Everyone’s got their lab coats in a twist because Facebook has finally stopped flirting with the idea of enabling comments and likes for all Pages and just kisses it on the lips and asked for its hand in marriage.
See the scoop? Here’s ePharma Rx’s version.
So I, like so many others, took the tack that Facebook was flipping off pharma marketing and its marketing budgets in a “We don’t need you”/”Take my ball and go home” snit. I mean, Maybe it’s my bias that Facebook is the kid in high school who got picked on for years and suddenly has some power and wants to rub it in everyone’s faces (The Social Network was a great movie and deserved the Oscar). Maybe it’s the reckless way it treats anyone who isn’t Facebook (erosion of privacy for users, bait and switch use terms, privacy controls that don’t even make sense to them, the recent Google smear campaign, untested public News Feeds, etc, etc, etc), so I just assumed this move was a way to tick off someone it didn’t need to appease.
But I’m wrong. Pharma is (if you can believe it) an innocent bystander in a war between Facebook and the feds. In this case, the FDA. Facebook always acts as if anything we ask of it is a horrible burden and is the worst idea (remember when we tried to tell Detroit to make a hybrid a decade ago? Yeah, like that). Every move sounds like, “Facebook is a free service and if you don’t like it, go away, but by the way, all your friends are on it, so good luck living without us.”
The move to treat pharma like every industry is either ignorant of the fact that pharma lives in a regulated house (haha! Like Pharma hasn’t lobbied Facebook for years: no one’s ignorant here) or Facebook has decided to start jousting at a very big windmill: the fed.
Why bother? Who is the only group who can tell Facebook what to do? Not the courts, not public opinion, not the media, not users, not stock holders (hahaha! Goldman Sachs has only one thing to tell Facebook: Thank you!). The answer is the fed. The fed is the only group who have any chance of laying down some laws for Facebook, and clearly Facebook (the willful 16 year old that it is) doesn’t like it when someone else tells it what to do.
Let’s see how this plays out. I only wonder what other aspect of the fed Facebook will lob grenades at next…