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Mark Zuckerberg's Illuminati-Like Hoodie Reveals Facebook as the Cult That It Is

facebook hoodie with insigniaAt last week's D8: All Things Digital conference, Facebook CEO found himself sweating bullets while being grilled onstage by the Wall Street Journal's Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher. It got so bad, in fact, that Swisher felt compelled to ask him if he was OK, and suggested that he perhaps take off his trademark hoodie. "I never take it off," Zuckerberg reportedly replied. When he realized how obscene his perspiration had become, however, he relented, and Swisher helped him disrobe. As she was removing the sweaty garment, she noticed a giant emblem on the inside of the black hoodie, bizarre enough to prompt her to say, "What are you in, some kind of cult?"

The illuminati-like symbol features a series of bi-directional arrows surrounding a circular design, with words like "stream," "platform," and "graph" positioned in a triangular pattern. Around the edges of the circle is a slogan that reads, "Making the world open and connected." What makes the seal so creepy, though, is the fact that it's nowhere to be found on any of Facebook's public marketing materials, and is apparently exclusively printed on the hoodies that every employee receives (although, as TechCrunch points out, the widely ridiculed item has wasted no time in making its way to eBay).

SFWeekly's Alexia Tsotsis closely studied blown-up photos of the insignia and came up with an explanation of the design's symbolic significance. 'Stream,' 'platform,' and 'graph' are obvious references to the pillars of Facebook's redesign for 2010, as unveiled during this year's f8 Conference. The blue ring surrounding the emblem is perhaps a symbol for Facebook's privacy protection, while the slogan is, according to Zuckerberg, the company's very unofficial mission statement.

Tsotsis may have broken down the design's symbolism, but it's still unclear why this thing exists. Insiders insist that Facebook employees don't engage in any cultish rituals or animal sacrifices -- they just happen to wear the same, creepy hoodies. In all likelihood, the insignia is probably just another one of Zuckerberg's weird, Skull-and-Bones-like quirks he picked up at Harvard; this is the same guy, after all, who spies on anonymous romances for fun. But at a time when people are demanding that the site be more open about its privacy policies and ethics, it's probably not a great idea for Zuck to portray Facebook as some sort of clandestine coterie of tech elites. [From: SFWeekly and TechCrunch; via: Gawker]

Tags: cult, d8, D8Conference, F8, facebook, hoodie, hoodies, illuminati, Mark Zuckerberg, MarkZuckerberg, privacy, privacy settings, PrivacyIssues, PrivacySettings, secret, social networking, SocialNetworking, symbol, top, web