Re: Cressida Dick
Whether facebook is something so good that we can ignore the deaths it might cause is less apparent, but despite disliking it (and not using it myself), I don't really think we want to reduce interpersonal conflict by restricting communication. It doesn't feel like a good solution.
The problem lies in the fact that abuse on social media is, to all intents and purposes, anonymous, and unhampered. That is an abuser / groomer / bully is effectively unpunishable and unstoppable, unless they go so far as to require immediate police intervention. And even then it's pretty difficult for the police to get hold of them. And it's not like the social networks are very good at helping the police, or sufficiently proactive themselves.
Governments are becoming increasingly aware of the financial cost resulting from this (mental health problems, poor performance in school, police time), and the UK government has plans to pass this cost directly on to the social media companies. The memo that has leaked makes any legislation required more or less certain to be passed, especially when coupled with the aggressive tax efficient accounting policies used by these companies.
Facebook have seriously f***ed up, confirmed by this memo. Bye bye profits. How do advertisers justify placing ads with such a company? Advertising on Facebook is now more toxic for a brand than ever before. The recent changes in the Communications Decency Act is another nail in their coffin. How about that for growth and shareholder value? Facebook's shareholders should start suing the board now, whilst there's any money left.
About the only sane course of action now is for companies like this to require paid subscriptions to access their services. This serves to strongly identify users, and the ease with which legal liability can then be passed on to users warranting prosecution (or other retribution - bans, etc) will soon act as a detterent again misbehaviour. The comapnies that start adapting to this model soonest may survive. Those that don't risk extinction.