Facebook’s Fascinating Lies

Jeff Mach
3 min readJun 19, 2020

So if you know me, you might know that, among other things, I am a professional marketing consultant. It’s been a really interesting trip, these past ten years, most especially with Facebook.

I wrote an article, one which I’d hoped would become more dated, rather than more timely, on how social media profits from making you upset and outraged. If you’ve seen that article, you can tell that it doesn’t say that you should never be outraged — just that social media in general, and Facebook in particular, has a stake in seeing you angry and upset.

Now, the story itself is long, and there are other tales to tell. So let me just talk to you a bit about some of the things I’ll be discussing in the coming days:

  • For people who are interested in Facebook advertising, I’ll explain why I seldom recommend it, and why you need to be extremely careful. One of the simplest problems involved is that Facebook outright lies — not once or twice, but repeatedly — about its billing. Its stated billing policies are not true, and I can back this up with a ridiculous number of official emails, plus two very long phone calls, one of which I both recorded and transcribed.
  • Facebook appears to take a number of actions to make it very difficult to avoid paying for advertising; and then it works quite hard to milk advertisers for everything they have. That’s just my opinion, based on having spoken to hundreds of advertisers — but if you read much about Facebook advertising, you’ll note that it’s somewhat secretly more complicated than it claims; that, despite exercising editorial control over 100% of its ads, it was documented as being bad at removing false Coronavirus advertising as recently as last month; and that, as Vox put it, Facebook ads can target you extremely well, and make you feel terrible.
  • I won’t be saying that Facebook is horrible and nobody should be there. That would be hypocritical; I’ll be posting this article there, myself. Facebook has worked very hard to make itself essentially the largest clearinghouse for conveying information in the world. There are lots of reasons to avoid it; but lots of reasons why that’s difficult. There’s also some incentive to try to create positive change; if those ads make you feel awful, perhaps we ought to be working to change the advertising landascape.
  • But I will say that Facebook makes profit on everything that you do on Facebook, and it’s not always transparent about these things. And profit itself isn’t bad; it’s taking profit from peoples’ pain which becomes morally sticky.
  • For people in the business world, more and more people are discovering: There are some really good alternatives to Facebook. There are a lot of ways to get out and get found in the world, without using social media at all.

To sum it up a bit — I’m not saying that we should avoid Facebook; just that this may be a time for us to stop giving Facebook so much of our money, and push back against it using so much of its knowledge of us against us.

I’ll be writing these articles intermittently, so if you’d like to know more or want me to elaborate on a particular thing, just reply here and I’ll address your comments.



Jeff Mach

Jeff Mach’s an author, event creator, and Villain. His new show’s www.EvilExpo.com, and his Dark Lord book is at https://www.amazon.com/dp/1499905807.