Now I'm fascinated

It's become my settled habit to click on articles about Facebook to see if anyone, anywhere will mention what Facebook has done wrong.  Today's catch is a New York Magazine article explaining that it's looking pretty grim for the embattled giant.  It seems that Zuckerberg failed to attend properly assembled corporate meetings to discuss Morally Complex Decisions.  Also, FB allowed itself to function as a Vector for bad things. Those stories you heard about censorship of conservative views, though?  Those were spurious, though they may help us construct the Growing Bipartisan Consensus.  And anyway we're not talking about censorship.  Stop talking about censorship. We're not even talking about destroying the company, but these issues Aren't Going Away.  There are a few specifics in today's article, in the form of statistics on how FB employees feel about the future of the company, which demonstrate conclusively that FB is on the wrong side of history.

It's becoming standard for the author of such an article to explain that nobody goes there any more, it's too crowded. I guess some people still go there, though, which is a Bad Thing, because of the vector and stuff. The people who don't know enough to quit logging in are still being inoculated with improperly curated views.

All I'm getting out of this flap is "nice business, wouldn't want to see anything happen to it." How is it that FB can't figure out how to be the victim instead of the villain in this fuzzy drama?  Does Zuckerberg not have someone on staff who tells him how big a check to write and to whom to write it?

I continue to use Facebook for the simplest of practical reasons:  it's the easiest way to keep an eye on news and opinion in my little county.  I mute all the national nonsense as quickly as I can figure out how.  It doesn't matter in the least whether I like the platform:  I'll use whatever platform a majority of my neighbors use, because their presence is the only important thing.  They're the ones I'm trying to talk to conveniently. I notice, however, that my "blogging," as the current county leadership describes my activity, arouses significant hostility in the powers that be, particularly as it so clearly got me elected at about 5% of the cost that most of them are used to spending on a campaign.  I guess that means I'm a "vector" too.


E Hines said...

I'm also starting to see articles about what a lousy PR guy/communicator Zuckerberg is, and so he needs to go. Who knew he was a Republican?

I'll use whatever platform a majority of my neighbors use, because their presence is the only important thing. They're the ones I'm trying to talk to conveniently.

Build a fence along your back yard property line and go lean on it. If you build it, they will come for the conversation.

But do keep up the blogging, too; we all know that, as a County mucky-muck, you now have even more time on your hands. Besides, now you're one of the PTB; you can change the communications channels while also smoking out the wastrels and embarrassing them. Blogging wasn't their idea; that's why they're so upset.

Eric Hines

quasirenaissanceman said...

If you're a "vector," you must be infecting people with common sense.

Keep it up!

Texan99 said...

They're not really into communicating in any way. One reason they run campaigns based on robocalls and mailbox-stuffing is that they'd really not talk in that much detail about policy. In contrast, I'm a compulsive blabbermouth lecturer. I'll address any audience that's willing to have me, on any subject they like.

But despite running for office, I'm an introvert. My back fence puts me in contact with a small handful of people, which is still a bigger number than I really want daily personal contact with. On Facebook, I can monitor what's stirring among thousands of people, from my living room. It's a small county, but still more people than I'm going to rub elbows with physically.

For communications in my immediate local community I use It's a little clunkier than FB, but if it became more widespread and could easily link the whole county, I'll cheerfully switch to it.

E Hines said...

Nextdoor is our local bulletin board, too, but the folks here mostly use if for finding odd jobs doers and finding/posting a find of a lost pet. The Plano police are pretty good about getting their word out, too, on it.

It's not much for conversation, though. Most of the folks in my neighborhood are about as social as my wife and I.

Eric Hines

Texan99 said...

Our Nextdoor site rarely hosts long discussions or arguments. Mostly people put out alerts on the occasional burglary, local public parties, fire department stuff. Anyone being really provocative pretty much gets shut down, a technique that works because the people doing it are people one has to answer to in real life, very nearby neighbors. This is a few hundred people. When you increase the scale to the county, even in this very small county, there's more anonymity and therefore worse behavior.

Grim said...

I saw Nate Silver complaining yesterday that ‘FB isn’t even trying’ by noting that the top news stories shared there were frequently from Ben Shapiro or FOX News.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

I wonder if a "tell me clearly what FB did wrong" campaign would be at all interesting.

Texan99 said...

The way it works now is, if you don't know, you're part of the problem. Anyway, I don't think it's about what they do or the results they get, it's just about whether they have their head right.