Mark Zuckerberg Doesn’t Care About Ex-Muslims

Mark Zuckerberg doesn’t care about those of us in less-privileged populations and doesn’t want us to use Facebook in the way that’s safest for us.

Via Michael Zimmer come some choice quotes from the social media magnate himself.

“You have one identity,” he emphasized three times in a single interview with David Kirkpatrick in his book, “The Facebook Effect.” “The days of you having a different image for your work friends or co-workers and for the other people you know are probably coming to an end pretty quickly.” He adds: “Having two identities for yourself is an example of a lack of integrity.”

I suppose that Mark Zuckerberg thinks that being an ex-Muslim causes someone to “lack integrity” and therefore doesn’t belong on his social media site.

In the past, I have used two fake versions of my name on Facebook to throw my gossip-hungry relatives off the trail. At the time, when people in my family and community were getting off on finding “dirt” about me and telling my parents about it, having the option of being less easy to find was very helpful. I didn’t want to leave Facebook because it was the way by which I stayed in touch with friends who were sympathetic towards the struggle I endured.

There are ex-Muslims in worse situations than those in which I’ve ever been. There are people whose parents have brutally physically abused them for minor transgressions who fear the worst if their apostasy were revealed.  There are people who are married who might stand to lose custody of their children if their spouses were to discover that they are atheists. There are minors whose parents could ship them off overseas to be forcibly schooled in religion or even wed against their will if they were to discover their child’s true feelings about Islam. There are women who are at the financial and social mercy of their fathers or husbands who cannot go public with their lack of faith in Islam.

I supposed those people “lack integrity” for using Facebook as a tool by which to pseudonymously organize, network, and plan their escape from their horrid situations; to talk to others to help gain the strength and resources they need to come out to their families; or to simply blow off steam until their lives get better.

Using Facebook this way is hardly something limited to ex-Muslims. Much of the coverage of the “Real” Names policy has focused on drag queens. Trans people are also adversely affected, since we live in a society where legally affirming your real gender if you’re not cis is difficult at best. Victims of stalking often use different names from their legal ones on social media to throw stalkers off their trail. Some employers force employees to add them on Facebook or even give them their log-in information; these employees might have one profile for work and one, under a less-searchable name, for personal use.

Notice what all these groups have in common? Vulnerable is a word that comes to mind. Oppressed is another.

And these people are now highly at-risk for being driven from Facebook under the “Real” Names policy.

Talk about picking on people who already get picked on the most in society. Great job, Mark Zuckerberg. Facebook is so gosh-darn brave to take a stand against those awful folks who have the gall to need to protect themselves from bullies, abusers, and other dangers.

Edit 9/19 noon PDT: title changed so as to avoid derailing

Mark Zuckerberg Doesn’t Care About Ex-Muslims

9 thoughts on “Mark Zuckerberg Doesn’t Care About Ex-Muslims

  1. 1

    Zuckerberg is such a selfish, spoilt brat who cannot see beyond his own privilege.
    Facebook could be fantastic if they wanted to be, but they are content to censor
    pics of nursing mothers (decency!) while maintaining pro-rape groups (free speech!) and pull shit like this. I myself don’t facebook, but I still think it’s shitty of them to treat their users like this. Integrity, my hairy arse…

  2. 3

    Zuck Fuckerberg. His take is from the perspective of one rich enough and white enough and male enough and on and on enough that it DOESN’T matter if he presents his “real” persona. He’s not going to lose his job for being “not whatever enough”. No one’s going to assault him on the street for being [insert stereotype]. The cops aren’t going to kick in his door for blogging about injustice. For the rest of us, I guess it’s “start your OWN social media”

  3. 4

    The days of you having a different image for your work friends or co-workers and for the other people you know are probably coming to an end pretty quickly

    What a load of pretentious nonsense. Zuckerberg and FB have a “Real Names” policy, ergo it must be true that people are going to only use their real name? Nonsense. I created a non Real Name FB account exactly for that reason – I want my facebook identity, my commenting identity, my personal identity separate. When someone googles my name they find only a few ancient pictures from an old website instead of being able to walk right into my life.

