Is Facebook a Force for Good in the World?

Don’t know if many readers have become aware of the dumpster fire started by former Facebook vice-president of user growth Chamath Palihapitiya. In an address given to pupils enrolled in the Stanford Graduate School of Business, Palihapitiya stated that he has felt “tremendous guilt” over the manner in which social media, Facebook included, is “ripping apart the social fabric of how society works”. (Relevant remarks begin around the 21:23 mark.)

Within said discourse, he acknowledged that he and the site’s workers intentionally built a platform meant to subliminally stimulate users into using the site frenetically by employing “short term, dopamine-driven feedback loops”, known as the Like button and other tools. Palihapitiya even classified the site as “sh*t” and stated that he would never allow his children to use it.

This information is nothing new. A simple observation of how the typical Facebook user is enthralled by the online program certifies everything Palihapitiya declared. That being said, it is in the ensuing comments where one must take care to extract an important lesson.

Almost immediately after Chamath denounces the social media behemoth, his interviewer asks how he copes with his having participated in a platform that is causing such societal damage. He contradictorily answers that he did a lot of good at the company and that Facebook “overwhelming does positive good in the world”.

Come again?! If this is the case, Christians ought to rejoice because Satan, the Prince of Darkness himself, although evil is somehow working in the interests of morality.

Refreshingly enough, many have noted Palihapitiya’s hypocrisy through social media (although they’ve been mute on whether or not this incident will inspire them to reevaluate their relationship with social media). Not to be outdone, Facebook itself (doubtless, secretly ordered by Mark Zuckerberg) went on the PR defensive and published a “report” in which the company acknowledges the some of the deleterious effects the platform can have on people and in which the company promises to promote more “social interaction” among users.

The last proposition is laughable. Personally, I thought the idea that is Facebook, which was stolen by Zuckerberg, was supposed to be an instrument for socialization. Methinks that the site is accidentally admitting through this so-called study that that has never been and will never be the case.

Palihapitiya has since doubled down on his illogicality, claiming that his “comments were meant to start an important conversation, not to criticize one company — particularly one I love”. I find his so-called affection for Facebook difficult to believe, being that he considers the company and its offerings to be “sh*t”. It could be that such “love” is in keeping with modernity’s definition of the word – meaning it has no meaning at all.

Palihapitiya is a hypocrite and a manipulator. If Chamath is truly contrite, he should return all of the tainted money he made off Facebook. (Don’t hold your breath.) Mark Zuckerberg is a hypocrite and a grand manipulator. Facebook is nothing more than a front for advertisement dollars, its fanatical users being the pawns whom give Zuckerberg free content which he economically capitalizes on.

Moral of the Story: Be careful in adopting the latest fad on the internet. It could quite possibly be that such a platform was designed from the onset to exploit the masses for the enrichment of those pulling the puppet strings from behind the curtain.

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