Facebook vs Humanity

When did it become a human right to broadcast yourself around the world in real time? If it’s not a right, then let’s admit that humanity is not capable of using this technology responsibly.

You may love the feeling of being a superstar when you go on Facebook Live to talk about your pet peeves or your make-up tips, but the value of that doesn’t come close to the harm generated by live-streamed suicide, torture and murder.

The murder in Cleveland on Sunday was blown up into a huge news story because it was posted on Facebook, whereas brutal, senseless murders take place across America every single day. The most notable thing about the event is that it remained on Facebook for several hours.

I don’ t want to see live murders on Facebook, and I don’t want you to see them either. I don’t want to see torture or rape on Facebook, and I don’t want you to see them either. It is not your right to see these activities. These events are traumatic. It is possible to be traumatized over and over, not just once. Trauma doesn’t work that way.

The fifteen minutes of fame that Andy Warhhol predicted did not refer to live-streaming your stupid life to your cyber-friends. No one could have predicted that it would come to this, that people would mediate every experience and thought through their cellphone. Life is OUT THERE, not in your phone or on Facebook.

But young people who have grown up with the internet are increasingly unable to conduct their lives offline. Everything that matters to them involves their wi-fi connection. And when they are overwhelmed and suicidal, they turn to Facebook Live.

Facebook acknowledges that live-streamed suicide is a problem, but they aren’t willing to give out numbers. There are at least 7 known cases since Facebook went live last year. Mark Zuckerberg pledged to find new ways to tackle this in a recent letter to Facebook users:

“There have been terribly tragic events — like suicides, some live streamed — that perhaps could have been prevented if someone had realized what was happening and reported them sooner.”

Suicide has surged to the highest levels in nearly 30 years. Suicide is devastating for the people who witness it, and could encourage others who are struggling to attempt it, too, says Dan Romer, research director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania.

But Facebook has its own suicide ‘researcher’, who insists that

“…cutting off the stream too early removes the chance of someone being able to reach out and provide help. In this way, Live becomes a lifeline. It opens up the opportunity for people to reach out for support and for people to give support at this time that’s critically important.”

God, what self-serving fuckers. They will never give an inch, because their stated mission is that everyone will do everything via their platform: chat, shop, argue, order pizza, make friends, kill yourself and maybe each other.

There are reasons why people want to carry out momentous acts in front of a public audience, and none of those reasons are healthy. The urge to watch these acts might be attributed to “human nature” but human nature is changing. Kids didn’t use to make videos of gang rapes for the amusement of their friends. Kids used to feel horrified by things that are horrifying. Desensitization is a real thing.

Facebook is criminal in its practices, as we all know. Selling data, promoting fake news,  discouraging face to face contact, and broadcasting rape, torture and violent death…it is the fucking devil.

The less you participate, the less power it will have to drag humanity down to zero.

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6 Responses to Facebook vs Humanity

  1. Emily says:

    I have not participated in Facebook for years. I’m on a work retreat and all of my colleagues have their faces in it constantly. They keep showing me their screens , I could have a fit.

  2. Madam Restora says:

    Beautifully and succinctly summarised as per usual. At least we have you Sister, you’re the best thing on the interweb.

  3. Suspended says:

    Horrifying and so exhibitionist. People will voice their disgust but I bet they won’t close their account. They’re all too fucking nosey.

    I don’t use Facebook and hate people who do (which is a lot of people.)

    I’m tired of being shown unamusing shite on phones that people think is entertainment. They don’t realise how low their entertainment threshold had stooped. They are bored and infecting everyone around them with their boringness.

    My Mum visited for Easter and told a story about fighting with people over carrots on Farmville (a game on her phone.) Even my eight year old kid said on the quiet “Why does she think that game is real life?” People are losing their minds and I’m losing mine listening and looking at their shit!

  4. D Tadman says:

    Joanne Wolf needs to delete her web experience.

  5. Sister Wolf says:

    Emily – god, if only I had your common sense!

    Madame Restora – Oh, you are so nice! Please forgive me for not replying sooner. xo

    Suspended – Oh my god. Farmville?! Those online games are a complete mystery to me but yes, look how infectious they are. If real life is so boring that it drives you to Farmville, it would be better to just sleep. That’s my m.o., anyway.

  6. Sister Wolf says:

    D Tadman – Fuck you, with all due respect.

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