What a long road it has been since Mark Zuckerberg in 2012 proclaimed in Facebook's initial price offering statement, verbatim:
Facebook was not originally created to be a company. It was built to accomplish a social mission to make the world more open and connected. At Facebook, we're inspired by technologies that have revolutionized how people spread and consume information. We often talk about inventions like the printing press and the television by simply making communication more efficient, they led to a complete transformation of many important parts of society. They gave more people a voice. They encouraged progress. They changed the way society was organized. They brought us closer together.
Today, our society has reached another tipping point. We live at a moment when the majority of people in the world have access to the internet or mobile phones the raw tools necessary to start sharing what they're thinking, feeling and doing with whomever they want. Facebook aspires to build the services that give people the power to share and help them once again transform many of our core institutions and industries.
There is a huge need and a huge opportunity to get everyone in the world connected, to give everyone a voice and to help transform society for the future. The scale of the technology and infrastructure that must be built is unprecedented, and we believe this is the most important problem we can focus on.- Advertisement -
I write articles about the need to maintain consumer protection, and about the few politicians that inspire me. My intentions are hopefully pure, in that I can see the glaring need to counter so much disinformation is pumped out there by a few malevolent corporations that want you to believe that their deleterious products are oh, so harmless when in fact they are polluting and plundering the planet, and dumping millions of tons of neurotoxins and carcinogens in a massive FDA approved genocide and EPA tolerated environmental mayhem.
These are not pretty subjects, and to boot, often people resist hearing or learning anything that rocks their boat or upsets their corporate inculcation that "all is well." Yet I never back away from what I believe to be the Truth.
I discovered how to use Facebook to share my articles so that many more readers would be able to process what I was writing about. In April of 2016, the debacle of the NY Democratic Primary saw one third of a million voters purged from the voting rolls, unable to vote. It was a crisis in an electoral sense. I wrote a petition on Moveon.org asking then Attorney General Eric Schneiderman to go into Federal Court to get a judicial order to redo the fatally flawed primary. I shared it to just a few Facebook groups, mostly those in support of Bernie Sanders. Almost immediately, I received a notice from Facebook that I was now restricted for two weeks from any posting to any groups, whatsoever.
Maybe some Hillary trolls complained. Maybe it was a forever unnamed monitor /safeguard at Facebook who decided I should be in Facebook Jail. Maybe it was an algorithmic robot/share counter who was programmed to jail anyone who was putting out anything too controversial or simply who put a post out to what they considered to be "too many" groups.
Nothing is ever delineated, by the way, at this social medium in terms of rules or expectations, so it becomes like driving in a strange land with no speed limits, a total regulatory grey area, in which you are stopped in a completely arbitrary and capricious manner, and then you have zero recourse to correct whatever you did wrong through Facebook's meaningless "Appeal Process." I filled those little forms out, and even went further, several times later sending a letter to each member of the Board of Directors simply asking them to clarify then post their rules.
I never received a single response, not one. There are no listed phone numbers nor any posted email addresses for anyone at Facebook, perhaps because they like their mega-corporate doings being completely opaque.
That is why the recent release of the secret 1400 page Facebook moderation book, described in Nikhil Sonnad in Quartz' article yesterday: