Facebook is there, above all things, to make money from your information, not to make it easier for you to communicate.
And now Facebook has stepped in, presumably in light of complaints against Ebert, to remove his page on the social network site (Ebert has already tweeted his displeasure). The debate will rumble on as to the extent that well-known users should discuss topics that, in the eyes of some, aren’t their business.
Ebert tweet about the death of “Jackass” crew member Ryan Dunn was offensive to his friends and family. Ebert clarified his thoughts in a blog post. Facebook spokesperson said said they only took the page down out of error even though Ebert was notified his page was removed for violations of Facebook’s Term of Use. Basically, Facebook wants to be seen as a bastion of free expression. They aren’t.
Anyone who has used a corporate owned, for profit social network to disseminate information for revolutionary purposes has done so in spite of that social network’s ownership and fealty to governments. It is the simple fact that was ignored by everyone calling the Arab Spring the “twitter revolution”. Dave Winer is ahead of those who hail the applications of big social media as engines of free speech:
We need to work on creating places where journalism is possible, where you can say what you have to say. And the service is provided by a vendor who has no interest in what you say.
BitTorrent, Wikileaks and the like are the foundation technologically and operationally for a true free speech web.