A Moral Duty
I was reading this article the other day. It caught my eye because the headline is a question I regularly ask myself. Do you have a moral duty to leave Facebook?
I am… not entirely convinced by the author. And yet, I’m still on Facebook, even though in some ways, I resent it.
Dr. Liao’s conclusion is that Facebook has not crossed a red line at this point in time because the sale of our information to Cambridge Analytica was done without the company’s knowledge and consent, and the only contribution the company has made to the spread of fake news and hate speech has been a failure to adequately protect against it. And yet - that’s a pretty big failure, and Dr. Liao is failing to consider the uneven application of Facebook’s anti-hate speech policy, which punishes criticism directed at men and white people faster and harsher than comments attacking any other classes of people.
I have a dear friend who regularly disables her Facebook account and wanders around in life, disconnected from the regular stream of information. It’s confusing, and a little bit unthinkable - what on Earth does she even DO with the extra time that I spend scrolling through the feed looking for some tidbit of connection to remind me that I’m human? And yet - most of the time, scrolling and scrolling, I don’t feel connected to anything, just the persistent conviction that connection lies just one more post, one more page, one more, one more.
It’s this, really, that led me to answer the call to return to blogging, when first Asha, then Karen, then Jenny made it. Because blogging built communities in ways that Facebook doesn’t. Because longer form writing gives us room to spread out a little, tell a story. Because some of the most persuasive reading I’ve ever done was on blogs.
Tell me, what is your red line - what’s the moral principle which would cause you to delete your Facebook account?
How to play along
Because safety is a core value for me, I am asking that comments in this space avoid all the ugly things: shame, blame, judgement. I am asking that disagreement and discussion be polite, respectful, generous, and open to vulnerability.
Because community is healthy behavior, I welcome you to comment, to share your thoughts and responses and discuss this with empathy with me and with each other.