Reason #225 NOT to use Facebook

January 20, 2017

Because Mark Zuckerberg is a billionaire bully-boy trying to force Hawai’ians off their land. He thinks that his $100 million is more important than the rights these folks have built up over generations. And he is trying to buy the law to get what he wants. As one local says:

“he moves in and acts just like the Evil Rich White Man taking from the Hawaiians. That is so gnarly. Zero respect.”

 

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Reason #224 NOT to Use Facebook

January 2, 2017

neptune_in_bolognaI guess I had some hope that a new year would bring new sense to the censors at Facebook. But no; here we are just two days into the year and already they are censoring well-known works of art.

If anyone had been a tourist in Bologna, they will have seen the magnificent 500-year old statue of Neptune in the square named for the old god.  A local artist wanted to use a picture of the statue to decorate her FB page. But FB said no. This glorious statue they said, “violates Facebook’s guidelines on advertising. It presents an image with content that is explicitly sexual and which shows to an excessive degree the body, concentrating unnecessarily on body parts.”

Once again, FB’s managers show themselves as dull-witted as any Victorian. What is in their minds is what is “dirty”, not this piece of art that has stood unmolested in the public square for 500 years.  We can only assume that these idiots – and I am sorry but that’s what they are — keep their eyes closed as they wander around Italy and Greece. More likely, they don’t visit these sites because they don’t want to be upset: they stick to EPCOT and Six Flags.

 

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Reason #223 NOT to use Facebook

November 22, 2016

anti-facebookBecause they have developed or are developing software to allow the Chinese government to censor Facebook in China. This is their commitment to free speech, eh?

Zuckerberg says it is better to be “part of a conversation”, which is Silicon Valleyese for “we can’t make a profit in China unless we let the government screw with our members’ values.

It is good to read that some FB employees are quitting in protest but, frankly, FB can simply offer more money to attract more coders and systems managers whose resumes do not include any social conscience.

 

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Reason #222 NOT to use Facebook

October 28, 2016

Because they support racial exclusion for advertizers.

“When we showed Facebook’s racial exclusion options to a prominent civil rights lawyer John Relman, he gasped and said, “This is horrifying. This is massively illegal. This is about as blatant a violation of the federal Fair Housing Act as one can find.”  The Fair Housing Act of 1968 makes it illegal “to make, print, or publish, or cause to be made, printed, or published any notice, statement, or advertisement, with respect to the sale or rental of a dwelling that indicates any preference, limitation, or discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.” Violators can face tens of thousands of dollars in finesThe Civil Rights Act of 1964 also prohibits the “printing or publication of notices or advertisements indicating prohibited preference, limitation, specification or discrimination” in employment recruitment.

Seems that Facebook is the perfect vehicle for racists, white supremacists, and other immoderate radicals to peddle their hate-filled wares to their own kind.

 

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Reason #221 NOT to Use Facebook

October 20, 2016

Because Facebook is so intimidated by women’s bodies, they have deleted a Swedish Cancer Society video that shows — using animations only — how to check for potentially cancerous lumps.

Zuckerberg’s 19th century prurience is costing women their lives. For me, this is almost a war crime.

Previous Reasons NOT to use Facebook


The Slippery Slope of Mind Control

September 12, 2016

For most of our history, control by the ruling elites was hardly subtle: state-sponsored or privately financed violence was always a threat, in the background or foreground depending on the context. That still exists, of course, as both the North Korean gulags and the hundreds of unarmed dead black men in the US can attest.  However, with the rise of truly global and essentially immediate networks, modern methods of control have developed a number of more insinuating forms. As recent examples, we have been witness to three separate and dangerous acts of control by Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube within the last week or so.

  • Over the last week or so, media has been full of Facebook’s decision to censor the famous Vietnam photograph that includes, inter alia, a naked and terrified young girl running along the road. There was no way to distinguish, they said, between this naked child and images of child pornography. This follows earlier decisions to ban breastfeeding images and Facebook censorship of great works of art.
  • On September 12th, Wired printed a story about how Instagram had begun “a wonderfully simple ways of dealing with the harassment” that plagues many social media sites. Their solution?  Instagram has developed a list of “abusive words to block comments by default.”  The Wired writer wonders why other networks, Twitter in particular, can’t just copy Instragram’s “wonderfully simple” solution.
  • On the same day it was reported that YouTube has decided to demonetize videos it deems inappropriate and not “advertiser friendly”.  In other words, video creators will not be able to earn money for their work unless YouTube decides they are suitable.

Sounds reasonable, you might say. There is no argument (from me at least) that abusive behaviour happens on social networks, that pornography is both damaging and ubiquitous, and that genuinely dangerous people can use these networks for their own evil.  So why are these three actions so problematic?

In each of these cases, it is the company that decides what is “suitable” and “acceptable”. They are limiting your options and those of everyone else who wants to make their own decisions about what they will or won’t see. This is censorship of the most patronising and elitist kind. The moguls know best and will protect the little people from their own “weaknesses”. And if you don’t agree, they will use their power like terrorists to eliminate you.

The problem of abuse needs to be dealt with in a way that does not diminish all the rest of us. I don’t have the answer, but I do know these new intrusions are not it.


Reason #220 NOT to use Facebook

August 26, 2016

 

No facebookEven though their own research shows that 80% of users react negatively if an ad’s sound is turned on when a video starts, that is exactly what Facebook is planning to happen now.

According to a story in Consumerist, the current default is to have the sound OFF, but Facebook wants to change that in case you miss any of the important advertising messages FB’s paymasters are sending you.

You will soon have to specifically switch the sound off because, of course, advertisers are more important than members’ convenience.

 

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