FACEBOOK (and why we don't like it)
We have some Facebook pages, but we don't use them.
Dotted around this page are teasers to articles that might encourage you to re-evaluate your own relationship with Facebook.
YOUR CHINESE TAKEAWAY...
Zuckerberg has been pursuing a relationship with China so intensely that Chinese citizens have mocked him for it. Chinese government censors responded by warning the press to stop spreading “malicious” comments about Zuckerberg’s recent Beijing visit. Clearly, as Quartz itself has warned, “The only way Facebook enters China is as a tool of the government.” More at Quartz Media.
TAKE THE MONEY AND RUN IN 2024
In the wake of Donald Trump’s election as president, Facebook has taken justifiable heat for its role in spreading misinformation and propaganda about the candidates. In particular, its news feed algorithm fueled a cottage industry of fake and intentionally misleading “news” that skewed heavily anti–Hillary Clinton and pro-Trump, according to a BuzzFeed analysis. More at Slate.
DISABLED POETS SOCIETY
In the wake of a terrorist attack in London earlier this month, a U.S. congressman wrote a Facebook post in which he called for the slaughter of “radicalized” Muslims. “Hunt them, identify them, and kill them,” declared U.S. Rep. Clay Higgins, a Louisiana Republican. “Kill them all. For the sake of all that is good and righteous. Kill them all.”
Higgins’ plea for violent revenge went untouched by Facebook workers who scour the social network deleting offensive speech.
But a May posting on Facebook by Boston poet and Black Lives Matter activist Didi Delgado drew a different response.
“All white people are racist. Start from this reference point, or you’ve already failed,” Delgado wrote. The post was removed and her Facebook account was disabled for seven days. More at Propublica.
IT'S GOOD TO TALK, NOT.
Staff at the Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative did an online ask-me-anything Q&A about their plans to help with the Human Cell Atlas – a global effort to map all the cells in the human body.
Despite the suggested inherent nature of the Q&A, however, it turns out that people were not allowed to ask them anything. In fact, if they asked anything to do with the Zuck, and criticized, or even mentioned him, or censured the initiative, or said something the team didn't like, their comments were deleted from the Reddit thread. More at The Register.
HARD TO SPELL, SO DOESN'T MATTER
Countless Rohingya refugees have tried to record the ethnic cleansing of their communities by turning to Facebook, the social network that promised to give a voice to the voiceless.
Rather than finding solidarity, they face censorship, with Facebook deleting their stories and blocking their accounts. More at Newsweek.
FREE TO CHOOSE YOUR OWN CELL
This danger applies to a number of other countries. For example, Facebook has already taken down thousands of posts at the behest of the increasingly authoritarian Erdogan government in Turkey and the governments in India and Pakistan. It seems quite clear that a number of governments have the company in a chokehold. More at Quartz Media.
What happens as Facebook increasingly mediates our access to journalism, especially its attempts to convince journalists to publish exclusively through its platform. As private companies based in the United States, social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter are not legally “public squares” nor are they bound by First Amendment protections and thus are entirely free to delete any content and suspend any users they wish, with no recourse or explanation. More at Forbes.
PHOTOS OF YOUR RAT-FUCKINGLY STUPID LUNCH
Is pretty much what Facebook will allow you in exchange for your money, your data and your freedom. We don't know much, but we do know that is a very poor exchange.