Facebook seems to be in some trouble, right?


Maybe trouble isn’t the right word.

A pickle?

Or perhaps a bit of a jam.

That’s probably closest.

In baseball, a pitcher can often get out of a jam with some help but it’s exceedingly difficult for a base runner to get out of a pickle.

If history is any guide, all Facebook really needs is time.

Just let things blow over again.

Yes, Facebook apparently looked the other way while people were being sent into a spiraling abyss of misinformation and sure, the Instagram owner ignored the data that clearly pointed out the psychological damage it was doing to young women. But, does the public knowing that make a difference? Did anyone log off? Will we expect our government to punish or even regulate?

This isn’t the first time Facebook has been exposed for a callous disregard of the human cost. For about a week in 2012, some 700,000 Facebook users were part of a psychological experiment. Their “feeds” were manipulated to either hide or boost negative or positive content. According to the Atlantic, when the week ended, the users themselves would post content ranging from negative to positive based on however they were pushed.

Facebook acknowledged this. Nothing happened.

A few years later, Facebook admitted it was the main vehicle for inciting genocidal violence against the Rohingya minority in Myanmar. About a month ago, a federal judge ordered Facebook to release content connected to the Myanmar case.

In 2018, came the Cambridge Analytica scandal, where users’ thought-to-be-private data was harvested for a Trump-connected campaign firm. That led to a hearing where clueless legislators asked Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg questions that sounded more like they were trying to get him to fix their VCR.

Nothing came of it.

The biggest complaint of Facebook in the last two years is what happened when it started to kick people off for posting misinformation. “Censorship,” they cried. They were being “silenced,” and having to deal with all that pesky fact-checking.

The biggest complaints, after all the issues, was about who couldn’t access it.

What happened when it went out? Outage for even a day cost the world economy millions. It wasn’t good. Facebook may have become too big to fail. In some countries, it’s still the main way people access the internet. And for untold thousands of small business owners in America, it’s their businesses’ main landing page.

So, now Facebook is in a bit of a jam.

How about we try not to forget this time?

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