Tag Archives: facebook

Facebook Has No Moral Compass

Little Rock      While America burns, Trump inflames and divides, Facebook vacillates and postures.  Mark Zuckerberg and his number two executive Sheryl Sandberg seem to have no moral compass at all.

Facebook once was a semi-harmless tool that enabled social networks of family and friends to easily connect and share news, pictures, and information.  Those days are long gone.  Now, Facebook is global financial behemoth with over one-billion users, still pretending it is a side pocket, dorm room experiment that bears no responsibility for the way members have used its tools.

Way back when, say 2016 or so in times gone by, Facebook could have been excused for being manipulated by state actors and nefarious, often genocidal interests whether Russia in the US election or the military in Myanmar.  They weren’t ready for primetime, one might argue.  They admitted as much, and said they would fix it all themselves.  They lied.  Now they know better, and the same problems remain.  Substitute Hindu nationalists in India this time for Myanmar.  Change the name of the country from the USA to a score of others.

Twitter, which I personally find almost a worthless, time suck, grew a backbone and its CEO and co-founder, Jack Dorsey, drew a small line recently and fact checked a couple of President Trump’s tweets as misleading and false.  One was on mail ballots. And the other was divisive and inflammatory.  Trump went ballistic, fearing his tweet fingers would be paralyzed.  He threatened to remove the liability protection from social media in an executive order that is almost surely going to be declared unconstitutional.  Twitter held firm that Trump had violated its rules of service.  Snap, the owner of Snapchat, has now followed suit.

Facebook has almost identical rules for users that these other platforms have, so what did they do.  In short, nothing.  Zuckerberg claimed it was news.  Yes, so is genocide, but does that excuse being an enabler?  Zuckerberg claimed it was free speech.  What public school did he ever attend that he didn’t hear the classic definition that free speech does not mean that someone has the right to scream “Fire!” in a crowded movie theater or be exonerated in the deaths of any trampled as the crowd crushes towards the exit door?

These pathetic arguments by Zuckerberg and Sandberg are not “he say, she say” things where there are grounds for misinterpretation.  An “all hands” phone conference audited by the New York Times left no doubt.  Facebook workers protested.  Civil and human rights organizations have fiercely criticized the company and its leaders, especially for allowing Trump to continue to foment division and hate during the George Floyd protests.

As the country and the world burn, Facebook’s leaders seem to believe their role is handing out matches.  The company and its leadership have no moral compass.  True north only points to their bank accounts and stock holdings.

The only good news here is that they seem to be proving categorically that they should be liable for the harm they cause.  Their inability to understand even the simplest issues of right and wrong, hate and love, justice and injustice, demands that they – and other social networks – must be regulated in the next administration.

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Facebook Fables

Milwaukee       It has finally come to the point where it is impossible to believe anything that Facebook says.  Yes, I know the goalpost keeps moving, but this is ridiculous!

Take today for example.

An analysis in the New York Times compared the number of fake accounts that Facebook claims to have closed in the last 12-months is over 2 billion accounts at the clip of 7 million per day. The Times was doing simple addition from the regular transparency reports that Facebook has been posting recently as their credibility crashed faster than a website.  They also claim that they have a couple of billion “active” users.  Something is wrong with the math here, brothers and sisters.

They also reported that Facebook was telling its investors that there was no appreciable difference in the number of fake accounts that it was deep sixing.  How could that jibe with the reports of having closed billions of accounts?  They also claimed that they can catch these fakers within seconds of their establishing a new account, but on the other hand they want to not move too fast, they claim, because it might be a real person.  See what I mean about fables?  You can’t talk out of both sides of your mouth and have any credibility.

A former classmate of Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, is also reportedly monitoring them closely.  He might have a bit of a chip on his shoulder since he was behind an early iteration of the Face, before Zuckerberg took it all and ran.  Regardless, he argues that the number of duplicate accounts may be at the same level as fake accounts, casting even more shade over Facebook’s claims of billions of active users.  Yes, the rules say no double-dipping of accounts, but who among us doesn’t know folks with more than one account?  He may be wrong on his speculation about the scale of the problem, but he’s definitely right that there’s a lot of dupes out there.

Meanwhile, Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s #2 honcho, was claiming at the same time to investors that despite all of their troubles, they were making goo-gobs of money still.  She also claimed that they could make significant investments in security, and it would not curtail profits. If so, why haven’t they done so before this?   Is this another Facebook fable?

Zuckerberg also recently claimed that Facebook users really and truly wanted ads on their Facebook pages.  Researchers writing in the op-ed section of the Times also called that balderdash, and you know in your heart that they are right.  There’s no one anywhere who is just dying to see an ad anywhere, including on Facebook.  Let’s list this as another big Facebook whooper!

Who can believe anything that any of these Facebook folks say anymore?  Come forward and identify yourself if you do.  There’s a bridge in Brooklyn for sale that’s just waiting for your name on it.

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Please enjoy Vicky Emerson’s The Reckoning. Thanks to KABF.

And Fine Mess by Interpol

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