Facebook: Making Money Is Job Two. Keeping Facebook on Top of Social Media Is Job One

October 27, 2021

Facebook cannot catch a break, but it is the company’s own fault. Information about Facebook’s nefarious actions keep surfacing, but the social network platform has not destroyed itself just yet. The Jacobin details how “Facebook Harms Its Users Because That’s Where Its Profits Are” and why the company is such a “nice” place.

Facebook has many benefits related to communication, news publishing, and economic activity, but another way to describe it is as an addictive, social media platform with greedy goals. Former Facebook employee Francis Haugen leaked internal documents about Facebook’s harmful activities. The Wall Street Journal did a news series on the leak, 60 Minutes interviewed Haugen, and she testified in front of Congress. All this attention pointed to the fact that Facebook purposely knows its social media platform is dangerous, but does not fix the issues because it would harm their bottom line.

Facebook employees have suggested solutions, but they are ignored. There is a simpler solution that is already taking affect:

“If a firm is publicly owned or simply a tightly regulated utility, it doesn’t need to work under the capitalist logic of growth and excessive profit seeking that’s fueled these issues, nor does it have to survive if its user base no longer needs or cares for it. The fact that the company is going out of fashion with the youth and is predominantly used by people over thirty might be a problem for Mark Zuckerberg, private owner of Facebook, but it’s not much of an issue for a utility that a government reluctantly nationalized because of how much its users came to depend on it. In fact, it sounds like a readymade solution for a platform that most of us agree is, at best, addicting and unhealthy.”

The rest of the article explains ways that Facebook cold be monitored, but it would lead to censorship. Another suggestion was for people to reduce the amount of exposure to technology.

Facebook created this tiny glitch. The other hitch in the social media giant’s git along is giving certain questionable actors a big megaphone. In the past, these political and intellectual influencers shared their opinions but were contained to a less digitally empowered corner of wonkiness. It is time for politicians and activists to step up and demand accountability. Facebook, however, is a company with a lot of money and that goes further in Washington DC than good intentions.

Whitney Grace, October 27, 2021

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