    Even outside the internet everyone has multiple identities! I’m a son to my parents, a brother to my siblings, a father for my daughter, a partner for my S.O. and different kinds of friend to my various friends! There’s even another identity I use with my coworkers!

    That’s how I want it and it’s not up to Zuckerberg to decide this for me. And not up to him to decide whether I lack integrity. I don’t lie to people, I try not to harm people, and the different identities that are me don’t give a toss about the owner of facebook telling me how to live my life.

    (For the ex-muslim, semi-out gay/bi/trans people or anyone else who has to use different identities to protect themselves – I feel the same with much greater emphasis – do what you have to do to make your lives workable!)

  4. Ed

    This is why I never got into that kind of social media. I’m not criticizing people who do. I can see where it’s useful and fun. But the way the companies work (especially Facebook), it’s accellerating the lack of privacy and personal security promoted by the contemporary secret police state by ALSO creating a culture friendly to mob mentality.

    As you say, not everyone who hide something is being hypocritical or dishonest. Somme people have something to hide for a reason. Employers regularly use information about health status, sexual identity, political views and legal lifestyle choices to discriminate. People are also judged severely for years by poorly thought out statements and photos posted when they are young and impulsive.

    Of course, the answer from the Zuckerbergs of the world will be to be careful, or to live a life no one could have a problem with. The second is impossible unless we evolve to the point where prejudice and discrimination are defeated everywhere.

    The first is good advice as far as it goes, but the culture of Facebook and similar services encourages over-sharing. I see this not only in young people, but increasingly in people of all ages. It’s getting to the point where social circles of all kinds expect regular, intimate posts. Add to this the habit of posting OTHER people’s private business and pictures of them without their permission.

    As you point out, it becomes a vastly more dangerous matter when someone is the potential target of actual violence or harassment. The whole thing has a very Stasi-like feel to me, especially when intellectuals and cultural figures are enamored with the idea of living a completely public life and use their power to institutionalize it.

    Reality TV and tabloid culture also provides a model which many use social media to emulate. Everyone wants to be a star, not thinking about the fact that stars can’t do the slightest thing without the whole world knowing and judging.

    The liberal “global village” idea has been distorted to reflect the worst aspects of life in a small town, tribe, or extended family. The power of gossip, mass surveillance, groupthink and pressure (or worse)to conform is growing. In a complex civilization, multiple personae and some level (not absolute but significant) of privacy and anonymity are good things.

    1. 5.1

      Excellent comment. I’m privileged enough (white, straight, male enough, to quote eddiejones’s formula) to use my real name (or my “government name”, as the rappers say) on social media and also to say basically whatever I think about most situations without fear of serious reprisal.

      I take advantage of that freedom to share my opinions and to amplify those of others who I agree with, but I’m not so privileged as to think that “integrity” is the only necessary ingredient and that everyone should share their lives in a form that any police state or private censor would have no trouble approving. Anything else is flagged and disappeared.

  5. 6

    I’m not going to take integrity lessons from a guy whose company is based on creeping. A guy whose company has an ever-changing Terms of Service designed to continually allow him to profit from selling the information you have revealed to whomever is willing to pay for it, without you realizing it. A guy whose company continually changes privacy defaults causing creepers to have access to the creeped. A guy who performs psychological experiments on his users without their consent. No, I decline such integrity lessons.

  6. 7

    Man who makes money by selling information about people takes a bold stand saying people should give more information and make themselves and their personal information easier to identify, catalog and sell. What an amazing coincidence!

    Man who uses his company to misrepresent what they will do with your information and does their best to pilfer it while you’re not looking openly projects his lack of integrity on other people whose practices he’d like to demonize for fun and profit (but mostly profit). Another incredible coincidence! What an amazing, unpredictable world we live in.

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