Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Why I can't live without Facebook

May 31 2010 will be delete your facebook account day. I fully support this democratic protest against a company run by a tiny little monster who had just happened to find himself using the most popular resource on the web and is seeking to exploit it in a truly evil way.

Let me be clear about this. The users of Facebook have created it, not the engineers. Facebook is a very simple tool. As such it is the users of the tool who create the wealth. Who created the hammer, the ladder, I eye glasses? We don't build statues to these men and women nor do we pay their decendents obsene sums of money. And we certainly don't surrender personal informaiton to be provided to marketers.

Facebook is a lot like Microsoft, it just happened to be there when it was needed. In 2007 Web 2.0 work done by millions of users had created the need for a central social network storage place. Emails had been overloaded. The situation was like someone millions of people going to a store and saying they needed a shelf. In an odd piece of luck MySpace sold to the one man who fully and utterly has no understanding of the web, and people used Facebook.

The reason Facebook got a monopoly so quickly was because people needed a hub to hold all their social contacts. It was not rocket science here. It didn't make sense to have 20 hubs in the way you can have many email servers, so users collectively agreed to use the best and easiest to use product at the time to meet THEIR need.

In this way Facebook was very much like Wikipedia, driven by crowd sourcing and the strategic ability of crowds to make rational decisions through millions of small decisions. This is the principle that gives hope to all democrats the world around.

Facebook's management was the beneficially of this, not the provider.

Since 2007 it is clear the Facebook's management has misunderstood the relationship to its users and is trying to produce a full survaliance system, in short Facebook is trying to make the largest secret police in the world for sale to just about anyone who can pay. Presently Facebook would provide the people who are most supportive of Tibet's culture to the government of China and happily place ads for China or misinformation from China on its page. The only thing stopping Facebook is international laws.

And perhaps the most telling sign of the evil of Facebook's creators is their refusal to follow the advice of law enforcement and child protection agencies and put a panic button on their site. There was nothing but economic issues involved and it was a truely disgusting act.

I will not go in to details of all the problems with Facebook, for they are massive and being discussed publically at present. I will only say that the community that created Facebook has every reason to pull out and that I hope to see most of my contacts vanish on May 31.

Though I am still struggling my decision to delete or not I probably won't because at this point I still need Facebook.

I have lived in various places in my life and moved among different groups. At this point in my life Facebook is the only consistent contact I have with a number of key people in my life. I use facebook for family contact, for contact with dear friends still living in Chicago, and for exchanging information with experts around the world.

It pains me to admit I am still addicted. But the people at Facebook should know, I have been put on Twitter treatment and given the actions of my friends it is possible that I could be recovered enough to go cold turkey before the end of the month.

To be honest I would be very proud of myself if I can. I just doubt it.

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