Facebook’s Failure is a Reflection of American Ignorance

Facebook didn’t fail anyone. We failed ourselves.

Sure, they could have been a bit more careful with some settings, but it’s not like they accidentally shared data with a third party. The way Cambridge Analytica accessed the data was completely authorized—it was just what they did with the data that was bad.

Facebook’s entire business model is sharing your data with third parties. That’s how they make money.

But we can’t blame Facebook for any of this. Facebook is ultimately no different than books. It’s a medium that propagates ideas created by humans, so it’s up to us to keep those ideas high in quality. And right now they’re garbage because most people can name Kardashians but can’t name the three branches of government.

We did this to ourselves by becoming so goddamn stupid.

Many are inclined to hear that and say, “It’s never good to blame the victim”. Stop. You’re part of the problem. Victims are the young, the elderly, or any groups that cannot speak for and defend themselves. Everyday adults are responsible for their own education, and should know better.

Anyone too stupid to know that free products aren’t free deserves the damage that results from their collision with reality.

If you blindly share—and believe—information that is easy to disprove, then you cannot be saved by regulation. The stupid will seep through the pores of reality and find you, no matter who tries to protect you.

It was obvious that they were sharing data because that’s their entire business model. It was obvious that someone was trolling both sides (and especially the right) in order to get Trump elected. It was obvious that Trump would be a horrible president.

But all these things seemed to surprise us. Because Facebook is bad. Blame Facebook.

An educated population is the only inoculation against what’s happening with Facebook.

Grow up. Just as you can kill someone with a rifle, a knife, or a piece of string, you can also put stupid ideas into the minds of stupid people using a website, a book, or a flyer.

The problem is having a nation of people who don’t read, reject basic science, and get all their information from propaganda tabloids.

Until that changes, expect more of the same. And we deserve it.

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