The grand experiment of online communities reached another record breaking plunge into the depths of nonsensical ambiguity, challenging the feats accomplished by the crew of the Bathyscaphe Trieste, in exploring the crushing expanses of the Mariana Trench. While, the histrionics of the vast entity of the most temperamental social network on the globe piloted by the venerable Mark Zuckerberg from behind a walled estate in the Hawaiian Island, may prove tiresome in comparison with the exciting Cousteau influenced adventures beneath the surface of the ocean, the latest attempts in policing the release of information, may have lasting consequences.
The most recent efforts of the Godzilla of social networks in adopting policy with a face value of combating “fake” news TechCrunch reports, could have lasting ramifications involving the complete omission of content on news feeds originating from organizations or authors with dissenting opinions. In other words, after it was brought to the attention of the public that the corporation egregiously and purposely buried conservative content and questionable algorithms were cooked up to automatically deter a very specific group of advertisers, the new set of community standards towards publishers gives the company complete latitude in banishing anything to the wasteland of obscurity for no justifiable reason. The public relations gurus have lauded the directives for clarification and specific policy in reference to limiting the flow of questionable information and “clickbait” to the end user. However, the underlying tone of the lexicon is ominous at best.
In examining the updated social network publishing guidelines, there exists an entire section devoted to “Standards for Safe, Respectful Behavior” and that is where the fun both starts and ends. Buried within the subheadings of big brother’s “Do’s” and “Dont’s”, there is verbiage that pertains directly to the intolerance for posting content on “dangerous organizations”. As the debate on firearms continues, could a gun club be construed as a “dangerous organization”, of course with gentle prompting from the community moderators? (a sarcastic) No, this is a completely fair and balanced example of the perfect diamond of the hypocrisy perpetuated by a burgeoning bureaucracy. The internet founders envisioning a wild wild west of free information and thought could only imagine this pending nightmare and current iteration of hell.
While, on the superficial levels, the sum of the guidelines looks like a solid public relations news in combating fake news, the reality is that producers of what is labeled as controversial material are looking at one of two options to reach their target audiences- either relish in the system of apparent Capitalism and spend money on advertising to increase reach, or accept the fate of permanent isolation, and the reality that the Dear leaders of F%&*book possess a political agenda that is not compatible with the First or Second Amendment. Just ask country singer Dustin Collins about his thoughts, after the site blocked him from marketing a pro-firearm song to his fans. The grating tune and deafening noise streaming from the social network allows for only one logical recourse- cancel your account and interact with family and friends the old fashioned way.
Read the TechCrunch article here.