I deleted my Facebook account over a month ago because of the unethical experiments they are running on people. They admitted to making people sad by creating a complex scenario where only sad posts would come up on a person’s News Feed. For bipolar people, like myself, being thrown down a path of sadness could translate to suicidal thoughts, risky behavior, and full blown depression. So I cut my ties with them and I haven’t been happier.
But apparently, Facebook has bigger ethic problems than just running risky experiments on people. Apparently, they are giving money to terrible, anti-gay candidates.
In May of this year, the Huffington Post reports that Facebook donated $10,000 dollars to Attorney General Sean Reyes, of Utah, who is currently attempting to fight a judge’s ruling that legalized gay marriage in that state. Reyes, who strongly opposes gay marriage, has made national headlines for appealing the Utah Supreme Courts’ decision, and plans to take his appeal for limiting marriage rights to only heterosexual couples all the way to the Supreme Court.
BAD IDEA CONSIDERING ITS MARKET
Facebook, a company that has over a billion users, first started on college campuses all over the United States. Since then, they have expanded their audience ten fold, and now anyone with an email address can get a Facebook.
And it seems like everyone has. Regardless of the fact that anyone, from anywhere, can get a Facebook, the social media network should make note of who uses their site more than anyone else. I’m talking about people my age and younger. According to Business Insider, “In the U.S., 83% of 18 to 29-year-olds who use the Internet are on (Facebook).” That’s a demographic you don’t want to lose.
And they may very well lose that demographic considering that “three-quarters of Americans younger than 30 support same-sex marriage,” as the Washington Post notes.
REMEMBER THE OUTCRY OVER ANTI-GAY CHICK-FIL-A?
The popular fast food chicken restaurant has a similar problem in 2012, when the President of the company made public statements against same-sex marriage. There was a huge public outcry, and various colleges, like Emory University, nixed plans to open the restaurant on their college campus. I even wrote about how they really never learned their lesson, despite the public outcry, and I started a petition to have it removed from all of Arizona State University’s campuses.
Facebook should receive the same public outcry over this donation. The company, who’s CEO has walked in gay pride parades, has stood up time and again for LGBT Americans, and this donation is nothing but a slap in the face to those of us who want to get married to our partners.
Facebook, in an attempt to ease rising tensions between LGBT Americans and their site, issued the following statement regarding the donation: “Facebook has a strong record on LGBT issues and that will not change, but we make decisions about which candidates to support based on the entire portfolio of issues important to our business, not just one. A contribution to a candidate does not mean that we agree with every policy or position that candidate takes. We made this donation for the same reason we’ve donated to Attorneys General on the opposite side of this issue — because they are committed to fostering innovation and an open Internet.”
But reality remains that they made the donation, and they has been little public outcry on it. While I understand that their donation was politically motivated (I mean, they want a free and open Internet because that’s just business to them), I am really hurt that this company would make such a donation. Because, while it was just ten thousand dollars to an Attorney General in a red state, that same Attorney General is planning to argue before the Supreme Court of the United States, and if Sean Reyes wins his case to end marriage equality in Utah, it will have ramifications nationwide and could potentially end marriage equality everywhere.
That’s something I want to chance. And that is something Facebook should consider before writing checks for candidates.
INVESTORS SHOULD REMEMBER
never have the resources to be major financial players in political campaigns. Our advocacy lies in our voice, and in our wallets.” And it’s true.
Investors who are keeping their stocks in Facebook should remember that the company donated to a candidate who is trying to end marriage equality everywhere. And users of Facebook should remember that the company they use to share every major – and minor – life event donated money to a candidate who wants to end marriage equality in the United States, starting in Utah.