Let’s give Facebook a wake up call

This entry is part 13 of 13 in the series Return to Facebook

Since posting my last message stating that we should make July 23 the day that we raise up the issues we’ve been seeing with Facebook, I have been reflecting a bit on what that day should be about. Some have asked if people should quit Facebook on the twenty-third. Everybody has the choice of keeping or canceling their Facebook membership, but I won’t ask anybody to quit out of protest unless that’s what they truly want to do. Besides, the goal of Facebook Day isn’t to shut it down. Instead, I hope that we can raise an alarm loudly enough that the company begins to look inward, and maybe fix itself.

In short, I’m suggesting that we hold an intervention for Facebook.

I think this fits, because if Facebook was a person, they would very clearly be in need of medical treatment, and maybe even some therapy. I’d take every opportunity I had to help point out the ways in which they could improve their lives. Facebook as a company is no different. Its condition affects all of us. It definitely has had an impact on those of us who have had our accounts hacked, restricted, banned, or disabled. Sure, I want my account back. But, I also don’t want Facebook to “hurt” anybody else.

So, it would be easy to bash Facebook and complain about the flaws in its platform, but any benefits this might have will be short lived. Instead, I think July 23 should be about:

Defining what Facebook is, and recognizing its place in society and our individual lives;
Recognizing the platform’s problems;
Communicating with Facebook about our concerns;
Identifying possible solutions; and
Making a plan to follow in case Facebook doesn’t get better.

Some of this work has already started. I started tracking the account issues that were being shared on Twitter and Reddit since shortly after my own account was disabled. So far, I’ve catalogued 70 incidents but this barely represents all of the users out there who have encountered some kind of account issue. This has helped to get a clearer picture of what Facebook’s most common issues are. We are also tracking search engine trends on google for phrases that center around hackers or disabled accounts on Facebook, and this paints a fuller picture.

“Facebook Day” will be a chance for everybody to take action, whether it’s assessing what Facebook means to their lives, sharing stories about the issues they’ve had with Facebook, discussing safety tips, or even backing up their account in case they get kicked off.

I will be sharing more information and materials in the day ahead which will help everybody plan how they’re going to help wake up Facebook to its problems on July 23.

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