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Saturday, November 27, 2010

Facebook Makes People Evil

So JFK's former prep school Choate, in Connecticut, recently issued a ban on Facebook.  This was done following a 200 page thread between girls that involved conversations about drugs, alcohol and promiscuity.  Choate didn't only ban Facebook though.  They expelled 2 students, 4 others were suspended, and one student was publicly executed by a firing squad without trial.  Ok, the last one isn't true, but - overreact much?

Look, I think bullying in all forms is stupid.  But Facebook doesn't increase what stupid people already do, it's just another avenue to express their stupidity.  And what these girls were saying was incredibly stupid.  It's as if they don't understand the concept of electronic permanency, nor its lack of privacy.  I'm assuming Brett Favre and Tiger Woods are also alumni.

While these students should have no expectation of privacy, and therefore shouldn't be saying abhorrent, traceable, and cruel things, getting rid of the medium through which this hate was expressed doesn't resolve the problem.  Nor does expelling presumed first time offenders.  Anyone who's ever been through adolescence, and I'm assuming we have no Benjamin Buttons or Jack's on this site, knows how dumb teenagers can be.  But things are no different now than they were when we were teens.  In fact, if the 70's were anything like dazed an confused, 13 year olds are not getting smoked by the "fah-q" paddle.

I'm sure there are circumstances where Facebook has led to tragedy.  So let me get this straight - is the ban on Facebook actually assuming that people would otherwise not have expressed these horrible feelings?  What is it about Facebook that makes otherwise sweet and innocent people brutal savages?  Exactly, the people remain the same, with or without Facebook.  

The greater point here is that, if bans like this spread, and of course they will, we're essentially authorizing certain forms of bullying as more valid than others.  Kid gets beat up after school? Well, so long as he didn't call the kid a homo on his Facebook account.  


  1. Two quick additional points.

    1. I hate facebook.

    2. My brother brought this up. The old "I would call Mike Tyson crazy on the internet but not to his face" philosophy. So maybe facebook adds some fangs to an otherwise watered down form of bullying. But the bullying still exists, and if not facebook, a blog (aren't blogs stupid?), myspace (does that still exist?), Youtube or some other avenue.

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