Kick them when they’re down: Facebook edition.

May 10th, 2010 by Jarmo Puskala

If you have a passion for Space Nazis, sign up and we’ll let you know when we’re ready for your help. -Facebook

Am I the only one who thinks the above is slightly scary?

We really like Facebook, we’ve been using it for ages and it’s a great place to connect. But we’re not fans of their problems with privacy and security. Or their bullish ways of doing, well, pretty much everything. Not to mention the time they removed our page for alleged hate speech, even though we did get it back.

Couple of weeks ago Timo tried to leave Facebook, only to discover the existence of a “community page for Timo Vuorensola”. These community pages are the result of their new feature – creating pages for almost everything that has a Wikipedia page so they can be listed in the “interests and likes” section of people’s profiles.

Turns out this automation creates some problems for a company that tries to keep their nose clean of anything remotely offensive and Facebook now has fan pages for some rather unpleasant things.

So how about letting the world know you “have a passion for Nazism and Fascism” or that’ you’re into all forms of totalitarianism with Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. Or maybe you want to let the world know you like Child Sexual Abuse?

This is a good example of what’s wrong with Facebook’s plans for world domination. They want to be the one place for all things – but then there’s all the nasty stuff no-one likes. If they want to get rid of it it means they need to up the censorship, creating lists of banned words, or getting even more trigger happy with acting on complaints. And the more they try to clean up the world site, the bigger target they become for ridicule & litigation when something slips past their net.

If they want to be the one place for everything they need to give up control and re-think their strategy of reducing all relationships into “friends” and “likes”. The world just doesn’t work like that.

p.s. There’s little doubt these pages will be removed once the first complaints are made, so don’t be too surprised if the links don’t work.

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7 Responses to “Kick them when they’re down: Facebook edition.”

  1. Johan says:

    Haha. The question “if you have a passion for Nazism and Fascism, sign up” might be the first good thing to come out of the new feature.

    //JJ

  2. Vili Lehdonvirta says:

    That sentence will become a meme ;) Insightful post again Jarmo, cheers from Tokyo

  3. Merq says:

    o__O
    Facebook is really starting to weird me out.

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