The internet took a brief reprieve from commenting on our current apocalypse to dunk on Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg for going Mrs. Doubtfire on his face with some sunscreen. 

Zuckerberg, the billionaire, and enabler of white supremacy were photographed with his clown-like sunscreen application while surfing in Hawaii, where he owns a $100 million property. Once the photos reached Twitter on Sunday, the memes poured in, poking fun at Zuckerberg’s body and heavy-handed sunblock application.

Along with the memes came defense of his sunscreen use and also a defense of him as a person, down to an editorial from someone wanting to defend him but deciding he wore “too much sunscreen.”

I’m sorry, but what? Defending Mark Zuckerberg? 

Here is the thing: There are plenty of reasons not to defend Zuckerberg, and him laying it thick with the sunscreen is the least of them. Making fun of Zuckerberg is the ultimate punch-up — yes, even if it’s about “his looks.” 

Zuckerberg is worth over $10 billion, which depending on your stance is in itself a moral failing. As the fourth wealthiest person in the world, according to Business Insider, Zuckerberg wields more power than billions of people (certainly more than the vast majority of the U. S. population). He has the power to enact real change during a time of global crisis — but instead decides to surf on his $12,000 Efoil board with zinc plastered on his face. 

What’s more, is Zuckerberg isn’t just harming the world at large with his personal inaction; he’s also inflicted substantial damage with his inaction as the CEO of Facebook. The ongoing lack of real responses to the scourge of fake news and viral conspiracies that spread in an instant on his website have been detrimental to democracy. At this point, he’s had years to address it head-on, but not much has changed on the platform since the 2016 election. 

In fact, this seems to have gotten worse since then. Facebook gives Trump free passes, despite his posts that encourage violence, all while defending their choice as a matter of “free speech.” Not only does this hurt our democratic process, but it hurts marginalized groups. Meanwhile, Zuckerberg continues to line his pockets.

Additionally, Zuckerberg may be hurting marginalized groups himself: Native Hawaiians claim that Zuckerberg issuing them for Kauai land, and started a petition called Stop Mark Zuckerberg from Colonizing Kauai that amassed over 800,000 signatures thus far. Zuckerberg’s team told Newsweek that the petitioner’s claims were false.

Are all of these issues more important than silly photographs where he looks more like a haunting demon than a human man? Absolutely. But these silly photographs — or any of the previous pictures that make him look like a soulless robot — don’t exist in a vacuum. 

Zuckerberg hoards his wealth and becomes wealthier by undermining democracy, even if it’s in an indirect way. He may give away billions of dollars for social good initiatives through the Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative, but the choices he makes at Facebook eat away at any goodwill he collects from those efforts. His charitable giving is also just a tiny fraction of his nearly $90 billion net worth. And for god’s sake, Facebook only exists because Zuckerberg made a hot or not website to compare women after getting dumped. While I don’t, as a rule, think people should be cyberbullied for their looks, in this case, I am very willing to make an exception. 

This guy sucks, and he always has. Now he’s one of the most powerful men in the world, and he doesn’t need any of us to defend him. I’d venture to say it’s our right — our duty! — to mock him. 

UPDATE: July 20, 2020, 6:30 p.m. PDT This story was updated with information about the Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative.

https://bit.ly/30vwHut

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here