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Is Mark Zuckerberg the Most Influential Person in the World?

Is Mark Zuckerberg the Most Influential Person in the World? October 12, 2021

“The cat’s out of the bag.” Or to put it in more guttural terms, “The s—t hit the fan” for Facebook last week.

Here’s just a few of the headlines:

Facebook’s algorithms fueled massive foreign propaganda campaigns during the 2020 election – here’s how algorithms can manipulate you.

“Why Facebook Won’t Stop Pushing Propaganda. Vaccine disinformation. The Big Lie. The hate poisoning your community. It all goes back to Mark Zuckerberg’s business model.”

Exorcising the worst of the bullying, lies and hate from social media. Congress should demand Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok and other social media companies take responsibility for how their algorithms promote dishonest and devastating content.”

What can be done about the damaging influence of social media platforms? / Image by Dean Moriarty from Pixabay

If you care to delve into the stories above, you’ll realize just how bad these revelations about Facebook are. It’s stuff straight out of the latest totalitarian novel by George Orwell.

If you’re an avid user of the flatform, I’d say it’s akin to learning that while using Facebook your thoughts and emotions are being controlled by a soulless mathematician, which has no interest in telling you the truth, but only in generating profits.

—Yet this isn’t the half of it. The reporting further suggests that these algorithms appear to be designed to bring out the worst in people: They fuel anger and hatred, cause divisions, spark racism and civil unrest, sway elections, and even channel misinformation about COVID and vaccines that cause death.

Something must be done. But what?

About Scott R Stahlecker
Scott Stahlecker is a former minister, a proud member of the Clergy Project, and writes for Thinkadelics about the joys and benefits of living as a freethinker. He is the author of the novel Blind Guides, Picking Wings Off Butterflies and How to Escape Religion Guilt Free. You can read more about the author here.

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9 responses to “Is Mark Zuckerberg the Most Influential Person in the World?”

  1. Sorry for the dumb question, but do you allow comments here? I see this comment box, but I never see any actual comments posted here.

  2. Yes, you can comment on anyone of my posts. I check in a few times a day to respond to comments. But I’ve noticed recently that some comments people leave don’t post right away until I approve them. So, if you leave a comment and that happens just check back.

  3. I work in IT, so I was suspicious of Facebook from the first. As the saying goes: if you’re not paying for a product, you ARE the product. As time went on, I observed friends and family who used it…and they seemed to spend all their time fighting and mass-unfriending each other over it. Then there was the work colleague who started an affair with a married man she knew from her college years. I figured it wasn’t worth the headache.

  4. So, having quit social media, what changes has it made in your life? More time is the obvious answer; what else have you found?

  5. Good question that I could spend a lot of time answering, but I’ll just hit some highlights.

    I’ve had a love and hate relationship with social media for many years. At one point I was trying to keep up with about half dozen of them including my dot.com website. Since I have a lot of creative interests, building a social media following was the primary mechanism I used to sell books, music, and photography. I’ve also had a number of blogs in the past. Keeping up with all these sites was exhausting. I was basically spending hours and hours a day “chasing likes.” I’m old enough to remember the days when to become a successful author you pitched your book and got a publisher to print it. To sell music, you put out a CD, got a record deal, and toured. These days you have to have a strong social media platform to sell books and to get any interest from a publisher. (Unless you worked in the Trump administration. 🙂 ) I still sell quite a few songs, but I gross about .01 cents per download. Amazon, iTunes, Spotify . . . these are the folks that are raking in the cash, not the writers and musicians. Anyway, that’s just how things work now in our world, which I’ve come to terms with.

    It’s been really great to let all that go. To get the monkey off my back. To not have to chase likes anymore, to learn all the various social media platforms but also how to build websites, and all that other stuff.
    It’s been really liberating.

    As far as Facebook goes, I’ve lost three good friends and just about ruined a relationship with one of my in-laws. And with all the damage the platform is causing in spreading lies and misinformation I felt I couldn’t support the platform anymore.

    Overall, the real benefit that I’ve discovered in not using social media is that I can focus on what is happening in my real life. I discovered that at the height of using social media my mind was pretty much spent in a virtual fog. I was not spending enough time living and engaging in my real life.

  6. You were not spending enough time living and engaging in your real life. (Cut-and-paste isn’t working for me on this site)

    Yes, I like the way that’s put.

    Even in the very best of conditions, written words can be misunderstood through inattention, lack of facial cues, etc. Example: a few years back at work, those of us on site were expecting a visit from a boss who worked at the company headquarters. A colleague on another floor shot me an email asking if I had seen the boss and I replied via email that I hadn’t, and wished the boss would show up because I had a list of things I needed to ask.

    To my shock, I got an angry response of who the (bleep) did I think I was, and never to contact the sender again. Somehow the colleague had read my words and gotten the message that I intended to…complain about the colleague to the boss. Which wasn’t even a thought in my head.

    If my colleague had misread the email so badly in a calm work situation, you can see how things go totally out of control on social media even when there are the most innocent of intentions.

    That ignores all the trolls and bad actors who thrive there.

  7. That’s a great example of something that happens all the time on social media. We are not able to visible see the people we are conversing with and leaves room for a lot of misunderstandings. (Programs like Skype go a long way towards eliminating those misunderstandings.)

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