July 28, 2007

Facebook Cool - except if you're "old"

Ronni has an interesting post on FaceBook's non-action (despite terms of service violations) toward some nasty groups that are aimed at dissing and degrading elders or "old people." I would imagine as a popular social network that started out for college kids, then all of a sudden got interesting enough and good enough feature-wise to attract the rest of the Internet, FaceBook's original demographic colliding with their elders offers plenty of incentive for conflict.

All of a sudden we show up at their party--a party they were having as a way to get AWAY from us. We represent what some of these younger people are rebelling against--their parents, authority, anyone over 30. What better place for some to spew stuff they wouldn't dare aim at mom and dad who are paying for college than at their parental proxies on social networks? I say some, because my nephews and niece are on FaceBook and MySpace, and I see them honoring elders, not projectile vomiting at them.

As one commenter at Ronni's said, all of these kids will one day be old--that is unless they mouth off to the wrong person and don't make it past 23. Unfortunately, many of them will also remain stupid. I wonder how many are American kids? I wonder if primarily European social networks have similar hateful groups targeted at the elderly? Why do I doubt it?

Ronni is right that those groups are violating FaceBook's stated terms of service. I don't think leaving FaceBook is the best way to raise visibility--I think staying and representin' is a better way, but I certainly don't fault anyone who is bored enough or sick enough of the FaceBook thing for booking.