Secrets Facebook Doesn't Want You To Know

Facebook is the social networking site, and like all huge companies, it's got itself some pretty terrible secrets that it'd prefer to stay in the musty, dark closet. But that's why we're here, to drag them into the light for all to see. Because we care.

Zuckerberg almost certainly plagiarized Facebook

Ever hear of the Computer Corporation Trademark Dispute? Basically, a lawsuit was filed because of Aaron Greenspan, who attended Harvard with Zuckerberg. He designed something called houseSYSTEM that had a section called "The Universal Face Book," or "Face Book" for short. It had, "a course scheduler, student marketplace, email service, automatic birthday reminder, message boards, photo album, digital flyer advertising, event calendar (with online RSVP's), map integration, job placement, and local business reviews" — you know, all those things Facebook has.

The two eventually came to a gentlemanly agreement, with Zuckerberg admitting he was a member of houseSYSTEM and Greenspan said he was glad his "contributions have been recognized by Facebook." So, did Zuckerberg do anything for Facebook? No, seriously, we're asking. We have no idea.

Like us all, Facebook does a lot to avoid paying taxes

You hate paying taxes, because you bleed red. But you know who really hates paying taxes? People (and corporations, which are also people) with lots of money! Facebook solved that issue with a lot of fun, and creative, problem solving. Using tax loopholes, and the Cayman Islands — which seems to exist only to alleviate the the tax burden of all of those poor, downtrodden billionaires — Facebook managed to pay an incredibly miniscule tax on an entirely huge bankroll. Because if there's one thing Facebook is great at, it's making money. And doing nothing about stopping people from inviting you to play Bubble Witch 3 Saga. Seriously, enough already.

They want everybody to use their real names, but are terrible at enforcing it

There's a chance you have no idea what "Zucking" is. It's a little-used term to refer to Facebook's policy about everybody's account featuring their real, legal names. What's the problem with that, you wonder? We don't want anyone impersonating us, right? It's for our own good!

Except, yeah, not really. Thanks to messy code and messy workers behind it, if you don't have a white-dude name like "Bob," "Todd," or "Tucker," the Zucking policy is coming after you hard. Especially if you're Native American. Because, hey, it's not like Native Americans have it hard or anything.

It doesn't just affect minorities, it also affects perhaps the most downtrodden among us: drag queens. Now, while that's bad for drag queens who use that persona to make money and promote themselves, it's even worse for a group constantly conflated with drag queens — trans people! Yep, because a lot of trans people go by a name that isn't yet legal (because it takes a lot of money and time to change your name), they're disproportionately, well, zucked. It's like a car alarm only going off when the car's owner tries to get in, only so much worse.

There are almost 100 million fake accounts

So why all this fight to cut down on fake names? It's not like it's a problem, is it? Well, depends on whether or not you consider eighty-three million fake accounts a problem. Which, you know, we can understand why you would.

Yep, almost 100 million Facebook accounts are completely fake! Which begs the question, why? What are people doing with these fake accounts? Naughty no-no things, mainly — creating fake accounts can be super helpful with breaking into other people's accounts. Or spamming them. Also, a bunch of them are just duplicate accounts from people who probably can't remember the password to their first account. But Facebook has to count those as fake too because, as Highlander taught us, there can be only one. Of you.

Facebook staff is racist

The Facebook staff, sadly, may not be the most open-minded of peoples. One of the main things that brought this to the media's attention was that apparently, whenever staff members wrote "Black Lives Matter" on one of the many free-thought whiteboards that litter Facebook headquarters, it would get rewritten as "All Lives Matter," which is commonly recognized as a racist dogwhistle meant to dismiss black people's concerns about not being brutally murdered over skin color.

Mark Zuckerberg, to his credit, launched a full investigation into the matter, admitted it happened, and apologized. It's not exactly going to end racism, or even this specific form of it, but at least the head guy tried to do something about it. Now to work on all the zucking.

Facebook has radically weird rules for banning people

What's the most benign and harmless thing you could call someone? Did you think, "fake goth"? Because if you did, congratulations, you hateful monster!

See, there's a woman named Cathy Brennan who is virulently against trans people having rights, or being able to pee, or existing. Because of this, a bunch of radical trans people decided to fight fire with fire, and combat her proclamations that trans people aren't real, with accusations that Cathy Brennan is a fake goth. Petty, perhaps, but there was a point to be made.

Here's the thing — people got banned for saying "Cathy Brennan is a fake goth." To this day, people still get banned for it. And that's the real issue — Facebook's policy on banning people makes no sense at all. It's a website that has actual neo-Nazis pages, or pages where you can apparently say trans people aren't real, or they're crazy, or they should be in jail. But don't question anybody's gothhood!

That's not the half of Facebook's nonsensical ban policy. For instance, two libertarian groups were suspended for three days, and then reinstated, with absolutely no explanation from Facebook about why. It's almost like Facebook doesn't have real rules, and is run almost entirely on the whims and fancies of whoever presses whatever button that day. Lovely.

Facebook censored conservative news

What's better than a multi-billion dollar company censoring the news? Everything! It's just not a great look, and yet that's apparently what Facebook's been up to lately.

