Two-faced Facebook

Thought I’d share these two images to illustrate FB’s dual nature.

This is a composite image that I originally created for my office’s website. Yesterday I applied Photoshop’s grainy filter and uploaded it to our FB page. My intention was to soften the image and create something slightly different for our FB friends. Imagine my horror when I checked on the post this morning and saw (1) the squares around most people’s faces, and (2) the command to type their names. I have seen this kind of thing before, but the density and magnitude of FB’s data collection really hit me this time. I was horrified.

Below is a screenshot I took this morning. Clergy with Cats is a closed group to which anyone who loves cats can apply for entry. On my own FB page (which I recreated in order to administer my office’s page), I had seen a snapshot of the group page. (Yes, FB had correctly divined I might be interested.) I have been a member for a few months and like the group a lot: in it are some of the most aware, intelligent, witty, and compassionate people I have come across. The founder calls himself an ecochaplain, a chaplain for the environment.

Many people on this forum have asked how others can continue to be on FB despite all the crimes and ethical violations it has committed. Perhaps there is part of an answer here. I was on FB, then off, then got on again, and then, with determination, got off. When I told my boss, he told he I had to keep administering our FB page, so I created a page in my late mother’s name. (You have to have your own page in order to be an administrator, moderator, editor, etc.)

In addition, there is something to be gained from my being a member of the cat group. Yes, sometimes people are in the pictures with their cats, but a good 80% of the images, I estimate, are of cats only. So here we have a case in which non-humans are the object of interest, the binding element, the ones who are followed, liked, indeed loved.


I get it when our creations are muddled with- though not permanent it’s a slap across the face for an artist- an invasion of expression and experience. I think this very thing is accepted as normal and because it happens so fast nobody can stop it.

Our fast moving digital world can be so invasive… and without choices we have to succumb or flee altogether.

Someone needs to invent a game: “Facebook or Stasi?”

Chances are this will be harder than it seems.

This Mark guy that started Facebook isn’t wise or mature. When he started the web site in college, he illegally stole photos from the internet of students in his university and illegally published them online. He invited fellow students to compare the photos two other students at a time, and choose which one was uglier. Mark then commented that some of the students at his university (whose pictures he was illegally publishing on the internet) were so ugly that they would need to be compared to farm animals. This web site is the same one people use today, it is Facebook. Mark really hasn’t learned much about how to treat people as human beings.

Okay this is actually an interesting idea. Creating one of those Facebook quizes about Facebook to raise awareness. Could be effective.

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