Don't you love it when bad things happen to bad people? Or companies? Watching Facebook (FB) shares plunge Thursday has been a welcome distraction from all the bad news this week around the untimely death of Kobe Bryant and his fellow helicopter passengers and the rapid spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
Facebook is garbage.
Yes, I said it. Facebook serves no redeeming social value, and social media has not elevated the level of human discourse in any way, shape or form. It's a horrible company that makes a horrible product.
I post all my articles, including the ones I write for Real Money on Facebook. I occasionally get a few comments, but, really, it's fairly useless from a business perspective. LinkedIn, part of Microsoft's (MSFT) cloud-based empire, has actually been quite useful in the growth of my two companies, Portfolio Guru, LLC., and Excelsior Capital Partners.
So, I am not antisocial, nor am I anti-social media, I am just anti-stupidity and anti-fake news and, sadly, Facebook is full of both. Literally and figuratively. The fact that the level of disclosure on Facebook is just slightly higher than that on Twitter (TWTR) is merely damning Zuckerberg's colossus with faint praise. Both platforms are riddled with idiocy.
Facebook could be actually be useful in disseminating information in times of crisis, like the current coronavirus pandemic, but, wisely, the Chinese government bans Facebook from use within its borders. Tencent's (TCEHY) WeChat and Sina Weibo may be used for purposes as nefarious as Facebook, Instagram and Whatsapp, but since I don't read Mandarin, I will never know.
While I love the ads for customized T-shirts -- the political ones touting tickets such as "Seinfeld/Costanza 2020" and "Mandelbaum/Mandelbaum 2020" are pretty awesome -- I have never bought a product, watched a show or done anything that Facebook has advised me to. I am quite certain I never will.
The rise of Disney (DIS) -- despite the fall of "Rise of Skywalker" -- and Netflix (NFLX) and other content providers has shown that there is value in producing original content. Facebook could do this, but management has chosen to avoid that arena. Instead, my news feed is filled with stupid jokes, unwanted life updates and countless memes featuring a woman yelling at a cat.
So, in a market that is trading at 17-year highs on most major valuation metrics, fund managers decided Thursday that Facenbook was actually overvalued as of Wednesday. It's refreshing, and I look forward to more of the same as we move throughout 2020. I know who I am voting for, I know what vintage T-shirt I will be wearing to my office tomorrow (I am leaning toward Orange Crush, but Budweiser is always a strong choice) and I know that Smudge will always prevail over "Karen."
It's time we, the investing public, started focusing on companies that provide value-added services for humanity. If you want to call that ESG that's fine, but if you don't think that Facebook has destroyed more brain cells than companies that make cigarettes, alcohol and fossil fuel combined, you cannot be my friend. Virtual or otherwise.