Facebook

As Facebook Crumbles, the Case for Breaking It Up Is Weaker Than Ever

The site is clearly in trouble and the government doesn't need to step in.

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After a month of disastrous news coverage following various revelations of alleged misdeeds, Facebook reached its nadir on Monday with the site suffering a massive outage. Perhaps Facebook isn't so dominant, after all, and thus government force is absolutely not necessary to constrain it.

All apps in the Facebook family—including Instagram and WhatsApp—went down simultaneously on Monday. By the evening, they were up and running again, though not in time to rescue Facebook's stock, which slipped 4.9 percent in value. (CEO Mark Zuckerberg reportedly lost more than $6 billion in just a few hours.) The outage was so bad that Facebook employees couldn't even get inside the company's headquarters: The security systems were part of the same network.

The company's recent woes have fueled a new wave of criticisms from tech skeptics on both the left and right who want the government to either break up Big Tech, take away its liability protection, or either prohibit—or possibly require!—so-called misinformation on the platforms. A major theme of the Big Tech battles is that former President Donald Trump, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D–Mass.), and everyone in between wants to go after the companies, but for opposite and often conflicting reasons.

Conservatives think the platforms engage in too much moderation and have corrupted democracy in favor of 2020 election winner Joe Biden; liberals think Facebook doesn't practice nearly enough moderation—allowing right-wing violence and faulty info about quack COVID-19 cures to spread—and also corrupted U.S. democracy in favor of 2016 election winner Donald Trump. That the most extreme and opportunistic members of both political factions like to blame all their problems on Big Tech probably tells us more about them than it does about Facebook.

If there's one fear that unites the left and right, though, it's moral panic about social media—Instagram, in particular—causing feelings of depression and anxiety among teenage girls. This isn't a new fear: The psychologist Jean Twenge has been writing about it for years, and even Jonathan Haidt, co-author of The Coddling of the American Mind and a figure generally well-respected by libertarians, thinks there's something to it. But it received a powerful narrative boost recently after a former Facebook employee came forward as a "whistleblower" and provided a series of scoops to The Wall Street Journal. The most significant of these scoops—as judged by the fact that it prompted an immediate (and, per usual, wildly embarrassing) Senate hearing—concerned Facebook's internal efforts to gauge Instagram's ill-effects on the mental wellness of young people.

The whistleblower, Frances Haugen, appeared on 60 Minutes on Sunday and will testify before Congress on Tuesday. Thanks to Haugen and the Journal's reporting, we know that Facebook attempted to survey teen users on how the platforms were impacting their mental health. Unsurprisingly, their findings were not entirely encouraging: One in five respondents said Instagram made them feel worse about themselves, and teens already struggling with mental illness said the platform was giving them a harder time.

Ostensibly, the problem with Instagram is that it promotes social competition—the race for likes and comments—among users posting artificial, filtered images of themselves, which may exacerbate body images issues. Of course, there's absolutely nothing new about this: Glossy magazines have been accused of doing the same thing for decades, but no one talks about the existential threats of Cosmopolitan or Teen Vogue. High school is a major source of misery and depression for many teenagers, but as Mike Solana pointed out in a terrific article on the anti-Facebook crusade, no one is demanding that the secretary of education be hauled before Congress:

Among teenagers in a state of mental crisis, how many are struggling with their family? How many are struggling with their friend group, or their crush? How many are struggling in a classroom? To the question of "does high school make you want to kill yourself," how many suicidal teenagers would answer "yes" — emphatically? Almost all of them? Next question, when are [we] dragging the Secretary of Education in front of Congress to explain why he hasn't solved depression?

Solana pointed out that Haugen didn't tell us anything new about Facebook and Instagram: Her achievement was really one of self-branding. Since the mainstream media is already inclined to believe the very worst about social media—a disfavored upstart competitor—anyone who comes forward and tells the media exactly what they want to hear on this subject is going to be celebrated as a hero. Thus Haugen is already being hailed as some sort of brave truth-teller, though her perspective is very much the popular one in progressive circles: Facebook emboldens hate and disinformation, and it has far too much power.

On this last charge, it's never been more apparent that something close to the opposite is true. Far from occupying some dominant and unassailable position in modern society, Facebook's relevance is probably fading. The company is desperate to attract the sorts of users—young people, mostly—who provide cultural cache and excite advertisers and investors. But this is increasingly a losing battle. Facebook—or "Boomerbook" as some call it—has never been less popular with the kids, and even Instagram faces tremendous competition from Snapchat, TikTok, and whatever cool new thing is coming along next.

"The truth is that Facebook's thirst for young users is less about dominating a new market and more about staving off irrelevance," wrote The New York Times' Kevin Roose in an article that sounded a highly pessimistic note with respect to the company's long-term health. "Facebook's research tells a clear story, and it's not a happy one."

For the past several years, anti-tech crusaders on both the left and right have assured the public that Facebook is a menace, and can only be stopped via aggressive government action: antitrust legislation, Section 230 reform, and so on. Despite repeated threats, politicians never made good on their promises to do something—and yet Facebook is undeniably in a much weaker position. While it's hard to predict the future, it's even harder to picture the company mounting some massive comeback and becoming a popular trendsetter once again. Expectations that Facebook had fought its way into an unbeatable, permanent, market-dominant position suddenly look incredibly foolish.

In fact, Facebook may soon find itself in the position of needing government intervention to maintain its dominance. It's worth remembering that the company has actually come out in favor of reforming Section 230, the federal statute that limits the legal liability that online platforms face.

"I believe that Section 230 would benefit from thoughtful changes to make it work better for people, but identifying a way forward is challenging given the chorus of people arguing—sometimes for contradictory reasons—that the law is doing more harm than good," noted Zuckerberg during a March 2021 appearance before Congress.

