Near the end of September, Mark Zuckerberg shared a statement on his Facebook page. "Every day I work to bring people together and build a community for everyone. We hope to give all people a voice and create a platform for all ideas," he said. "After the election, I made a comment that I thought the idea misinformation on Facebook changed the outcome of the election was a crazy idea. Calling that crazy was dismissive and I regret it."
This comment, of course, comes after growing pressure from Congress and the public forced Facebook to turn over more than 3,000 Russia-linked ads to congressional committees. In other words, when our neighborhood Zuckerberg called everyone crazy for thinking his platform helped the Russians influence the 2016 presidential election, it was all total bullshit. And its precisely this bullshit that South Park took on in its fourth episode - yet another brilliant narrative that addresses politics, and the conversations fueling it, without ever mentioning our idiot president.
Phony Facebook sponsored posts are peddling fake news about Coon and Friends, saying the group of heroes is eating shit and peeing on each other. This is foiling Coon and Friends' plan to build a superhero franchise with dozens of prequels, video game spinoffs, and of course the obligatory Netflix side series. And this is easy to do because Netflix will greenlight any idea - except, unfortunately, for one about a group of superheroes that Facebook says performs bestiality. Coon and Friends need to stop the misinformation, which is being spread by a content farm in an abandoned Circuit City run by Butters's Professor Chaos.
Meanwhile, the adults of South Park are concerned that Facebook has been a bad influence on the kids and turned them into masked weirdos who pee on each other. In a hilarious scene, they're worried that children don't have the ability to distinguish what's real and what's fake on the internet, which has forced them to do these horrible things they read about on Facebook.
So they call in the guy who would know best: Mark Zuckerberg.
"Mr. Zuckerberg, Facebook has become a tool for some to disrupt our nation and our community," Butters's dad tells Zuckerberg during a town hall meeting.
"You say these things like they are my fault yet they are not," says Zuckerberg, who talks in a clearly dubbed voice, and does his own sound effects like he thinks he's an old kung fu villain. It's one of South Park's best characters in years - with his rosy cheeks and absolute disconnect with reality.
"Well you did create a platform with a monetary incentive to spread misinformation," Butters's dad explains. But it doesn't work; Zuckerberg only cares that no one can block him, which leads to him walking into people's houses and eating their food. As the town realizes that Zuckerberg is "such a penis," they decide they need to kick him out of their lives.
How does the town get rid of this nuisance? The police chief explains that it's all their fault: "You all brought Mark Zuckerberg into this town."
So, it's up to our local heroes: Coon and Friends. They battle him in the streets, which is all mouth sound effects and kicking Zuckerberg in the balls. Of course, they record the whole thing - Zuckerberg beating the shit out of a bunch of kids - on Facebook Live.
And in the end, South Park is right again: We can't rely on the law to restrict Facebook. The best answer is us. We need to be able to decide what's true and what's false - to be responsible over our own consumption of information. And since that's not going to happen, maybe we should just stop using Facebook completely.
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