Nov 18, 2016 ยท 3 minutes

Facebook’s refusal to admit it’s a media company that bears responsibility for Trump has put the company in an ever deepening hole.

The latest shovelful of dirt was excavated by Germany’s justice minister who said yesterday he believes Facebook should be treated as a media company, subject to the country’s media laws, and to statutory fines for spreading fake news stories. The announcement came just hours after President Obama criticized Facebook by name for its role in spreading dangerous disinformation.

The message to Mark Zuckerberg is clear: Facebook no longer gets to decide if it’s a media company or not. It is.

Meantime, Facebook’s refusal to act decisively on fake news, or even to remove a Trump transition team member from its board has made the company an unintentional poster child for all the mistakes and machinations which handed Trump the presidency. Something they really ought not to be, especially given the roster of racists and Doctor Strangeloves just announced to Trump’s cabinet.

And yet! While Facebook continues to solidify its role as Silicon Valley’s public enemy number one, some tech folks are actively benefiting from Facebook’s crisis. And not just the ones running fake news sites.

Here are just a few other tech players who owe Zuck a huge debt of gratitude right now:

1) Jack Dorsey

Just a few days ago, Twitter was the first social network that sprung to mind when one talked about trolling and election corrupting. Twitter remains Donald Trump’s platform of choice and the president elect has credited it with helping him get elected. But as the world was distracted by Facebook’s fake news scandal, Dorsey made a swift and very smart pivot: Earlier this week Twitter moved to ban a whole host of right wing trolls and bullies and thus position itself as the platform that is taking Trump trolls the most seriously. Meanwhile, while Zuck couldn’t bring himself to admit any responsibility whatsoever for fake pro-Trump propaganda on his platform, Dorsey apologized personally for a right wing advertising campaign that was algorithmically approved to run on Twitter.

2) Travis Kalanick

Remember when Kalanick was Silicon Valley’s ur-asshole? In many ways he still is, of course. Those lawsuits over treatment of drivers haven’t gone away, nor have the many assaults and even deaths on his platform. He’s still the same old super-bro who represents everything bad about Silicon Valley’s cult of disruption. Buuuuttttt. As one awakes to Trump’s cabinet picks and the distant sound of jackboots marching on Washington, one has to give him credit for one thing: At least (to the best of our knowledge) he didn’t help elect Donald Trump.

3) Peter Thiel

No, really. While everyone is screaming about Facebook’s godawful response to fake news, the world seems to have forgotten the company’s other Trump-related scandal. The fact that (Pando investor and iredeemable asshole) Peter Thiel remains on the company’s board while also serving on Donald Trump’s transition team. The conflicts of interests are myriad and gigantic, but demands for Thiel to be fired seem to have been drowned out (for now at least) by Zuckerberg’s other horrible management decision.

4) The Nation of Macedonia

Be honest: When was the last time you gave a second thought to Macedonia? Unless you live in Macedonia the odds are your answer is… not really ever. Until this week when it was revealed that the country -- specifically, teens in one town in the country -- was responsible for producing almost 150 fake news sites, promoted on Facebook, in support of Donald Trump. The sites themselves might be unforgivably awful, but there’s no denying the enterprise and entrepreneurial spirit behind them. If I were looking to hire young media disruptors, I’d be looking to Macedonia.