Political pundits, bloggers, commentators, etc., of all political leanings and extremes, I come to you now as a simple human being who longs to be heard, like you. I am writing today about a notable increase in the amount of “reporting” among the Internet’s social networking king, Facebook.
Perhaps just an ordinary rise in “passions” that occurs during an election season explains why our site and many others have experienced an uptick in being “reported” to Facebook as “spam” or “hate speech.” But nonetheless, people are using Facebook’s ability to not just “block” people and websites like mine, but to use its most potent weapon: reporting. Blocking someone or a site is self-contained, the equivalent of turning off a radio station you don’t like. However “reporting” is much different.
People of all political stripes, I reach out to you now in asking that our conflicts be unabated by the “report freaks” on this greatest of social mediums. Why must Facebook be polluted by those who lack the maturity to simply ignore one’s posts (i.e. block them) and instead must “report” them? …Huh, “reporting,” even if it is online, is akin to turning someone in to the “authorities,” just like in Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union, or Pol Pot’s Cambodia. It seems Facebook can’t bring itself to deprive the little cyber Nazis of our day of their urge to ban and suppress others via its far too lenient “reporting” ability. Why should Facebook, one of society’s greatest gifts (some would say quite the opposite) be made to ban people for their opinions via “reporting” them?
If I don’t like someone’s postings, I’ll glance over them, or at worst block him/her/it, nothing more. The only time I reported anyone was when a ”comment” to one of my posts threatened the life of the President, something with which I surely don’t want to be associated. But, aside from such deranged instances, this whole “reporting” crap has to stop, otherwise Facebook will cease being the greatest channel of expression that has ever existed. Thus you, Mr. Mark Zuckerberg, Inc., need to drastically limit why someone can be “reported.”
Mr. Suckerberg, did you create Facebook? — for billions of people to just post their thoughts on who won American Idol, or on society’s oh-so invaluable Honey Boo Boo? Did you, Mr. Zuckerberg, not think for a second that maybe … just MAYBE your little social medium may be used for expressing opinions other than on the endless photos people post of their kids every freakin’ five minutes with the caption: “Ooops, little Johnny just went poopy again!” or the always urgent news of: “I’m baking a cake!” WHO CARES!? But according to how Facebook is cracking down on political postings that is all it was supposed to be used for.
Newsflash, Mark Zuckerwhatever: WE OWN YOU. We, conservatives, liberals, libertarians, peaceniks, and yes, even Black Panthers, White Supremacists and Islamists; everything everyone else finds despicable — WE own Facebook (whether you like it or not).
Sorry, Mr. Suckerberg, but you have become the Dr. Frankenstein of the 21st Century, and we, the people, are your monster. It must be dispiriting, indeed, creating something over which you no longer have full control. Freedom of expression: that is why you created Facebook, Mr. Zuckerwhatever, whether you intended to or not. And in Facebook’s case it is beautiful, hideously beautiful, glorious in all it is able to display; allowing the true nature of people — the good, the bad, and the ugly — to be seen via the security of cyber space. So enough with your medium’s “reporting” capabilities, Suckerburg, we politicos are really growing tired of it.