Shut down Facebook to save the world?

07 Mar

There is an ongoing campaign pushing Mark Zuckerberg to shut down facebook for Earth Hour. You can read about it here, here, and here. Or, you can watch the video that the leader has put on youtube:

Here’s the facebook page for the campaign.

There are so many things wrong with this campaign I don’t know where to begin. Actually, I don’t think I will. I’ll just direct you to the another Facebook page:

Keep Fbook on for Earth Hour

It’s a response to the campaign. It seems fitting that this discussion would take place on Facebook….



Posted by on March 7, 2011 in Uncategorized


5 responses to “Shut down Facebook to save the world?

  1. willard

    April 1, 2011 at 6:17 pm

    > There are so many things wrong with this campaign I don’t know where to begin.

    Perhaps by citing one?

    And then, since there are many things wrong, there should perhaps be a second one.

    Finally why not a third one, at least to claim that there is a list of reasons, ending with an et cetera.

    I’d really like to know at least one reason.

  2. Sam

    April 1, 2011 at 10:42 pm

    There were various reasons listed at the FB page above. I took down the page because Earth Hour is over and FB wasn’t taken down. I’ll give you seven things wrong with the campaign:

    1. Shutting down FB for one hour won’t save energy as the video claims.

    They admit this, but they state that the real purpose is to ‘raise awareness about climate change’.

    2. Everyone knows about climate change already.

    3. If you want to really solve global warming (or any environmental problem) don’t do symbolic stunts like this at all. One hour every year accomplishes nothing.

    4. The idea that shutting something off (like your lights or FB) will help the problem is absurd. Shunning technology and electricity don’t help, embracing new innovations is the real answer.

    5. Once the campaign is over and you’ve failed to get FB shut down, what do you have to show for it? A whole lot of wasted time and NO benefit to the planet.

    6. Facebook helps the environment by moving meetings and communications from energy intensive ‘real life’ to the online world.

    7. The time spent off of FB is no more likely to be more helpful to the planet than time spent on FB. Actually, considering the possibility that some people might take up the girl in the video’s suggestion to ‘poke in real life’, it may harm the planet in the long run due to new carbon emitting humans being born.

    I think they were well intentioned, but ultimately it was a stupid idea. Trying to shut down a popular website for one hour in order to save the planet? Come on.

  3. willard

    April 3, 2011 at 6:02 pm

    You’re shooting from the hip now.

    Yes, the overall idea is merely symbolic. But symbolism does have some impact. For instance, refusing the importance of symbolism would entail that the Hockey Stick does not matter.

    If the Hockey Stick is an icon, imagine FB.

    Everyone knows about Coke. So I guess we should take down all Coke ads. Come on.

  4. Sam

    April 3, 2011 at 8:02 pm

    First off, if you watch the video the girl clearly states that Mark Zuckerberg will be a hero for shutting down facebook because he’s “saving energy and saving energy will eventually save the world.”

    But that isn’t true on either account. Shutting down FB for one hour wouldn’t save energy (it would probably increase it) and why on earth would saving energy eventually save the world?

    That’s the problem with this campaign and earth hour in general. They demonize electricity, one of the greatest advances in human history.

    I’m not saying symbolism isn’t important, and only points one and two above reference that. My other points are valid.

    Do you believe that shutting down even the world’s most popular website for one hour will somehow help solve climate change? If not, why do it?

    Once again, I do believe they were well intentioned and I support their right to have such a group. I simply am asserting my right to point out that it was a stupid campaign.

  5. willard

    April 5, 2011 at 4:35 pm

    If and when FB will campaign to sensibilize individuals about their energy consumption by participating in a symbolic one-hour shutdown of all energy-powered appliances will we see if that’s as stupid, demonizing or useless regarding AGW. Until then, causal questionning like “is shutting down FB really saves energy?” are as trivial as missing the point. FB’s servers would have to be kept online to at least show a page saying that they’re down for the hour anyway.

    That said, I will concede that PR campaigners should beware that their message can always be interpreted litteraly. They should always mind those who keep asking for engineering-level derivations of every claims.


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