You are what you thought you tossed away.

The Germans have a word for this.

M Jordan said...

Hate to be the one who says it but somebody has to: Woz sure has porked out over the years.

surfed said...

Facebook has lately been targeting me for vinyl record sales - particularly Beatle album mastered in the original mono mixes. They have certainly drilled down to my specific aural listening tastes. Inguess that's better than scrolling past things I don't like. I'll call it a push.

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

Facebook bans 2 black women because they support Trump.

Leftwingers for free speech!

traditionalguy said...

Facebook down. Google next. Then
Amazon. Only Apple picked the winning side.

traditionalguy said...

From the beginning ,Everybody knew Facebook was a CIA designed and funded Dossier gathering service. Zuckeberg is an actor to appeal to the young and brainwashed.

rhhardin said...

Meanwhile at the Cosby trial a topless woman has been led away in handcuffs.

real news.

Bob Boyd said...

Now I see Bashar Assad is considering leaving Facebook.
He says they've gone too far.

MadisonMan said...

If Facebook offered a premium pay service where users gave them a few dollars a month and in exchange they wouldn't sell their data, would anybody subscribe to it?

I wouldn't believe that they wouldn't sell the data. And how could you prove it if they did?

David said...

The Woz left the building decades ago. A beloved figure to many but that's about it.

Michael K said...

I deliberately avoid clicking on any ad in facebook. They have not made much money from me.

Michael K said...

"The Woz left the building decades ago. A beloved figure to many but that's about it."

Well, he did build the Apple computer. Jobs was the marketing guy.

The Germans Have A Word For That. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Germans Have A Word For That. said...

Does anyone remember the US Festivals?

From Wiki:

"The US Festival (US pronounced like the pronoun, not as initials) was the name of two early 1980s music and culture festivals...."

"Steve Wozniak, cofounder of Apple and creator of the Apple I and Apple II personal computers, believed that the 1970s were the "Me" generation.[1] He intended the Us Festivals, with Bill Graham's participation, to encourage the 1980s to be more community-oriented and combine technology with rock music..."

So, basically the idea for a rock concert then that is pretty much the same idea as Facebook now: 'community-oriented' via technology.

Woodstock, Facebook: Facebook, Woodstock, Altamont.

Anyway, the line-up for Day One was pretty damned cool in an 80s way:

Gang of Four
The Ramones
The English Beat
Oingo Boingo
The B-52's
Talking Heads
The Police

Day Two had Eddie Money, and Day Three had Jimmy Buffet.

So it started cool and then ended up with stuff your parents liked.

Kinda like Facebook.

The Germans have a word for this.

The Germans Have A Word For That. said...

I would like to explore the Woodstock-to-Facebook arc a bit more,with the shadow of Altamont (and the digital Altamont is, etc etc) but the hour is getting late...

The Germans have a word for this.

SDaly said...

Do people really follow web-based ads? I don't even notice them (unless they are the annoying kind that cover the text I want to read, and then I make a mental note never to purchase the product/service offered in the annoying ad). I have, literally, never clicked on a web ad.

Etienne said...

I didn't even know he was still alive. Huh... how about that...

Dust Bunny Queen said...

............ people don't seem to mind that they're getting precision-aimed ads. Some of us even like that about the advertising. For example, I see mostly ads for shoes and clothes from sellers I like.

Yup. I use an ad blocker on most all sites now, but in the olden days if I got annoyed with the ads I would start "googling" or looking at sites that had things I liked. Butterflies. Yarn stores. Paint supplier for oil paints and brushes. That way the advertisements were pretty, colorful and sometimes even interesting.

The internet is stalking you for money and profit......I figured THAT out early on...long long ago, that they were targeting me with ads when it was suddenly carburetors and transmissions all over the screens because I had researched for my husband. Screw that!!! Give me some piles of pretty yarn.


I can ignore the embedded ads that now appear in some web pages. However, the Ad blocker is a blessing especially for those annoying pop up ads. If the site has a blocker and wants me to white list...I nope out and forget about it. The article wasn't that important anyway. Forbes...I'm lookin' at YOU.

EDH said...

The Germans Have A Word For That. said...
Does anyone remember the US Festivals?

Apropos Zuckerburg's senate appearance.

Beat on the Brat

With a brat like that always on your back
What can you lose, lose?

Beat on the brat
Beat on the brat
Beat on the brat with a baseball bat
Oh yeah, oh yeah, uh-oh

Tommy Duncan said...

Althouse said: "Some of us even like that about the advertising. For example, I see mostly ads for shoes and clothes from sellers I like."

This is how stereotypes are perpetuated.

rhhardin said...

An ad blocker also reduces your exposure to malware; but you're exposed to any malware in the ad blocker itself. You're probably ahead on the deal. One ad-blocker, many ads blocked.

rhhardin said...

On a CNBC financial site, my ad blocker reports 908 items blocked. They can't all be good.

Michael K said...

the Ad blocker is a blessing especially for those annoying pop up ads. If the site has a blocker and wants me to white list...I nope out and forget about it. The article wasn't that important anyway. Forbes...I'm lookin' at YOU.

Yes, and Daily Caller, which I haven't read in weeks. Do they want us to leave and not read the link just because we won't put up with the ads?

I clicked on one of those "Quizes" the other day and watched the ad blocker go up like a slot machine. "Click Bait."

Ray said...

Woz is just cool for those into tech. He was in an airplane crash that screwed him up in 1981. He even dated Kathy Griffith. He was famous for his pranks.

The fb banning of those two black ladies, diamond and silk, is amusing due to the reason given...

And it looks like twitter shadow banned Ted Cruz!

Lewis Wetzel said...

I get "targeted" ads that offer me a 2:1 deal on ice cream at a shop 200 miles from where I live, if I can get there in 30 minutes.
Most advertising is a scam, isn't it?

Lewis Wetzel said...

If you really want to read an article that insists that you "white list" the site, read it in an anonymous window. The anon window won't have the blocker running, and won't identify you to the website ad targeting.

Sigivald said...

What's he done? Is he important?

Wozniak hasn't been important since around 1984 or 5, as far as I know.

Bill Peschel said...

Yes, Woz is unimportant. He got his money, and he's spending the rest of his life doing whatever the funque he wants. Why USAToday thinks this is important is beyond me.

(I clicked over to their site and the bastards autoplayed a video so I clicked away).

"Most advertising is a scam, isn't it?"

The way they do it is. I've had Amazon follow me around the web, trying to get me to buy something I already bought from their website. I don't use an ad blocker there. I've had an account there since '97.

Needless to say, I've never bought anything from them.

Ann Althouse said...

“Wozniak hasn't been important since around 1984 or 5, as far as I know”

I hope it’s clear that I asked these questions about his work for Facebook which I had not noticed before and which I now understand did not exist.

As for Apple, ive always only bought Apple devices, going back to my first computer in 1985 and even though everyone else in the bullding was PC and the pushed out software was only PC. I was a complete Apple rebel for more than 30 years.