If you have read the Bible you will be very familiar with the battle of David and Goliath. David, takes his staff and sling and confronts Goliath – a well-placed stone to his forehead fells the giant and David is the victor; his victory saves the Israelites and forces the Philistines to flee.
The story is perhaps one of the most told underdog stories, but that may just about to be replaced with a modern day parable.
Facebook, the social media giants are hitting the headlines for the wrong reasons. Recently they blocked all links from upstart rivals tsu deleting millions of links on Facebook including in personal messages. They justify this action by claiming that the majority of posts from tsu are spam and pose a risk to their users.
If you try to post a link you get a message ‘You can’t post this because it has a blocked link.’ It goes on to say ‘The content you’re trying to share includes a link that our security systems detected to be unsafe’.
Interestingly, Tsu founder Sebastian Sobczak noted in a recent Daily News Article, "You can post PornHub links on Facebook, but not http://tsu.co" - similar articles have now appear on the NBC News website and the New York times website and newspaper.
Wired commented that the tsu revenue system “sounds a lot like multi-level marketing, and it’s not hard to imagine people taking advantage of the system.” They wired article also notes that Facebook state “We require all websites and apps that integrate with Facebook to follow our Platform Policy,” Facebook spokeswoman Melanie Ensign told WIRED. “We do not allow developers to Incentivize Content Sharing on our platform because it encourages spammy sharing and creates a bad experience for people on Facebook.”
The discussion continues with Facebook offering to unblock tsu.co as long as tsu stop allowing their users to share posts on Facebook.
Tsu are simply seeking equality, while sites like Youtube have turned off the ability to share videos recently, other companies that incentivize content sharing are not blocked from posting on Facebook. As an example, Hubpages.com , a website that allows users to write revenue generating articles, and also allows the user to share their articles with their own personal referral code, are not blocked from Facebook.
There are bigger issues here though:
- Facebook have not censored content that is disturbing. Porn, bullying posts, beheading videos etc. can be posted on Facebook – often they will be removed when people complain, but they are not barred from being posted – this is the way Facebook should work!
- Facebook should not be able to touch personal messages or even see them! If Facebook are deleting links in messages, what else are they censoring? While I am sure we all have allowed Facebook to have access to everything we do on Facebook, this should be change – personal messages should be personal!
While there are some arguments on both sides of the case, it’s seems that Facebook have overstepped their power and seem monopolistic in their approach to a competitor. Surely a site with billions of users can reach out and find some kind of accord with a site that only has a few million users without resorting to bullying tactics?
News articles about the ‘fight’:
Daily News article: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/facebook-won-talk-competing-site-called-tsu-article-1.2429875
New York Times article: http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2015/11/10/business/ap-us-facebook-war.html
Wired article: http://www.wired.com/2015/11/facebook-banning-tsu-rival-social-network/
NBC News article: http://www.nbcnews.com/tech/social-media/heres-why-you-cant-mention-tsu-co-facebook-n461041