Christians, Facebook and Ill-Gotten Gain

Salvete, omnes!

No, this is not your typical question about whether we should use Facebook because of this or that cause it should support.

My question here is whether we should use Facebook because its CEO Mark Zuckerberg may have gotten to where he is today because of ill-gotten gain. I’m sure many of us remember the movie called The Social Network which was based on the fact that the so-called Winklevoss twins claimed that Zuckerberg stole their idea for Facebook. There was ultimately a settlement and the twins won a huge sum of money from it.

First off, does this settlement mean that either Zuckerberg admitted that he stole their idea? If not, does it mean a judge said that he did by allowing the twins to be paid as they were? In any case, does this mean that Zuckerberg created Facebook through sinful means, i.e., stealing someone else’s idea?

IF this is the case, should Christians use Facebook? After all, if Zuckerberg is now in his position as CEO of Facebook through sinful pracrtices and is therefore making money from these sinful practices, are we not directly supporting his sin by using Facebook? I mean, even if we argue that we don’t buy anything from the ads we see there so, therefore, he is not technically getting any money directly from us when we use Facebook, it cannot be argued that companies decide to put ads on Facebook because many people are using it, including ourselves. So, in a sense, by using Facebook, we are encouraging advertisers who, in turn, pay Zuckerberg to advertise on their site. So, in some sense, even if we don’t directly buy anything from the ads on Facebook, we are still, by our mere presence on the site, in some sense providing Zuckerberg money when we choose to use Facebook. So, if we are providing money to Zuckerberg, are we not directly, through financial means, supporting him as being CEO, a position that he may(?) have acquired through sinful means?

So, I ask again, with the above in mind, should Christians use Facebook, putting aside for the moment any other moral objections we might have to using it? What are your thoughts on this? Is there really any way we can justify using Facebook with the above situation in mind?

EDIT: Reading further on this subject, it would seem that the judge in this case ultimately sided with Zuckerberg and decided to allow the settlement simply because, at some point, litigation had to end. Am I reading this correctly?

Still, however, we may never know the true story of who is truly in the right here; we may never know all the ins and outs.

With all this in mind, still, my questions about whether Christians/Catholics are permitted to use Facebook still stand. With all this in mind, why are we or why are we not?


Well, you are right about one thing. We are not the customers of Facebook. We are the product.

I can think of much better reasons not to use Facebook than because of anything relating to Mark Zuckerberg.

I don’t have a problem with this post, though.

I’m sure there are plenty of CEOs that did sinful things to get where they are and we use the products of those companies.
If we avoid products because of the sin of the people making them, then we wouldn’t use or have anything.

Wouldn’t this be remote (but discretionary) participation (at most) in sin? Far more troubling to me is the types of filth Zuckerberg allows (blasphemous and very anti-catholic posts by some individuals and groups on Facebook) and Facebook keeping posts accessible “forever” whether you would wish to delete old posts or not…and their insecure platform against being hacked…Only my own personal reasons NOT to use Facebook, similar to why I will not use Progressive Insurance or go to Starbucks…the causes they support.

Although the story of Bill Gates and Microsoft (ill-gotten gains, predatory business practices) is very similar, it is VERY hard to avoid using any Microsoft products…for me Facebook is completely avoidable, there are other ways to communicate electronically. My 2 cents, anyhow.


The questions of whether Mr. Zuckerberg is a sinner and whether Christians should use Facebook are quite different questions. In any case, the mere use of Facebook is not inherently sinful.

If you do business only with companies that were not founded by sinners you will be living in a cave hoping that Ravens would bring you food

I recently deactivated my facebook for a number of reasons: privacy concerns, it was a time sucker, it became a kind of path-of-least-resistance that replaced real human interaction, and because I am sick of the social-media culture that it has created, with the group thinkers, narcissists and keyboard social justice warriors. And the buzzfeed posts… oh the buzzfeed posts. I started just unfriending every person who posted from buzzfeed.

So far, I am not sorry for giving it up.

The only thing I miss is the event invites.

I’m a selfish FB user. I only use it as an outlet to post about my own life and interests. I very rarely comment on anyone else’s posts and most of the time don’t read them. Most of the time I simply don’t care about what’s going on in their lives.

I could go the rest of my life and never read another story about someone’s rescue dog or why we should “like” a picture of Jesus because he’s holding an American flag.

Maybe my selfish use of FB is sinful.

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