I’ve not tried to hide my disdain with social media in general and specifically Facebook. I’ve worked hard to “cool my beans” when it comes to rhetoric, but today in my Washington Post was included advertisement from Facebook. I consider it personally insulting, misleading and incendiary. The text reads “We support updated regulations on the internet’s most pressing challenges, including federal privacy legislation.” Ok, not to split hairs, but Internet is a proper noun and is capitalized. I feel the lack of proper capitalization is a touch of evidence of their lack of respect for the media on which their existence relies.
Facebook has missed the mark again. Here, they have an opportunity to be an industry leader. They should not “support” updated regulations. Instead, take action to enact ethical standards for their company, immediately, in accordance with current laws and rules of human decency. Should they choose to take this stance, they could drive the industry to where there would be little need for legislative action.
The advertisement could be paraphrased to other real-life issues. I feel an extreme parallel would be: “We support updated rules on theft, including federal laws, but we are going to continue to rob people.” Of course, everyone knows that theft is wrong. We have many laws addressing theft in the USA. However, before the laws were written, we still knew that it was wrong. The cash-register was implemented by many shop owners to curtail the theft from their employees to their customers. There was no legislation at the time requiring cash-registers. The shop owners just did it. The cash registers were a good policy implementation and kept transactions fair.
In a simple phrase to Facebook, “Come on ,man.” You are in the position to be an industry leader. Do it. Stop misleading people and start implementing real privacy safeguards for all. Start giving your users the option to choose protection in a simple method. Stop relying on Congress to make legislative changes, fixing your mess. You know the legislative, executive and judicial branches are unable to pass, enforce and prosecute effective legislation for years to come while you continue to fleece your customers.
Should Facebook decide to take the lead, they would have to possibility of become the gold standard in communications platforms.
Thanks for reading,
Jay C. “Jazzy J” Theriot