In modern society, many people live together. Basically, democracy is critical to the harmonious existence of these people. It means that people are free to have their opinions about a topic or a subject matter. In this case, while this Ted Talk essay on “Dear Facebook, This Is How You’re Breaking Democracy” by Yael Eisenstat creates awareness of democracy, the video is essential in understanding Facebook’s effect on democracy and enlightening people about Facebook because most people want to be heard and validated.
The Main Point
The main point of the video is to raise awareness of how Facebook takes away people’s democracy. For instance, Facebook divides people into smaller categories and gives them personalized content that provokes strong emotions to keep them engaged to a point where finding common ground no longer feels possible (Eisenstat 00:02:32-00:02:56). The provocation by Facebook to its customers takes away the choice of people to use Facebook by considering a sense of free will. Therefore, Facebook breaks democracy by provoking people from different categories to keep them engaged.
I can relate to this video since I had an experience where Facebook sent me a notification about a discussion about religion online. Since Facebook realized that religion is an emotional topic for me, they sent me a message to provoke me into going to the platform and defend my opinion. I logged in to the forum and joined the debate that continued for over two hours. Facebook forced me to go online and defend my opinion, giving me no choice. Therefore, the video relates to my Facebook’s experience about how they provoked me to debate on the platform.
Raising awareness of Facebook’s threat to democracy is important because Facebook undermines democracy, which is crucial for people’s cohesive coexistence. Facebook is being used by armies of volunteers and bots to spread propaganda to undermine democracy or pressure voters into electing a favored candidate (Vaidhyanathan 180). By spreading false information and backing selected candidates, Facebook undermines democracy. Therefore, it is essential to raise awareness of the threat that Facebook poses to democracy.
People should be educated on how Facebook undermines democracy. Facebook’s key feature, which is to connect, may be viewed as a democratic practice, but it is not a democracy (Marichal 155). Information from the video can educate Facebook users on the difference between democracy and democratic practices. Therefore, being aware of this video can be used to inform people about democracy.
People want to be heard, validated, and respected. Brandon et al. came up with the same conclusion in their research, revealing that people have an urge to connect with others regardless of their gender or age, and they need to feel heard, understood, and appreciated (par. 2). Facebook takes advantage of the need to connect by dividing people into smaller groups with common interests. Additionally, they decide on what information they will share with these groups with a targeted result. Therefore, social media users want to be connected to others.
In conclusion, the video’s main objective is to raise awareness of how Facebook is affecting democracy. Basically, I have been a victim of Facebook’s manipulation. Then, the video’s information is crucial because Facebook undermines democracy. Moreover, information from the video can educate those being manipulated by Facebook. In turn, people need validation from others.
Brandon April, et al. “Validation: The Most Powerful Relationship Skill You Were Never Taught.” Michael S. Sorensen, 17 Nov. 2020, michaelssorensen.com/validation-the-most-powerful-relationship-skill-you-were-never-taught/.
Eisenstat, Yael. “Dear Facebook, This Is How You’re Breaking Democracy.” Ted, 2020, www.ted.com/talks/yael_eisenstat_dear_facebook_this_is_how_you_re_breaking_democracy.
Marichal, José. “Facebook Democracy: The Architecture of Disclosure and the Threat to Public Life.” Routledge, 2016, pp. 1-193, doi:10.4324/9781315581798.
Vaidhyanathan, Siva. Antisocial Media: How Facebook Disconnects Us and Undermines Democracy. Oxford University Press, 2020.