Facebook Derangement Syndrome

Privacy / UK policy

A status update from the front lines of tech policy.

It’s about time I coined a phrase, so here it is.

Facebook Derangement Syndrome is when lawmakers, politicians, policymakers, and civil servants are completely, totally, entirely, pathologically, myopically, hysterically obsessed, to the point of actual psychiatric derangement, with Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg.

Every legal, policy, and technical proposal which ensues from those suffering from Facebook Derangement Syndrome assumes that Facebook is the web, Facebook is tech policy, Facebook is internet architecture, that Mark Zuckerberg is the only man who has ever done anything wrong online, and that the living space he occupies rent-free in their heads is perfectly normal and healthy.

Every lawmaker, politician, policymaker, and civil servant suffering from Facebook  Derangement Syndrome will not be happy with any legal, policy, or technical development which does not facilitate the moment they personally arrest Mark Zuckerberg.

Every lawmaker, politician, policymaker, and civil servant suffering from Facebook Derangement Syndrome considers any rebuttal of their ensuing proposals, and any defence of the open web those plans would take down, as evidence that you are a FB and “big tech” employee, apologist, enabler, or a nonce.

Every legal, policy, and technical proposal which ensues from those suffering from Facebook Derangement Syndrome defiantly rejects the impact of those plans on the open web, freedom of expression, privacy, and commerce online as a whole.

Indeed, every lawmaker, politician, policymaker, and civil servant suffering from Facebook Derangement Syndrome welcomes the chilling effect that their policies will create across the internet ecosystem, every site and service on it, and every user of it.

And every lawmaker, politician, policymaker, and civil servant suffering from Facebook Derangement Syndrome has no interest in the unforeseen consequences that their legislative vendettas are wreaking on digital, human, and civil rights across the open web as a whole.

There are a lot of people working in policy right now, in the UK, Europe, and US, suffering from Facebook Derangement Syndrome.

But you know who else works in policy?

Me.

And I write this as someone who has never once used any Facebook product or app and never will.

The Author

We are people of enormous power and influence over the open web. I empower digital professionals to use that power wisely. I advocate for an open web built around international standards of human rights, privacy, accessibility, and freedom of expression. This is my personal site, and does not reflect the work or opinions of my employer.