Metaverse - Facebook got it wrong. About three years ago without warning or reason all WST (When Steel Talks) steelpan-related accounts fell out of favor with the social media giant Facebook now known as Meta and its aligned consortiums (Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp). Because WST has all of our material hosted on our own shared servers, this ‘tag’ was not incurable or as problematic as it could have been. However, it was annoying to have people seeking critical steelpan music info diverted by Facebook AI (artificial intelligence). A sizable portion of the global steelpan music community still utilizes Facebook (FB) and its groups as a portal to access information on WST and in addition, the internet.
No one (human) or Facebook’s AI department ever contacted WST, nor is there seemingly any direct way as far as we know to contact anyone at Facebook about these matters. The reality is, as WST has maintained, we the users really don’t own these sites, software and hardware (your computer, cell phone, etc.); more on that later.
WST has been an active FB member since 2008. And as we stated earlier while WST readily shares our articles and media on FB - we very rarely ever upload our material directly onto FB servers; we ceased posting images/albums directly to Facebook years ago. This avoids a lot of issues and future contention over ownership and copyrights. And of course being locked out of your own “space” or content - and/or sued for using your own creations as some have experienced through some very contentious Getty Images entanglements - is over the top.
So, when we - out of the blue - received a plethora of messages from FB essentially apologizing and stating “we’re sorry we got it wrong” we were surprised. So what exactly does this mean? Who is sorry? Does this mean that FB’s AI took another listen to master arranger Clive Bradley’s “Stranger” and decided “this is good stuff?” Or reviewed WST’s documenting of steelpan music all over the world throughout the years and decided this was not subversive, but critical content of history and facts?
As we have now experienced, when Facebook’s AI gets involved it is the judge, jury and executioner. Now might be the time for the AI to prove to the user that there is a human behind it, and it is not the user who has to prove that they are ‘human.’
There are those who will feel that the FB AI did eventually correct itself or change its “mind or algorithm” (three years too late) - like a posthumous pardon; but really, we’re not feeling it.
One of hundreds if not thousands of identical messages WST received in cascades from Facebook
Anyway, for now Meta and Pan are friends again - or so we think - until they’re not. This might be a moment to ponder what would happen if many of the popular social media platforms were to suddenly vanish. Of note, Meta owns three of the most popular - Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram. Over the years many steelpan music organizations and orchestras have abandoned their websites as their primary internet presence, and have lost, regrettably, their deeds to their “site names” and history in exchange for the apparent ease of a quick internet and social media manifestation.
Indeed, as we have recently seen with Google engineers - there is a belief among some that AI has begun to achieve consciousness. In this regard, perhaps the Facebook AI is similarly evolving, and with new-found cognitive skills and consciousness it became “embarrassed” from the complaints and absurdity of its position on Pan.
Leave your comment in the WST Forum
Order yours now