On the Facebook Boycott, and social media platforms generally

Like Fox News, I suspect Facebook will make tweaks to its service to make boycotts go away: As Facebook Boycott Grows, Advertisers Grapple With Race – The New York Times. But either through intent or due to systematic issues, I don’t think Facebook will ever change from being a malignant platform. Certainly not a long as Mark Zuckerberg reigns as CEO with a growth over everything strategy.

It’s easy to blame Zuckerberg. But even if he did moderate Facebook, I think we’d be not much better off. Facebook and to some degree Twitter and Reddit are all social media platforms intent on growing as much as possible. They have some other guiding principles for their companies, but growth is top of the list. In some ways they are like invasive species: they move in and grow incessantly until they dominate an environment, often at the great expense of whatever was there before (e.g. newspapers).

I believe the next thing societies need to do is understand this invasiveness and what it does to the existing social contracts and come up with approaches to manage these platforms. I am not sure how successful we will be. The Chinese government seems to have managed it, but at the expense of the people they govern. There needs to be a better way. I wish I could see better examples of what it is.

One response to “On the Facebook Boycott, and social media platforms generally

  1. I think you are right on that social media is all bad. In fact I know its ruined lives along with spreading fake bs, hurting our elections, further dividing our country & allowing people to say things they’d never say to someone’s face.

    I honestly think that Twitter is the absolute worst platform. Way worse than FB could ever be. They refuse to assist in anyway when normal people are being bullied, lied about, impersonated and harassed. It is scarily easy to create fake posts for any medium and they look legitimately as tho the other person sent the message or wrote the tweet. It happened to me and I was fired from my job, couldn’t get another real job until recently & its not even one that will pay my bills. I received death threats and legitimate threats of violence against me … Twitter did nothing. At least on Facebook when I came across 2 “I hate ___ <—- my name here" Facebook groups that were created 2 years before this incident that caused me to lose all sense of my identity given I had worked for 15 years after college to get to where I was. But at least FB responded to my requests to take the groups down. Twitter never helped & that platforn caused me so much pain & hardship & loss of identity for so long. It was probably the worst & most excruciating time in my almost 40 years on this planet. I didnt know these people nor had I done anything to then but they fabricated total bs that I had supposedly said to them or DMd them on Twitter & FB. I recently quit Twitter bc I couldn't take the racists and crazy shit that I'd see on there. It was sickening. Im not saying FB is good. Its horrible! But Twitter is way worse! I wish social media would be abolished for good. Thank you for bringing this issue into the open!