By SETH J. FRANTZMAN
A recent article says that two of the creators of the “like” button on Facebook have had a re-think. They now see it “as an ‘attention economy’ that is hurting humanity.” There is a novel solution to this. The desire for likes, as with the desire for wealth, creates disparities and inequality in society. To better ease the social burden of taking care of the least-liked individuals we should create a safety net for them. This could begin wish seeing “likes” as a social right, a public good to be collectivized and re-distributed. From each person according to their popularity to each person according to their lack thereof.
“Likes” could be taxed like we tax other things. In that way those with more “likes” would have to hand in a certain percent to a public fund, a social “like” security account. Some of these would be provided as benefits to the least likable. This progressive “like” tax would increase as taxable “likes” increase. Those with lower numbers of “likes” would pay less likes and those with more would be reduced in their hogging of the “likes.” The “fat cat” 1% of most likable people would need to be like-taxed at a relatively fair rate of around thirty-five percent of their earned likes a year. They could receive “like” write-offs for instance by giving “likes” to charitable organizations or non-liked organizations. Organization, for instance, which do not seek “likes” but merely work for the good of the people.
It is important in society to have “like” justice, in which we understand that like equality is an essential social good. There is “like” privilege and it is essential to acknowledge it, just as we must acknowledge “like” discrimination, those who are born with less likable skills, least likely to succeed due to an insufficient education in being liked. Those at the lowest rungs of the “like” ladder, just starting out, need a helping hand and a boost. They need affirmative liking, such that we have more diversity of likeabilility. A system of quotas for the least liked must be instituted.