Facebook is Dangerous

Context: Facebook blocks Australian users from viewing or sharing news

I have not used Facebook for years and it is not at all missed. It says a lot for just how rapidly and reflexively people come to depend on the integrated communications systems of “social networks” that the threat of removing access to algorithmically-shaped biases masquerading as factual news feeds creates quite such a ripple.

I agree that news shouldn’t be on Facebook. Facebook’s raison d’être is a sustainably continuous commercial self-propagation through and as the vast and dissonant tides of difference and partisan competition that it (now) actively sustains; assertions of community are valuable but are always and arguably trumped by endemic digital adversarialism and a corollary hollow (tribal) belligerence.

Most interesting of all (to me) is not that these technologies exist or that they come to command such presence and distributed effect in such relatively short historical time frames, but that the adoption and assimilation of and into a world mediated by these systems becomes so unquestionably normal and normative, so utterly indispensable to the lives of billions of people. Opinion: any such communications entity large enough to create its own socioeconomic and political weather systems is transparently dangerous.

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