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.
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
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.
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.
The “trusted friend” we’d like to have
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.
Hello kiddies. Welcome to Freakbook. We want you to make us very happy…(League of Gentlemen)
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.
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.
And his photo. Watch for him in the better Sydney eateries.
Here’s William Easton. No doubt the identity thieves at Facebook will be grabbing this.
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.
Every year at this time, and quite often throughout the year, we see and hear the continual bogot lament about Christmas.
According to them, Christmas has been somehow banned in our public schools and by local Councils, people are not “allowed” to wish each other Merry Christmas, Muslims want Christmas banned etc etc ad nauseam
Some time back TAB posted the burblings of a fake nonentity calling itself “Awol Partydrunk”, who had sent a message to a young Muslim woman. We believe “Awol” has thankfully disappeared from Facebook, presumably up his own arse.
We are waiting for the bogotariat to present us with ANY proof that Christmas decorations, Christmas lights, Santas or any other festive paraphenalia has been banned from anywhere in Australia. However, proof and evidence are dirty words in the bogotverse, and they love posting misleading emotive rubbish like this to fire up the rabble.
In fact if we were one of the US soldiers pictured we’d be insulted to think that picture was being misused by the very racist and bigoted ratbags who are the real enemies of a free society.
Auburn NSW has a Muslim population of about 16% of a total population of 79,000. The local Mayor is a Muslim, as are many of the Councillors. According to bogot mythology there should be strong resistance to, if not an outright ban, on Christmas celebrations.
Christmas decorations in Auburn
Christmas tree Auburn
And you want to know where the sole instance of Christmas decorations being “banned” that we came across originates from?
Rumors of sexual depravity, child sacrifice and other disturbing behavior, left a stigma on the early Christians. Perhaps worst of all was the idea of cannibalism. The concept of breaking bread originating with the last supper, partaking of the blood and body of Christ, which later came to be known as Communion, was taken literally. To the Romans, where religious custom dictated following ancient practices in a literal sense, the idea of performing such a ritual as a representation was misunderstood, and the early cult had to deal with many such misperceptions.
Now when the Jews left the Holy Land at the time of the Roman Empire they went to the four corners of the known world and settled amongst foreigners of various ethnic backgrounds and religious beliefs.
In only one part of the world were they systematically discriminated against and even massacred. This was Europe – except for that part of Europe consisting of much of modern Spain and Portugal, Al-Andalus, which was ruled by the Islamic Caliphate for hundreds of years.
One of the propaganda instruments used for oppression was the so-called Blood Libel which stated that Jews took the blood of Christian infants to use in the making of matzah for the Passover festival.
One of the earliest European versions of the blood libel story occurred in 12th Century England.
A dangerous, unfounded rumour that Jews had kidnapped a 12-year-old Christian boy, William of Norwich, and stabbed his head to simulate Jesus’s crown of thorns was used to justify persecution of Jews.
While the Norwich account does not contain the element of the draining of blood and its ritual use, some experts suggest it is a story of the same type and generally seen as the entry point into England for such accusations.
Decades later, Pope Innocent IV launched an investigation into the claims, which eventually declared them false.
The blood myths persisted however, and were at times used to incite pogroms, or anti-Jewish riots.
In 1840, the disappearance of French Franciscan priest Father Thomas and his servant in Damascus, Syria, was blamed on the city’s Jews.
Authorities helped perpetuate allegations that the priest was used in a ritual sacrifice. At least 13 Jews were incarcerated and probably tortured over the disappearance; four died.
The incident sparked an international backlash for both sides. American Jews staged protests, while some scholars claim it bolstered anti-Semitic attitudes in Europe and the Middle East.
During the 1930s, Nazi propaganda periodically explored accusations of Jewish ritual murder.
Thus do lies become “truths”. If they are repeated often enough they reinforce already groundless emotion-based prejudices and develop a hideous life of their own.
Now fast forward to the 21st Century and in many Western countries such as ours, Muslims have replaced Jews (for now) as the main objects of xenophobic hatred.
We journey to the island state of Tasmania where Jayden Smedley is happy to trumpet the latest variety of the “blood libel” story, this time targeting Muslims.
"I'm too sexy for my shirt..."
We know that evidence is frowned upon in the bogot’s Straya. In fact, much of their presentation relies on inflammatory evidence-free slanderous rhetoric delivered pulpit-style by one of their self-appointed “leaders”. Sounds a bit like a dodgy religious cult to us.
Now after that dissertation Jayden can hardly contain his excitement as without a shred of evidence he makes his next announcements to his fellow bigots.
Just as disturbing as the content is the sickeningly palpable excited relish which accompanies the disclosure. We get the worrying impression that this sort of material is a turn-on for both the protagonist and the intended audience. And we have seen this stuff before
And it is completely, entirely UNTRUE.
Jayden and his bigot friends are unable to cite one single real-world example except for apocryphal references which are probably invented, in just the way the Christians-as-cannibals and the “blood libel” were invented.
While we are on this topic – PZ Myers is an evolutionary biologist and atheist commentator.
So tell us Jayden, with the many many documented cases of clerical child abuse in the Catholic Church, notably in Australia, shouldn’t you and the rest of the bigots be out there bellowing that all Catholics are paedophiles?
Of course all Catholics are not paedophiles. So why does Jayden want to smear Muslims with a similar charge on the basis of no evidence?
Oooh I like what you’ve done here, Simon. You’ve combined your insensitivity for the Jewish people killed in the holocaust with your hatred of Aboriginal people and a John Lennon song that completely contradicts your mindless, hateful way of thinking.
One day, possibly several decades away in the future, you will be dead. And the world will be a better place.