Facebook’s censorship is getting out of hand. There’s no other way to say this. The Social network has grown too big, and it can now afford to do whatever it wants. Now, before I begin, I want to state that I understand that Facebook is a private company, and is free to do whatever it wants; which forms part of my point. Facebook is free to manage and operate their private business however they see fit, and we, as consumers, are free to protest, boycott and leave if we are no longer satisfied with Facebook’s services.
Mind you, I am not the only one who feels this way. Every day that goes by, it is more and more apparent that Facebook cares more about protecting the feelings of easily offended people than allowing people to freely express themselves. Several Facebook pages and accounts get unpublished and deleted on a daily basis on account of violating Facebook’s arbitrary and vague “hate speech” rules. Saying the wrong things about the wrong people can get you banned for up to a whole month. Or worse. Your account gets deleted. Many of the victims of this censorship, myself included, would love to leave Facebook’s platform for another. There’s just one problem: THERE IS NO REAL ALTERNATIVE TO FACEBOOK.
When Facebook was launched in 2004, there’s a reason it grew so fast; it was one of a kind. Facebook offered services that no other Social network at the time, or even today, offers. The only other social network that comes close to being an alternative to Facebook, is Twitter, which unfortunately, has its own problems. For one, Twitter doesn’t let you tweet more than 140 characters (stupid idea), and secondly and most importantly, Twitter’s censorship is almost just as bad as Facebook’s. Just a few weeks ago, Twitter banned Milo Yiannopoulos for criticizing Ghostbusters actress. Three days ago, Internet personality “Bardock Obama” was locked out of his Twitter account and forced to delete a Tweet that made fun of the all female Ghostbusters movie. Granted, Twitter’s censorship isn’t as bad as Facebook’s yet, there’s reason enough to believe that they’re on the way there.
We know why they are doing this of course, MONEY. Most advertisers do not want to advertise their products on platforms that aren’t “family friendly”, so, in order to compete, Social networks are racing to see who can be the most politically correct. Reddit experienced this first hand, last year, when the then CEO, Ellen Pao, spearheaded the removal of several “offensive” subreddits, including the infamous “r/fatpeoplehate”. Ellen later resigned as CEO of Reddit, but the subreddits were never unbanned. As one Redditor aptly put it, “she was just a scapegoat that Reddit used to make the difficult decisions they were going to make either way”. In the past 5 years alone, Facebook has bought WhatsApp, Instagram and a couple of other small time social networking sites. As they grow bigger and more powerful, they are only going to feel more and more invincible. Facebook has grown too big to care about its users. You can write and sign all the petitions for them to fix their report system you want; they are not going to you; they can afford not to. The only solution is to move elsewhere.
Everyone is just standing by, watching, waiting for the next big thing to come by so we can all move to it. I have a feeling that whoever builds the next big social network is going to be very rich. Think about it, the customer base already exists. All you have to do is market yourself as a free speech platform that hates censorship and voila. You’ll have to build a kickass website though, you can’t expect us to move to a badly designed website with glitches and a bad navigation system – screw that. If you feel like you can build a website that can rival Facebook’s design and easy to understand interface, then it’s time to start building, because there are a ton of pissed off people ready to use it. (Ps: Don’t forget me when you get rich)