Facebook Rules.

Facebook Facebook Rules.Or to put that another way, “The Rules of Facebook” are in the news.

Freedom 

 Facebook has a positive role to play in social development, and its provision of a useful international platform for the often unheard voices of the oppressed is arguable more valid than the posting of endless selfies(sic) and other banter which  entertain so many millions of  Facebook users. Many would be quick to say that as well as a platform for the voices from politically or socially oppressed societies of the world, Facebook also has a social responsibility to try its best to avoid enabling some negative social impacts from the materials which it hosts. The current issue is that FB says they wish to allow the posting of videos of a horrifically violent nature because that’s how freedom and democracy works best. And that they need to allow people to post and view what they want in order to allow the unheard people to be heard and to spread knowledge of their plight.  The underlying motive sounds laudable; most of us are in favour of freedom and unchaining the oppressed.

Consistency

FacebookBut if that argument was to be accepted, then Facebook should be allowing ALL violent, pornographic, oppressive images which are posted on its servers for viewing by the Facebook community (1.1 billion at March 2013 –  a sixth of the world’s population give or take). Some observers might wonder what God like abilities and moral authority do Facebook hold which allows them to choose to show a decapitation but not to show a rape? Which committee or individual is making this judgement?

Is not the decapitation, like rape, an event which includes at least one unwilling participant, the victim? So what’s the fine distinction being drawn between that horrific spectacle (for a spectacle it is – its not informing a viewer of anything is it? merely confirming what they already knew to be a heinous act of depravity). But well, what’s the valuation to be put on other human activities which are so often captured on mobile phones these days.  Let’s not list these but a few obvious ones may raise an eyebrow or two. For instance the activity of a paedophile perhaps ranks as not permissible, but wait a minute…….. then how can the act of chopping another humans head off be deemed acceptable to Facebook?  It’s not necessary to list the various atrocities which recent war zones have thrown up, never mind what goes on behind closed doors in many societies throughout the world, but we all know there have been many and varied types of actions one human on another which would not pass muster for general viewing. What finessing of judgement makes the act of beheading (in one case a man beheading a woman) any more palatable than other acts of extreme depravity?

Debate

All of the above is of course open to discussion in a civilized society extreme views are heard as well as more mainstream thinking. There’s no civilization since the start of mankind, throughout the great epochs of history that has been untainted by these acts and therefore no one is above or beyond it. But on a simple practical level why would we, as a civilized society wish to be exposed to these images? More importantly why would we want our children to be exposed to these things? Don’t adults have a duty to protect the young of society? Obviously they do. That’s a social responsibility which society recognizes and backs up with many laws and punishments for those who transgress.

No doubt there are high powered psychological reasoning which would explain the possible effects of exposure to these images…. but surely it’s obvious. A fleeting glimpse of such an act can leave a long lasting impression of a kind and with ramifications we cannot know. Ramifications which may never come to the surface or ones which cause depression, solicitude and other unhappy outcomes for an individual but which cannot be traced back to any singular reason or event (as hard as the many caring agencies may try).

All these are arguably a heavy cost to wider society. The pornography of violence is a known area of contention and what is the Facebook policy other than a channel for exactly that? There’s no valid information being passed, no underlying communication, no revolutionary cry to be passed through the actions unveiled on the Facebook website. So what is their point?

Opinion

All views and insights welcome. Drop me  a line.It would be interesting to hear from anyone who can throw light on the reason for Facebook allowing this when they do, as they have demonstrated if not  boasted, have the technical ability to disallow such postings?  The fact that some things are allowed and some are not is indeed a very inconsistent policy. Surely this is common sense. If so why not apply that common sense? Whats your opinion?

 

XploreGhana! App from AppDevelopersUK

XploreGhanaHome

XploreGhana! App from AppDevelopersUK has just been released on both the Google Play and Apple app stores.

This is one of those apps that has been fun for our developers to work with. Its very simple and very useful for all those planning a trip to this fantastic country.  The app includes an RSS feed of news views and opinions about subjects relevant to the user. Rather than use further words describing it I will include a number of screenshots and a live link to both stores so that you can check it out for yourselves. It’s completely FREE to download.

Give it a try.XploreGhana!

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Explore Ghana 22013-10-10 12.01.47

IFCS’s Foster Care App

IFCS’s Foster Care App - App Developers UK

IFCS’s Foster Care App - App Developers UK

Independent Foster Care Services have just released a smartphone app aimed at helping prospective foster carers.The iPhone app provides a valuable social service by bringing together various sources of information. These include pod casts of interviews, application forms and some tasters for the many training modules available.

The app gathers information for the user too, enabling the IFCS head office to make initial assessments and to follow up with appropriate individuals. Of course, the long term aim is to make Fostering a much less daunting process for those who have considered it. With this in mind the Advice Links are invaluable as in the general information about how to become a Foster Carer.

The look and feel of the app has been designed to be as straight forward as possible. The design is clean and navigation is completely intuitive with main menu features taking the user into each topic where a sub menu allows for further detail to be accessed. Here at App Developers UK we are proud to have been a part of this process and hope that by developing the app for IFCS we can help promote this service. If you know of anyone considering becoming a Foster Carer please point them in direction of the IFCS app
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The Google Bill Settler

going-dutchThe Google Bill Settler is upon us, well its coming soon anyway….

You know how awkward it can be at the point in a meal when the bill is produced.  There are 4 of you and one of you didn’t have a sweet, or was driving so had nothing to drink. So the bill comes in and everyone is wondering “how are we going to split this up fairly?”. Well its easy if you can all agree to work it out and add up the parts you are responsible for and pay accordingly. But, in fact that’s the socially awkward part because no one likes to point out that “hey, I only has a salad!”.  So somehow it ends up unfairly split either someone pays too much or someone else pays too little.

Our friendly and ever present master of the digital Universe, Google, has now addressed the problem, has filed a patent for the technology and is working to release a smartphone app which tracks payment transactions between a group and works out who owes what exactly after a joint activity be it a meal, taxi or holiday. What’s more it takes care of the messy business of transferring funds between the respective accounts of these people in the group. But o make it work there is still a need to input the amounts involved and assign them to a joint account which has been set up for the purpose. Let’s hope there are no bugs, that could be a recipe for disaster. Well in my opinion this could cause more problems than it may solve so not one for immediate download. It just moves the argument a little bit further down the digital route instead of resolving the issues. It provides a neat way for doing the maths but the discussion still needs to be had as to who had what and who owes this that or the other.

Maybe this is the point I am coming to…apps cannot necessarily add to your quality of life. They may do, and they may seem essential in some cases and some situations but as consumers we need to be on our guard against spurious apps that simply digitise an issue rather than resolving it. perhaps this is being a little harsh…the proof will be in the pudding.(eek!)