Get more Mail & Guardian
Subscribe or Login

Editorial: Fallout from Facebook

There was a time, not so long ago, when you could sympathise with Facebook. As a platform for humans, it was merely reflecting humanity.

Racism? Well, there are a lot of racist people in the world. Sexism?

Lots of those people too. Bullying? We have all gone through that.

Election rigging? Well, mistakes were made and they can be fixed.

Videos of people cutting their wrists? They have got teams on that. Purposefully lying about video viewing numbers to inflate advertising numbers? I’m sure that was a mistake, and they’ll admit to that and move on. Oh …

In the latest scandal, the platform realised that it was reporting up to 900% increases in the number of people watching videos. Instead of immediately fixing this, it used the explosion in numbers to tell everyone that video was the future.

In 2016, chief executive officer Mark Zuckerberg said: “Five years to all video.”

Delete your Facebook account.

What other response can there be to a company that has created billionaires by profiting from the destruction of society by careful manipulation of what we see?

Subscribe to the M&G

Thanks for enjoying the Mail & Guardian, we’re proud of our 36 year history, throughout which we have delivered to readers the most important, unbiased stories in South Africa. Good journalism costs, though, and right from our very first edition we’ve relied on reader subscriptions to protect our independence.

Digital subscribers get access to all of our award-winning journalism, including premium features, as well as exclusive events, newsletters, webinars and the cryptic crossword. Click here to find out how to join them and receive a 40% discount on our annual rate..

Related stories

Advertising

Subscribers only

Seven years’ radio silence for taxpayer-funded Rhythm FM

Almost R50-million of taxpayers’ money has been invested but the station is yet to broadcast a single show

Q&A Sessions: Zanele Mbuyisa — For the love of people-centred...

She’s worked on one of the biggest class-action cases in South Africa and she’s taken on Uber: Zanele Mbuyisa speaks to Athandiwe Saba about advocating for the underrepresented, getting ‘old’ and transformation in the law fraternity

More top stories

ANC confirms it will oppose Magashule’s court application

The ruling party has briefed senior counsel Wim Trengove to head the team that will contest Magashule’s bid to fight his suspension and oust Ramaphosa instead

Magashule defies suspension order and KZN leaders’ advice that he...

A strategy by the KwaZulu-Natal ANC to control the narrative coming out of former president Zuma’s court appearance for arms deal corruption and fraud was thwarted

Landmark Deadly Air case: 10 000 deaths annually can be...

There is no legal mechanism in place to implement and enforce measures to prevent toxic air pollution in the Highveld

No masks. No Covid. But problems do abound

With no cases of Covid-19, a Zimbabwe informal settlement’s residents are more concerned about making ends meet – and their imminent eviction
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×