Facebook Plans to Rewire Your Life. Be Afraid … Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s manifesto, penned clearly in response to accusations leveled at the social network in the wake of the bitter U.S. election campaign, is a scary, dystopian document. It shows that Facebook — launched, in Zuckerberg’s own words five years ago, to “extend people’s capacity to build and maintain relationships” — is turning into something of an extraterritorial state run by a small, unelected government that relies extensively on privately held algorithms for social engineering.
Mark Zuckerberg is one of the richest young men in the world with a company that spans the globe. And now he is putting that company to work defining what fake news is and is not. To help him in this task he has has recruited other like Snopes.
Snopes is run by a man who just divorced the co-founder to marry someone else. They seem to publish way too many articles for their small staff. Some have speculated the CIA is helping them. But no one is saying, exactly. So it’s speculation.
Zuckerberg says he’s done the best he can to build an unimpeachable references organization to help him decide what is fake and what isn’t. Presumably he will change it as necessary.
In 2012, Zuckerberg addressed future Facebook investors in a letter attached to the company’s initial public offering prospectus. Here’s how he described the company’s purpose:
People sharing more — even if just with their close friends or families — creates a more open culture and leads to a better understanding of the lives and perspectives of others. We believe that this creates a greater number of stronger relationships between people, and that it helps people get exposed to a greater number of diverse perspectives. By helping people form these connections, we hope to rewire the way people spread and consume information. We think the world’s information infrastructure should resemble the social graph — a network built from the bottom up or peer-to-peer, rather than the monolithic, top-down structure that has existed to date. We also believe that giving people control over what they share is a fundamental principle of this rewiring.
The article points that whatever Zuckerberg has intended to do, it has largely failed. That includes his upcoming effort to differentiate between real and fake news.
And it points out that Zuckerberg has actually made anxieties worse for a number of people. That’s because Facebook is ultimately a competitive situation with everyone trying to create a perfect online life. This caused people overall to have less life satisfaction when using Facebook, not more.
The same thing happens when new mothers get on Facebook to share the joys of newfound parenting. “Failing to get enough … validation causes depressive symptoms.” In other words the exposure to others who seem to be doing better than you, once again turns Facebook into software that is damaging to individuals rather than life-affirming.
But from our point of view, Zuckerberg shouldn’t be where he is anyway. The CIA apparently built up his operation and its size and scale is dependent on various post Civil War decisions. The CIA wants the real-time data that Facebook is collecting from over a billion people (or so we are told).
Chief among the court decisions are elaborations of corporate personhood and intellectual property rights. Also fiat, central-bank money and various kinds of regulation that only very large companies can fully fulfill.
For Zuckerberg, it is probably intellectual property rights that are among the most important parts of his empire. An article entitled From Zero to Zuckerberg tells the tale of just how critical IP is.
Firstly, protecting your IP enables your company to differentiate itself from other businesses and can act as its unique selling point, often helping it to secure future investment.
In fact, many VCs may not back a business at all if its IP isn’t protected. It can be seen as vulnerable to competitors — especially larger, cash-heavy companies who can swoop in and replicate it — and therefore too risky to scale. Put it another way, IP effectively ensures that the ‘new’ Zuckerberg can exist.
IP has virtually lifted Zuckerberg into the position he is in today. The idea that software telling people about the lives of other similar people can be worth literally trillions is based on what society has decided to protect
There is no reason why society should protect IP. If Zuckerberg want protection, he should pay for it himself. Right now you and I pay.
Zuckerberg is worth tens of billions based on post Civil War decisions that back up IP ideas that shouldn’t have been debated in the first place. The only people IP helps these days, for the most part, are those with the very largest companies like Zuckerberg’s.
IP helped Zuckerberg build what is essentially a false company. Now he is compounding the problem. Because of his size he is becoming an arbiter of what is and is not Fake News.
Conclusion: Zuckerberg will push forward on this track, perhaps oblivious to the ridiculousness of his position. He shouldn’t be where he is, and his current size has as much to do with the CIA as it does with IP determinations. Put together the two influences built a behemoth. It shouldn’t exist but it does.