Facebook has lasted far longer than it was supposed to. The social media giant was originally just the next step past myspace, which was the next step past AIM. But now, facebook has grown into something more.
The site dominates the world through it’s social media platform. How could a site designed by an IT nerd from Westchester morph into what it is today? The site was originally made as a means of making fun of people. Now it has 2.2 billion users and growing. And with that, comes controversies.
Is it a platform or a publisher?
A platform is the term used to describe a website or application that does exactly as the term implies; it is simply the ground where the users are allowed to stand on, like a platform, and use the space for what it was built for.
A publisher though controls the content of what is published on it’s platform. It is putting out a particular spin. Facebook bills itself as a platform, but more and more it is becoming a publisher. Tens of thousands of people are suspended for simply the words they use on the site, every single day. And also more and more, facebook is actually permanently banning people from using the site. Considering how it’s the only real US social media site used, that can have devestating emotional or even financial consequences for people, especially those who have spent their entire lives using facebook. To be removed from something you grew up and being told you’re not wanted by it, simply for expressing yourself, will likely have an effect we have yet to see, especially on zoomers.
The site has also become a treasure drove of information gathered on people from all walks of the planet. It collects our information at no cost to them, and sells this valuable info to third parties. Talk intimidatingly with your significant other on whatsapp, and notice something from the convo appear in an ad suddenly on your browser. There’s even rumors that facebook and/or google are using your microphone of your phone to record information and use it to target you with advertising. It is a creepy future.
Some are saying that the answer is to regulate facebook. But that is not what I am suggesting. That will only solidify their hold on society, and make things worse. Wall street was harmless except to rich people when the government passed the first Wall Street regulations in 1911 and legitimized a rotten, unnatural entity. No, we must not under any circumstances regulate facebook. Such regulations would prevent a better alternative from more easily being made and replacing it.
The greed of facebook and the tightening of their noose around our necks should be a concern for all Americans. As we grow more reliant on them, they become less tolerable of free speech, more beholden to meting out punishments and suspensions and bans for essentially thought crimes. And the more we use them, the more powerful they become.