There Is Literally No Excuse to Keep Using Facebook
Here’s how to escape the blue-walled garden
The writing is on the wall. Facebook is detrimental to global discourse, has harmed democracies around the world, and, because of its dependence on advertising, has responded to criticism by making only minor, cosmetic changes. Mark Zuckerberg and his team will continue to allow the social network to be a haven for fake news, hoaxes, threats, and much, much worse. It’s gotten to the point that Zuckerberg said this summer that Holocaust deniers won’t be removed from the platform, and pages of known hoax or hate purveyors like InfoWars aren’t getting booted until the damage is long done.
Facebook has had several opportunities to show that it understands its responsibility as the world’s largest social network — a platform that now has 2.23 billion active users worldwide, sees 4.75 billion pieces of content shared daily, and is responsible for one out of every five page views in the United States. But it has failed completely.
If you don’t #QuitFacebook, you’re part of the problem.
Irresponsibility has real-world effects
The first sign of trouble was the 2014 election of Narendra Modi in India. Behind his charismatic, calm persona were rampant rumors aimed at getting the country’s Hindu majority to see the Muslim minority as a threat and vote for his right-wing, Hindu-nationalist party. Facebook was a key platform in the spread of viral videos and fake statistics about Muslims, and it worked. Along the way, religious violence claimed the lives of dozens of Indians.
Then it was government supported trolls from Russia and China spreading disinformation and harassing women, journalists, and critics that led to the early 2016 election of Rodrigo Duterte in the Philippines. But that, like the election in India, was far away from Silicon Valley, so Facebook did nothing (and its stock price kept rising). Duterte’s election has resulted in 12,000 extrajudicial killings and severe clampdowns on freedom of the press in the country.
Then it happened in the U.S. The platform allowed Russian-linked trolls to send viral, fake news content that may have played a role in the election of Donald Trump to the…