According to the film, The Social Network, Mark Zuckerberg conceived and founded Facebook largely as a result of being rejected by his girlfriend at the time.
So perhaps we must ask ourselves whether Facebook is merely a gigantic pervasive adolescent frat-boy fantasy theme park based on the need for acceptance and the need for the socially anxious to hang with the cool people and become awesome (and score women of course)
Adolescents are in the process of becoming adults. As part of that process they exhibit a number of characteristics, many of which are irritating to the real adults in their lives.
- unrealistic expectations
- pre-occupation with self – everyone is like me
- preoccupation with image
- overwhelming desire for acceptance
- black and white thinking
However in the real world, in order to survive, adolescents need to grow up.
We are told that Facebook has a physical workforce at its US headquarters of around 4000 people. This is supposed to ensure the smooth running of an organisation which has a customer base estimated at one billion
Ingham’s Chickens Victorian factory employs about 3000.
Except Facebook deals with all the complexities and pitfalls of human interactions online.
Inghams deals with dead chickens.
In a lame attempt to stretch its Californian workforce more thinly, Facebook has outsourced much of its moderation and response to reports to an offshore entity called oDesk Part of this process is the running of bots which supposedly identify offensive content and sends alleged offenders automated messages.
Some four billion pieces of content are shared every day by 845 million users. And while most are harmless, it has recently come to light that the site is brimming with paedophilia, pornography, racism and violence – all moderated by outsourced, poorly vetted workers in third world countries paid just $1 an hour. (Daily Telegraph UK)
However this kind of “moderation” is full of pitfalls and is open to abuse as pointed out by activist Segway Jeremy Ryan who got his account compromised while campaigning against the Governor of Wisconsin’s planned budget cuts.
Trolls are now having activists removed by filing fake Facebook complaints. That is right, people are suppressing information in Wisconsin by actively reporting people they deem to be a threat on Facebook. I myself have been reported and banned for one to three days for simply posting “Good job” or “The majority of Wisconsin doesn’t like Scott Walker.” People have been reported on pages for saying nothing more than my name and have been reprimanded by Facebook. The strategy is simple and Facebook lets it continue. If someone reports something as abusive to Facebook they don’t actually look at it, they just remove it and warn the person who posted it. If you get enough you are not able to dispute them at all, and with no admin contacts and no one at Facebook actually looking at the posts reported as “abusive,” the person gets blocked.
Pre-occupation with self – everyone is like me
Mark Zuckerberg, it is said, wants the world to be an open place where everyone is transparent (except for the Facebook business model but that’s another story) So much so it seems that Facebook managed to upset no less a person than acclaimed Nobel Prize-winning British author Salman Rushdie.
Well at least where women’s breasts are concerned – specifically the breasts of nursing mothers.
So while racists, bigoted, anti-woman Facebook hate sites abound, if you dare show a picture of a happy nursing mum and her baby you are likely to get a bot warning from oDesk.
Or as one wit put it “Jew-haters are welcome on Facebook as long as they are not lactating”.
Your warning would look like this:
And if you are really really lucky you might get one of these, complete with either space tags or misplaced end tags, just to underline and emphasise its innate stupidity.
The Gold Medal for Facebook Stupidity is an e mail like this one below. And again note the tags.
The item in question was actually this. We remember it well, it was posted at TAB Facebook page and mass reported despite being neither obscene nor featuring real people.
Then again the racists didn’t like it…
Apparently Zuckerberg and the kiddies came up with this “solution” for the problem of undesirable content on Facebook.
Well hey we could really see how that one would work…
Err Mark, which planet are you on again?
Sorry Mark, from our point of view most anti-discrimination activists are way past the age of having teachers and some of us don’t even have parents. It might work if our “trusted friend” was this err…person.
Desire for acceptance
Facebook goes out of its way to be accepted as THE universal social network platform. Its whole business bottom line is based on that premise. The more fools click on the ads and sign up for the data miners, the more money Facebook makes.
In doing so it hosts a variety of fringe wackos who’d be hard pressed writing their own names in the real world.
On Facebook, you do not need the rudimentary web skills you require to run a message board for instance. So that’s why racists, bigots and other semi-literate hate mongers have flocked there in droves rather than gathering at other longer-established hate sites like Scumfront or Winds of Jihad, where they can mix exclusively with others of their kind.
And this is why.
