By cutting the corporate chains of an internet giant like Facebook and standing up for my principles of boycotting a company that is happy with tax avoidance schemes, I find myself tempted into the world of corporate social media within the first 24 hours of going ‘independent’. But how do I know that I’m not jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire?
After writing my first post and navigating the various technical processes of the amateur blogger, I found myself in a world of buttons and widgets that any lapsed geek would find irresistible. And not surprisingly I explored every possible option, resulting in the reclassification of my blog as ‘mature’ – you’re now reading a porn site apparently! And every good porn site needs a good tweet….. so I looked at the Twitter options within WordPress and within moments, I’d signed up without really knowing the history of the company. I even changed the name of my blog from ‘The Lapsed Catholic’ to ‘A Lapsed Catholic’ because Twitter had a 15 character limit on it’s usernames.
I suppose that I was less concerned with this company selling my personal data, since I used my pseudonym to setup the account, but I have no idea if Twitter has a better tax record than Facebook. So should I automatically accept that this company has a good ethical policy and one that I would be happy to support? Or should I be investigating every corporation, business, and organisation, that I interact with? And who am I to judge?
I remember recently visiting The Green Party and doing a quick search on the internet (probably using Google!) and finding an article about the massive heat loss from the party HQ, in comparison with the energy efficient Conservative and Labour headquarters. How could I support a party that doesn’t even practise what it preaches?! And, Oh My God, they have muffins in plastic packaging! Don’t they know about the gyre in the Pacific Ocean?! Of course, I judged them too quickly and the building that they occupied was shared with a number of other NGOs with a landlord that was ethical enough to offer space to organisations with a social and ethical cause rather than the organisation willing to pay the most money, so probably a little strapped for cash to make major improvements to the buildings. I never asked about the muffins when I found out that this national political party was run by only nine paid individuals – reliant on thousands of volunteers and limited donations. The other political parties may have the resources to ejaculate their green policies but their is little evidence of their success – and more suggestion of their corruption (I stolen that verb from Arthur Conan Doyle via Stephen Fry on QI, and thought it was appropriate for my ‘mature’ audience).
So I shouldn’t judge Twitter too quickly but at the same time, I shouldn’t be ignorant of an issue that needs to be addressed. I will look further into their ethical policies and tax affairs, and continue to utilise their services until such time. And eventually I will work out how to remove the Facebook button from my blog…….!