Facebook cartoon ‘fight’ highlights divisive nature of social media

On Thursday morning we awoke to the news that Pakistan had blocked Facebook. The reason Pakistan did this was because a fan page appeared on the social network’s site called “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day!”, which advocated that “May 20th 2010 is draw Mohammed day!”

This story is singularly defining about how social media can divide our world, and not bring people closer together. Social media can be used to create walled societies, and allow like-minded individuals to create closed communities that exclude those who don’t fit in.

In response to the controversial fan page, another page was created on Facebook called “AGAINST Everybody Draw Mohammed Day!” On Thursday evening the first page numbered 83,639 fans, while the second had 97,123 fans.

This, however, is not about how many fans each camp can attract. It is about a war being waged between two global groupings that have come into existence because of social networking. It highlights a truth about social networking, demonstrating just how dangerous this new wave of social engineering can be.

Now, more than ever, we have the ability to cocoon ourselves in a virtually-walled community and simply reject anyone else’s right to exist.

The unity that was hard-fought by people like Martin Luther King Jr, Malcolm X, Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela is, in this instance, being destroyed right before our very eyes — and we are increasingly powerless to stop this.

Facebook boasts some 500-million users. It’s common knowledge now that if it were a nation it would be the world’s third largest nation after China and India, and bigger than the USA.

The fact that it has no borders and exists as a virtual nation is in itself more dangerous than any nation on Earth, because it cannot be sanctioned when it steps out of line.

Folks, is this our new, walled world?



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