Facebook Is Celebrating Its Astonishing Two Billion Users With a New Video. Here’s What It Means for Art.

Facebook has hit two billion monthly active users. That’s two billion souls united in sharing inspirational memes, stalking their exes, and engaging in nasty arguments with people they have never met. There are now more people active on this 13-year-old social network than were even alive on planet Earth a century ago.

In the heady, utopian early days of the world wide web, techno-evangelists used to argue that it would lay waste to all media centralization, liberating us from corporate control. Facebook is the dialectical reflux that came to crush that naïve hope, giving us a level of centralization more baleful than anything one could have imagined in the age of big top-down media. Websites big and small are fatally dependent on the same site to reach an audience.

Mark Zuckerberg’s little project has grown fat and rich by vampirically sucking the life out of the business model for journalism, while making the spread of wild conspiracies profitable.

Facebook makes high-minded noise about the sacred principle of “net neutrality,” that there should be no pay-to-enter “fast lanes” to give anyone unfair advantage. But guess what? Facebook itself has built a business offering “fast lane” access to its audience, padding its bottom line by incentivizing media to “boost” posts.

“We’re getting to a size where it’s worth really taking a careful look at what are all the things that we can do to make social media the most positive force for good possible,” Facebook chief product officer Chris Cox told TechCrunch.

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