The Problem With Social Networks

Facebook and its supporters can come up with long lists of why the good that Facebook and other social networks (though especially Facebook, they will, of course, tell you) are doing for the world. Social networks allowing people to organize protests, allowing oppressed people to stand up to their oppressors. They’re helping people get their messages out to the world, free from censorship. (Not always…) They’re allowing people from around the world to connect and learn about each others cultures (though this one is probably BS).

All these things are good, but of course the primary  goal of Facebook and Twitter is not to allow oppressed people to organize revolutions and all that. Of course not. Its to make money for themselves. These organizations are corporations, so of course that’s what they’re trying to do.

So there is the problem with social networks like Facebook and Twitter. They do not have our interests at heart. They have their own. How can we expect them to not censor our speech, not sell our private information, not to bombard us with advertisements, when not doing these things would be unprofitable. Social networks are changing the way we communicate, and they are definitely doing some good things for the world. But to use social networks with out having to worry about who is profiting from our socializing, who is using our private information and photographs and for what use, we need a non-profit social network.


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