No one talks about the ableism involved in how we collectively make fun of Mark Zuckerberg. People often talk about how he’s not human because he “has dead eyes” and “never blinks.”

There’s tons of memes equating him to a lizard or a robot too. He’s frequently called an asshole for not adhering to social norms and being “overly direct” and “blunt.”

People who are on the autism spectrum and have the same “robotic” traits as him, the same “directness,” the same types of social “awkwardness,” and see and hear how we collectively talk about Zuckerberg when we launch into personal attacks.

“Why does Zuckerberg look like an AI powered robot trying to take over the world.”


The fact that we all look at him through an ableist lens and think that justifies personal attacks seems … regressive.

When I speak about personal attacks, I’m referring to things about a person that they cannot change. I’m all for personal attacks that involve someone’s politics or bigoted opinions etc.

It seems we’ve normalized personal attacks about things people can’t change and it subconsciously dehumanizes them.

“Zuckerberg has dead eyes. Evil.”

The result

Trump is a strong example of this in his use of language regarding immigrants. And the effects of that were tangible. Hate crimes rose each time after he delivered his race-based rhetoric at rallies.

People begin to feel justified in attacking others when they see them as less than human. That justification is something that’s detached from us as attackers.

It’s no longer a matter of us attacking someone for presenting autistic traits, it’s us attacking someone for being an alien, robotic etc. The former would conjure up guilt we would have a hard time swallowing, the latter removes us from responsibility for our language.

“No advances in lighting or filtering techniques could ever bring life into Zuckerberg’s dead eyes.””

Zuckerberg’s career

The origin story of Zuckerberg’s company is inherently sexist. He created the platform in order to rank female college students based on their level of physical attractiveness. Even close to two decades after its creation, the platform is still sexist.

Images of women wearing clothing items such as bathing suits, tank tops and tube tops are often removed, but images with shirtless men are not.

Zuckerberg’s Facebook also helped him to become a billionaire. Yet despite that wealth you would be hard pressed to objectively argue that he has used his status to better the world.

Yes, there is no moral obligation to do so. But when he lives in a country that he could irradiate it’s homelessness, hunger and poverty and still be fantastically wealthy, it’s hard to defend his choice of inaction.

Facebook is also notoriously infiltrated with bots, in fact, it’s estimated that hundreds of millions of accounts are fake and some speculate that as much as half of the accounts on the platform are fake.

Many of these accounts, along with ones belonging to verified human beings, express fascist ideologies and overtly bigoted views. And yet they are not removed from the platform.

“If we had proof that people like Tom Cotton and Mark Zuckerberg were actual droids with no ability to empathize with normal human beings, wouldn’t we decide they should not be anywhere near the corridors of power? So what if they’re humans but still lack that ability?”

The Next Step

My point is, there’s ample reasons to attack Zuckerberg, and he’s openly hated by many for being sexist and capitalist and elitist and fascist, so why don’t we stick to those traits? Shouldn’t there be some things we just don’t attack people for? Where’s the line?