In addition to being a huge time-sink, since allowing anyone to join (versus only college students), Facebook has turned into an echo chamber for right-wing misinformation. Misinformation isn’t really the right word, it’s more like slander and libel, with often racist or misogynist motivations.
The Facebook trend toward fewer and fewer people actually posting statuses and more and more people sharing meme images (or “image macros” as we called them back in the day) has led to a dearth of actual discussion. The memes often contain quotes taken out of context or invented whole cloth, with no reference cited.
Take, for example, the recent case of Dan Johnson, a Kentucky state representative who posted racist memes comparing the Obamas to apes, but was carried to re-election anyway during the recent racist tide of the Trump campaign.
Mark Zuckerberg, the founder and CEO of Facebok, stated after the 2016 presidential election that it’s “crazy” to think that this echo-chamber had any effect on the result, which shows that the company has no interest in fixing it. Clicks are revenue after all, and what difference does it make to Facebook Corp whether those clicks come from people sharing actual news stories or status about their life, or promoting racist bullshit?
In addition to this, the primary role Facebook has played in my life lately has been for non-immediate family and older relatives to see pictures of what my kids are up to. Since the election, it has also become a venue for them to defend their voting for a racist demagogue who enables rape culture (or defending their failure to vote for the candidate most likely to defeat him, for nebulous reasons).
If you’re willing to elect a president who enables and normalizes racism, misogyny and rape culture, maybe I’m crazy, but I don’t really feel compelled to share pictures and news about my daughters with you.
Because of these issues, I have deleted my account and don’t plan to re-join, unless by some miracle the company takes radical steps to correct the way their platform has turned into a megaphone for slander and libel, especially among older and less tech-savvy users who have difficulty determining which items are news and which are unsubstantiated garbage.
I’m not holding my breath.