FACEBOOK is well on its way to becoming its own nation state, far more powerful and rich than many analogue nation states.
It has disrupted its way up to digital Vatican status with Mark Zuckeberg as its Pope. He regularly manifests in front of high powered governmental enquiries, along with the holy ghost of Google, where he is asked to explain the baffling nature of his digital omnipotence and the divine secrets of the algorithms that can bring governments, media companies, creative industries and individuals to their knees.
Facebook is even developing its own crypto-currency (the unfortunately named Libra), and already has a seismic influence on world politics and our personal lives.
So the most pertinent question, that is on my mind, is could is it time to just hand civil society and its security over to Mark Zuckerberg?
For instance, here in Byron Shire it already looks as if some people are more comfortable reporting crime to ‘neighbourhood watch’ type social media platforms than to the police.
I’m sure that for a nominal price, painlessly deducted in Libras or Facebucks (much better name), Mark could just run everything for us including state security
Whatever your emergency just put it up on Facebook, from petty crime through to terror attack, and if it gets enough likes, or there are some famous people involved, Faceforce (I am so copywriting that) will be there to live stream the action and maybe even catch the perps, try them live via an online poll (no need for a judiciary, so big savings on wigs right there) and bang them up in the Zuck-o-slammer.
Naturally Faceforce’s jurisdiction will pertain only to crimes perpetrated by those unwise enough not to be domiciled off-shore for tax purposes…or religions.
I can already hear the undisrupted, lumpen proletariat bleating about living in Orwell’s 1984. But believe me snowflakes we are way beyond 1984 already and well into Minority Report territory.
The film Minority Report is the Casablanca of all the cinematic futuristic masterpieces starring Tom Cruise ever made.
The premise here is that the combined brains of some freaky kids, trapped in warm goo in an old spa bath in an underground lair somewhere, can predict, via the inter-web of course, whether someone is likely to commit a crime and send armed operatives to pre-emptively make disproportionately violent arrests.
If you can suspend disbelief for long enough, it kind of makes sense proving that, if you can cut between scenes fast enough, making no sense at all is not really a problem.
We are right on the cusp of Minority Report right now people what with the vast amounts of data Facebook already has on us, together with all our devices listening to us, filming us and geo-locating us.
I am sure we have all had Facebook serve us up ads for things we only just mentioned in passing to the significant other over brekky that morning.
We also share pictures of our meals, hobbies, holidays, children, work, sport, friends and inspirational quotes via Instagram, so targeting us, marketing-wise, is like shooting fish in a barrel for Pope Mark.
Think about it. How did Facebook find out you are in the market for orthopaedic Crocs and industrial quantities of fertiliser?
We just need a government brave and focussed enough on jobs, growth and border security to finally circle the wagons of cyber accountability by hard wiring Faceforce into government departments, the Tax Office, Centrelink and Robo-debt.
Quiet Australians will sleep soundly knowing Faceforce is keeping them safe from the homeless single mum with two kids fleeing domestic violence who made an error on a Centrelink form in 2006 or that refugee family fleeing assassination and torture by boat or that kid at a music festival with half a pinger in his pocket.
May the Faceforce be with you.