The season of silly decisions is again upon us. The government is trying to look busy and modern. As usual, it gets it wrong. This time they came up with the idea to use Facebook and other large social networks to implement digital voting. The call it e-democracy, Parliament 2.0 and so on. I call it silly.
Mostly because it is a silly idea. Even only consulting Facebook or Google on such an idea is silly. It is like consulting foxes on the design of a hen-house. Unproductive at the best, dangerous at the worse.
Democracy hinges on the common belief that voting is a fair process. That once every couple of years we can collectively trust the process that vests politicians with power over our lives. Outsourcing this process to Facebook requires a lot of trust. And I believe we should not even contemplate granting such trust.
It is not that I consider them super-evil. They are no more evil than our banks or utilities. No more evil than the company that claims to ‘do no evil’. They are incredibly smooth operators that extract our attention to sell it to the highest bidder. They are good at it.
The point is that they are likely to behave exactly the same way when allowed to play with our democracy. It is in their corporate DNA, and denying it is like denying foxes’ interest in chicken. Silly.
There are more reasons to consider them untrusted for the purpose of voting, but this one suffice – and I have a limited space here. Still, I believe that the government will go ahead with this silly idea. That’s just the way they are.