Authors note: I was not even intending to write about this story. However, this has potentially serious repercussions for the future of social media that I could not but address:
The infamous porn company Playboy has just announced they have pulled completely out of Facebook:
Playboy Enterprises says it’s pulling its Facebook presence as the privacy scandal enveloping the social media service continues to grow.
Playboy says it’s been difficult anyway to “express our values” because of Facebook’s strict content and policy guidelines, which include restrictions on nudity. Playboy says the alleged data mismanagement is the last straw.
About 25 million people interacted with Playboy’s Facebook pages. Playboy Enterprises Inc. says it will deactivate the accounts that it manages directly.
A smattering of other companies have made similar moves, including nonprofit Mozilla, which created the Firefox browser, Elon Musk’s companies SpaceX and Tesla and German bank Commerzbank. (source)
While the pornography industry is immoral, promotes evil, and is fundamentally degenerate, the pornography industry is also important to watch because it is large, powerful, and is consumed by many people as it represents the commoditization of one of the bases human impulses- sex. Since the urge to survive and the urge to reproduce are two matters that are common to all men- perhaps phrased as “Can I have sex with it” and “Can I use it to destroy my enemies” when inquiring about the usefulness of an object- then once must conclude that many trends which become widely popular somehow involve exploiting either or both of these desires.
Sex sells. Big time. It is why it is the world’s oldest profession and why no matter where it goes it draws large amounts of money and can influence social shifts.
Playboy magazine and its sister companies are not the largest pornography manufacturer or distributor anymore, but Playboy itself represents a brand with a reputation to maintain. While there is a lot of pornography on Facebook that is shared privately, there are few major porn companies which operate Facebook pages, and have comparatively small followings- BangBros has just over 9,000 “likes,” AVN has no more than 20,000 “likes”, and Hustler has 15,000 “likes”. The adult clip website XHamster has the most at 23,000 “likes.” The world’s largest webcam website, Chaturbate, along with the top two pornography distributors in the world, XVideos and PornHub, do not have an official presence on Facebook.
The issue here is NOT about pornography, but about the fact that since the “adult” industry is so deeply ingrained into human society and is tied to many industries that one may not expect, when those who are major decision makers choose a path, it means something. It is similar to the technology industry, for since “big data” is a part of life today, what it chooses to use or not use likewise have a major impact on future trends.
Playboy’s data is no longer available, but it was likely the largest, and now they have pulled out of Facebook. If that was not enough, Elon Musk has already deleted the Facebook pages for Tesla and SpaceX from Facebook.
Two of the largest players in pornography and data have pulled from Facebook over this scandal. That means something.
Now Facebook has over 2 billion subscribers. It is still the largest social media company in the world and will remain as such for some time.
Will Facebook disappear completely? It is possible, but owing to the size and influence it will likely continue to exist but as the former MySpace CEO Tom Anderson recently joked, Facebook will go the way of Myspace, that it will still exist but will no longer have the social presence or respect it once commanded, and will be a monument to the past instead of an influence on future trends. Given the large presence of Baby Boomers on it who share photos and constitute a great percentage of the commenters now, it will likely become an online equivalent of a senior center rather than the “community” it once said it would be.
Stick a fork in it, because its goose is cooked.