Is Facebook Biased? | The Jackal

2 Jun 2011

Is Facebook Biased?

The world’s largest social networking website which is meant to connect people with friends has once again undertaken “upgrades” that are designed to remove what the administrators determine as groups without enough recent activity. But there's something far more sinister going on.

Many of the some 20 million worldwide user’s of the service were greeted with a notice recently when they visited groups on the social networking website. Interestingly the notice was not shown to many administrators of the groups that were scheduled for archiving. 

It's clear that the system FB uses to determine the requirement for a group upgrade is biased as many groups that have little activity and a small amount of members have been allowed to upgrade, while larger groups with lots of activity and many thousands of members have not.

Here is what the notice said:

This group is scheduled to be archived

Over the next few months, Facebook will be archiving all groups created using the old groups format. When this group is archived, its wall posts, photos and discussion threads will move to the new groups format, but group members will need to be re-added.
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg
Groups with large amounts of participants face the prospect of having to add their members again if they are archived. Therefore this has led many to try and upgrade their group’s prior to any archival. However the upgrade option is not available unless FB chooses to place this function on the group’s page. There’s a lot at stake with many organizations using the multimedia service to reach likeminded individuals for organisational purposes.

This is what the groups will loose if archived:

Things that will NOT be available in the archived version include:

Recent news
Group officer titles
The info box under the old group picture
The group network
The members of your old group. You can still add new members by clicking "Add Friends to Group."

According to Facebook's  information, the upgrade option was only offered to groups that have had a certain amount of recent activity. This has led many to try and get in touch with FB technical support to see if it's possible to request an upgrade. Despite the many request for this information, FB remains silent about the impending archival of many active groups. Even when members request that an owner upgrade, the appropriate button to achieve an upgrade often does not appear.

Therefore FB is selectively choosing what groups to impinge. This follows a number of activist groups being completely removed by FB when the BP Gulf of Mexico oil spill was occurring. So would Facebooks links to the CIA and the US Department of Defence give rise to such biased manipulation of the will of the public? The Jackal thinks this is exactly what's happening.