Out of all the things in this world that are actually considered “bullying,” I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that Mark Zuckerberg making a half-joke about freaking Nickelback in 2016 does not fall under that umbrella.
Canadian songstress and black eyeliner aficionado Avril Lavigne clearly disagrees with me, as evidenced by this very casual tweet of a message written in her iPhone’s Notes app and sent to the astonishing 20.5 million people that follow her.
She tagged a wide variety of anti-bullying organizations and urged Zuck to consider his position, writing “When you have a voice like yours, you may want to consider being more responsible with promoting bullying, especially given what’s going on in the world today.”
The sentiment is nice, dear, but ultimately misguided, because please look at what she’s referring to. The bullying in question is a throwaway “joke” made by one Mark Zuckerberg in the deeply unsettling ad for Jarvis, a “digital butler” voiced by Morgan Freeman. In the ad, Zuckerberg asks Jarvis to “play us some good Nickelback songs.” After a pregnant pause, Jarvis replies “I’m sorry Mark, I’m afraid I can’t do that ... there are no good Nickelback songs.” Pleased as punch with the sick burn he programmed into the bot, Zuckerberg says “Good, that was actually a test” and carries on. See for yourself.
This is a joke that everyone including your dentist and maybe your mom after a glass or two of Pinot has made at one point in their life. Even Nickelback makes jokes about Nickelback. Bullying looks like many, many things, but this ain’t it.