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Technologies are not distinct from the people who use them. They are, as Marshall McLuhan told us, extensions of ourselves. As such, they will embody the biases that we apply through their design and use. No tech is neutral by design or effect. They make some actions easier and others harder, and it takes extra effort to notice and correct those biases.
First, Zuckerberg tried to portray this whole issue as “choices…around free expression.” That is ludicrous. This is not about limiting anyone’s free speech. This is about giving people, including some of the most reprehensible people on earth, the biggest platform in history to reach a third of the planet. Freedom of speech is not freedom of reach. Sadly, there will always be racists, misogynists, anti-Semites and child abusers. But I think we could all agree that we should not be giving bigots and pedophiles a free platform to amplify their views and target their victims.
Second, Zuckerberg claimed that new limits on what’s posted on social media would be to “pull back on free expression.” This is utter nonsense. The First Amendment says that “Congress shall make no law” abridging freedom of speech, however, this does not apply to private businesses like Facebook. We’re not asking these companies to determine the boundaries of free speech across society. We just want them to be responsible on their platforms.
If a neo-Nazi comes goose-stepping into a restaurant and starts threatening other customers and saying he wants kill Jews, would the owner of the restaurant be required to serve him an elegant eight-course meal? Of course not! The restaurant owner has every legal right and a moral obligation to kick the Nazi out, and so do these internet companies.
Facebook Co-Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies on his company’s impact on the financial services industry and the housing sector.
— Read on www.c-span.org/video/
But what people actually read on Facebook is what’s in their News Feed … and its contents, in turn, are determined not by giving everyone an equal voice, and not by a strict chronological timeline. What you read on Facebook is determined entirely by Facebook’s algorithm, which elides much — censors much, if you wrongly think the News Feed is free speech — and amplifies little.
— Read on techcrunch.com/2019/10/20/facebook-isnt-free-speech-its-algorithmic-amplification-optimized-for-outrage/
Instead of breaking up Facebook, America should create a public alternative.
— Read on www.nytimes.com/2019/09/24/opinion/public-broadcasting-facebook.html
Some will probably argue – who will pay for this?
I would argue that we already are.
At Facebook’s worst-performing content moderation site, operated by Cognizant in Tampa, FL one contractor has died, others have developed PTSD and fear for their lives.
— Read on www.theverge.com/2019/6/19/18681845/facebook-moderator-interviews-video-trauma-ptsd-cognizant-tampa
Delete Facebook. Don’t use it. Encourage your friends and family to do the same.
Mark Zuckerberg is a good guy. But the company I helped him build is a threat to our economy and democracy.
— Read on www.nytimes.com/2019/05/09/opinion/sunday/chris-hughes-facebook-zuckerberg.html
Scandals. Backstabbing. Resignations. Record profits. Time Bombs. In early 2018, Mark Zuckerberg set out to fix Facebook. Here’s how that turned out.
— Read on www.wired.com/story/facebook-mark-zuckerberg-15-months-of-fresh-hell/
🙂 it’s your weekly reminder to give it up and make the world a better place.