What happened on Facebook was that chilling effects dominated network effects. Chilling effects meaning just the above: “Hey, maybe I shouldn’t post this today, because I don’t want to deal with the bullies, the vitriol, the anger, the rage, the random creeps attacking me, the hate.” And then that thought happens more and more often. Until it’s the norm. And suddenly, chilling effects have overcome network effects.
It may be a little early / optimistic to crow FB’s failure, although I am very hopeful. Will only the young folks be driven away while the older folks more susceptible to misinformation stay?
We know people radicalized by FB. FB doesn’t give a damn how that affects our offline relationships. That’s an externality to their profits.
I want hate to not be an enduring business model. But Twitter hasn’t fallen yet, despite that we all culturally refer to it as a cesspool for its extreme violence especially towards women and people of color.
Cory Doctorow’s recent thread also calls out parallels between FB’s current position and the shockingly fast collapse of MySpace. So maybe the next few months will tell.