Mark Zuckerberg’s got a lot of nerve. After turning his rate-a-coed website into some digital nation-state inhabited by the world’s saddest aunts and uncles, who share recipes, racism, and parenting tips, like why your baby shouldn’t be vaccinated, he wants to drag the legacy of Pink Floyd down with him. Well, Pink Floyd’s key songwriter and lead singer has two words for him: “fuck no.”
During an event in support of Wikileaks hacker Julian Assange, which we’ll table for now because it’s more fun to talk about Roger Waters telling Zuck to fuck off, Roger Waters told Mark Zuckerberg to fuck off. Instagram approached Waters about using, what else, “Another Brick In The Wall Part 2" for an advertisement, and he wasn’t having it.
“It arrived this morning, with an offer for a huge, huge amount of money,” Waters said of his offer from Instagram. “And the answer is, ‘Fuck You. No fuckin’ way.’”
As disgusting as the thought of photos being put into an Instagram grid set to the song is, it’s probably even grosser to think of the song being used to tout Instagram’s privacy features. Thankfully, Roger Waters (who again is at an event supporting Julian Assange, who was credibly accused of sexual assault by two women, so obviously, this is a very complicated situation) doesn’t like Facebook very much. “I only mention that because this is an insidious movement of them to take over absolutely everything. I will not be a party to this bullshit, Zuckerberg.”
Waters went on to read the letter from Facebook. “‘We want to thank you for considering this project,’” Waters read. “‘We feel that the core sentiment of this song is still so prevalent and so necessary today, which speaks to how timeless the work is.’” In response, Waters said, “And yet, they want to use it to make Facebook and Instagram more powerful than it already is, so that it can continue to censor all of us in this room and prevent this story about Julian Assange getting out into the general public so the general public can go, ‘What? No. No More.’”
Digging into Zuck’s past, Waters reminded everyone of Facebook’s roots: FaceMash. “How did this little prick who started out as ‘She’s pretty, we’ll give her a four out of five, she’s ugly, we’ll give her a four out of five,’ how did we give him any power? And yet here he is, one of the most powerful idiots in the world.”
As for Assange, the charges against him were dropped by Swedish investigators in 2019. Although, investigators said that the decision was due to the time elapsed since the assault. “The reason for this decision is that the evidence has weakened considerably due to the long period that has elapsed since the events in question,” the Swedish Prosecution Authority. Assange has been avoiding extradition stemming from the charges since the early 2010s. Deputy Director of Public Prosecution Eva-Marie Persson said this does not discredit the accuser’s claims.
“I would like to emphasize that the injured party has submitted a credible and reliable version of events,” Persson said at the time. “Her statements have been coherent, extensive and detailed; however, my overall assessment is that the evidential situation has been weakened to such an extent that that there is no longer any reason to continue the investigation.”
Many on the pro-Assange side of things have dismissed the accusations, believing that the accusers were “honeytraps” and an attempt by governments to extradite and prosecute the hacker. So yeah, complicated.