Of course, tinkering with the liability protections enjoyed by social media sites could actually help Facebook stave off competition: As long as the company remains the largest social media site, its armies of moderators might be better prepared to deal with increased moderation demands than smaller rivals like Twitter. Facebook is also better positioned to lobby and steer whatever new governmental agency arises to enforce a modified version of Section 230. All those who support Facebook's bid for ongoing relevance should want the company to hand-pick the members of a new federal bureaucracy tasked with regulating Big Tech's policies; on the other hand, anyone who thinks the company should face free and fair competition might prefer to leave the matter out of the government's hands.

My new book, Tech Panic, is subtitled Why We Shouldn't Fear Facebook and the Future. The events of the past few weeks provide additional, concrete reasons. Zuckerberg's platform is not in control of our lives, our economy, or our democracy, and the mainstream media's cynical attempts to convince the public otherwise should be easier to dismiss in light of recent events.

NEXT: FDA Vaccine Approval Delays Are Deadly

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  1. Facebook is still around?!?!

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  2. Facebook Imploding!!!!!!

    1. (No not really, but Robby had a quota to meet and Robby is a good servant to his overlords.)

      1. It is interesting that now that FB might need S230 to preserve itself (nevermind that FB has been calling for more internet regulation for *years*), Robby *might* see a downside to offering government protection for blocking of offensive material.

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        2. It is interesting that now that FB might need S230 to preserve itself

          I need better lighting. When I first read that, I thought you typed $230.

          I then immediately did like Vultan on Flash Gordan and yelled: “DIIIIIIÌIIE!!!” 🙂

      2. Or a good employee to his employers. Writing is a job like any other.

        1. Other jobs have professional responsibilities, like telling the truth and doing background research…I don’t see Robby fulfilling them.

          Journalism, when financed by billionaires with a political agenda, is not like other jobs, in that you appear to be able to lie with impunity.

          1. He’s a used car salesman with one-half the income.

            And he pays retail for his ride.

    2. The walls are closing in!

  3. So Facebook shuts down for a few hours, and you want everyone to think that is reason enough to ignore all the evil?
    Oh, wait. This is just an as for your book.

    1. as = ad.
      (never try to proofread before cofffee)

      1. You misspelled Covfefe

  4. WhatsApp Mix is a MOD for the chat and instant messaging app that you can download to your Android device and extends its customization possibilities. https://wappsapk.com/mix-whatsapp-mod-apk/

  5. *smacks my face…book*

  6. Are you kidding? Now that they smell blood in the water? And the leftist media has finally found a Wistleblower they’re willing to publicize, too.

  7. This article comes across as completely naive. These companies are worth billions. They have a history of buy and kils or buy and change of other competing companies. They collude together to get the same narratives and rules across platforms. They work together to kill competition. Is robbie completely ignorant of reality?

    1. And Der JesseBahnFuhrer is NEVER naive! Did Der JesseBahnFuhrer notice the above in the article?

      “Of course, tinkering with the liability protections enjoyed by social media sites could actually help Facebook stave off competition: As long as the company remains the largest social media site, its armies of moderators might be better prepared to deal with increased moderation demands than smaller rivals like Twitter.”

      Yet Der JesseBahnFuhrer is TOTALLY on board with tearing down Section 230, to help FaceBoooo and FacePoooo shit all over their free-market competition, by getting Government Almighty all neck-deep in the “protection racket” to help FacePoooo, which is one of the few large-enough companies to afford (not just moderators) armies and armies of compliance lawyers and lobbyists!

      1. what’s the point of “muting” me sarcasmic when you can’t help yourself with your stupid socks?

        1. Try eating the nuts Sqrlsy, instead of identifying as one.

        2. Is Robbie getting paid in socks and bondage?

    2. idk…I think Robbie’s case is valid. So what if it’s worth 100 billion? Is it really that impactful? Disney is worth 320 billion…if it was to vanish tomorrow, would it matter (beyond jobs lost)? Same with Facebook. I just can’t buy into it being “powerful” in any sort of way that one should be concerned about. Sure, they have market power. But so?

      1. Did you read the comment? Namely parts regarding buy and kills and collusive behaviors to harm competitors? They have a long and documented history of anti market practices. Those ramp up if they lose market share. Their worst tendencies become their most used.

        1. Probably. So what? If it’s true collusion maybe they’ll get busted for it. Regardless, it’s just Facebook. And the point is their product is dying. Maybe they’ll successfully morph into something that can survive into 2040. I have strong doubts…which I believe is the point of Robbie’s post.

          1. They’ve openly acted woth true collusion. Alex jones shut down on dozens of providers within 24 hours. That is collusive behavior. It is known and documented what they do. Parler was another withapple and google acting in concert.

            And you care because they are anti free market practices. One of the only areas libertarians get involved in.

            1. I’ve never bought into that particular “collusion” argument. It’s a “like minds” issue. When a group of corporate executives share the same moral code and value set, it’s unsurprising when they all react in the same way. Collusion requires that they not simply act in a similar manner, but that they directly coordinate. And I’ve never seen any evidentiary trails where A talked to B talked to C and then X happens.

              1. When new rules and regulations are put into place on the same day, such as when AWS, Google, Apple Store went after Parler, it points to collusion. Those aren’t impulse decisions made on the fly. They go through lawyers and teams to codify the language.

                1. Maybe. Smells possible. But no hard evidence has yet to surface that actually supports that theory.

                  1. Your asking for an impossible form of evidence says investigation.

        2. This is really the key to the Facebook problem. They swallow the competition whole, so they effectively own the public square- along with a few other tech companies. Execs migrate between these few companies and the federal government, either directly or in lobbying positions. Facebook doesn’t need to own everything. They just need to be able to move people around the system in order to continue to monopolize it, and continue to carve out favorable terms for themselves.

          Facebook solidified their power years ago when they started playing ball with the government. They made sure that the regulatory environment prevented any comparable alternatives from developing.

