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It’s Time to Shut Down Facebook February 23, 2018

Posted by Peter Varhol in Technology and Culture.
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You heard it here first, but I suspect that the cacophony will only grow once Facebook’s, well, gross incompetence, and its embracement of that incompetence, becomes more apparent to more people.  To some people, Facebook is a benign tool for staying in touch with people (like we can’t write letters or emails anymore?).  To many more, it is an instrument for spreading hate and discord.

And Facebook very much enables the latter.  I am simply disgusted over its role in promoting fake news and hate in response to the recent school shooting.  You should be too.  Its excuses are not only hollow and without meaning, but they also deny any responsibility for the havoc it has enabled.

I get the feeling that senior Facebook executives gather around Mark Zuckerberg’s desk almost daily, cackling merrily about the latest trick that got past their algorithms.  In fact, the latest is doctored photos (paywall), which can be done by any 12-year old with Photoshop.  Or even with Microsoft Paint.

They don’t want to solve the problem.  It’s too much trouble.  And they are the smartest people in the room, so if they can’t see a solution, there isn’t one.  And Zuckerberg continues to think it is a non-problem, and that there is an engineering solution to this non-problem.  In reality, if he wants to continue in the social media business, he needs to throw away every single line of code and start over again.

That won’t happen, of course.  So we need to shut down Facebook.  To be fair, it’s not clear how that would happen.  While it is possible to imagine criminal charges or regulatory violations, the legal system moves in slow and mysterious ways.  And Zuckerberg will likely just move the whole thing offshore anyway.

So the only feasible solution is for every single person to stop using Facebook, now.  How will you keep in touch with people, you ask in horror.  Well, I have some thoughts about that, too.  In the next post.

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