Remember the days when people read books instead of memes and it took an advanced degree to find out the name, height, weight, religion, hobbies, and exact whereabouts of your new boyfriend’s ex-girlfriend?
Since Mark Zuckerberg decided to drop out of Harvard and create a product that, it could viably be argued, has ruined what it means to be human, everything has changed. Today, Facebook celebrates a new and terrifying milestone: 2 billion users.
Mark Zuckerberg alerted the world to the disturbing news via – what else? – a Facebook post shared on his personal page.
When Facebook launched about 13 years ago, you needed a college email address to sign up for the social platform. Now, you need a light pulse and a basic understanding of one of the many languages spoken all over the globe.
It cannot be denied that Facebook has done some good for this world. The platform provides space for voices to echo that might not have otherwise been heard. It means a mother and father in rural Ohio can launch a fundraiser for their sick child to which hundreds of strangers might donate.
But Zuckerberg has an enormous, extravagant amount of power in our globalized world — and not just in the form of his billions and billions of dollars. Media corporations and brands rely heavily on Facebook to deliver their work to the world. If Zuckerberg chose to censor a media company that covered him in an unflattering way, that would have devastating effects on its bottom line and the future of the business.
Conversely, he could use his power for good by separating fake news from the real stuff and, to his credit, that’s something Zuckerberg and his staff say they’re actively working on.
Zuckerberg has proven himself to be a rather tempered social media scion. But what happens when he retires and is replaced by an evil nephew or godson? What if he falls into a pit of toxic chemicals and turns into a comic book villain?
All I’m saying is, absolute power corrupts absolutely. Nobody should have that much of it.
That being said, it’s easy to criticize Facebook and the content monster it’s created. What’s harder is quitting it. Take it from me — I tried once and wasn’t invited to anything for a whole month.
So who knows. Maybe I’m just bitter.
Becky Scott is the editor of The Schmooze. Follow her on Twitter at @arr_scott