      2. Same with Facebook. I just can’t buy into it being “powerful” in any sort of way that one should be concerned about.

        They’re literally as big as they are because they received angel investment from CIA front men, which allowed them to become an important tool of the surveillance state.

        Sure, they have market power. But so?

        You guys don’t get it. Facebook isn’t being targeted by the Cathedral because of their “market power”–they’re being targeted specifically because they aren’t censoring right-wing views hard enough for the tastes of the left-liberal bourgeoisie who run these institutions. This “whistleblower” isn’t revealing anything exceptionally scandalous; she’s deliberately establishing a narrative for the evil fucks in the media to signal-boost and cement as the conventional wisdom, in order to leverage Facebook’s long-time connections with its sponsors in the political-security complex against it. They’re basically warning Facebook, “Start suppressing opinions that go against the left-liberal consensus even more, or we’ll see to it that you become a cultural pariah and go the way of MySpace.”

        1. Keep in mind, this “whistleblower” got pissed off specifically because Facebook shut down the Information Suppression Team, er, “deprioritized political content” after Biden’s election was confirmed, because the bosses felt that the mission of getting Trump out of office had been accomplished. She’s claiming that Facebook not suppressing right-wing views is what directly led to the January 6th Tourist Visit.

          Whatever level of “market share” Facebook has is completely irrelevant here. What’s going on is that the media and its allies are setting this up as a mafia-style strongarm tactic to get Facebook back in line with the agenda of the left-wing cabal.

          1. The point of this article is not that FB is biased or that they suppress viewpoints or that they are arbitrary in their content management (all true). The point is that the supposed “power” that they hold in this area isn’t really all that much “power” and that it is waning and will continue to wane.

            I totally despise FB’s content management. I think 230 is a joke in that it gives a liability shield and unlimited content management rights. BUT…I don’t thing FB is actually a substantive influence on the body politic. And I don’t think FB will stem the tide of losing audience share.

            1. The point is that the supposed “power” that they hold in this area isn’t really all that much “power” and that it is waning and will continue to wane.

              And my point is that the power they hold is entirely dependent on the degree to which they cave to this modern Cultural Revolution Group pressure. If they go back or even increase their hyper-censorious ways that Haugen is lamenting the loss of, then they’ll continue to maintain their favored position within the elite. If they decide not to, they’ll get hammered for not getting with the program.

              It’s the struggle session being carried out here that people need to be concerned with, because it’s just more evidence that the left is becoming increasingly authoritarian in its agenda to suppress non-leftist viewpoints.

            2. BUT…I don’t thing FB is actually a substantive influence on the body politic.

              Yes, because everyone knows that controlling the flow and dissemination of information (or misinformation) has no real impact on public opinion.

              1. Yep, there are no other ways to get or provide information today. LOL.

                1. Yep, there are no other ways to get or provide information today. LOL.

                  I’m going to graciously assume the “LOL” was added because you recognize how stupid your response was. That there exist multiple sources of information in no way invalidates the idea that a subset of those sources…and their policies on controlling their content…might exert substantial influence over the views of those who utilize that subset of sources.

        2. And the Jiu Jitsu move by Republicans should be to use the left’s own move against them.

          Right now, government regulation is a threat against FB that allows the left to control FB. Rather than fighting it, you can eliminate the power the left has over FB by forcing Democrats to follow through with their threats.

          On tht other hand, defending FB against regulation is the worst thing Republicans can do, since not only does that give Democrats the power to pressure FB, it also let’s them portray Republicans as being in bed with evil corporate overlords.

          1. Right now, government regulation is a threat against FB that allows the left to control FB. Rather than fighting it, you can eliminate the power the left has over FB by forcing Democrats to follow through with their threats.

            The issue with Facebook is that the spooks rely on it rather heavily for data-mining–that was the whole point of Peter Thiel and Jim Breyer giving them angel investment which took them from a shitty MySpace clone to a cutting-edge social media site.

            Hell, their relationship is so symbiotic that the spooks and the media even telegraphed all this several months ago. This is from a Guardian article on July 26th of last year:

            Yaël Eisenstat was a CIA officer for 13 years and a national security adviser to vice president Joe Biden. Between June and November 2018, she was Facebook’s global head of elections integrity operations, business integrity.

            Is it really any wonder why Zuck was funding all that bullshit “election integrity” activism last year? It’s pretty fucking obvious that this is a back-door spat between Facebook, the Democrats, and the administrative-security complex that’s emerged to the forefront. I wouldn’t even be fucking surprised if Haugen herself was a spook asset that was put in place specifically to monitor whether Facebook would comply with whatever dictats the Dems and the surveillance orgs were sending out, and when Facebook resisted their demands, had Haugen launch this salvo as an open threat to their operations.

            1. The issue with Facebook is that the spooks rely on it rather heavily for data-mining . […] It’s pretty fucking obvious that this is a back-door spat between Facebook, the Democrats, and the administrative-security complex that’s emerged to the forefront.

              Hence my suggestion: Republicans should say “Hey, you want to regulate Facebook? Let’s go all the way!”

          2. I don’t believe Facebook as an entity will go anywhere. This is a direct threat against Zuckerberg et al. It looks like a Soviet style purge to me. Zuckerberg isn’t pure enough. His motive is profit, not the common good. He is not virtuous. Frances Haugen, however, is a good and virtuous whistleblower.

            They’re either done with Zuckerberg and going to replace him, or they’re just threatening him and this broad is a throw away. Either way, the leftists are solidifying control here.

            1. They’re either done with Zuckerberg and going to replace him, or they’re just threatening him and this broad is a throw away. Either way, the leftists are solidifying control here.

              I agree. And the way to respond to it isn’t for Republicans to defend Facebook/Zuckerberg as if it were a private company operating in a free market (which it isn’t), it’s to say, “fine Democrats, so let’s go all the way and break up the company”.

