Yes Janet

Facebook is just five years old, and over 50 million fans worldwide claim it\’s enhanced their lives immeasurably.

It\’s not fashionable to point out the darker side of social networking  –  when I dared to criticise Facebook, I was dubbed a reactionary fuddy-duddy.

Facebook allows you to create your own profile  –  a way of feeling important and individual, when your life could be very different. In fact, you could be creating a tissue of lies, and your new cyber-friends would never know.

Now the horrible case of Vanessa George, the nursery nurse who abused children in her care and then sent the images to people she\’d met via Facebook, reinforces all my fears.

And there are criminals who use cars for their crimes, so you\’ll be giving them up then, eh? And my word, you know there are muggers who use the Tube? That\’s out then. Why, people have even been known to visit supermarkets and then litter! Clearly, the stores are simply enabling a crime so you\’ll not set foot inside one again.

Numpty.

10 comments on “Yes Janet

  1. True true but just because the net effect is good does not mean we should not worry about the down side of change. There is a potential on the internet for reinforcement outside social context which ahs on numerous occasions been shown to be damaging from Terrorists to child molesters

    Would you apply the same rule ( The technology is innocent) to Guns ? I might be tempted to agree there at least we could hardly get it much worse than restricting guns to criminals .
    Anyone incidentally who feels that Justice has anything to do with our human trash system ought to be wondering how anything we can inflict on this woman can be called Justice. You don’t mind the death penalty for the innocent , only the guilty get the soppy vote

  2. NM,

    The analogy I sometimes use is the ‘phone system. Just because there are dodgy premium rate lines doesn’t mean that the phone system is a bad thing. (or indeed that premium rate lines are necessarily a bad thing).

  3. Tim, well said.

    I’m not sure what S-P’s point is – nor Newmania’s.

    We cannot reduce risk to zero. And the costs (including risks) of mitigating a risk may not make it worthwhile.

    That is why we still have cars on the road even though hundreds of people are seriously injured or killed in road traffic incidents every day. I hazard a guess that’s many more children than have been injured or killed in incidents related to Facebook. We have accepted the risk of serious injury or death – even to children! – for the convenience of having cars.

  4. Presumably all technological advances have the potential for good and evil. You can use your printing press to publish knowledge or pornography. Your car can be used to go to work, or escape after robbing a bank. A gun can be used to hunt for food, or kill someone.

    Its all a case of balancing the positives and negatives. The positives of the internet vastly (by thousands of percent) outweigh any negatives. Whereas for guns the balance is more even so the controls on them are much higher.

    Ergo we shouldn’t ban Facebook, we should accept that evil people will use whatever means they can to practise their evil.

  5. Presumably all technological advances have the potential for good and evil

    Yeah but guns are a bit more problematical than penicillin we do not have to check our brains in to do this Liberty stuff . Heroin is not neutral .

  6. Newmania, heroin is a great example – thanks for introducing it to the conversation.

    What happened with heroin was that a number of people were using it without any significant effect on the rest of us – or indeed themselves. Our beloved leaders decided this was A Problem That Must Be Solved.

    The rest, as they say, is history. Heroin used posed a small risk – insignificant, in fact – but the costs of prohibiting it have proved extremely high. And prohibition hasn’t stopped people using it – a higher proportion of people use it today.

  7. I don’t see what the fuss is about guns. I think I ought to be able to go into Tesco’s and buy a semi-automatic rifle like an SKS with no paper work at all. Much less a shotgun.

    ukliberty – “What happened with heroin was that a number of people were using it without any significant effect on the rest of us – or indeed themselves. Our beloved leaders decided this was A Problem That Must Be Solved.”

    Actually there was a rapid growth of heroin use in the years before prohibition. Or rather stricter regulation. There clearly was a problem especially as they were simply doing it for fun. The growth in the number of addicts has been lower since, but that is probably due to weak enforcement.

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