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Facebook: Let's look at the positives

Facebook has often been surrounded by rumors, inferences and negative speculation. Now, of all times, isn't it appropriate to reach for some positive certainties?
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Written by Chris Matyszczyk, Contributor on
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He's positive he's always right.

The Facebook surfboard has been a bit wobbly lately.

The emergence of a whistleblower has directed a leafblower toward the company's snow-white claims that it's working oh, so hard to be a better corporate citizen, a better global citizen.

People are saying that Facebook is a no-good, corrupt, malignant blight on society's increasingly haggard face.

Why not, though, swim against the tide? (Sorry, surfing isn't my thing.)

So I've decided to focus on the positives about Facebook.

This may come across as venal as, so rumor has it, Facebook contemplated using its news feed to promote positive stories about the company.

But venality is the new morality, am I right?

So positivity, here we come.

I'm positive Facebook never imagined it'd be where it is right now. On occasions naively, on more occasions cynically, the company looked around, saw it had no real competition and, like a dog that hasn't eaten since last Christmas, tried to gobble up as much as it could while it could. And it did. It's very American, in its way. As is indigestion from eating excessively large portions.

I'm positive Facebook has always known that the more divisive the content it promotes, the more attention it'll get and the more advertisers will attempt to suck profits from all of that attention. That's how Rupert Murdoch did it, right? Except he had editors. And, sadly (for him), no internet for a long time.

I'm positive that engagement is the worst possible word for otherwise pleasant people rubber-neckedly gluing themselves to the nastiest parts of society. Engagements come with tears of joy and sparkling rings of commitment, rather than spittles of anger and a nasty ringing in the ears.

I'm positive that Mark Zuckerberg believes only in growth because he can't fathom how powerful and famous he's become. Any perceived diminution in business and it's as if a vital body part has begun to shrivel.

I'm positive that Facebook has always wanted to target children and has known from the beginning that many on its platform were below the officially sanctioned age of thirteen. I'm equally positive that, as with so many brands, it saw children as its future.

I'm positive that, if the latest Facebook outage was actually a hack, the company wouldn't tell its users for a very long time.

I'm positive that those who work at Facebook persuade themselves daily that they're doing something good for a lot of money, when, after several short, sharp snifters of cognac-infused Kombucha, at least some will admit they're the production crew of an extremely well-paid Hatenado movie.

I'm positive that the truly talented enablers like Sheryl Sandberg, Joel Kaplan -- and likely every other senior Facebook executive -- are convinced they've done so much good that it excuses any bad that might have attached itself along the way.

I'm positive that there are far more enablers –- those who blindly signed up for Facebook and now treat it as if it's the only way to communicate with other human beings. They whine about privacy, but they'll die for 100 likes.

I'm positive, you see, that there exist other ways to communicate with your fellow humans. It's not difficult, you know. That texting thing still works fine. So does email. In-person is positively riveting these days.

I'm positive that Facebook will survive the latest revelations because government is even slower than most senators' minds and still doesn't know its Finsta from its Napster.

I'm positive, too, that the cracks all too visible in Facebook now will continue to splinter the company from within, like a teapot dropped once too often, yet still used over and over again.

I'm also positive that, one day, those humans left alive will have a Facebook movie taught in all metaverse schools. It'll be called Citizen Shame.

But most of all, I'm positive that if a truly well-made AI was running Facebook today, it would take one look and shut the whole thing down.

Out of sheer mortification, you understand.

AI has feelings too, you know. I'm positive Mark Zuckerberg said that once.

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