Is there nothing more tragic than a silent loquacious writer? Yes, I know, I’ve been internet-quiet these days. Since I “woke up” from the Lyme-induced fugue state I’ve been in for 5 years, I caught up with the news to discover Facebook not only contributed to the election chaos in our own country, but in 2 other countries as well, causing a rise of hatred and violence through the platform. It’s one thing for a company to be so short-sighted to not be able to predict the worst possible use of it’s technology, it’s another to completely wash your hands of the mess it created. Years went on before Facebook has done anything remotely contrite to make up for the harm it caused. Now after being investigated in the US, the company finally decided to do “as little as possible” about the multiple issues the platform created. Maybe Zuckerberg’s famous slogan “Move fast and break things,” can be revised to, “Move fast and break countries.”
But that’s not all that’s really irked me about the platform. Other than it’s uncomfortably targeted advertising, invasion of privacy and it’s viciously addictive design, Facebook acquired a few other platforms, such as Instagram and WhatsApp, whose founders exited shortly after the acquisition after business disagreements– mainly over advertising on those platforms. Facebook quite literally steamrolled the companies to fit within Facebook’s monetization strategies. To be fair, Zuckerberg, whose card bears the slogan “I’m CEO, bitch” was always clear about his intentions. The more I learned about Zuckerberg’s behavior and business dealings, the more distasteful it became to me.
In addition, that mobile phone number that Facebook has been hounding you for for years to enter? (Thankfully, I never supplied my number.) That mobile phone number is absolutely used for targeting ads. I find this to be the worst violation of privacy. There’s a real pattern of continued privacy violations and thoughtless product development.
To be honest, I was never really a social media butterfly. MySpace never appealed to me. By the time I started treating Lyme disease, my own (in person) social network crumbled. I used Facebook at that time to feel connected to human beings. I just can’t ignore how dangerous this platform is anymore. I simply cannot support it. While I keep my accounts open on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, it’s not likely I’ll use them with vigor going forward. If or when I see Social Media companies make a better effort to address social issues created on their platforms, I’ll consider using them again. Until then, feel free to find me here, on Wild Dingo, where I never target you for advertising, where I don’t even have a subscription base and I really don’t want your phone number.
I am woke. I hope it’s not too late for the rest of the country.