Facebook’s Hidden Hate Button – h8

Perhaps the saddest thing about Facebook (note: I do think there are good things) is that most users seem utterly unaware of the way Facebook is changing things; unaware of FB’s ever-changing Privacy settings; little idea about how expansive the recent f8 announcements could be (in fact I’d say a huge percentage of users don’t even know what the heck f8 is or what its impact may have); and perhaps wholly unprepared when their profiles and their data are streaming out in the open publicly.

Most users are using Facebook strictly to post pictures and update their status in the literal way in which Facebook was designed – no sense of re-purposing the software in broader ways. On one hand, it’s great that we can all share our experiences with each other; on the other hand it’s worrying that more users aren’t educated enough about the fundamental nature of these media to make smart connections back to their own lives.

Furthermore, if Facebook becomes the primary place where people congregate, purchase, publish and share, it will become imensely important that users are proficient and savvy and creative in using it *for* their interests as citizens and not against them.

The smallest tweaks in any software can have major implications in their use. Imagine if Facebook had a Hate button. I agree with Scoble: I hope we never see something like that. …But I have a feeling, there’s a Hate button hidden deep within our collective social experience and dynamics just waiting to surface its ugly head in the not-too-distant future.

I hope Facebook’s Fate (f8) isn’t Hate (h8).

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2 Comments

  1. Well, I doubt that Facebook will ever use an actual Hate button – but I do wonder about Facebook’s larger effects on our culture. When people get angry, these media make it easy to unleash those darker energies.

    I agree with you Cheryl: if it happened it could get interesting.

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