I have never been much of a fan of Facebook, even long before there were longitudinal studies on the negative impact that social media wreaks on most people’s self-esteem. It seemed clear that the idealized versions of ourselves and our lives that we freely deposited into their platform were being controlled and curated for profit. Not only did it give me a bad feeling about how Facebook would come to monetize our freely given private information, but also about how it could control the kinds of dialogues and interactions we share.
We recognize that social media has the potential to be a powerful force for good and can build communities in revolutionary new ways, but it is not universally a positive presence in the world. The fact is, platforms like Facebook are entirely what we make of them. It can represent a valuable way to keep in touch with friends and family, or it can feel like an easy and meaningless way to expand our social network – especially among young people.
In the early days, I witnessed in my own children how much damage social media could cause. Things went from bad to worse as Facebook mastered the data science that not only monetizes our connections but increases our engagement to levels of addiction. All the time, our personal exchanges, pictures, and undivided attention were being quickly transformed into data bits that were manipulated and sold over to the highest bidder. Companies large and small took to building look-a-like audiences to sell and influence more - and it worked.
It wasn’t until the last election cycle that we really began to understand how far these technologies could devolve from groups of “friends” to silos of accelerated hatred, racism, misogyny, and greed. Likewise, any sense of collective and shared reality was shredded as Facebook replaced viable news organizations with their own news feeds curated to magnetize our attention while inflaming our fears and denigrating our humanity.
The historic diversity of billions in advertising revenue became singularly focused on Facebook, amounting to an annual advertising revenue of $70 billion for the social media giant, and creating the most dangerous and unregulated monopolies and oligarchs of our time. Instead of building communities, Facebook has used their money and power to become a single arbiter of our collective truth and the biggest prostitute of hate in the history of mankind.
As we approach Independence Day, the holiday which marks our fight for freedom from another government’s tyranny, we can see that today’s fight against the tyranny of Facebook is more important than it has ever been. In these times of a global pandemic, with the serious social and political issues of a secure election and racial justice at stake, we cannot allow Facebook and its leaders to continue to be complicit in spreading misinformation and fueling fear and hatred.
Good Clean Love is honored to commit to the #StopHateForProfit movement, standing among hundreds of other corporations who are demonstrating their values and saying “no more.” The pact to Stop Hate for Profit has developed a list of demands that will require significant and meaningful reform in Facebook’s business practices, which will require that it fulfill its original mission to build communities and support freedom for all.
I hope you will join us in this fight to demand that social media platforms add value to our society, and maintain their commitment to a safe and trustworthy digital ecosystem. It is more important now than ever before.
CEO and Founder