Facebook – Friend or Foe?
If you saw the movie The Social Network based on the development of facebook, you saw how as an excellent idea (dream), helping friends and family stay in touch became what it is today. For those who are spread over this entire wonderful planet of ours find this a fantastic sharing tool. I certainly know of people who gain great use from this feature, particularly when maintaining their site in a closed, private fashion.
Has Facebook changed since it started?
Many feel that Facebook has grown into what seems a monster, pretty much out of control and entering every facet of their lives, with now in excess 2 billion users. If we put this into another perspective, Facebook would be larger than any one single country including China or India. With no real opposition or competition Facebook appears to have become a monopoly providing great concerns for many people, as well as governments. Because of the sheer scale of this amazing undertaking, the managers Facebook rely on a rudimentary form of ‘artificial intelligence’, presently referred to as an algorithm. The problem with these Facebook algorithms is that is comparatively easy to construct an ecosystem, fully capable of manipulating participants and readers alike.
“Content and brand has been determined unsafe to the community.” Facebook
There has been significant suggestion that Facebook has designed some of its algorithms to promote a certain point of view and downplay contrary or opposing points of view. I recently saw a story where too African American video bloggers (and Trump Supporters), known as Diamond and Silk were censored and then banned from Facebook for the supposed crime of “content and brand has been determined unsafe to the community.” YES, this is a true story!
Furthermore, Facebook is been accused / credited with swinging some results of the recent US elections in favour of the ultimate result, obviously not wanted by those on the opposing side. Those on the losing side of the election have credited Russia with massive interference in the US election process, while seemingly spending less than US$200,000. Seems a real bargain to me.
Scary, but a ‘political’ bargain nonetheless.
As I approach the end of this current ‘Brain Dump” on this subject, I’ll share my final thoughts on why I left Facebook, and what part Social media in general will play in my life, going forward.
Until then, have a great week