Facebook, Google, and The Prevalance of Modern Day Slavery

Facebook “dislike” Button?

In a recent article, I asked why Facebook didn’t have a “dislike” button or why there was only “Google+” and no equivalent “-Google.” I put forth the notion that focusing only on positive aspects of concern often leads to increased prevalence of tyranny at times over the course of history. Apparently, one such period is now.

Google has of yet been inhospitable in addressing my concern. Is it really such a sensitive matter to Google for one to simply ask them why there isn’t a “-Google” feature to complement their “Google+” feature?

Granted, I am a relative newbie in the blogos-news-media-sphere, but certainly my question warrants some response. Are we focusing on the positive aspects of matters of concern to such a degree that it simply does not occur to even Google the necessity to look at the negative aspects of matters of concern as well as the positive? Why are we not concerned with the facts and analysis pertaining to possible negative effects of our systems, policies, purchases, lifestyles, career choices, etc.?

Has Google Been Taken Over By Some Positive-Thinking-Cult?

Has Google been taken over by some positive-thinking-cult which espouses of the virtue of positive-only thinking, even to a fault; one which espouses looking only at the bright side of things even as it blinds us?

I recently came across http://www.slaveryfootprint.org and was pleasantly surprised by its approach in dealing with this difficult issue. Yes, it only brushes the tip of the iceberg when it comes to addressing our individual ethical footprints that we are almost ubiquitously blind to, but it is a great start.

One’s Slavery Footprint

Without having to sign up, one can complete a short survey which approximates one’s slavery footprint. It basically answers the question, how many slaves work for you? After inputting some facts about one’s purchasing habits, diet, place and style of residence, one is presented with the number of slaves – modern day trafficked, unpaid laborers – who probably have worked to provide for your lifestyle.

Whether or not the figure their system comes up with is perfectly accurate isn’t the point. Their number could be lower or higher. What matters is the fact that their system touches on that our purchases result in a certain extent of slavery in the world. This I see as an important trend towards the day when we can determine our respective ethical footprints as individuals, and, in doing so, discover ways to lower them.

Much more than just one’s slavery footprint should be included, however. One’s carbon footprint might also be a good indicator, along with perhaps other ethics-centered footprints that have yet to be highlighted. Nevertheless, Slaveryfootprint.org is a great piece of the puzzle.

Raised Or Lowered By One’s Investments, Pension Plan

It is not perfect. For instance, it does not address many aspects that might pertain to one’s slavery footprint, such as the extent it could be raised or lowered by one’s investments, pension plan, by the stocks or other financial or insurance products contributed to, or how much one might raise or lower their slavery footprint according to the brands of goods one might purchase.

Also, it is rather America-centric, geared for participation by US consumers rather than entire world. It seems there is a lot of work yet to be done over there, and it is unclear whether or not “volunteers” at Slaveryfootprint.org are themselves getting remuneration for their own hard work.

Well-Presented Facts and Analysis

Nevertheless, I found my experience of Slaveryfootprint.org very insightful, with well-presented facts and analysis. My experience there led me to consider what Facebook’s or Google’s slavery footprint might be, which can now provide for the continuation of this article.

In coming across Slaveryfootprint.org, I came back to the issue of the effect towards increased tyranny that we might experience without Facebook “dislike” buttons or without Google’s “-1” buttons. I considered the number of people who base their purchasing decisions on no analysis of ethical concerns – the vast majority of us, I figured. Then, I considered to what extent people might at least in part base their purchasing decision on the number of “likes” they might see on a Facebook advertisement or the number of +1’s on a company’s Google+ page.

i dont like it
An I Don’t Like It button

Google and Facebook are Incurring An Enormous Slavery Footprint

This number is growing. Increasingly Facebook advertising and +1-ing on Google are being seen as essential marketing tools by companies. And without the opportunity provides us to “dislike” or “-1” and link to articles as to why (like, oh, for instance, maybe that company’s use of slave labor), Google and Facebook are incurring an enormous slavery footprint.

Again, history has shown us that focusing exclusively on the positive aspects of matters of concern leads to tyranny. Positive thinking to a fault can be disastrous.

As of yet, I have received no reply from Google+ development team as to my query as to why they have only “Google+” and not “-Google+.” Google, will you be developing -Google+? If not, why not?

27 Million People Worldwide Living in Modern Day Slavery

According to US Department of State’s most recent figures, as many as 27 Million people worldwide are living in modern day slavery. How many of them work for you, Google, Facebook? Visit http://www.slaveryfootprint.org to find out.