I doubt that anyone here needs reminding about FB’s utter cynicism and concern for its bottom line at everyone else’s expense, but this really made me do a double-take:
Tell Mark Zuckerberg: No Instagram for kids!
In case the subject moves off the linked page above, here is a direct link to the open letter from the campaign:
We are writing to urge you to cancel plans to launch a version of Instagram for children under 13.
From the link above
Now more than ever, what children really need is time to play, learn, and socialize away from digital devices, not their own version of an app that is relentlessly focused on branding, appearance, and self-presentation.
I think we grown-ups need that too.
Every proprierary software company that feeds off addiction follows the same model; get 'em when they’re young, make them grow absolute dependance on you and later exploit as much as you want.
To answer the question in the title, about Facebook, how low can they go, I think the answer is there is no limit. For them, it’s not about high or low, it’s just about money. I’m afraid they can go all the way down.
I don’t think we should expect Facebook to act against its own interests, although we and they themselves may not always know what is in their interests.
Two other approaches to consider are:
- If you are a parent of a child under 13 and don’t want your child using Instagram then make that happen.
- If you don’t want any children under 13 (in your country) using Instagram then write to your government.
I guess I’ll sign it, but what I really want is Facebook and social media to be shut down entirely. That you can’t maintain friendships without those services is atrocious, the monopolistic network effect is atrocious, what they do to manipulate people is atrocious, and trying to talk to people over them is atrocious too. It’s an unnatural gamified form of interaction that has driven everyone crazy, and made any mistake unforgivable. I speak with no exaggeration when I say that the world would become a better place overnight if all the datacenters hosting these things were to vanish.
(Or if by law ISPs had to let you host websites on a home connection.)
Facebook making a version of Instagram for kids under 13 is a drop in the bucket at this point.
I agree, and I would like nothing more than for Facebook and all its data centers to suddenly go up in flames (or at least to be devoured from the inside out by malware!).
I don’t think banning all social media is a good solution, however, just the business model you described.
i still remember how it was when everybody was on IRC channels. blind dating … so weird …