eXtensions - Thursday 21 October 2021


Thursday Comment: Au revoir FCBK

By Graham K. Rogers


After a long while with the idea nagging away at me, the decision by Facebook to rename to FCBK has pushed me to make a decision to delete my account. Mark Zuckerberg has no intention of reigning in the company and has signalled an expansion. FCBK will have to do without me until legislation or break-up brings some sort of control.

The decision by Facebook to rename to FCBK was the final straw for me. It signals that the man in total control of this Hydra has no intention of reigning-in the power of the company in the face of much criticism and many revelations. Instead, the decision to expand into the metaverse - a virtual reality space in which users can interact with a computer-generated environment and other users - shows a rare detachment in the face of wide-ranging concerns. I have been teaching about Facebook and other online companies, including Google, which take data from users and put it to work: earning money, targeting advertising and influencing voters, among other actions.

When Mark Zuckerberg has appeared before committees he expresses no real regret. His replies to questions are deflected, ignored or minimized. He (and as the major shareholder he makes the decisions) has no intention of reforming this organization. Instead he has now signalled his intention to expand further and insinuate the company into as many aspects of our personal lives as possible.

I write, "our", but in a generic way as I will no longer be a part of this. I will be shutting down my Facebook account in a few hours, using that time for friends to note my other contact addresses should they wish to stay in touch. My decision will not affect this $1.21 trillion company, but others may (and should) follow.

I will delete my account later today and will not return unless there is some form of legislative control or breakup and Zuckerberg himself is removed as part of the control mechanism.

Graham K. Rogers teaches at the Faculty of Engineering, Mahidol University in Thailand. He wrote in the Bangkok Post, Database supplement on IT subjects. For the last seven years of Database he wrote a column on Apple and Macs. After 3 years writing a column in the Life supplement, he is now no longer associated with the Bangkok Post. He can be followed on Twitter (@extensions_th)



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