Yet, for all the mess fake news has caused the internet is a good place to watch a few public brawls. The latest? Apple vs. Facebook and Google and Amazon. Apple needs all three. All three need Apple. Yet they spit on each other incessantly. Fun, right?
Free vs. Exclusive
The latest brawl pits Apple’s Tim Cook vs. some unknown executive at Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg’s newest whipping boy, Nick Clegg. Without naming names, Cook says privacy should be regulated and companies that make billions in profits by sucking information from users in exchange for free software should be ashamed of themselves.
Billionaires tend not to be ashamed of anything, so Zuckerberg called out the dogs on Cook; this time, newly hired Nick Clegg.
Some other big tech companies make their money by selling expensive hardware or subscription services, or in some cases both, to consumers in developed, wealthier economies. They are an exclusive club, available only to aspirant consumers with the means to buy high-value hardware and services
Who is he talking about? Apple. Apple is exclusive because the company sells hardware for a profit.
That stands in stark contrast to the loving spirit of humanity which salts everything they do at the world’s largest social media company and purveyor of free software as a trade for private information that is then used to manipulate users.
Facebook was founded on a simple principle: We want to connect the world. And you don’t do that by charging for admission
Now, let’s be honest. Facebook was founded to make the owners rich, not to connect the world. Connecting the world was what would make the owners rich. Apple is not out to make the best hardware and software for its customers (otherwise, it would cost much more, so there is a trade off ingredient in both pies), either, but to make a profit so the company— and executives— can continue to prosper.
Prosperity is the main desire of all those executives on both sides of the fence.
The problem with this public brawl where it’s free club vs. exclusive club should be obvious, right?
It feels a bit crazy that anyone should have to say this. But if you’ve built a chaos factory, you can’t dodge responsibility for the chaos. Taking responsibility means having the courage to think things through
Clegg’s argument is lame as arguments go, but beneficial to Facebook because it’s better these days to throw shade on someone than deal with facts. Facts is facts but they need to be compared properly. Cook is not wrong about Apple’s stance on privacy. Clegg and his Facebook puppet-master are not wrong about Apple’s exclusive club. One is free. One is not. But they are not the same argument.
Notice that Cook never mentions the billions Apple gets from Google to keep the search engine as default on 1-billion Safari users. Notice that Clegg (and, Facebook and Google) never mention how they take user information and then use against those same users to advertise, manipulate, and further track their online habits.
Yes, Facebook is free but comes with a price. Yes, Apple’s products come with a price, but the privacy is free.
Not exactly apples to Apple is it?