English / Media

“If it bleeds, it leads” or is it time to finally delete your Facebook account?


Most of us know the warm glow of receiving kind wishes and funny GIFs on our Facebook wall when the friendly, blue giant has kindly reminded our friends of our birthday; most of us have read articles warning us of the dangers of addiction to social media networks and have nodded, but done little more and I would not be surprised if most of us had not thought, at least once, of deleting our accounts altogether.  Most of us — your blogger included — are unable to do so, and for the compelling reasons you all know.  However, things seem to be coming to a head for Facebook, as it were.  Having read an article by Roger McNamee accusing the company of threatening democracy (and if you are a student at CELSA you would do well to know who he is article by McNamee) over the Christmas holidays (which I probably shared on Facebook) I could not help but notice that everytime I opened a new tab on my PC, previously visited sites were suggested (Sciences Po homepage, Ebay, RATP, The Guardian, Cocktail builder.com…), but never Facebook.  I’d Google it (I refuse to bookmark it, hoping this will cut down the time I spend feeling obliged to like people’s photos as I scroll down my “newsfeed”) and the news stories, helpfully suggested by Google were, and remain, negative. So, if you would like another reason to make the jump, the Center for Humane Technology, made up of former Fb and Google employees, is campaigning to put pressure on technology companies which, like the tobacco industry before them, deliberately manipulate users into addiction (article here) while Jim Carrey exorts us to get on with it and #unfriendfacebook (article here)