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Comment: Re:A demonstration? (Score 1) 196

by Siward (#16068170) Attached to: Facebook Scrambles after Unexpected Privacy Fumble
My guess would be that it's easier to place your ire squarely on a company and its singular headquarters. The number of people responsible for this decision is small, it's obvious who's responsible and who can influence change.

I'd argue that what I just said applies to hardly any government action. I deplore the war in Iraq, but as a Texan, to whom do I turn? My Republican Senators who agree with the President on this issue? My centrist Representative, who might agree with me? Though he has been in office a long time, he has an even smaller chance of being able to get my point across in the backwater legislature known as the House of Representatives.

I have always felt like an active participant in the political process, but fighting corporate decisionmaking can be done in many ways. Fighting government decisionmaking can only surely be done in one way. Even an effective protest does not necessarily ensure policy change (as has been best demonstrated lately as the Bush administration has decided it more worth their while to make their point using different arguments) -- changing who has power in government is the only way, and that can be an incredibly daunting task, particularly given the amount of time it takes for political momentum to shift in this country, and the unsettlingly small amount of attention the general population pays to political issues.

Facebook, however, is relatively small and eager (as is obvious through these stories) to please its userbase. Even if part of the government is eager to please its base, there are no guarantees that anyone else will follow suit. In this regard, large-scale government -- like big business -- truly comes across as monolithic. It's difficult for average Americans to sort out exactly who is the cause of the issues they care about, and provided they figure that out, it's even more difficult to figure out whom they should be talking to. Most everyone says to write/e-mail/call your Representative and Senators. If you're lucky, your Representative or one of your Senators is on a committee ruling on the particular issue you've taken interest in, and they either agree with your position on the issue, or are swayed by your argument. In any regard, your success means that you have convinced three out of the combined 218 + 51 members of Congress needed to pass legislation.

Of course, Facebook could decide that it doesn't care either, but then someone else could merely create a similar environment without the controversial features and profit from what Facebook has worked so long to create. Repeating the same action against the government is a rather more difficult task.

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