    3. Same is true in any other industry.

    4. Robbie is bought and paid for, as is most of Congress. Buying “journalists” and politicians is the cheapest and lowest-risk investment one can make.

  8. A wounded animal is far more dangerous than a healthy one. If Facebook starts slipping, are they more likely or less likely to give a fuck who they hurt or how they hurt them? (And keep in mind that Zuckerberg was a cold-blooded lizard willing to do things that would disgust pedophiles, necrophiliacs, and Apple fanboys to start with.)

  9. “CEO Mark Zuckerberg reportedly lost more than $6 billion in just a few hours.”

    Must be billionaire tax calculation day.

    1. Robbie doesn’t understand losses are only realized if you sell and only if you bought at the high.

      1. OBL disagrees, a daily calculation of net worth is very important.

  10. “CEO Mark Zuckerberg reportedly lost more than $6 billion in just a few hours.”

    That’s what this is really about.

    We Koch / Reason libertarians exist to promote the financial interests of billionaires — not just Charles Koch, but also Zuckerberg, Bezos, Gates, Page, etc. Facebook isn’t “crumbling,” of course, but by pretending it is we can more effectively make arguments like Hey government, definitely don’t do that thing that Zuck doesn’t want you to do.

    #InDefenseOfBillionaires

  11. And again, the GOP favors freer speech for users on the platforms the Democrats want to suppress speech that does not conform with their party line of the moment. These positions are regarded an equally bad.

    1. Both sides? Oh come on! Only Democrats are bad! Republicans fart roses!

      1. This is just getting even more pathetic from sarc.

    2. https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20200627/23551144803/as-predicted-parler-is-banning-users-it-doesnt-like.shtml

      As Predicted: Parler Is Banning Users It Doesn’t Like

      Parler? A CONSERVATIVE-posting place? Quickly BAN-hammering liberal posters?!?! Free speech for me, but not for thee!

      I am SHOCKED, I’m tellin’ ya! SHOCKED!!! (See my shocked face?)

      1. Dude, that’s different. You don’t judge people by what they do. You judge them by their politics. So Parler is a-ok in banning people while Facebook is not. See?

        1. Excuse me, but Facebook isn’t aligned with democrats. It’s aligned with Russians.

        2. You don’t judge people by what they do.

          Quite arguable that parler is judging them by their actions, not their politics. By their own description, those banned by Parler pretty openly claimed they were there to antagonize rather than advocate.

          That’s not to say that Parler should /shouldn’t ban them. Just that kicking people off for tormenting and harassing people isn’t the same as kicking them off for saying “COVID originated in a Chinese lab.” or “The human species only has 2 genders.”

          And, again, my position is that Congress shouldn’t have a say one way or the other. If somebody sues Facebook and loses and somebody sues Parler and wins, as long as the contracts are equally stated and enforced, that’s how the system is supposed to work.

          1. Pretty much all of my leftist friends joined Parler to screw with MAGA folks, and every last one of them was banned in less than 24 hours because conservatives truly love free speech.

            Pretty literally and openly acting in bad faith. I have and still do think S230 should be repealed, but if there was a justification for protected blocking of good faith blocking of offensive material, this was it.

            Again, if it weren’t for S230, this would be a moot point. An issue among two private corporations and their own (dis)favored users.

            1. They could still be booted without 230. This whole idea that only 230 allows comment systems and moderation is idiotic. Aol and IRC existed before 230. What it would stop is harm caused such as demonitization of channels on YouTube acting withing agreements they made contractually through the ToS.

              The 230 arguments are as bad as the net neutrality ones.

              1. I take it you weren’t there.

                There was a presumption that people were not responsible for 3rd party content.

                Then lawsuits started. Once there was real money, lawyers got interested and wanted a piece of the pie.

                There was also some pretty egregious excesses with copyrights. Large segments of the net openly existing for the purpose of copyright violations. And the backlash.. People getting sued for hundreds of thousands or millions because they shared a couple of .mp3 files on Napster. Courts were actually willing to make examples out of regular folks, issuing ludicrous judgements to “send a message”.

                The entire movement of the popular culture has to be factored in. That is why all of these laws came to be… DMCA, s230, etc. Lawmakers were trying to protect a growing new industry, not your personal freedom.

                They are all pretty half snakes and come with a lot of unintended consequences. They are due for a makeover. But who could you trust to do the makeover at this point?

                1. I was there. Nuisance suits exist in every industry. Blind legal liability protection that has been corrupted to allow complete destruction of standard contract law on the industry is not the solution. The solution is to target nuisance suits in all industries.

                  Why should ExxonMobil be allowed to be harassed and not SV?

                2. It wasn’t sharing a couple of mp3 files, it was sharing entire collections with tens of thousands of people 24/7.

                  So yeah, steal thousands and I don’t care if you burned it all you still stole and deserve to make restitution.

              2. The 230 arguments are as bad as the net neutrality ones.

                Worse as 230 was passed and sanctified by SCOTUS.

            2. Soooo… When liberals ban-hammer conservatives, it is almost always that liberals just want to suppress conservative views. It’s hardly EVER that conservatives get banned for trolling and mindless trouble-making! The solution is to get rid of Section 230, so that we can sue FacePooo for what YOU wrote!

              When conservatives ban-hammer liberals , it is almost always that the liberals were just trolling and mindlessly making trouble! The solution is to get rid of Section 230, and let conservatives re-write it to THEIR liking! And liberals will be allowed NO say in the re-write, right?

              Short of turning the USA into a 1-party “R” state, this dog don’t hunt! AND… As soon as we DO GET that dreamed-of 1-party “R” state, the “R” state will quickly splinter into the free-shit-for-me sub-party and the I-wanna-watch-you-in-your-bedroom sub-party anyway!

              1. It’s hardly EVER that conservatives get banned for trolling and mindless trouble-making!

                At least Reason has a mute button.

