In an effort to curb fears – voiced by everyone from the congress of the United States, to the taxi driver you were stuck in traffic for an hour with last week – Facebook has released a series of ads intended to alleviate fears that their ads are being employed to alter the opinions of their users, using ads.
In the carefully curated commercials a smiling family can be seen perusing a Facebook newsfeed together on a laptop, surrounded by over-sized coffee mugs and golden retrievers with winning smiles and great hair (everyone, humans and canines). And, if seeing a family surfing Facebook online together isn’t unsettling enough, in a statistical impossibility the entire family is looking at the camera at the same time. Above their heads in casual script someone in Palo Alto with a strange sense of humour has superimposed a banner reading: “Little Brother Isn’t Watching You.” The youngest family member is peeking out from between his fingers. It’s odd as hell.
Facebook says this is just one of the many ads they are releasing as they attempt to dissuade the public that they, or paid interests operating through them, are trying to persuade anyone of anything. Other than the fact that Facebook is great, that you should always Facebook before you Facebook, and that nine out of ten Facebookers recommend you Facebook after every Facebook.
“With 9 billion active users projected to be using Facebook by last year, we feel we are nowhere near powerful enough to have any influence over anything,” said a spokesperson for Facebook who was unable to produce evidence that she herself was not a cleverly targeted Russian advertisement intended to gnaw away at the base of reality as we know it.
“Nyet,” she said while rifling through her wallet for ID or a Costco membership to prove she is in fact born in he US as she claimed. “The license is at the home I am coming from today. What is this ‘Cost-Co?’ You must knowing I am American by my stylish look, good hair, and strong teeth yes? Dah. So it is as I was now telling you: you have nothing for fearing except the fearing of the Facebook? Itself.”