Facebook Sucks, But Let’s Not Blame It For How People Think (Or Don’t Think)

Happy Tuesday, Y’all! For my international readers, that’s “You” plus “All.” I start out pointing at one person, then pan my finger over the crowd to include everyone. Y’all.

That lesson in Southern United States vernacular out of the way, I’d like to get a little bit political. Let’s talk about Facebook.

Is Facebook a creeper entity, trolling your personal stuff for its own nefarious gains? Absolutely. Did Facebook play a (creepily) significant role in (mis) information dissemination during America’s latest public debauchery, i.e. the election of our president? Yes indeed.

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But Wired Magazine (of which I’m a huge fan!) recently published an opinion piece that is the most technological bleeding heart bunch of crap I’ve read in a while, and I feel compelled to write about it. In it, the author berates founder Zuckerberg, giving him way more credit than the guy deserves for bringing about the election of Trump via ads run by Russian goons.

Does nobody else see a couple of glaring, horrible issues about all this?

  1. Why the hell is every journalist jumping on the “Facebook made the good citizens of America do bad things against their will” bandwagon? Nobody fully trusts the major news networks, let alone ads run by Facebook! The truth is always on a spin in this country (and in most of the world, from what I can tell.) Do your damn homework, people! It’s called fact checking! If Trump supporters propagated bogus Facebook ads, you can believe it was because Facebook’s major downfall as a networking tool is that it creates space for an echo chamber. In other words, nobody ever said they made a major life change based on Facebook information. If they did, they weren’t very intelligent to begin with.
  2. It doesn’t matter who Facebook took money from, because they are not a government entity. If I’m wrong about this, and Facebook has more political pull than I’m aware of (and, let’s face it, anything is possible at this point) then we have more to worry about than just a few Russian ads.

The Wired author’s point, in her op ed piece, is more about giving a “shame on you” finger to Zuckerberg than calling for any kind of lawful action. I agree with her that the guy is more than a little sociopathic. But she ends the piece by comparing Facebook’s culpability in the election outcome with the crashing down of the Twin Towers on 9/11, and says, “God help us, we have nowhere to go.”

Really? You are literally stuck inside Facebook, and your life will end if you get fed up and walk away or—heaven forbid—just glance at the feed occasionally to see what your friends are up to, instead of treating it like your surrogate life?

This is why I love fantasy literature. It makes way more sense than the real world, sometimes!

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