Maybe Blaming Facebook Is Not The Answer

In reaction to a New York Times story about how users can be confused by the complexities of Facebook’s deciding whose posts are real and whose are fake, one reader commented:

"Stupid is as stupid double clicks.

Due diligence in the digital age is easy-peasy.

And for an old school touch... Pick up the phone and call."

What a remarkably cogent piece of advice for those debating back and forth on the merits of Facebook's decisions, as if the social platform owed them some sort of satisfaction.

Lots of readers have decided that Facebook is hopelessly compromised and vowed to stop using it. This, comes, of course, on top of other reports that Facebook's growth is slowing (while it still makes a boatload of money) and a record number of shareholders have headed for the exit.

Zuck's net work dropped by something like $17 billion as the stock nosedived recently.  But not to worry — he can probably replace that with change that has spilled onto his sofa cushions.



There will be endless debates — perhaps even government legislation — about how well Facebook handles postings designed to tear apart society while giving right-thinking activists room to operate. Right thinking, of course, being relative to your own world view.

While those of us who grew up on newspapers and network news are living pretty happy lives dropping infrequently in and out of Facebook, for younger generations, the platform is a central part of their lives -- often their only source of news and information. They are the ones most in jeopardy if Facebook can't figure all this out.

And from where I sit, Facebook can't.

Every generation is tagged with the criticism that they "feel entitled" with expectations that the world owes them a living. They said it about me, they will say it about you, but I think it's fair to label the digital generation of the past 20 years or so as “tech-entitled" — meaning, they expect the makers of their devices and the content providers to do all of the heavy lifting while they just kind of jump in and out, relieving themselves of any responsibility to get beyond the surface of what they read and watch online.

They call themselves victims when they discover the Facebook posting they have been excited by turns out to be an invention of the Russians or the hackers du jour, "Q." But as the comment quoted above suggests, if you are a “victim,” it is probably at least partly your own fault for not digging a little deeper to determine the validity of your cause.

Although I don't think we're at the point of saying "don't trust anything you read online,” we have enough perspective to understand now that you should never take anything at face value.

Amazon has been compromised with fake goods, so you do a little more homework now before clicking on the cheapest price. In the same way, you need to be wary of causes that sprout up on social platforms and live only on the oxygen sustained by naiveté.

Like the guy said, "Due diligence in the digital age is easy-peasy.” 

Next story loading loading..