In light of all the incitement and hate that is being spread on Facebook and social media, with no accountability and a refusal to follow even their own guidelines, lately I’ve been considering giving up my Facebook account permanently in protest. I realize of course that would accomplish nothing by itself, and would only give more room for hate without a counterbalance. But what if there was a massive movement? A massive Exodus from the slavery of Facebook? Zuckerberg is banking on the addicted eyeballs to bring advertising dollars, regardless of the impact it has on society and social order, by appealing to the most base instinct of human nature. Consequences be damned. It has always been this way with Facebook since its inception.
Remember Facebook’s origin? The genesis of the original algorithm was a college campus game of “hot or not hot?” One might argue it was the origins of cyber bullying in its most raw and painful form.
And today, it is destroying relationships, destroying lives and destroying the world. Don’t get me wrong…I recognize Facebook also has the potential for tremendous good. It can connect people, friends and relatives in amazing ways, and who would otherwise be missing a level of contact that would be impossible. It has evolved over the years as such. Perhaps in spite of, not because of, its founder.
But if the stakeholders refuse to accept any accountability for its abuse, and for failure to maintain the standards even they set for themselves, then one must recognize that it no longer serves any positive or useful purpose. If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.
So should we expect that Mr. Zuckerberg will have an awakening of social conscience and morality? I wouldn’t hold my breath. A tiger doesn’t change its stripes and to wait for Mr. Zuckerberg to “do the right thing” may be as naïve as believing Hamas would one day see the merits of educating and advocating for peace over violence.
However, there is one instrument for social change that still reigns supreme and is the language those like Mr. Zuckerberg will always understand. Money. Facebook is about money. It’s about keeping your eyes glued and your fingers and mouse clicking as it accumulates data for one purpose and one purpose only: how to sell YOU.
We have become slaves to Facebook. Slaves to the toxin of selfies and check- ins and foodies and the “look how much better my life is than yours” mentality of “hot or not hot?” It is an algorithm of destruction. Unless we stand up collectively, nothing will change. But if we demand our freedom, if we break free and exercise our own moral muscle by walking away en masse…it will have an impact. We must stop being sold into the slavery of Facebook. When they lose subscribers and eyeballs, they lose advertising dollars and THAT will impact the algorithm of anger and hate that Facebook perpetuates.
What do you think? Can you set a date? Can we collectively break free and stop worshiping and idolizing the religion of “selfie”? Will you join a march to the promised land of humanity and light?