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Facebook abandoned drilling equipment on the ocean floor and has no plans of cleaning it up

Truly, what an awful company.

mark zuckerberg

Facebook, the social media company, apparently abandoned drilling gear off the Oregon coast. Yes, we’re talking about the same Facebook.

Why is a company like Facebook dealing with underwater drilling gear? Well, the company’s subsidiary Edge Cable Holdings was installing a trans-oceanic fiber optic cable. But as usual, Facebook fucked up and one of the drill bits got stuck, bursting a pipe about 50 feet below the seafloor. 

The company moved on with the job, but the boneheads at Edge Cable Holdings left “1,100 feet of pipe, a drill tip, various other tools, and 6,500 gallons of drilling fluid” behind, reports the Oregonian. The good thing is that the company notified county officials about the incident. The bad thing is that they left a bunch of drilling equipment behind.

Oregon Coast Alliance Executive Director Cameron La Follette and the Surfrider Foundation’s Charlie Plybon, speaking to the Tillamook Headlight Herald, said: “Failure to notify the agency, and abandonment of equipment now apparently unrecoverable on and below the ocean floor, is not only a violation of Edge Cable’s permit, but represents a continuing and permanent trespass of public lands.”

Facebook naturally denies these claims and said they had notified the state, claiming that the equipment they left behind wouldn’t cause any harm to the environment.

Here’s Facebook’s statement to the Oregonian

“A Facebook spokeswoman confirmed the drilling equipment remains below the seafloor just off the coast but disputed the timeline of when the state was notified. She said the company was aware the May 5 letter had been passed to state officials by a resident and followed up with a phone call with the Department of State Lands two days later.

The spokesperson also said the company had performed an environmental assessment and “determined that there is no negative environmental or public health impact from the drill head remaining at the site.”

Well, la-di-freaking-da. Facebook is just going to leave all their sea junk behind because it’s “environmentally safe.” What a horrible response. Instead of being like, “Hey, we messed up, we’ll go back and clean it up,” they’re doubling down as if they did nothing wrong. 

Now, imagine living next to this coastline and having all this stuff wash up to the shore. What kind of risk does that pose to residents? State Representative David Gomberg told the Oregonian, “I have come to the conclusion that (the residents) were absolutely right,” Gomberg said. “Facebook has been an unfriendly neighbor. These folks now have to be worried about what washes up on their beach for generations.” 

Have any thoughts on this? Shouldn’t Facebook be forced to go back and clean up their shit? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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Kevin is KnowTechie's founder and executive editor. With over 15 years of blogging experience in the tech industry, Kevin has transformed what was once a passion project into a full-blown tech news publication. Shoot him an email at or find him on Mastodon or Post.

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