Opinion Brief

What Facebook's 'creepy' hoodie insignia means

Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg revealed an odd, Freemason-like symbol inside his sweatshirt. Is Facebook really a cult, after all?

"What are you in, some kind of cult?" asked tech reporter Kara Swisher of Mark Zuckerberg, after the Facebook founder removed his hooded sweatshirt at the D8 tech conference last week, revealing an "Illuminati"-type symbol in the lining. The never-before-seen insignia caused quite the sensation, especially since Zuckerberg revealed it while cold-sweating through some tough questions about Facebook's dodgy privacy issues. What can we learn about Facebook from this "mysterious" symbol? (See the much-debated Facebook insignia)

Facebook is still naive about branding: Based on close study, says Alexia Tsotsis in San Francisco Weekly, the diagram appears to depict nothing more ominous than Facebook's 2010 business strategy, albeit with a "slightly off-kilter Star of David in the center" sure to set off conspiracy theorists. Still, while it may just be a "silly" logo, a less "unaware" CEO would have realized that it was bound to "come off as childish and creepy" when revealed this way.
"Zuckerberg's bizarre Facebook insignia revealed, and what it means"

What's all the fuss about? The only "mystical power of Zuckerberg's hooded sweatshirt," says Caroline McCarthy in CNET News, is that it miraculously "made the tech blog world go bonkers." Get a grip, people. Facebook is known for the sort of "fratty camaraderie" that breeds in-jokes and this isn't even particularly insider — they didn't even translate the mission-like statement "making the world open and connected" into "Tolkien's Elvish."
"Zuckerberg hoodie makes mountains of molehills"

It may not be mystical, but it sure is collectible: Bloggers aren't the only ones who "went kind of nuts," says Jason Kincaid at TechCrunch. An identical hoodie, put on eBay by an employee "apparently tired of leading a life shrouded in secrecy," is selling for more than $4,000. "You people do realize that this is just a hoodie right? And that there isn’t actually a cult?"
"Join the cult! Facebook hoodie with mysterious insignia found on eBay"

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