Facebook likely to grow after company flotation
Opinion digest: Facebook's unstoppable growth, bias at the BBC, Premier League's best season
EVERY weekday morning from The Week online - a daily wrap-up of the best comment and opinion articles from the morning papers and the top political bloggers. If you think we've missed a good one, please let us know. Contact us via Twitter @TheWeekUK.
FACEBOOK IS A DEAD CERT INVESTMENT
DANIEL COOPER ON ZUCKERBERG'S IPO
In the hands of a brilliant operator like Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook is likely to grow significantly after its flotation later this week, writes Daniel Cooper in The Times. Facebook's 900 million users generated $4 billion in revenues last year, "not even $5 per head". That is a "low number" and "will surely grow". While sceptics might suggest that Facebook is little more than a fad, the "behaviour of teenagers suggests that life without social networking has become almost unimaginable". And let's not forget the Chinese: Zuckerberg "knows the country and has visited several times". Yes, China has its own social networking sites, but the value of a social networking site is "determined by its size", and by this measure Facebook stands apart. "Mr Zuckerberg," Cooper concludes, "like Steve Jobs... and Jeff Bezos… sees the future more clearly than the rest of us. Facebook could be the most versatile and valuable asset in modern business history".
THE MOST DRAMATIC SEASON IN HISTORY
GRAHAM POLL ON THE PREMIER LEAGUE
This year has been the most dramatic in Premier League history, and as usual refereeing decisions have been at the heart of it, writes Graham Poll in the Daily Mail. Take the FA Cup Final between Chelsea and Liverpool. With Liverpool 2-1 down, Andy Carroll "headed towards goal and wheeled away, convinced he had scored". Chelsea goalie Petr Cech somehow clawed the ball away, and the referee "was correct" is not allowing the goal. That is not to say referees don't get it wrong. The "worst decision" of the season may have been the sending off of Bolton's Gary Cahill when his side played Tottenham in February. Cahill may have tugged Scott Parker's shirt "but it was not an obvious chance to score" and the defender was unlucky to go. Bolton have now been relegated. As for QPR's Joey Barton, his red card on Sunday "demonstrated his character perfectly, before his tweets post-match showed that he is a deluded prima donna who refuses to take responsibility for his actions. He is all that is wrong with the modern game".
BIASED BBC IS ON THE WRONG WAVELENGTH
BORIS JOHNSON ON WHY THE BEEB NEEDS
A TORY The British Broadcasting Corporation is statist, defeatist and biased, writes Boris Johnson in The Daily Telegraph. Take the "masterpiece" created by artist Anish Kapoor for the Olympics. The BBC's art critic Will Gompertz does not like the sculpture - thinks it is "too small and should be free". In his criticisms, Gompertz is "revealing not the instincts of an art critic - but the mentality of the BBC man". The "prevailing view of Beeb newsrooms is statist, corporatist, defeatist, anti-business, Europhile and, above all, overwhelmingly biased to the Left". The BBC, funded by the taxpayer, is "more likely to see the taxpayer as the solution to every economic ill". There is, however, a solution to the thorny problem of BBC bias: "Appoint someone to run the BBC who is free-market, pro-business and understands the depths of the problems this country faces. We need someone who knows about the work ethic, and cutting costs. We need a Tory, and no mucking around."
WOMEN SHOULD LOOK THEIR AGE
JULIE BURCHILL ON PREPUBESCENT VOGUE
Women should resist glossy magazine pressure to look like prepubescent girls, writes Julie Burchill in The Observer. Vogue editor Alexandra Shulman's revelations last week that half of all female models start work between the ages of 13 and 16 is "just plain kinky" and the knock on effect of such youth worship is spreading. Women's magazines now regularly carry features advising women to look like little girls if they want to attract a man, with the emphasis now moving from saying youthfulness is sexy to saying babyhood is. "First-flush balms" to restore adolescent lip colour, "baby-skin secrets" to cheat a "childhood complexion", "virgin hair" dyes to evoke "the soft-to-the-touch, angelic quality of children's hair" - none of this descriptive imagery would seem "out of place at a paedophile's convention". And most heterosexual men are not "attracted to toddlers", they merely want a woman "above the age of consent to wash, show up, bring beer and strip naked".