Facebook Is a Doomsday Machine.
There’s a notion that the social web was once useful, or at least that it could have been good, if only we had pulled a few levers: some moderation and fact-checking here, a bit of regulation there, perhaps a federal antitrust lawsuit. But that’s far too sunny and shortsighted a view. Today’s social networks, Facebook chief among them, were built to encourage the things that make them so harmful. It is in their very architecture.
if the Dunbar number for running a company or maintaining a cohesive social life is 150 people; the magic number for a functional social platform is maybe 20,000 people. Facebook now has 2.7 billion monthly users.
I still believe the internet is good for humanity, but that’s despite the social web, not because of it. We must also find ways to repair the aspects of our society and culture that the social web has badly damaged. This will require intellectual independence, respectful debate, and the same rebellious streak that helped establish Enlightenment values centuries ago.