                1. Hey he knows I discussed the mute button while I was muted.. hmm.

                  Lol. God damn joke.

              2. it is almost always that liberals just want to suppress conservative views

                Who said “almost always” and what makes “COVID originated in a Chinese lab.” a conservaitve view? You could save us all, including yourselves, a lot of trouble by resolving your arguments in your head among yourselves. If part of you wants to turn the USA into a 1-party “R” state, that’s your issue, not mine.

              3. When liberals ban-hammer conservatives, it is almost always that liberals just want to suppress conservative views. It’s hardly EVER that conservatives get banned for trolling and mindless trouble-making!

                The “whistleblower” is specifically complaining that these views aren’t being censored enough, not because they’re trolling.

                1. He’s also ignoring my specific point in favor of the hyperbole he injected. I didn’t say ‘almost always’ or ‘hardly ever’. I merely pointed out that banning people for overt antagonism harassment of free speech is not the same as banning people for stating facts.

                  He doesn’t give a shit about free speech one way or the other. He just needs to appear legitimate, even if only in his own mind.

                  1. You accused liberals of trolling (acting in bad faith), never admitting that conservatives might do likewise. Has it ever occurred to you that in this case (liberals posting on Parler), the liberals were at least being HONEST ENOUGH to admit that they were trolling? When conservatives troll, they DON’T admit it, so then THAT is OK? (Government Almighty knows we see PLENTY enough conservative trolling right here).

                    “And, again, my position is that Congress shouldn’t have a say one way or the other.” That’s what you say… And that is EXACTLY what we have now already with Section 230! Web sites (under 230) belong to the site owners! NOT to some damned messy committee of Government Almighty philosopher-kings! Section 230 applies to one and all, the same! But NOOOOOO… Idealistic fools feel that they MUST lust after the moderation committees of the philosopher-kings! Philosopher-kings that will usually if not always agree with THEM, in their unreal-fantasy-power-pig-addicted minds!

                    1. You accused liberals of trolling (acting in bad faith)

                      I accused no one. They overtly said they joined specifically to harass their foes.

                      Moreover, I never labeled anyone conservative or liberal. I pointed out that “I’m here to harass people.” is not the same as “COVID originated in a Chinese lab.”

                      Again, if you need distortions of reality to justify your “Both sides!” mindset, that’s on you.

                    2. So mad.casual, you REALLY expect us to believe that you’re being totally impartial, and haven’t a clue as to whether Parler is liberal or conservative, and you don’t know, either, whether the ban-hammered (honest-enough-to-admit-trolling) posters on Parler were liberal or conservative, either?

                      I for one am not buying it! And I’m not interested in your “prime real estate” in Florida, either!

                    3. So mad.casual, you REALLY expect us to believe that you’re being totally impartial

                      I’m not asking you to believe anything politically or about me one way or the other. Continue beclowning yourself by championing “I’m here to harass people.” as equivalent to “I declare the sky to be blue.” all you like. Your opponents or whichever part of your psyche you dislike is all the better for it.

                2. “The “whistleblower” is specifically complaining that these views aren’t being censored enough, not because they’re trolling.”

                  Does your tinfoil hate-hat very specifically inform you of the REAL motives of the whistleblower?

                  My simple point is, free speech for me, but not for thee, should NOT surprise us! The enemy is ALWAYS trolls, and WE are merely truth-speaking! No matter WHICH party’s shoes we are in!

                  https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20200627/23551144803/as-predicted-parler-is-banning-users-it-doesnt-like.shtml

                  As Predicted: Parler Is Banning Users It Doesn’t Like

                  1. I feel your pain, loser.

                    1. 5.56.666.Sick-Sick-Sick might want to read the below…
                      A helpful book is to be found here: M. Scott Peck, Glimpses of the Devil
                      https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1439167265/reasonmagazinea-20/
                      Glimpses of the Devil: A Psychiatrist’s Personal Accounts of Possession

                      If “miracle happens here” and 5.56.666.Sick-Sick-Sick gets an exorcism, it needs to recall, you MUST actually PAY your exorcist… Or you might get…

                      … Re-possessed!

                    2. spastic asshole flagged

                  2. Does your tinfoil hate-hat very specifically inform you of the REAL motives of the whistleblower?

                    It’s not like she gave an interview on 60 Minutes about it or anything, you stupid, deflecting shit-muncher.

                    1. Is there some law of physics, metaphysics, biology, or chemistry… Or maybe Scientology?… That forbids or prevents her from lying about her REAL motives, for 60 minutes, 5 years, or her whole life?

                      PLEASE tell us what these laws are!

                    2. Is there some law of physics, metaphysics, biology, or chemistry… Or maybe Scientology?… That forbids or prevents her from lying about her REAL motives, for 60 minutes, 5 years, or her whole life?

                      PLEASE tell us what these laws are!

                      ^What you say when you’re so broken that you can’t even fathom presumption of innocence and/or arguing in good faith.

                      Go back to fucking goats.

                    3. My simple point is, free speech for me, but not for thee, should NOT surprise us! The enemy is ALWAYS trolls, and WE are merely truth-speaking! No matter WHICH party’s shoes we are in!

                      Madly Casual and Red-Rocks-for-Brains NEVER troll! They only speak Truth! They NEVER engage in pimping, preening, and self-seeking!

                    4. That forbids or prevents her from lying about her REAL motives, for 60 minutes, 5 years, or her whole life?

                      Is there some law of holes that prevents you from not munching shit?

                      My simple point

                      Simple points from simple minds.

                    5. Red-Rocks-for-Brains lost the argument, so, like a typical spoiled brat of a conservaturd, resorts to grade-school name-calling! What a surprise!

                      Red-Rocks-for-Brains NEVER trolls; ONLY speaks TRUTH! And all opponents of Red-Rocks-for-Brains are just motivated by trolling impulses, and NOT by any truths at all! I KNEW it subconsciously all along!