See, there's supposedly an algorithm in charge of its trending section, the thing that shows which news is being most talked about. Except, for a while anyway, there wasn't an algorithm in charge of it — it was people. And instead of it being based on what was actually popular, it was based on whatever Facebook decided they wanted to be talked about. Which involved no conservative news. Like, at all. Anything about Mitt Romney, or GOP PACs, or anything else right was pushed down or left off the list.

The group in charge of the Trending section — the Curators, as they were called — were also told to keep Facebook news off of Trending, and add stories that weren't even sorta trending. So basically, they didn't want to report news, so much as decide what was news and what wasn't. Which, last we checked, isn't how news works.

Facebook censors searches

And the censoring goes on and on. For a while, when you searched, say, "Ron Paul," it pulled back 0 results, which is ridiculous because if you type in "Sonic Kissing Knuckles" it pulls in at least a few ... so we've heard. From other people. Who aren't us.

But, no worries, Facebook said, it was just a bug. Except then, not so long after, a very anti-Facebook petition was formed on and shortly after, if you tried to find the MoveOn group page on Facebook, guess what? No results were found! Facebook would tell you, "search unavailable right now," except as soon as you tried to search for anything else ... it would be working again! It's a Christmas miracle! But then if you tried to search MoveOn it was magically unavailable again! It's almost like Facebook was censoring the search! Huh. Weird.

Facebook's "fake news" issue

You might have heard about Pope Francis blessing Donald Trump, or about aliens stealing the White House, or how Hillary Clinton was part of a pizza-based sex ring. You might also have heard of all of that stuff on Facebook, because Facebook has a huge problem with people using it to spread misinformation, lies, and just general fakery under the guise of news. The hip kids call it "fake news."

Now, granted, Facebook is attempting to fight back against it but considering how good they are censoring just about everything else — including people's freaking names — they suddenly have trouble stopping blatantly made-up news from spreading throughout their site like a virus? We're calling shenanigans on that one.

Facebook's 1984-esque use of your data

Despite its inherent ... let's say shadiness, we still trust Facebook with so much of our private data. It can track where we go, what we purchase, how long we're online, our IP address, and a dozen other things we're too computer illiterate to even fully comprehend or fear. But it's not like it does anything with that data, right?

Please — it absolutely does. For awhile, it even had this thing called Beacon, which would alert your friends of your recent purchase history. Just so they wouldn't buy it for you and make for such an embarrassing Christmas, or something. But that was later stopped, and Facebook never ever used our data maliciously ever again ... except for how it monitors your interaction with friends and events to figure out where you live and uses that to send you ads. That little thing. It's like a stalker bringing sales ads to your house at 3 AM instead of roses or a knife.

Facebook basically monitors things you search for elsewhere, and then uses that info to try and sell you things — in the end, being omniscient just means it's easier for them to make money off of you.This is proof Santa isn't real — if he was, he'd be hounding you to buy from him every day.

Facebook tracks you even if you don't have an account

Do you not have a Facebook account? So what! Just because you're not on Facebook, doesn't mean Facebook isn't tracking you too.

Basically, if you've visited Facebook — for any reason, even if you didn't login — in the last ninety days, it's using its cookies to follow you, monitoring every single thing you do so it can sell you stuff. Your only safe bet is to never go to facebook for reason at all — no fan pages, no links, no anonymously stalking the pretty lady who doesn't know you exist, nothing. And even then, we're not sure, because this is Facebook and they have their fingers in everything. Pretty much the only thing keeping them from officially taking over the world is that they're so poorly organized.

Facebook's mood manipulation

The Facebook people, like any good group of mad scientists, decided a few years back it would manipulate people, mostly because they could.

For a week in 2012, without their knowledge or permission, people were shown either happier or more negative statuses and updates than usual, with the opposing ones censored. Then, at the end of the week, their scientists examined if doing so affected their moods, making them post happier or more negative things themselves. A lot of people said it was unethical for Facebook do this, and adorably expected the company to care. But, if you haven't caught on by now, Facebook cares about nothing except for money, and if they know how to manipulate your mood via feed, they can sell you stuff based on that. It's a lot easier to sell you liquor if they set it up so you're always sad.

It's market is like Craigslist, but more illegal

Facebook, in its desire to be all things to all people, decided to open up a marketplace ... which was immediately flooded with all manner of illegal things. Drugs. Guns. Sex. Illegal animals. Basically the subject of every rock and roll song went up as soon as the market place opened. (There are rock songs about pets you can't legally own, right? If not, we should totally write some. That sounds rad.)

Now, to be fair, Facebook did say you're not supposed to do that stuff, and yet when it did happen, Facebook's director of product management claimed it was a bug. A bug that let illegal goods, including actual bullet-shooting, kill-people guns go up for sale. That's ... quite the bug. Or not a bug at all, but a butt-covering excuse. Either or.

Hacking into people's accounts is SO so easy

Despite the fact that Facebook is now the internet's version of your driver's license, it's nowhere near as protected. In fact, it's downright child's play for people to hack into your Facebook account.

The following is a short list of things you can use to hack an account: fake accounts, being friends with someone, just literally talking to the person, programs, knowing their phone number, knowing their e-mail ... basically anything you have — including things you list on your public Facebook account — can be used to hack your account. It's like your account is locked, but the locks are made out of wet toilet paper.

Pretty scary, huh? No wonder Facebook doesn't want people to know about any of these things. Now, don't forget to follow us on Facebook!