Avril Lavigne tells Mark Zuckerberg to lay off Nickelback

Tech Culture

by Chris Matyszczyk December 23, 2016 10:16 AM PST @ChrisMatyszczyk

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I've never thought of Mark Zuckerberg as the apogee of modern progressiveness.

There's a certain staid quality about his affection for only eating animals he kills -- and his adoration of Vin Diesel.

It wasn't so surprising, therefore, that when he exposed his personal AI butler, Jarvis, to the world, the humor was a touch stale.

This exchange, for example, between him and Jarvis (voiced by Morgan Freeman), spoke loudly.

"Hey, play us some good Nickelback songs," says Zuckerberg.

"I'm sorry, Mark. I'm afraid I can't do that," replies Jarvis. "There are no good Nickelback songs."

"Good," replies Zuckerberg. "That was actually a test."

Some might consider that this was actually not funny.

One of those people is Avril Lavigne. On Thursday, the singer leaped to Twitter to excoriate Facebook's CEO.

"Many people use your products -- some people love them, some don't," she began. "Either way, you're allowed your musical opinion however your jab at Nickelback is in poor taste."

Poor taste? Well, yes. But Zuckerberg has never been renowned for exquisite discernment. But is this just about poor taste? No, says Lavigne, it's not.

"When you have a voice like yours, you may want to consider being more responsible with promoting bullying," she continued. "Especially given what's going on in the world today."

Is she referring to Donald Trump, the rise of right-wing intimidators and the failed social democratic experiment? Perhaps.

I fear, though, she has more of a point with one of her closing hashtags: #TheJokeIsOld.

It was 18 months ago that Australian police tried to charge Nickelback with crimes against music. It was also last year that a humorous app was released that played Nickelback when you tried to contact your ex. Earlier this month, Canadian police threatened drunk drivers with Nickelback songs.

Nickelback jokes are as over as Facebook, some might say. Yet here is Facebook's CEO acting as if they're still amusing. Perhaps it was just his attempt at fake humor.

Facebook didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. Zuckerbergian guard members might point out, though, that Lavigne has a special interest here. She was once married to Nickelback's lead singer, Chad Kroeger.

Still, the whole thing is a touch lamentable and it leaves me with one depressive thought: Oh, Morgan Freeman, please don't say you did this for free.

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