WE’RE SAYING BYE, BYE FACEBOOK here on the Hedon Blog after 13 years of having a linked page. Hedon Blog Facebook Page was set up in March 2009 as a way to grow our audience and share blog articles. And while that has continued to be Hedon Blog’s approach, the subsequent development of the social networking platform into the global corporate Meta giant has changed that relationship.
Yesterday, Hedon Blog Editor Ray Duffill was locked out of his Facebook account and instructed by Facebook that as he had an account that potentially could reach a wide audience, additional security measures were necessary. Facebook Protect was initially set up to protect the accounts of elected officials and high-profile political candidates but has now been rolled out wider to try and prevent the hacking of accounts.
After a period of dissatisfaction with Meta, then being locked out of his account became the spur to finish with Facebook for good. Ray explains his decision:
BYE, BYE FACEBOOK:
“Facebook has fundamentally changed how people communicate with each other and brought communities together online and created communities where none previously existed. In this, it has played a progressive role. However, the increasing negative aspects of the growing Metaverse causes much concern.
“Addictive behaviour and dependency. Like others I’m sure, my day would often begin with a look at emails and social media with increasing amounts of time spent on Facebook. You are encouraged to scroll – and scroll and scroll. Click – and click and click. A search for one thing – always difficult on Facebook – quite often led to getting embroiled in something else. The Facebook algorithm is like a glue that keeps you scrolling and clicking, it is demanding of your time. Like playing different levels on a computer game, there’s always something else you are encouraged to look at – in this aspect, Facebook is very addictive to some. Meta’s sojourn into every aspect of our lives feeds that addiction – whether you are looking at lifestyle issues, community issues or news, you are encouraged to find it on Facebook and stick with the network. You slowly become dependent on this Facebook diet of content.
“Demands on Time: If you are an Admin on Facebook through its pages, private or public groups, then the management of each has become increasingly complex. More time on the social network is demanded to administer the various tools and memberships. Managing members brings its own problems. In small groups where you know the members, there is a civil engagement that generally follows. But in larger groups with lots of members that are unknown to you, then membership issues and ‘breaking the rules’ of engagement can be another cause of time having to be spent on the network. Before long you are spending more time on Facebook than you realise. As you spend more time on the network, then, as obvious as it sounds, you spend less time elsewhere.
“Bad manners become the norm: Facebook has played a positive role in many communities by giving a voice to those that have not previously had one. And where those in power realise that they need to engage with those voices, then positive engagement can take place. Of course, sometimes those in power will feel threatened by those voices and choose not to engage blaming ‘it’s only Facebook’ and potentially creating more division than previously existed. But as well as emboldening people to have a voice, a negative aspect is that Facebook encourages the raising of voices in an unnatural way that wouldn’t happen if people were talking in a real-world situation; often taking the form of rude, argumentative and bad-mannered posts and comments. If you don’t agree with something, you say so. There is no consideration of the other person making a comment.
“Facebook has been likened to some as the modern equivalent of the discussion at the public bar, except of course religion and politics are certainly not barred topics. However, in a real-life situation, the clown in the corner is usually left to his or her own space; on Facebook, the clown takes centre stage. You don’t agree with something? You object? You argue. The debate gets heated, unnecessary language or comments are made. Before long you are in a full-blown argument with a stranger you have never met.
“Admins and moderators can help eliminate and ease tensions – assuming of course they see that as their role. In some cases, the flames are fanned as a form of entertainment for others. We all like soap operas full of drama and conflict. There is much similar material on Facebook. I would argue that Facebook by its very nature gives confidence to those who seek and promote conflict and hate. This was my view even before Facebook announced recently that it was acceptable and they would not penalise those who call for the death of Russian soldiers.
“A corporate project. Facebook is very clearly now a project of Meta and a tool in creating its ‘Metaverse’. At the beginning of February 2022, Meta suffered a historic market fall, wiping out over $200bn (£147.5bn) of the company’s stock market value and setting the record for the largest single-day trading loss for any U.S. company, ever! Facebook’s daily active users also declined for the first time ever, dropping by about half a million. However, the network still boasts 2.91 billion monthly active users (that means that 36.8% of the world’s population use Facebook monthly). Meta is a massive multi-million-dollar-making enterprise. As a global and influential force for change in the world then I am one of those who, based on my experience of it, express concern about what the mega-million-dollar Meta might pose for the future? The decision to lock me out of my account in order to glean more personal information out of me via Facebook Protect – thereby strengthening more ties between me and the social network and Meta – is the final straw.
“For the reasons above, and others, I am saying ‘Goodbye’ to the social network and will look at using alternatives to it; alternatives that I hope, don’t try to simply ape Facebook, but look at being more ethical.”
Ray Duffill, Hedon Blog – 16 March 2022.
Readers on Facebook can still choose to share material from Hedon Blog using the handy sharing buttons on each article. However, the website updates on the Hedon Blog page will cease.