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Fascist Facebook

Jen Sorensen
© Jen Sorensen

As usual, Jen Sorensen backs up her comics with facts:

Facebook recently sponsored a Federalist Society event at which Brett Kavanaugh was the keynote speaker, despite objections from its own employees and public protests. The speech was understood by many to be an attempt to rehabilitate Kavanaugh’s image in the wake of credible sexual assault allegations. This comes on the heels of Facebook saying it would not vet political ads for accuracy and making white nationalist propaganda outlet Breitbart a “trusted” news source. Indeed, Facebook clearly seems to have chosen to cozy up to the authoritarian right rather than use its influence to defend democratic norms (or sexual assault survivors, for that matter).

Steve Jobs and internet developers of the early computing era came out of a sixties counterculture that saw decentralized communication and individual expression as a bulwark against totalitarianism. There is perhaps no clearer example of this than the famous MacIntosh “1984” ad that appeared during the Super Bowl. In the commercial, Big Brother gets smashed by the power of personal computing. In real life, we can see how Jobs’ utopian vision ultimately failed (with some exceptions in the area of social media activism). Increasingly, as massive technology companies like Facebook partner with the present-day, Russia-corrupted, disinformation-sowing GOP, they’ve become the very Orwellian entities that the Cold War-era developers thought they were rebelling against.

As much as I dislike Facebook, I have to admit that they are more of a symptom than a cause. But the result of Facebook’s bad behavior (including monopolistic goals) is that the entire internet will likely soon be regulated. I hope this regulation will intelligently prevent many of the excesses of the past wild-west Internet, while not killing the good things about it.

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4 Comments

  1. Jonah wrote:

    Borat had a some good thoughts on facbook and the rest of silicon 6.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ymaWq5yZIYM

    I thought one of the more interesting points was that FB and others were helping to spread hateful messages rather than simply supporting freedom of speech. So for example some guy in Kansas may shout in a bar that are creating trouble and he wants to get rid if them. Right then he’s only able to reach the people at the bar with message and if does spread it could take days and a lot of effort. But if the bar were FB then the message spreads instantly to a lot more people than at the bar.And like the bar FB has to the right to throw the guy out. People like this guy are all over but they are scattered around and without FB and twitter etc they could be relatively harmless. But with them the message of hate seems to be spreading around like a wildfire. FB may not be the root cause but it is a cause.

    Monday, November 25, 2019 at 3:51 am | Permalink
  2. Glasshouses wrote:

    Apparently this needs to be explained again: Facebook, twitter and all the other mainstream social networks have to decide whether they are a publisher or a platform. If they curate what speech to allow (and btw hate speech IS still free speech as per the supreme court’s decision) then they are a publisher and need to be regulated as such.
    However they routinely claim that as a platform they are not responsible for what is said/shared/posted to avoid backlash and regulation. Facebook deciding to not vet ads is a move in the right direction, if they are indeed a free speech neutral platform then all ads should be allowed.

    BTW “using their influence to defend democratic norms” would be a partisan move and not in favor of the republicans as is implied in the blog post.

    Monday, November 25, 2019 at 5:11 am | Permalink
  3. il-08 wrote:

    Glasshouses, Facebook made that decision a long time ago, just try to post a picture of a porn actress or first lady topless and see how long it takes Facebook to censor it.. Post a picture of a car accident with bodies thrown around or an ISIS guy with his head blown up and see how long facebook keeps that around. There are many reasons facebook censors it’s members, blatant political lies is just not one of them.

    Tuesday, November 26, 2019 at 11:46 am | Permalink
  4. ebdoug wrote:

    Wow, do I have a different version of Facebook; My family takes a trip to Maine, I get pictures all along the way. Another branch of my family goes to Europe. I get pictures and dialog all along the way. School closes, there is an update Roads closed there is an update. Someone wants to show pictures of their cats, I get to see them. Or of their children, etc. I want to find someone I dated when I was fifteen, I find him. I want to find my stepsister, I find her. She has emulated me in becoming a nurse. I think I’m up to a total of 21 friends now. I check in at times each day. If I get an add, I click “Hide ads like these”. I never even heard of Andre Re until someone put up one of his concerts. The information you mentioned above only goes to those who don’t block it. Imagine if I didn’t have Facebook, I would not have seen the little girl that her father put in the laundry basket and turned on a video of a roller coaster and jiggles the laundry basket every which way as the little girl screams and yells as she goes down the roller coaster “Daddy, Daddy, slow down”

    Monday, December 2, 2019 at 11:05 am | Permalink

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