There can be no critical distance in a tyranny
Facebook has a meta problem. They lack the critical distance and proper governance to understand their power or their problems. The problem with their problems is not just that they fail to appreciate them, but that they are arguably not in a position to understand them at all.
One example of this is Facebook’s bias about biases. For starters, Facebook doesn’t think it has biases, or at least in aspiring or believing it can be neutral, Facebook cannot recognize when it is not neutral.
This bias against biases prevents Facebook from recognizing when it is acting in a biased manner.
Presently Facebook is in a growing conflict with the Australian government over the licensing and royalties of news content. While no legislation has been passed, Facebook has made a sensational announcement that they will not allow news on their platform in Australia.
Feel like it should be a bigger story that Facebook banned *an entire continent* from posting news articles just to avoid paying a nominal taxhttps://t.co/4WcCBHXz81
— Ken Klippenstein (@kenklippenstein) February 18, 2021
As a bargaining tactic, or more appropriately an intimidation tactic, cutting off news publishers in Australia from the platform was effective for Facebook, as it caused the Australian government to blink. They changed the current draft of the bill, and Facebook re-enabled news on their platform.
I discussed this on the Big Story podcast:
“Governments are terrified of Facebook and Google.” Why does the fight between Australia and Facebook matter, and what could its outcome mean for Canadian media? @jessehirsh explains on @thebigstoryfpn. https://t.co/pmnqSfYD2U
— The Big Story Podcast (@thebigstoryfpn) February 24, 2021
Putting aside the whole policy question and news debate for a moment, there is something absurd about this position Facebook has taken. Specifically it illustrates their bias against biases.
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