                    6. Dumbfuck HihnSQRLSo has no argument, so like a typical grade-school level waste of carbon molecules, he spazzed out like the retard that he is.

                      Dumbfuck HihnSQRLSo NEVER trolls; ONLY speaks TRUTH! And all opponents of Dumbfuck HihnSQRLSo are just motivated by trolling impulses, and NOT by any truths at all! I KNEW it subconsciously all along!

                    7. So let’s replace Section 230 with the Government Almighty Committee of Totally Unbiased and Impartial Philosopher-Kings of Who is Just a Troll and Who is Engaging in Free Political Speech…

                      What could POSSIBLY go wrong? Hmmmmm…

                    8. So let’s make an argument that wasn’t made!

                      What could POSSIBLY go wrong? Hmmmmm…

                      Amusingly enough, Haugen said in her testimony today that Facebook needs to be put under the oversight of an “independent” Congressional committee, pretty much beclowning Dumbfuck HihnSQRLSo’s entire spergout in this thread.

                    9. So Red-Rocks-for-Brains, why don’t you write plainly for once? I honestly can’t keep all the hypocrites and conservaturds straight. I read all of your shit on this particular page of posts, and I still do not know, do you support Section 230 as is written, or not? Do FaceBoooooo’s and FacePoooo’s web sites belong to FaceBoooooo and FacePoooo, or do they belong to Government Almighty? In your fantasies, will Government Almighty allow YOU to pussy-grab FaceBoooooo and FacePoooo (and their web sites and policies), without them (or the liberals) EVER pussy-grabbing you right back? Or do you disavow these power-pig fantasies? If you disavow them, please say so, and I will apologize to you, for assuming wrong things about you…

        3. Careful replying to your sock. Don’t want to fuck it up again.

        4. Did Parler start off as an open forum fo all political stripes or did it start off as an alternative for conservative and conservative leaning users? Because those would elicit different responses from a normal human.

          1. Mickey Rat
            October.5.2021 at 9:03 am

            “And again, the GOP favors freer speech for users on the platforms the Democrats want to suppress speech that does not conform with their party line of the moment. These positions are regarded an equally bad.”

            SQRLSY back here now… Mickey has twice now, in these comments, commented that it’s all totally lop-sided… That liberals shut down conservatives, while conservatives are purely, Righteously in favor of free speech. There is purity on one side, and malice on the other. I say that this is dirty bull-shirts… The bulls need to do their laundry!

            1. Spastic asshole gets flagged

      2. And which side started that?

        1. As usual the left starts something and when they get a dose of their own medicine they scream like little bastard children.

  12. How did I make it 50 years without having it? Must suck to spend so much time worrying about what other people think about what you think? But, it’s a free country (Kind of) so keep wasting time with this crap.

    1. Good for you, Angry Porcupine!!!

      I have now made it to 153 years w/o FaceBoooo or FacePoooo, so I got ya beat!

      (Well OK, that was admittedly after I talked to Shirley McClain, and learned about my past lifetimes).

  13. Nice to see Farcebook having problems. Only wishing there would be more problems for Suckaturd……nasty little kazarian.
    At any rate I don’t use it so I’m not worried at all. Don’t care except to note it is having troubles.
    Anything Suckaturd approves of, should be cause for concern .
    I don’t know how I get along in life without Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google or any other “social media” My life is so empty and meaningless. (sarc alert).

  14. One in five respondents said Instagram made them feel worse about themselves, and teens already struggling with mental illness said the platform was giving them a harder time.

    “One in five respondents said television made them feel worse about themselves, and teens already struggling with mental illness said the device was giving them a harder time.”

    “One in five respondents said a walk in the park made them feel worse about themselves, and teens already struggling with mental illness said the venue was giving them a harder time.”

  15. This is one of the silliest things Robby has ever written. An outage for a few hours means Facebook is imploding?

    A networking issue is not a symptom of a failing business model.

    1. If you wanted to run with “what does this outage mean?” as a premise, a more fertile ground for speculation would be leftist operatives intentionally misconfiguring the internal network to bring them down as a threat to coerce continued and accelerating suppression of “misinformation”.

      This is at least internally consistent and consistent with the known facts. There is a hearing into the whistleblower who says they are destroying democracy… The mainstream media picked up the ball and began spinning hard today, saying that this whistleblower proves that Facebook is a platform for right wing disinformation and that they must stop it or face regulation.

      1. The mainstream media picked up the ball and began spinning hard today, saying that this whistleblower proves that Facebook is a platform for right wing disinformation and that they must stop it or face regulation.

        Exactly. This is a political hit-job against a member of the Cabal that’s currently being targeted by the Cultural Revolution Group for the counter-revolutionary activity of not suppressing non-leftist narratives with the desired degree of intensity.

      2. The case is weaker because of ifs…probably..maybes..

        Good job Robby

    2. It is rather analogous to taking a day of bad weather and basing far reaching conclusions about the future climate off of it.

  16. I’ve never had a Facebook account, and so have missed out on the phenomenon, but I do understand that people use it to communicate with others, and apparently they sometimes say awful things or even outright lies, and so it must be regulated further. I guess it begs the question of who decides what is awful, does that require government oversight to make sure the regulators agree with what is awful, and do people have a legal right to say awful things if they want, and if they do should that right be revoked?

    1. Obiden will appoint a new czar to run the Office of Badspeak Investigation, to run alongside the DHS’ newest enemy, people who criticize school boards.

      1. It might be easier to just reinstate heresy laws as done in medieval times. Elizabeth Warren, having a penchant for developing detailed lists, could be given the job of determining what the accepted opinion is on every subject under the sun. Then, anything said or published that deviates from the official opinion could be punished under these new and improved heresy laws.

