Twitter may have helped mobilize the Iranian protests against a bogus election, but, as it turns out, Facebook played more of a role in spreading dissent that helped lead to dictator Ben Ali’s fall from power. Facebook was the medium of choice for Tunisians sharing up-to-the minute videos of crackdowns against insurgents in the streets, and the network’s security team came up with a way to stop aggressive hacking to steal users’ passwords and feed them up to Ben Ali’s regime. Zuckerberg’s really trying to live up to that Person of the Year title, huh? [Atlantic]
[Facebook’s rationale for leaving up the Pelosi video] is ridiculous. The only thing the incident shows is how expert Facebook has become at blurring the lines between simple mistakes and deliberate deception, thereby abrogating its responsibility as the key distributor of news on the planet.
Would a broadcast network air this? Never. Would a newspaper publish it? Not without serious repercussions. Would a marketing campaign like this ever pass muster? False advertising.
No other media could get away with spreading anything like this because they lack the immunity protection that Facebook and other tech companies enjoy under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. Section 230 was intended to spur innovation and encourage start-ups. Now it’s a shield to protect behemoths from any sensible rules. …
By conflating censorship with the responsible maintenance of its platforms, and by providing “rules” that are really just capricious decisions by a small coterie of the rich and powerful, Facebook and others have created a free-for-all with no consistent philosophy.