As easy as it would be to start this post with “Facebook is in the news…,” it wouldn’t be a terribly helpful intro. Facebook is always in the news. And almost everything Facebook is in the news for is bad. No matter how any of us feel, in late 2021, about Facebook as a platform or a tool or anything like that, I think most of us can agree that Facebook as a company is a bad company that does bad things.
That in itself is nothing new. We’ve had the bot-follower blow-up, the Cambridge Analytica data harvesting thing, the Russian misinformation/election interference thing, more and more sponsored posts flooding news feeds, the theory that Facebook is able to access audio from a smartphone mic, the widespread suspicion that popular “quiz” posts are password-mining schemes. Facebook allows hate speech to stand on the platform, while removing innocuous posts. Mark Zuckerberg is probably pretty conservative politically, with former G.W. Bush White House higher-up Joel Kaplan allegedly one of his closest policy advisors and gross mega-villain Peter Thiel prominently on the company’s board. Facebook gives extreme right-wing content a wide berth on its platform, and both lagged and hedged on deplatforming Donald Trump. This is a bad company.Continue reading