Wednesday, January 13, 2010


One would think that the enormous and growing volumes of information available at our fingertips would make for a more informed, compassionate and fair-minded society. While this might be partly true, I also see an increasing willingness of the public to accept some information without question. Comments on any video on YouTube display a peculiar sense of paranoia - almost anyone and anything can be interpreted as a reason to hate for all of the usual suspects: race, creed, national origin, sexual orientation, or even class warfare.

On Facebook, I've been invited to a wide range of independent Facebook Groups that purport to represent resistance to nefarious plots by Facebook management to attack Facebook membership in any number of ways, from charging for access to the site, to promoting one political position over another. These are usually founded on groundless statements that begin with something like "Facebook management is planning [insert horrible action here]," followed with a great, noble call for resistance.

Like people, corporations are certainly not saints, and very often represent or support particular social and political positions. However, the suggestion that an evil "Facebook Management" would create anything that would create major roadblocks in the continued development of the company is groundless.

Charge for Facebook? Really? Creating a paid service would drive nearly everyone away, and cause a collapse that would ensure that Facebook will never make money - or even survive (AOL was once a paying service - remember them?). Premium services within Facebook are slowly developing (for example, games that one can play for free, but pay for additional in-game content or advantages) - but converting Facebook to a paid service would be corporate suicide. And even without knowing Facebook Management, I'm confident they're not bottom-feeding idiots (yes, even if some people believe changes to the interface prove ill-conceived).

Finally, the assumption that Facebook would take any position that would run counter to widespread political and social opinion is naive at best. In an increasingly reactive society, for Facebook (or any corporation seeking a wide apolitical audience, for that matter) to take high-profile positions that would offend a wide selection of users and trigger a vocal backlash from the public, government representatives, and media is inconceivable.

Look for the evidence. Please.

1 comment:

Josh Morgan said...

Here here!! Well said!