Thursday, 23 June 2011

The end of Free Facebook

Now that regimes all over the world are aware of Social Media the balance of power has moved to their advantage. For a poorly policed site like Facebook the combination of Social Networks and a Terror State will quickly neutralize any democratic aspirations on the that Facebook might have fostered.

We saw it first in Bahrain this development in Bahrain. Bahrain was one of the first regimes in the Arab world to take its battle against its own people to Twitter and Facebook. With Gaddafi joining the war on Social Media, Facebook is no longer a safe place for Arab reformers. Gaddafi is adding a new twisted strategy in their war on Facebook. Gaddafi supporters are identifying Libyans, many who live in the west, on Facebook pages and threatening them.

Given Gaddafi's record of terror and killing, even beyond his own border these sites on Facebook are deeply disturbing. But even more disturbing is the face Facebook is not doing enough to police this area, not even taking down sites with considerable twitter attention like this one. Hundreds of people have complained about this page, maybe even more. But Facebook system of policing activity seems unable to respond to a site that contains:
  1. Creditable threats of violence,
  2. Harassment of specific people,
  3. Attacks on women and homophobic attacks,
  4. And even IP violation using photos without permission.

It is pretty clear that Facebook's entire history is a series of unintended accidents. Its success has been more a combination of random factors than any strength of the product. And its role in Arab Revolts was also clearly an unintended accident. Sadly Facebook own blindness may soon have very serious negative consequences.

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