The current state of affairs is quite ridiculous. Facebook had a glitch, and suddenly, all of their services are down for about 9 hours. During that time, I noticed that the missing pictures had text labels that resemble some bot activity. Image may contain vegetables. That is a sign of using machine learning to study our photos. What lengths will Facebook go to monetize us?
Instead, I want to introduce you to a different reality. A reality where Facebook is offering a paid service.
Logan wakes up to a fresh new day. As he eats breakfast, he checks his facebook on his phone. Since Logan is on the paid service, he no longer sees ads in his feed. Sponsored posts have disappeared, and videos do not contain advertisements as well.
After Logan publishes a short post on his timeline, he sees that people are seeing the post and engage with it. There are reactions and comments on a reasonable level. He isn’t some social media celebrity. Facebook’s ads no longer inhibit engagement. Now that they are gone, his feed is rich with content from his friends.
There are some posts from his friends saying how when they talk about something, it appears as an ad on their feed. Logan is so happy to inform them it doesn’t happen for him and suggests they make a move to a paid service as well. He understands that without Facebook, he would have had a hard time keeping up with friends who live in other parts of the country.
Also, by being a paid member, Facebook blacklisted Logan’s account for profiling. Every person who does see an advertisement on the platform sees them based on a profile that Facebook had built around their engagement using Facebook. Now that Logan no longer sees ads, Facebook doesn’t need to target advertisements for him and so can remove his profile from their DB.
Logan doesn’t feel exhausted using facebook. It now truly enriches his life and is valuable to him.
I mean, don’t we all want the platform to feel less like a thief in the dark and more like a safe place to share ourselves? Without a paid service, every little thing we do is recorded and sold so that companies can target ads for us.
This is what drives Facebook’s revenue. As long as their primary income comes from selling our information — we are the product. The opposite should happen. Facebook should sell the platform to us. We should feel at home there.
I joined Facebook in December 2007. I’ve seen how the platform had grown and changed. I’ve seen how the visibility of posts was reduced and reduced until posting something to your timeline was invisible to most of your friends.
I’ve seen how ads were integrated more and more into our feeds. It’s starting to look a lot like a Black Mirror episode.
We don’t want to get there. Please, Facebook, we want to give you our money. Isn’t that just the best scenario ever?
You always ask us, “What’s on your mind?”
Well, one word is on my mind these days: