Facebook demands that its citizens are open and connected, yet Facebook as a company is far from open and transparent.
With 1.4 billion users, Facebook is the world’s largest social media space and the company stores personal data on an unprecedented scale. Facebook is perhaps the most visible symptom of an increasingly closed and centralised internet, but is also a social revolution with great democratic potential.
“Facebookistan” takes a close look at Facebook, exploring how several individuals and organisations are hit hard by Facebook’s policies and by their working conditions. The film examines through case examples, how Facebook as a business challenges two of democracy’s basic principles: the right to free speech and the right to privacy.Film director Jakob Gottschau has made a well researched indictment against Facebook, shining a light on author Peter Øvig who’s work came under fire from Facebook’s censorship machine when his book ‘Hippie’ was too much for Facebook with its historical pictures of bare breasts and 1970s permissiveness; Sister Roma who, as an important representative of the LGBT scene in San Francisco, was discriminated against in terms of keeping a secret identity; and on the film’s protagonist, Max Schrems – an Austrian activist who successfully filed a lawsuit against Facebook and who is founder of the group “Europe vs. Facebook”.
Facebook is perhaps the most visible symptom of an increasingly closed and centralised internet, but it is also a social revolution with great democratic potential.