Facebook—More Dangerous than the NSA
A while back, Edward Snowden blew the whistle on our National Security Agency. They're spying on all our digital devices, have been for years. Our privacy has vanished.
True enough, but the NSA is looking for terrorists and, unless I'm missing something, hasn't come after anyone who isn't one, at least not yet. Still, the agency is something to be concerned about, though somewhat less, I would imagine, than a repeat of San Bernardino, or Paris, or Brussels, etc., etc.
But if you're looking for something to really worry about, how about an equally large computer-based organization with the genuine power to invade our privacy, warp our minds and distort our culture that is actually in the process of doing it — Facebook?
In a media world where print journalism is disappearing and young (and many older) people gather the vast percentage of their information online, its dominance is overwhelming and its effect pernicious, maybe poisonous.
Evidence has been in the news lately. Gizmodo reports: "Facebook workers routinely suppressed news stories of interest to conservative readers from the social network’s influential 'trending' news section, according to a former journalist who worked on the project."
In an educated society, that information should be of interest to all readers, not just conservatives. Nevertheless, this suppression is no revelation to those of us who write from the right side of the ledger. I have never seen my work or those of my colleagues in the "trending" section of Facebook, although our bylines appear frequently on RealClearPolitics (usually juxtaposed with a liberal on the same issue) and even on Yahoo's homepage. Facebook is exclusionary to the extent it even censors conservatives of the greatest popularity like Matt Drudge.
This is especially disturbing because Facebook feigns objectivity, yet it is no more objective than its owner Mark Zuckerberg, a progressive plutocrat whose views often make Bernie Sanders sound like Bob Dole. Drudge never feigned such objectivity. Anyone with the slightest interest knows he leans right with a libertarian tinge. Zuckerberg, who has more extensive online domination and aspires to still more, pretends to be merely an aggregator, when he is no such thing. He's a moral narcissist of extreme bias and a leading progenitor of a kind of burgeoning digital totalitarianism of self-regard, a new American Silicon Valley version of a Soviet nomenklatura. Whether the young editors of his "trending" section were working under his express orders (Facebook denies the charge) when they censored conservative writers is immaterial. They knew what they were supposed to do, where their bread, as the saying goes, was buttered.