Famous horror writer Stephen King has announced he is quitting Facebook, because he is “not comfortable with the flood of false information that’s allowed in its political advertising.”
I'm quitting Facebook. Not comfortable with the flood of false information that's allowed in its political advertising, nor am I confident in its ability to protect its users' privacy. Follow me (and Molly, aka The Thing of Evil) on Twitter, if you like.
— Stephen King (@StephenKing) February 1, 2020
Unlike many others who, in an extremely heated climate in the US, also attack Facebook for basically taking political sides by allowing political ads on its platform – King has at least had the decency to mention that he also has doubts about the giant’s “ability to protect its users’ privacy.”
However, this latter concern is phrased in a way that makes it unclear if King is unhappy with the way Facebook makes, and has always been making its money – by selling users’ data to third parties for advertising purposes (political or otherwise) – or if he thinks Facebook is somehow willing but powerless to protect its users.
But King is not quitting social networks altogether. And he hasn’t gone to an ethical one, that guarantees user privacy, free speech, and runs on free and open-source code.
Instead, King’s chosen Twitter – it will be his new primary social media home, and he made the announcement about leaving Facebook there.
Because Twitter’s not a hot-bed of “misinformation”, is it?
Obviously, we can’t expect much tech-savviness or even awareness from our favorite horror writers, but we certainly can expect a lot of political and social commentary, and we get it from King, too.
With this in mind, it’s good to know that it was political advertising and false information that drove him off Facebook.
Earlier in the week, King got himself in trouble online for saying that he cares about quality rather than diversity when choosing which work of art to recognize with an award. He spoke in the context of this year’s Oscar nominations – a process that he participated in.
The nominations have been criticized as “too white” – but in a tweet, the writer said it would be “wrong” to put diversity ahead of quality.
Might sounds pretty logical to many – but not to all.
Some of the comments King received described him as “backward and ignorant.”
His grandstanding now on political ads on Facebook is already providing the best-selling author with much more positive reactions on Twitter.