Congressional Hearings Confirm The Power Of Facebook.
Using Facebook is a choice that billions love to make. In my lifetime, I have never witnessed a more influential media. Facebook has been written into company policy manuals and brought before Congress to fully investigate it's reach and power. Psychologists are studying the addictive power of Facebook. Tucker Carlson of Fox News says "Facebook is a monopoly capable of changing an election". What kind of media can boast similar power? It was TV just a few years ago. It was newspaper just a few decades ago. Have we forgotten the influence and power (B.F.) Before Facebook?
Sure, I believe that Facebook has a bias favoring the democratic party. Yes, I believe that Facebook censors speech every day. Yes, I believe that Facebook has mined it's user information for profit. Yes, I believe that Facebook is not used 100% for the good of society. However, while Facebook's influence has become greater, the older media types share similar concerns.
For example, television has mined it's viewer usage to monetize viewer data. Newspapers sold subscriber's personal data to third parties centuries ago. Newspaper Editors endorsed political candidates for most elections nearly since the beginning of the entire voting process. Magazines have been selling their subscriber's top interests and contact data to direct mail companies for decades. Facebook is doing all of this and more - because it can.
Is Facebook being held to a higher standard? Yes. Today, all the news companies were pointing to Facebook's lack of fairness and failure at yielding to ethical standards. Perhaps these companies have forgotten who were the first distributors of pornographic material? Did they forget who first introduced us to political propaganda or evil content? It certainly wasn't Facebook. All media can be found guilty of these actions.
This week, Congress is simply reaffirming that Mr. Mark Zuckerburg has delivered the final knockout in media. Facebook is officially the most powerful and influential media in the world. It has become the most popular media because it has given the most consumers exactly what they wanted and when the wanted it - faster and better than any other media in history.
I certainly do not agree with all of Facebook's actions. It has many serious flaws. I agree that it should fall under the same regulations as other broadcast media. I also love innovation and free enterprise. I get excited about a young college student dreaming about a new media inside their dorm room and then working diligently until it becomes the undisputed leading media distribution service in the world!
I also love that consumers can choose to continue the usage or become upset at the actions of Facebook until it stops usage and opens a space for a competitor to fill in the gap. Yes, another great innovative media company is already a dream somewhere in the great United States. What will the next competitor look like?