The Gravity Of Facebook: Why Everyday Facebook Is On Top, We Are In A Worse And Worse Position
Since it's inception in 2005 Facebook has gained more an more users at an increasing rate to the point that they went public and went on the stock market last year. At first Facebook gained users slowly, but as the laws of gravity state, as something gains more mass, its gravitational pull increases, thus pulling more and more into it's orbit at a faster rate, which for social media giant Facebook is what happened, to the point that at the start of the year had an average of 1.06 billion active monthly users.
The Problem With A Large Amount Of Gravity
Like a planet with a large gravitational pull, Facebook (as well as sites like Twitter and YouTube) large amounts of junk gets pulled into the orbit and can often impact on the surface as well, the more mass, the larger the pull, the larger the pull, the faster that it will affect the surface. This is the strikingly more apparent the problem Facebook is encountering. For a start, many people such as myself and many others I know, directly and indirectly, is that people don't honestly want to be on Facebook anymore. It's not that the platform is bad, it in some respects is due to the gravity, in some respects it is the younger generation who are getting on it, and lets be honest, who hasn't seen the annoying Facebook girl memes? Another problem caused by the gravity which goes back to my point of junk being pulled in, is the high abundance of spam bots, spam bots are more than abundant on AOL/AIM, and they are becoming more and more abundant on Facebook. Phishing scams are also becoming more involved in people's lives, while some fall for it, mainly naive people who either don't remember, or were never there for the old Nigerian royalty scam (now they want you to give them the money to get into a first world country), fortunately there are people who don't fall for it. But despite all of this, there is a bigger problem that Facebook has.
The BIGGEST Problem Facebook Has
Pornographic material. Facebook doesn't have an age filter, anything posted, shared, etc, on Facebook is publicly available by ANYONE with a connection to the person who liked, shared posted, or whatevered the post, page or whatever it may have been. There were/are pages that in the title have "18+" or "18+ Only" which is about as effective as a dialogue box asking if you are over the age of 18, which is so stupid even futurama parodied it in it's "A bicyclops built for two" episode. Most frequently I have seen pages share links to external sites, and the links have pornographic images/ videos in them (to which I personally unlike the page). This is becoming a bigger and bigger problem, for a start, this was never the way that the internet worked, nor was it suppose to, I personally have been using the internet for 14 years, Goggle had launched a year before I started using the internet, my first computer was a second generation Apple iMac and it was grey, and my first email was a Yahoo kids email (yeah, remember kids emails? back in the days when Yahoo was beating Google). Hell, even just a couple of years ago, you had to go after anything pornographic yourself, it wasn't hard and the 'safety' precautions to prevent underage people from seeing said material wasn't exactly hard to bypass, but the fact remained, if you wanted it, you ha to go out and find it yourself, that was the way it was always meant to be. These were things that went on privately, it was never meant to be public. Whether the cowboys making the original posts are idiots or just not thinking, and that goes the same for the people sharing it, it shows a complete lack of disconnect, if its that people think that because it's the internet there is no consequence or that they just don't understand or expect theses things to go massively public I don't know, but it clearly proves that people's illusions of being unable to be traced or that they think it doesn't matter because it is a fake space disconnected to the real world are very much wrong and there needs to be greater action taken to stop these thought behaviors, and ultimately stop these things from going on public places such as Facebook.
Well, What's The Path That Should Be Taken?
Governmental regulations are almost always to far over reaching, so that is not the answer. But if we look at the facts, Facebook has lots of employees and lots of money. Facebook can have people monitor everything that goes live, and age gate stuff that is inappropriate for under 18's. Facebook could also implement an option for it's over 18 audience that allows users to choose what they want to be automatically blocked/hidden from a users newsfeed, and yes I know this would lead to an increase in fake age profiles, however this would be a step forward. Facebook could also implement a flag button that would make it only available to by people with the right age/settings on the account, much like YouTube does. These, while maybe not the long term answer, would definitely make a difference and help improve things. And look, each to their own. If you want to see that kind of thing, then you all power to you, you have the right to, we all have free will, just as you wouldn't want your freedom to look that stuff up to be taken away, I personally, and I know others who would agree, do not want to see that, my right to not want to see it, shouldn't be violated. There needs to be a balance that needs to be reached, and Facebook needs to act and start to do something about it, and it needs to be done now, not down the track, This is the honest truth, Facebook needs to make positive steps in the direction of cleaning it up it's platform and until it does, the state of that website is going to get worse and worse everyday.