Is Facebook Evil?

Virtual Reality has been a dream of geeks for a while, from the Holo-deck on Star Trek to “jacking in” in books by William Gibson or movies like The Matrix. A company called Oculus began to deliver on this promise. 

All the geeks, all over the world looked forward to those promises: classrooms where we were all in the same virtual room; video games in 3-D where the view changed based on where you moved your head; doctors operating from anywhere in the world.

And then Facebook bought Oculus

And then the geeks mourned. I’m normally not a fan of snark. It’s usually derisive and dismissive. It ends conversations and reduces viewpoints to mockery. But, this picture I found on Google+ made me laugh:

It’s funny, but also emblematic of a common sentiment. No one seem to like or trust Facebook. That could be because they’re big and powerful and have all our private information on it. Or it could be because Facebook made some fairly catastrophic social etiquette errors a few years ago.

But, can Facebook still do good? Here’s an example for your consideration: According to Wired Facebook bought a solar-powered drone company with the intent of getting everyone, everywhere, access to the Internet

Will this Internet Everywhere be filtered? Will it be powered by ads? Can we trust it? All good questions.

But, they don’t really address the point. The point is, even if it’s a crappy, low-quality, filtered, biased, corporate-owned connection. It is a connection. It’s access, perhaps partial, bringing limited access to all human knowledge to people who may not even have running water to flush their toilet buckets.

Is Facebook evil? Maybe. That that doesn’t mean everything they do is bad. And, Facebook is largely run by hackers, like in ALGORITHM. And that makes me, at least partially, a fan, or at the very least, hopeful.