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The FTC $ 5 billion is an awkward joke



Facebook's stocks went up after news for a record $ 5 billion FTC fine for various privacy violations broke today.

As The New York Times Mike Isaac points out that here is the real story: the United States government has spent months punishing for a long list of Facebook with bad privacy behavior, the best she could do was so weak that Facebook's share price rose. From some other points of view, a $ 5 billion fine is a big deal, of course: this is the biggest fine in FTC's history, far greater than the $ 22 million fine imposed against Google in 2012, and $ 5 billion is a lot of money to be sure Just like everything else that comes in contact with the scale of Facebook is still too little: Facebook has had $ 1

5 billion in revenue only in the last quarter and $ 22 billion in 19459003 last year.

The largest FTC fine in the history of the country represents a major month of Facebook revenue, and the company did so good work to telegraphing it to investors that the stock price went.

Here's another way to say this: The biggest FTC fine in the history of the United States has increased Mark Zuckerberg's net worth.

What lesson will you learn you of this?

This is actually the real problem here: fines and penalties are effective only when they provide negative consequences for bad behavior. But Facebook has done nothing but behave badly from the start, and it has only once been hit on the wrist by authoritative figures and rewarded by the market. Ultimately, Facebook has already been on a previous FTC decision on privacy violations imposed in 2011, and it does not stop any of the company's latest scandals. As Kara Swisher wrote, you need to add another zero to that fine to make it mean something.


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