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Is Facebook’s new mission a little ominous?

by Greg Krehbiel on 17 February 2017

Facebook is changing its mission statement.

Here’s the old one.

To give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected.

Sounds like something that should be printed on the inside of a Dove candy wrapper, or on the side of a Celestial Seasonings tea.

The article doesn’t say what the new mission statement is, but there’s this.

[There are] five goals: to help users build communities that are supportive, that are safe, that are informed, that are civically engaged, and that are inclusive.

I read that as their intent to nanny things a little more.

2017-02-17  »  Greg Krehbiel

Talkback x 9

  1. William
    17 February 2017 @ 11:37 am

    QUOTE: Is Facebook’s new mission a little ominous?

    In and of itself, no. I’m not sure I’d read “nannying” into it. It seemed more facilitative…possibly a shift from laissez-faire to coaching. I suspect their impending actions will tell the tale.

  2. Scott Wicker
    17 February 2017 @ 4:50 pm

    Facebook zucks. I wouldn’t even use it if it was any good. Still, it would be neat if some philanthropic-minded person engineered a competitor to it.

  3. William
    17 February 2017 @ 7:45 pm

    @Scott…I have no opinion on this point. Just curious about your thoughts. What would a competitor do better or differently than what FB does currently?

  4. smitemouth
    17 February 2017 @ 8:34 pm

    Either way, FB is failing in their goals. If the goal is to make money, I guess they are succeeding there. I sold my FB stock a few months ago…not that I had much, but tripling my investment was good enough–even though I paid the ripoff price during the first week of the offering. I got some notice from some class action suit related to the ripoff price. I’ll probably get 50 cents and the attorneys will get 50 million.

    Google tried an alternative. G+ sucks. I tried Ello, can’t get into it. Now FB is trying to supplant LinkedIn for the business networking angle. I haven’t tried PInterest or snapchat or whatever the hell else there is. FB could be made so much better if they had an optional setting that said, block all political ads and posts. I would use that in a heartbeat. 90+% of their political stuff is fake news–real fake news, not the stuff snowflake trumpers complain about it.

    I think older people who use it aren’t going to jump to something different. Younger people use other stuff that I’m not interested in. It’s hard to get market and mindshare.

  5. Dave Krehbiel Dave Krehbiel
    18 February 2017 @ 9:57 am

    Facebook once to create a supportive environment, but for whom? New mothers with baby pictures? Global warming alarmists? Global warming deniers? Dreamers? Neo-Nazis? People who have the right opinion on a particular topic? People who have the wrong opinion on a particular topic?

    I think it is dangerous for people to be supported in opinions they already believe without challenge. I don’t like the idea of Facebook as international thought police, deciding which opinions to be supported and what should be suppressed. I wish there were a way I could anonymously disagree with some of the nonsense out there.

  6. Scott Wicker
    18 February 2017 @ 10:18 am

    Since I don’t use Facebook or have much interest in that kind of forum, it’s difficult for me to address how to fix it. But comments like those of SM, GK, DK and others indicate that much is lacking. A kind of freeware model run by a consortium of users (think Wikipedia) could work. Instead of “how can we sqeeeze every last cent out of this application”, the guys running it would be thinking “how can we improve the FB experience?” and “how can we encourage uncensored internet communication while at the same time letting users filter information according to their personal tastes and interests?”

    Maybe building a FB alternative is an impossible fantasy because of the self-contradictory requirements: ‘uncensored but with the ability to filter’. But my guess is that while such a thing would not be perfect, it would be far better than FB.

  7. William
    18 February 2017 @ 2:48 pm

    @Scott, thanks much…truly appreciate your insights. I’m at a bit of a disadvantage because I’m not a heavy user of FB and don’t have a strong working knowledge of its functionality. That said, what you and others cite hasn’t been my experience when using it. Nor do I reply upon it for information and news. As I see it, it’s just a tool for connecting, communicating and sharing information amongst people with somewhat common interests (e.g., family, friends, colleagues, special interest groups, etc.). Up to this point, it hasn’t seemed that FB had an agenda that it was promulgating to its participants. I tend to treat it like other online fora and internet communities. I read, post and interact…that which I agree with, I assimilate…that which I don’t, I discard. IOWs, I make choices about what’s value-add or not and don’t depend upon the tool to do it on my behalf.

    @Dave…I’d sincerely appreciate if you could provide more insight on your comment about FB being the “international thought police”. Because my limited exposure and experience of FB has been so far removed from that type of thing, I’m genuinely interested in understanding more about your opinion and what you’ve experienced that may have contributed to that view. I don’t have a dog in this fight. So, at this point, I’m merely seeking to understand versus trying to defend a given position. Thanks in advance if you’re so inclined to provide further insight!

  8. Dave Krehbiel Dave Krehbiel
    19 February 2017 @ 12:52 pm

    @William: re: Facebook “thought police”:

    If I send a message by snail mail or by UPS or FedEx the messages delivered without editing or oversight or limits or restriction.

    However, if I post some sort of message on Facebook, it is subject to their opinion about what is appropriate.

  9. William
    19 February 2017 @ 2:24 pm

    @Dave, many thanks for your further insight…much appreciated! Albeit you have a right to your view, it seems “thought police” is a bit strong for what FB gives as terms and conditions.

    It seems the terms FB has put in place would be necessary for the effective and safe use of their tool with a very diverse user population. Maybe it’s me but their terms don’t appear highly onerous or restrictive….nor do they appear to intervene in an oppressive manner. It makes sense that if people want to use their service, they would have to agree to a set of terms. Similarly, if one wants to use FedEx or the USPS, they have to abide by their restrictions. Customers that send prohibited items can’t complain that somehow the postal service is acting as the mail-police just because they govern and intervene according to their policies.