The feckless, irresponsible and arbitrary way Facebook imposed its punitive Australian ban on news sites has confirmed the worst fears of the critics who say the social media giant gives no thought to public interest and is obsessed with money and power.
Mark Zuckerberg's organisation has, for many years, tried to shrug off accusations it views its billions of users as nothing more than a collective commodity whose personal data can be flogged off to any interested third parties willing to meet its price. This included clandestine operators who used the information thus gained to attempt to swing elections and undermine democracy.
If you're not paying for it, you're not the customer but the product being sold.
Matters have been made even worse by the fact the news site ban was apparently so shoddily conceived and hastily implemented collateral damage extended to public interest homepages including the Bureau of Meteorology and state and territory health departments. Not even Facebook's own homepage was able to escape the company's "deathstar" algorithm.
While Facebook has said mistakes were made and quickly moved to reverse the damage, it is apparent very little care and responsibility was exercised.
The observations of Belinda Barnet, senior lecturer in media and communications at Swinburne University, are worthy of consideration. She wrote that: "Facebook is shooting itself in the foot. In deciding to remove the main source of fact-checked and accurate information on its platform it has ensured its product is suddenly less valuable. It is not going to be the platform Australians can rely on in an emergency or to keep abreast of what is happening".
A platform which has an abysmal record when it comes to shutting down anti-vaxxers, neo-Nazis, Holocaust and climate change deniers, and other forms of "fake news" and "alternative facts" is now denying Australians the ability to use it to source and share legitimate and verified information.
The message is clear. Facebook is all for Facebook and for its bottom line. Facebook users are only factored into the equation as a convenient commodity.