John Oliver shares the brutally honest Facebook ad we actually deserved

Kylie Mar
Host & Producer, Yahoo Entertainment

On Last Week Tonight, John Oliver discussed Facebook’s $119 billion loss last Thursday, when the tech company’s stock plummeted 19 percent.

Facebook has struggled with its reputation since it became public that an unauthorized data disclosure had affected up to 87 million users. After the scandal broke earlier this year, the company aired an apology ad, which is more obligatory than “f*** you,” Oliver said. “Facebook was doing literally exactly what it was built for — that’s why it was worth $600 billion,” he added. “You [don’t] build history’s most profitable data-harvesting machine by accident.” Oliver was also critical of Facebook for using Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico as “a backdrop to promote” its  virtual reality tools, so he decided to be the friend Facebook needs and write the ad that should have been.

Though Oliver’s product mirrored the one Facebook aired, it started with: “You came here for the friends. You got to know the friends of your friends. We came here for your data and the data of everyone you have ever come into contact with.” The ad got really real when it said, “And your data enabled us to make a f*** ton of ad money from corporations, app developers, and political campaigns. Then, we discovered your uncle used to have ties to the Klan. And guess what? We realized we could make a f*** ton of money off that s*** too. Seriously guys, we were making so much money off of you, you don’t even understand.”

The fake ad also admitted that, even though the company lost big, its business model remains the same. “But then, you found out about it, and we had to testify and issue bulls*** apology ads. All so we could lose $120 billion. But here’s the thing. Nothing’s really going to change. We’ve got your data. We’ve got your friends. And, really, where are you going to go?” And even though the ad ended with “Facebook. We own who you are,” you gotta admit that you sort of respect the brutal honesty.

Last Week Tonight With John Oliver airs Sundays at 11 p.m. on HBO.

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