Saturday, November 12, 2016

Ignore Facebook As Much As Possible

What should we do with Facebook, this 'glorified Flickr'? Facebook ads (and Mark Zuckerberg) may shout about Facebook being an 'agent of change' and all that B.S. but fact is, Facebook has become a powerful force of misinformation, especially in today's polarized societies and nationalist governments, fueling echo chambers and making billions along the way with gloried display ads.

During the recent US General Elections, President Obama called Facebook a 'dust cloud of nonsense.'

Nieman Lab, which studies media, says Facebook has become a sewer of misinformation. Facebook has also been called the world's leading distributor of lies.  Quickly Facebook is losing whatever goodwill it had.

What can be done to fix the Facebook problem?

1. Time for FB to start acting like a media company, and taking the responsibility.

Hire editors to manage what shows up in its Trending section. Better, hire a team of journalists and charge them with separating at least the worst of the fake news from the stream.

But Facebook doesn't want the responsibility, and hides like a coward behind the 'platform' excuse.

2. Time for governments to regulate Facebook's walled garden, or at least reset regulations for what so-called 'platforms' are required to do.
This is not some poor platforms we are talking about here. Google and Facebook make billions without taking the full responsibility their reach foists on them.

3. Ignore Facebook itself.
Or commit yourself to seeing the latest friends and family update, keeping in mind that Facebook doesn't produce the news, it is your friends etc who pushing the shit down your throat. If you need the news, go to the newspaper's site. The journalist will thank you too. Facebook doesn't pay for the production of good news and opinions.

Facebook has only made fake news and uninformed opinion easier to spread, and Zuckerberg knows that the market or government/s don't punish it for doing some shitty thing day after day. (If it helps the case, just the other day Facebook mistakenly showed memorial banners on profile pages implying users were dead.

During the current backlash against Facebook regarding fake news stories during the US General elections, Mark Zuckerberg denies all responsibility, only vaguely saying 'there's so much more we need to do'.

Oh great. But it is not Facebook but we who need to do much and stop using Facbeook for our news and helpful information source. When did we loose our common sense?

All day long, you all are busy refreshing your FB feed. Stop. Take time out and check out the world outside, starting with some news that you don't agree with. Talk to people with views different from yours. Don't let Facebook help you dig your prejudice-lined cave too deep. Even Narcissus would be ashamed if he looked at you right now.

Whatever happens, for sake of humanity, I hope people use Facebook only what it was meant to do, news and updates from friends  and family, not fake news and poison stuff from people posing as friends.