Why Do So Many People Rely On Facebook For Communications, Given Its Arbitrary Removal Process?
from the questionable-platform-reliance dept
The Washington Post has an interesting story about Facebook’s admission that it erroneously took down a widely shared image posted by an anti-Obama group over the weekend. The somewhat viral image (which, as the article notes, isn’t exactly the most truthful of images — but perhaps par for the course when it comes to political speech) was removed after Facebook said it “violated Facebook’s Statement of Rights and Responsibilities.” However, people going through Facebook’s official list of Rights & Responsibilities didn’t turn up anything that the content violated.
Leaving aside the question of exaggerated political speech, this raises the same question that we’ve wondered in the past: why do so many people rely on closed platforms today, that allow somewhat arbitrary removal of speech? While Facebook eventually admitted its error, this is hardly the first such case of Facebook deciding what you can or cannot talk about. That’s a tremendously powerful position that Facebook’s users have granted to Facebook in making it their communications platform of choice. Many people will say that this is “the price” that people pay to be on a platform where everyone else is — and that the convenience of Facebook outweighs such costs. But it’s also why so many people are a bit nervous about Facebook these days.