Home | About | Donate

Facebook Needs to Be an Open Book on News Feeds


Facebook Needs to Be an Open Book on News Feeds

Sonali Kolhatkar

“By giving people the power to share, we are starting to see people make their voices heard on a different scale from what has historically been possible. These voices will increase in number and volume. They cannot be ignored. Over time, we expect governments will become more responsive to issues and concerns raised directly by all their people rather than through intermediaries controlled by a select few.”Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook Founder and CEO, 2012.


“After all, Facebook is merely an empty shell without our online presence and interactions.”

And perhaps less than an empty shell with them…

(unless you’re the NSA.)


…they’re selling us an experience that has to do with citizenship…

I’m not buying any of this. Facebook is a service, no more, no less. They obviously have a great marketing team, and a tool people use to communicate in democracy building efforts, as well as democracy destroying efforts and everything in-between. In no way is it or has it ever been democratic in nature, or designed to be anything more than a profit generator. That should have been pretty obvious when Zuckerburg took it public and then skipped the country to avoid paying taxes.

It certainly is in the larger commons of the Internet, which needs all the protection we can muster, but no additional rights or expectations should be conferred upon it or news corporations. The free (independent) press protected by the first amendment hardly exists anymore in the US. With the latest merger, nearly 90% of the media market is owned by just a handful of corporations. That in itself stifles democracy. Those news corporations are pissed because someone else has their hands on the propaganda controls. Seems an awful lot like the pot calling the kettle black to me.

The problem is sorting out the issue of corporate free speech rights and freedom of the press as it applies to democracy, not the economy. On that front, Facebook and the MSM are a fail.


Very astute observation, Ms. Kolhatkar:

“With increasing numbers of people relying on Facebook as their sole source of news, and Facebook in turn only exposing them only to stories within their comfort zone, are we not creating a highly polarized world in which everyone is convinced that their perspective is the popular—maybe even the “correct”—one?”

I’ve always thought of Facebook as a sort of high school bathroom message board crossed with Israel’s Wailing Wall.

This idea of everyone hanging their laundry out… just seems offensive to me. Of course, it helps to do the Surveillance State’s work for them.


Unlike a traditional newspaper that you can buy Facebook involves a trade off, giving up your personal data to obtain the news. Facebook is course interested in exactly what it users read so it can sell the data to advertisers. The basic problem with Facebook is it advertising business model which requires that uses give up their privacy. A new business model is needed so users don’t have to give up so much. Perhaps charging for subscriptions to Facebook or something like that would solve the problem. Giving away access to the site for free is not working as American values of the users are being rapidly eroded. Personal data needs to be protected, not made into a money making scheme for another greedy corporation.



More alarmingly, the documents show that the DoD believes that within just fifteen years, it will be feasible for mission planning, target selection and the deployment of lethal force to be delegated entirely to autonomous weapon systems in air, land and sea. The Pentagon expects AI threat assessments for these autonomous operations to be derived from massive data sets including blogs, websites, and multimedia posts on social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

The purpose of facebook.


Great find. In spite of their narcissism and insanity, they’re capable of long term planning.


I tried to post 2 articles from Common Dreams to Facebook, but they never let it post. I submitted the article about "the party that self destructed " 6 times and I never showed up. I also tried to post this article and it would not post either. Just Sayin’.