The following was written in response to the revelations about Facebook’s business practices that were recently published in the Wall Street Journal. You can read the series here.
By Richard Murdocco
Due to the recent revelations about Facebook’s harmful business practices that were brought forward by company whistleblower Frances Haugen, The Foggiest Idea will no longer be active on the platform.
At one time, social media was fundamentally important in advancing TFI’s mission of making complex policy issues approachable to neighbors, civic leaders, journalists, and elected officials. In fact, Facebook’s once-natural virality proved useful in the chaotic days after Superstorm Sandy, when TFI posted daily updates sourced from government agencies and media outlets to help keep those who suffered extensive power outages and flooding informed.
The embrace of social media was so strong that in June 2012, TFI’s first op-ed to appear in Newsday was entitled “Twitter Meets the Public Square,” and argued that local governments should embrace social platforms to encourage civic participation and transparency.
Unfortunately, the promise that their social platforms have shown has been extinguished.
In recent weeks, the information that has come to light is both damning and in hindsight, expected, when one looks back at how our collective political and civic discourse has been eroded by the volatile toxicity that spreads on Facebook’s suite of social platforms. As the Journal found:
“Time and again, the documents show, Facebook’s researchers have identified the platform’s ill effects. Time and again, despite congressional hearings, its own pledges and numerous media exposés, the company didn’t fix them. The documents offer perhaps the clearest picture thus far of how broadly Facebook’s problems are known inside the company, up to the chief executive himself.”
As such, it is time to end the platform’s dominance in our daily lives.
While Facebook and Instagram will no longer be updated, readers can still engage with TFI through a variety of other avenues, including on Twitter @TheFoggiestIdea, on LinkedIn, or by emailing Rich@TheFoggiestIdea.org
More locally – it is time to end it’s proliferation within our collective conversation concerning the issues that matter to our friends and neighbors across Long Island and the rest of the New York metropolitan region.