  17. Where’s OBL? I need to know if Facebook promotes Handmaiden Tale Culture or not.

    1. Seems like feminists, pro-lifers, and neopuritans would approve of handmaiden’s tale culture.

  18. There’s a lot of misleading and outright silly comparisons being made here.

    Glossy magazines do indeed promote social competition, but the difference is that they don’t sit inside a teen’s pocket 24/7, ready to be checked on a whim dozens of times per day. Ditto for the bit about high school – misery and depression are a normal feature of adolescence. Instagram amplifies those negative emotions.

    I do agree, though, at the end of the day that these companies do not require gov’t intervention. Let the market do what the market does. Facebook is not too big to fail, and if it does, another company will soon take its place.

    1. Ditto for the bit about high school – misery and depression are a normal feature of adolescence. Instagram amplifies those negative emotions.

      This is the other notable thing that the Cabal is boosting as part of their attempts to put Facebook in a struggle session–this bit of information isn’t revealing at all. Studies have shown for years that the use of social media results produces increased rates of addictive behaviors and rates of depression, especially in young people. They’re just throwing this in as a culture war piece because they can use the “social harm” accusation as further leverage.

      I guaran-fucking-tee that if Facebook was actively censoring and banning people with right-wing views to the degree that the Cabal desired, this “whistleblower” never would have brought any of this up. This bitch worked for them starting in 2018, and somehow it never became a problem until they stopped the more intensive censorship activities.

  19. I agree with about 95% of this article–Mark Zuckerberg is often a dick, but rarely a danger–but here are a few things:

    1) Sen. Blumenthal is not a dope. As Zamaan Qureshi wrote in “Slate”, in his article Richard Blumenthal Was Right to Ask Facebook About “Ending Finsta”, what Blumenthal was asking was why Facebook allows kids to create secret “Finsta” accounts. Mr. Soave takes it for granted that he’s a thousand times hipper than any U.S. senator, but, surprise, surprise, old man Blumenthal did his homework, and Robby did not. Read Zamaan’s article, Robby. You might learn something.

    2) “Cache” is a hiding or storage place. “Cachet” is coolness. Keep up the good work, kid, but don’t forget to sweat the details.

  20. “no one is demanding that the secretary of education be hauled before Congress”

    I have. I have for years. And this is what I want to say:
    https://youtu.be/m4OvQIGDg4I

    1. Video significantly different from “The Department of Education shall terminate on December 31, 2022.”?

  21. I quit Facebook after some fallout when I posted that Howard Zinn was a Marxist after my sister posted a quote by Zinn.

    When I pointed her to the quote:

    when he was asked directly if he was a Marxist, Zinn replied, “Yes, I’m something of a Marxist.”

    she unfriended me. Now we just text each other and I humiliate jeffy when he tries to defend Zinn’s organization.

  22. >>in favor of 2020 election winner Joe Biden

    lol i.c. weiner

  23. Facebook reached its nadir on Monday with the site suffering a massive outage.

    Umm….You know that means it can only go up from here, right?

    1. I think reason writers have really reached their zenith now.

  24. >>Instagram made them feel worse about themselves

    big deal back when computers and phones were on desks there were human jerks to verbally make you feel worse about yourself to your face.

    1. Bullies weeding out kids who’s self-worth is dependent on others perform a valuable service to libertarians.

  25. “Conservatives think the platforms engage in too much moderation and have corrupted democracy in favor of 2020 election winner Joe Biden;”

    They only think this because Facebook stated that they were swinging the election

    1. Stupid conservatives taking people at their word.

  26. Just pull 230 and let the chips fall where they may

  27. The whistleblower wants more censorship on Facebook and blames them for pushing for higher profits. The woke company getting eaten by the woke?

  28. About the time Cambridge Analytica broke, Facebook recruiters started hitting me up on a regular basis. And then about a year ago, the recruiters started sending me emails saying they have relaxed their interview process, too.

    I assume this means working at Facebook just doesn’t have the prestige it used to.

    And not having top applicants knocking on your door, can also mean getting IT staff that accidentally screw up your Border Gateway Protocol records, resulting in your being down for half a day.

    1. Nobody wants you.

      1. But White Mike learned to code! He was promised a job!

  29. Seems like once a month Facebook gets caught doing something nefarious, apologizes, promises to do better, then gets caught again doing something nefarious.

    1. If you believe “The Social Network” and some other sources, that’s also been a pattern in Mark Zuckerberg’s professional life.

  30. Lol. Facebook is not “crumbling.” But it’s not a monopoly either. It should continue to do well while other social media and advertising options continue to exist.

  31. After a month of disastrous news coverage following various revelations of alleged misdeeds, Facebook reached its nadir on Monday with the site suffering a massive outage. Perhaps Facebook isn’t so dominant, after all, and thus government force is absolutely not necessary to constrain it.

    One of the reasons the Facebook outage was such a huge story is… because of their dominance. If MySpace went offline for half a day, it wouldn’t even raise an eyebrow.

    None of this is to suggest that FB should be broken up (I say it shouldn’t be) because FB will not be dominant forever– unless we can temper lawmaker’s desires to institute Facebook’s requested internet regulations. Let that sink in for a moment.

    1. This is something Ken Shultz doesn’t ever consider in his analyses of Democratic Party pressure on Facebook and other social media companies: Facebook’s own role in pleading not to be thrown in the briar patch.

  32. I vote for Michael Lee’s suggested legislation that makes these moderating social platforms liable for not doing what they advertise they do, such as protect users from “harmful” content. The whistleblower and the web shows Facebook can’t moderate all the content.

    I’d also like to understand the collusion between governments and big tech, because government’s (not just the US) are using them to spy upon, mine the information they can, on powerful and politically connected people, and using these free internet services to do it. Now they’re using it against political opponents or those exposing government corruption. Who/when/how did our federal government interact with at Big Tech companies to censor certain “harmful” stories for political purposes?

