Is Facebook a true form of freedom of expression? As of July 2011, Facebook has more than 800 million active users.
Due to the fact that so many users are checking their status daily and creating different pages or profiles to interact with other users, Facebook has a large portion of influence on society.
“Facebook is one of the most-trafficked sites in the world and has had to build infrastructure to support this rapid growth. The company has created a custom-built search engine serving millions of queries a day, completely distributed and entirely in-memory, with real-time updates,” stated in the Facebook Factsheet.
Mark Zuckerberg, the creator and co-founder of the Social Network, is using ethical values, bias and authority to control the exposure of controversial Facebook pages that are created and posted. What right does Mark Zuckerberg have to decide which page is acceptable and follows the norms of society?
Other avid Facebook users have different opinions on the rights that Mark Zuckerberg has to certain pages and his influence on society.
“I think, since Mark Zuckerberg created Facebook, he is the owner and no one pays for a membership so that gives him the right to block what ever he wants because he owns the rights to those pages. On the other hand, I do feel that people should be more aware of what is going on and not focus all of their opinions from one source,” says Jose Gibaja, mechanical engineering major at Miami Dade College.
Other students at MDC such as computer science major, Hasmaik Estevez said, “no individual, or corporation is exempt from the first amendment, no matter what the reason, shape or form.”
Patricia Belfort, business major added, “just because Facebook is a social media to us, it doesn’t mean that it needs to cater to the whims of society, Facebook is a business.”
The Social Media Manager at Perry Ellis International, Cynthie de Guzman works with Facebook everyday, promoting their company and aiding with the boost of sales.
“I believe Facebook is a very powerful source, that can be used for good and bad. We use Facebook as a source of marketing to further accomplish our sale goals for our company, but many others have created pages with mal intentions such as the terrorist page, The Palestinian Intifada. I believe certain pages that can grow into a threat for our society, should be taken down and looked further into. But other pages that don’t send a violent message shall not be censored.”
According to the Facebook Factsheet, “Facebook is a social utility that helps people communicate more efficiently with their friends, family and coworkers. The company develops technologies that facilitate the sharing of information through the social graph, the digital mapping of people’s real-world social connections. Anyone can sign up for Facebook and interact with the people they know in a trusted environment.”
Everyday Facebook removes a controversial page whether it is demanded from them or their corporation’s choice. Some of these pages promote homosexuality, violence, religion or protests.
These controversial topics should not be censored and should be exposed to the public.
Facebook users have the right to decide what to post and be able to practice their right of freedom of speech.
Mark Zuckerberg should not have the control of our freedom of speech and expression.
While waiting for the clock to turn ten, out of nowhere the door swings open, and a frantic free spirit barges in, with his hair swept to the side by the wind. Deeply concerned with getting to class on time, his facial expression became relieved as soon as we exchanged a glance, and realized this entire morning he was in a different day of the week.
“Wait the interview is today? I thought it was Thursday,” Alejandro Angee, professor of sociology at Miami Dade College exclaims as he rushes in, “ I rushed over here thinking I had class, I knew I had to be here early for something. My scooter ran out of gas, I had to park it at the mover and take it over here.”
Deciding between taking a bike and getting sweaty to school or taking a scooter with no gas is a typical decision Angee has to make in his hectic life.
An ordinary week for Angee involves teaching Miami Dade College students Sociology and Anthropology during the day; but when he isn’t grading papers, Angee is practicing his new electronic set with his band MINIMAL. His week ends playing in a live performance in front of “existentialists” like himself that want to listen to what the Miami Times calls “the tastiest bitter-sweet candy… of wall-flower angst electro-pop.”
The person who Angee has evolved into today has been influenced by all of his life experiences.
Angee was born in Medellin, Colombia and moved to Miami when he was twelve. While growing up with his brothers he would imagine his dreams coming true.
“All my life… I used to fantasize that I was a rock star… since I can remember… right when I was five or six,” Angee explains,
“I always wanted to be a lead singer… but I can’t sing… you know you can tell with my voice from this recording,” he jokingly expressed. For Angee, music has always been a passion, but “Sociology chose me.”
Before studying Sociology, he became interested in what he called, “the career of choice, of moda and fashion.”
When Angee finished his psychology degree he noticed that he wasn’t going to be happy with a career in a field that required separating emotions from his advice so he thought looking at things from a structural perspective would be easier.
“I have always been very concerned about the well being of other people and about politics and about war… so I saw in Sociology something that fulfilled me as a person that matched who I was. I was able to go back to Sociology, to my one true love,” he explains.
After getting his degree in sociology, Angee participated in many research projects, including research for the Labor Studies Institute and for the University of Chicago.
“I was interviewing low-income farm workers in rural areas of Miami,” Angee explains about his research.
His time doing research lead him to consider teaching but did not necessarily feel he wanted to pursue that career path.
“Once you get out of grad school, even though you will be doing a lot of research…,” he states, “it often leads to teaching, so it became part of who I was as a sociologist.”
His students seem to agree.
“This professor cares about his students and wants them to pass the class…,” Jacquelyn Pina, one of Angees students says, “I am fortunate to have a spot in his anthropology class. I can relate to most of the topics especially with having traveled abroad. He has a way of providing insight into different cultures through his lectures. He is an effective communicator with his students.”
His band mates also understand Angee’s dedication to his teaching position.
Lead singer and guitarist of MINIMAL, Gabriel Ayala stated,
“he really cares about his students, [and] he is always very worried and involved.”
Just like teaching, Angee’s band, MINIMAL is also an integral part of who he is.
Three of the band members, including Alaya met each other in the immigrant tenements they lived in twenty-two years ago, when they moved from Colombia.
“We lived in those run down apartments, so we went to the same middle school, same high school [and] we would play soccer together, so we became very close” Angee explains.
MINIMAL, has released two albums. Their first album was titled Fotos, Cartas y un Puñal.
According to Angee, “[the album is] very melancholic dark album, super dark. Most of the songs were stories about life and death. And I think it sort of represents what we were all going through at that age, in that time in our lives.”
Then they released their second album, Hermoso Caos, a sign of growth for the band.
“Hermoso Caos is a four song E.P. and it talks about chaos, that’s why we called it beautiful chaos,” Angee explains, “I think it’s what came out of the first, all of the tension and what we were going through and it emerged out of that and Gabriel and I are very existentialists.”
“There are often these kinds of questions of who we are as individuals… as human beings,” he further explains, “Why do we do the things we do as human beings? Even if they go against our own interest… so Hermoso Caos is sort of about questioning who we are as people as individual and there [are] things that happen in this world are, do they have a purpose or not?”
MINIMAL’s third album, Antibalas Corazon, will soon be released in January.
“[Antibalas Corazon] is a different kind of album. It’s less introspective, It’s a little bit more…I don’t want to say superficial… it’s a little bit more popish in many ways. There are a few love songs. [And] there are a few, like what I call combative songs… About peace and solidarity, and kind of very in tune of what’s going on in the world today” he expresses.
Angee explained that he did bring some of his sociological perspective in a couple of songs on the latest album titled Antibalas and Bombs Away.
According to Miami.com MINIMAL is the band of the hour.
“These ever evolving Spanish language musicians hope to take us along for the ride as they explore innovative ambient reverberations.”
On Friday, November 7, 2011 MINIMAL performed in the local venue, PAX of downtown to promote the 4th Annual Fundraising Benefiting the “Fundación Génesis.” They played an E.P. electric set, to sample some new tracks.
Alejandro Angee plans on going into film and photography in the future, but never leaving behind his passions of his students and his music.
Professor Angee’s MDC Faculty Page