Monday, January 28, 2008

faceless Facebook?

The Goddess of Justice is blindfolded. This symbolizes Justice as strictly impersonal, unmoved by individual preferences. Facebook, the social networking site, is faceless when it comes to deciding on the fates of its users. Any user is free to report any other user and such reports are eagerly accepted at face value. The user against whom a report is made sees his account disabled forthwith. Any further inquiry with Facebook only elicits the mechanical response that Terms of Use agreed upon has been violated and the decision is final. No information is given on the nature of the complaint or the specific violation alleged as committed by the user. It is a harsh judgement, without trial, instantly dispensed, similar to that among Bedouin tribes. The guilty find themselves deprived of their contacts , the graffiti they draw, the pictures and messages they post, and the mails they receive with no access whatsoever. A trauma, barbaric in social terms, is inflicted on the hapless Facebook user. And the helpless individual user is left with no means to challenge Facebook. One patiently waits for a David who will match this Goliath. And going by the plenty of messages posted on the web alleging harshness, arbitrariness and unfair treatment from Facebook , I am sure the day is not far off when a David’s stone will fell this Goliath.

Disabled users of Facebook should’nt silently sit through the tyranny unleashed on them. They should network, share thoughts, discuss among themselves, and devise creative and innovative ways to face this injustice and expose the undemocratic and high-handed methods of Facebook. How about mounting a legal challenge to Facebook’s arbitrariness in US or European courts?

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