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Facebook is MORE IMPORTANT to humanity than PORTUGAL

'OH it's so BIG,' gasp Deloitte tarts rented by Zuckerberg

Facebook has paid a bunch of consultants to make the dubious claim that the free-content ad network's worldwide economic value is far greater than the billions of dollars in sales it drums up each year.

If figures from Deloitte are to be believed, Mark Zuckerberg's ego was stroked to the tune of $227bn, based on the assertion that his company's impact on the global economy "enabled" the creation of 4.5 million jobs in 2014.

Just to put that into context, worldwide GDP amounted to $77.6tn last year. Portugal’s nominal GDP (in 2013) was reported at $219bn.

The consultancy firm's report (PDF) – which some economists might consider utterly delusional – takes into account everything from device sales to broadband demand, with the claim such markets are stimulated by "the desire to use Facebook".

It also tried to squeeze value out of apps, small businesses and events where the details were first posted on Zuck's platform. Deloitte said its methodology was based on "broad effects that accrue to third parties in Facebook's ecosystem, and excludes Facebook's narrow effects caused by its day-to-day activities".

The consultancy firm claimed:

Facebook-motivated purchases of devices and internet connections drive demand for data usage. Improvements in connectivity spill over to the rest of the economy and stimulate economic growth.

The report has already been torn into by economists who have questioned Deloitte's explanations for reaching the millions of jobs and the "227" figure.

Facebook's chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg hit back at the haters, telling the Wall Street Journal:

We know Facebook is one of the main drivers of why people buy phones, particularly in the developing world.

People will walk into phone stores and say 'I want Facebook'. People actually confuse Facebook and the internet in some places.

Really? But Google is the internet, surely? ®

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