    TPTB are working to get control over internet communications, for political purposes. With Michael Lee’ suggestion, any “protection from harmful content” a social media site promises, will require them to increase their moderation costs so the service won’t be free. Then they’ll have to compete with sites that support freedom of speech and don’t moderate (I believe the government can still require they take down certain content under a court order for some specific post as a result of a lawsuit, and still protect our freedom of speech)


  33. One in five respondents said Instagram made them feel worse about themselves, and teens already struggling with mental illness said the platform was giving them a harder time.

    And yet, they continue to use these platforms despite that self reported neurosis.

    I guess self harm really is still popular among teens. I suppose it hasn’t occurred to these people that simply not logging into those websites is an option.

    1. And yet, they continue to use these platforms despite that self reported neurosis.

      Gotta keep up on what their favorite shitlib celebrities and “social media influencers” are up to during the day.

      At least in the Tiger Beat days, these basketcases could put the magazine away and go outside. Smartphones are going to go down in history as a Crichton-level social destruction device.

  34. It’s amusing that Robby’s characterization of the right’s objection to tech overreach is “they moderate too much” – as if he’s dealing with a bunch of prudes.

    Reason does not see the logical erosion of individual liberty if they surrender it wholesale to corporate autonomy. They also apparently don’t distinguish Twitter and FB and some commenting feature like Disqus. It’s strange. What would you do if a major disseminator of information like Yelp removed every customer review of restaurants violating the health code? “Oh well, private business”?

    This is willful blindness. If I paid FB $19.99 every month and they slapped false labels (the basis of stossel’s lawsuit) on my post or removed them despite having violated no TOS, I would have recourse. That should change if the service is free? Why should a company should hold unchecked power over the customer? Youtube can just denomenitize a user’s entire channel, killing his income, and ignore email inquiries on why they did it?

    Social media isn’t like the fast food scene, where your nearest options are within walking distance and one will replace another like clockwork. A handful of companies control the outflow of all information. Reason will demure that “but unlike government they can’t force you to join and you have other options”, which is like saying if Walmart and Target decided not to sell to republicans they can just try to shop elsewhere or create their own businesses, even though the big players have the means to squelch competition. An effective monopoly.

    1. “What would you do if a major disseminator of information like Yelp removed every customer review of restaurants violating the health code? “Oh well, private business”?”

      Yes, I would! Yelp web site belongs to Yelp! If they develop a reputation for bad behavior, some other free-market actor can fill the void! Government Almighty’s interventions create more troubles than they solve! (Are readers of Yelp too stupid to figure things out, without Government Almighty’s interventions? Paternalist much?)

  35. Once again, we can count on Reason to defend the Oligarchs and Monopolists.

    And why not? Reason will be the last to be de-platformed, right?

  36. I stay away from ALL “social media”.

  37. I called this a while ago. FB is going the way of MySpace. The site is losing more and more members every day. Their content, thanks to their own idiotic phony censorship, has gotten increasingly boring-SOS, different day. I see plenty of former FB members on MeWe, Gab, Bitchute, other social media site. They did it to themselves!

  38. Do Ford otor Company have any right or cause to tell me what I can/cannot put into the bed of my Ford pickup truck? No? They WHY do Zuckie and Frens think THEY can decide what I want to put on MY page?

    Early on with my FB experience, I had an old friend’s daughter, whom I had last seen when she was aobut ten, run accross my account and “friend” me. I accepted, then went to HER page. Her pic was a porno rag pinup. I immediately UN friended her. End of problem.

    Another chap I’d known for ten years or so suddenly turned poitty mouth on HIS page. I warned him once….. he ignored me, next move was to unfriend him I will not tolerate filth coming into my home. My stance with FB was always I AM IN CONTROL.
    Wo why oh why oh why do Zuckie and Frens think it is THEIR job to moderate at all? I’ve had some folks post some pretty bizzare stuff on MY page… if I reallly dont want to be associated wiht that stuff, unfriend, even block. Works. I do NOT go on a whinge to Zuckie and beg and plead for him to “protect” me.

    Now he’s gone so far off the deep end he’s got his crew blocking valuable ifnormation that I WANT to access. He is doing me a grave disservice in so doing.
    I have not the lsligthest doubt in my mind that the insanity of the present horrid disease du jour has gone as far as it has BECAUSE accurate and complete informatioin is systematically purged, blocked, deplatformed, on the “social media” spaces.

    If I were to explain hw CDC did a selguth of hand in redefining the term “vaccinated”< and it has the direct and immediate effect of rdically changing adverse reactioin statistics, and do that on Zuckie's little side show, I'd be immediaately banned. How do I know this? Because I am aware of others who HAVE posted exactly that, and been banned forever.
    On what basis does Zuckie assume the responsibility and burden to manage what I can/cannot see on his site? NONE. I certainly DO have that authority and can manage quite nicely wihtout his "help".
    Because f this sort of thing I've not even opened my FB page in two years now. WHY should I? I want valid useful information. HE decides waht I am intelligent enough to view. Nope. MY job not yours. Butt out or be butted out. Buh bye Zuckie. You have earned it.

    1. How much money did you pay Facebook for “your” page?

  39. Bad for democracy and harms children? We have a lot of things like that.

  40. Any one else notice that Facebook has literally been hardcore advertising for internet regulation for months?

    I think there’s a good chance this is fucking theatre.

    They want this.

    1. It’s like the SEC “sending a firm message” to Coinbase. Whatevs. They get “regulation” and get to be the federally protected exchange in the US’s crypto space.

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  42. “As Facebook Crumbles, the Case for Breaking It Up Is Weaker Than Ever”:
    Exactly right, Reason editorialist. Soulless monopolies that crush free-market competition and erode democracy should definitely be supported.

  43. I was very shock when the platform is facebook down for a few hours and couldn’t contact relatives of mine. but luckily, they can immediately resolve outages this mass.

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