Pink Floyd to Mark Zuckerberg: You're an idiot, leave our song alone

Roger Waters blows up after Facebook tries to buy Another Brick in the Wall Part 2 for an Instagram ad.

Gael Cooper
CNET editor Gael Fashingbauer Cooper, a journalist and pop-culture junkie, is co-author of "Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops? The Lost Toys, Tastes and Trends of the '70s and '80s," as well as "The Totally Sweet '90s." She's been a journalist since 1989, working at Mpls.St.Paul Magazine, Twin Cities Sidewalk, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, and NBC News Digital. She's Gen X in birthdate, word and deed. If Marathon candy bars ever come back, she'll be first in line.
Expertise Breaking news, entertainment, lifestyle, travel, food, shopping and deals, product reviews, money and finance, video games, pets, history, books, technology history, and generational studies Credentials
  • Co-author of two Gen X pop-culture encyclopedia for Penguin Books. Won "Headline Writer of the Year"​ award for 2017, 2014 and 2013 from the American Copy Editors Society. Won first place in headline writing from the 2013 Society for Features Journalism.
Gael Cooper
2 min read
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Lisa DeJong/Getty Images

Not only did Pink Floyd co-founder Roger Waters refuse to let Facebook use one of the band's songs, but the musician had some heated words for the site's founder Mark Zuckerberg. The company recently offered "a huge, huge amount of money" to use the 1979 classic Another Brick in the Wall Part 2 in an Instagram ad, but Waters wasn't selling. (Facebook acquired Instagram in 2012.)

"And the answer is, 'Fuck you. No fuckin' way,'" Waters said. "I only mention that, because this is an insidious movement of them to take over absolutely everything ... I will not be a party to this bullshit, Zuckerberg."


Roger Waters had some heated words for Mark Zuckerberg. 

Steve Taylor/Getty Images

A spokesperson for Facebook told CNET that the song request came from the Instagram marketing team, not Zuckerberg himself, and that the company respects the decisions of musical artists about whether or not to work with the social network and its properties.

You can hear Waters react in the embedded tweet below, in a video snippet captured at a pro-Julian Assange event. Assange, founder of whistleblowing platform WikiLeaks, is wanted in the US on espionage charges and is in prison in London. As CNET's Katie Collins reported, pressure is mounting from the UK for the US to rescind its demand for Assange's extradition.

Waters went on to say that Zuckerberg's goals openly conflict with the message of the song. The request praises Another Brick in the Wall Part 2, saying that "the core sentiment of this song is still so prevalent and so necessary today."

Which Waters agrees with, but the musician says, "and yet, they want to use it to make Facebook and Instagram more powerful than it already is."

Waters also got a dig in at FaceMash, the hot-or-not-style-rating site Zuckerberg started at Harvard that eventually evolved into Facebook.

"How did this little prick who started off by saying, 'She's pretty, we'll give her a 4 out of 5, she's ugly, we'll give her a 1,' how the ... did he get any power?" the musician said. "And yet here he is, one of the most powerful idiots in the world."