One of the co-founders of Facebook, Chris Hughes, has suggested that it be broken up. He stated that Facebook has become very powerful and its dominance poses a lot of dangers. His assessment is accurate and troubling at the same time but it does not address the most important dangers, the flood of politically divisive disinformation and harmful content online. How many times have we all read something distressing on Facebook that turned out to be a pure hoax or worst case scenario, an outright lie that never gets an explanation or a sorry, we were wrong.. There are too many Facebook members who are gullible enough to believe anything they read on Facebook.
Zuckerberg’s relentless pursuit for growth and ignoring the harm it may cause or does cause to society is one of the main reasons for the need to the break-up of Facebook. Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram and What’s App is considered an antitrust violation by Hughes. So what if Facebook no longer owns Instagram or What’s App, is this going to stop the proliferation of graphic photos such as the massacre at the Christchurch Mosque massacres? One very problematic aspect is Mark’s unilateral control over speech. There is no precedent for his ability to monitor, organize and even censor the conversations of two billion people. Hughes cites Zuckerberg’s decision to take down the Facebook accounts of government officials in Myanmar who were demonizing the Rohingya ethnic group when it became clear that these messages were provoking mass violence. Hughes writes: “Most people would agree with his decision, but it’s deeply troubling that he made it with no accountability to any independent authority or government.” This is the troubling part, regardless of whether we agree or not that it should have been done, it was done without any thought of consulting anyone on this and this seems to be the way Zuckerberg handles any subject he feels should not be on Facebook. Having a government body overseeing this is not an answer, this would simply cause more problems.
I was under the mistaken belief that Facebook was simply a place to stay in touch with relatives or friends, send pictures, and just simple chit chat, and now it has grown into a political monster, graphic pictures, clearly prejudiced articles, and speeches, and a place to vent hatred and violence. There has to be a totally objective third party who can somehow govern the material that appears on Facebook.
I never felt the necessity of being on Facebook, if I needed to speak to someone I picked up the phone, now there is a novel idea, pick up the phone and call someone. I bet they would prefer hearing your voice. Yes, that may not be possible, here is another idea, write a letter or send a card. Is Facebook really the only way to communicate? That is a sad state of affairs. Only my opinion, but I know for a fact there are a few others who feel just like I do. And guess what, they are a generation younger than I am.