Weeks before the election that brought what is sizing up to be, in just a handful of days, the most fascist presidency the United States has ever seen, Facebook eliminated human review of trending articles from their platform and put this in the hands of poorly trained bots.
This move led to, among other things, a fake news article about The Pope endorsing Donald Trump for President of the United States being shared more than a million times. Back in reality, of course, The Pope has expressed disdain for Donald Trump’s ideas.
After the election, there was justified outrage about Facebook’s role in the outcome. Facebook’s reaction was pathetic and tone-deaf. It came in the form of a wildly idiotic comment from Facebook’s billionaire founder, Mark Zuckerberg: “Personally, I think the idea that fake news on Facebook — it’s a very small amount of the content — influenced the election in any way is a pretty crazy idea.”
Meanwhile, sitting on the Board of Directors and reaping a handsome profit is Donald Trump’s technology maven, billionaire Peter Thiel.
Thiel is a well-known foe of Free Speech, having funded the take-down lawsuit against website Gawker.
So, here’s the thing. Trump’s billionaire friend sits on the Board of Facebook, reaps handsome profits from doing so, and Facebook had a hand in delivering the election to Donald Trump.
Here’s what we can do about it.
Facebook’s business model is based on people — you and me — logging onto its site so that advertisers will pay it for access to its audience: us.
If that audience goes away, advertisers won’t pay, and Facebook’s profits will tumble.
So, what I propose is that we Strike Facebook.
I’m going to change my personal profile photo to this image:
I will not log in to Facebook again until Mark Zuckerberg and the Board of Directors of Facebook votes to remove Peter Thiel from its governance and severs all connection with him and takes real responsibility for the dissemination of fake and harmful posts on its platform.
We have power in numbers. We can show Facebook that it needs to take our concerns about fake news seriously, that it needs to remove those from its governance who seek to destroy everything we love about America, and that until it does…
We’re on strike.