Not only does Facebook give them a laughably easy platform to use, it also lets them share a space with the mainstream. It is rather analogous to the local crack dealer setting up a store on the village green, rather than hiding away in a dark alley.
So when the kids get onto Facebook to interact with their real-life friends, there’s a whole bunch of Fuck Off We’re Full-type sites just waiting to groom them and entice them in. Something which did not escape this critic from an atheist site.
As far as Facebook pages and groups go, we use the living-room test at TAB for sites. Would you allow the people on site XYZ into your living room? If the answer is NO then we shouldn’t have to endure their intrusion into our space. In real life we do not choose to, nor do we have to associate with, racists, bigots and the like. And we can ensure our kids are kept away from haters.
Of course Zuckerberg apologises. In fact he does so often. Perhaps a little too often for someone who is trying to float a public company. Maybe that’s why savvy share buyers have stayed away in droves – that and everything else we have outlined.
In fact Better Business Bureau gave Facebook an “F” rating with the following comment
Our opinion of what this rating means:
We strongly question the company’s reliability for reasons such as that they have failed to respond to complaints, their advertising is grossly misleading, they are not in compliance with the law’s licensing or registration requirements, their complaints contain especially serious allegations, or the company’s industry is known for its fraudulent business practices.
One day Zuckerberg must have awoken with a brilliant thought bubble. Why not allow users themselves to police the Facebook site? That way he wouldn’t be forking out hundreds of thousands to pay a bunch of nerds to moderate content.
This sounds nice and cosy at first, not to mention cheap as chips, until you take a look at the calibre of some of the Facebook users. You don’t have to go very far to do that.
Just check out the names on our very own tag cloud.
Enabling of Harassment
Facebook instituted a policy by which it is now self-policed by the community of Facebook users. Some users have complained that this policy allows Facebook to empower abusive users to harass them by allowing them to submit reports on even benign comments and photos as being “offensive” or “in violation of Facebook Rights and Responsibilities” and that enough of these reports result in the user who is being harassed in this way getting their account blocked for a predetermined number of days or weeks, or even deactivated entirely…In addition, Facebook does not ban the IPs of users who have proven to create multiple accounts for the purposes of trolling or stalking others, thereby enabling the harasser, even if they do have one of the offending accounts deactivated, to simply create another one and continue the harassment with no lasting consequences
Take a look at what happened recently to one of our sister sites, a group which exposes racism directed at Indigenous Australians.
So the ABC’s 7:30 programme recently decided to check out these claims.
And it gets better. After being criticised by our own AFP’s cyber crime unit Facebook responded thus:
Facebook is a service devoted to helping people share and making the world more open and connected.
As such, we often must balance the need for freedom of expression and the even greater need of preventing any harm to the people who use our service.
To achieve this balance, when we write our policies, we must exclude offensiveness when determining which pages are harmful.
So it seems thanks to Facebook we now have a new definition of “offensiveness”. “Offensiveness” according to Facebook are violations of areas which most of the civilised world has long decided are no-go areas.
Facebook regards the following as mere “offensiveness” it seems – racism, religious bigotry, particularly directed at Muslims and Jews ( including Holocaust denial and Protocol-style vilifying myths about Muslims), but also at Indigenous Australians, misogyny, homophobia, bullying, intimidation, defamation, identity theft and the propagation of violent political ideologies such as neo-Nazism.
And speaking of names, this is what Facebook’s apologist Simon Axten thinks of activists who wish to conceal their identities.
And when asked to respond to a request for assistance from no less an agency than the WA Human Rights Commission, this was his glib reply.
In Australia for anti-racists and other social justice activists, having to reveal your identity can mean harassment, intimidation and violence from your enemies.In many other countries it can mean imprisonment, torture and death. But this obviously doesn’t bother Simon.
So let’s see if the new head of Facebook’s Australia-New Zealand operations can do a better job. Here’s his CV.
And his photo. Watch for him in the better Sydney eateries.
Unlike what is demanded of Facebook members, William is a tad shy about revealing his contact details so that we can send our complaints to him. So we might help him out with a Facebook-style fatwa he can use. It’s a lot more honest than the one Facebook is using at the moment.
BONUS No tedious <br><br>
Feel free to post it to your own profile, use it on your blogs and annoy Facebook with it.
Facebook Australia has a page. However by the look of the randoms posting there we wouldn’t bother.
Ironic humour department
Well may we ask! 😕
However you may get somewhere by complaining to the local Better Business Bureau