The white picket fence


Facebook claims to be aimed at making the world more open and connected, but what it does not admit to is that it only strives for limited connections inside its walls.  Ranking content is fine for vacation photos and gripes about mass transportation but when Facebook encourages users to adopt it as the primary source of information and actively seeks relationships with news outlets, the company has a responsibility to treat all content equally.

No walled garden from the previous era still exists in its original form with the same user base as it did when it was most successful because they limited a user’s access to information on the open web. They did this with high barriers and low ones which discouraged users from clicking out of the service, or had the service follow a user’s actions around the web. Following  a similar model as failed gardens Facebook actively promotes approved content and censors what it finds objectionable, but Facebook does it all in the name of openness.

The barriers to leave the garden are low but they do not need to be high to retain interest if the content being displayed is what the user wants to see. When only content which gives positive reinforcement to the reader is all that is seen, Facebook is blocking not only a diverse and open web, but a diverse and open platform.

Nobody is forced to be on Facebook but why leave, since what can go wrong inside the white picket fence?

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