The social network is too big and broken to properly function, and, as Matt Taibbi writes in the latest Rolling Stone, these “fixes” will only create more problems...
You may have seen a story this week detailing how Facebook shut down a series of accounts. As noted by Politico, Facebook claimed these accounts “sought to inflame social and political tensions in the United States, and said their activity was similar — and in some cases connected — to that of Russian accounts during the 2016 election.”
Read this jarring quote from Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) about the shutting down of the “inauthentic” accounts:
“Today’s disclosure is further evidence that the Kremlin continues to exploit platforms like Facebook to sow division and spread disinformation… I also expect Facebook, along with other platform companies, will continue to identify Russian troll activity and to work with Congress…”
This was in a story in which Facebook stated that it did not know the source of all the pages. They might be Russian, or they might just be Warner’s idea of “sowing division.” Are we comfortable with that range of possibilities?
Facebook was “helped” in its efforts to wipe out these dangerous memes by the Atlantic Council, on whose board you’ll find confidence-inspiring names like Henry Kissinger, former CIA chief Michael Hayden, former acting CIA head Michael Morell and former Bush-era Homeland Security chief Michael Chertoff.
(The latter is the guy who used to bring you the insane color-coded terror threat level system.)
These people now have their hands on what is essentially a direct lever over nationwide news distribution. It’s hard to understate the potential mischief that lurks behind this union of Internet platforms and would-be government censors.
When Facebook works with the government and wannabe star-chamber organizations like the Atlantic Council to delete sites on national security grounds, using secret methodology, it opens the door to nightmare possibilities that you’d find in dystopian novels.
The sheer market power of these companies over information flow has always been the real threat. This is why breaking them up should have long ago become an urgent national priority.
The endgame here couldn’t be clearer. This is how authoritarian marriages begin, and people should be very worried.