California, USA. While everyone is talking whether Facebook will be finally tamed and “killed” by Google+, trusted sources inform us that Facebook is planning a much bigger coup. The social networking website, which has over 600 million active users, is all set to launch its own modern republic next week. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg would head an interim government in the new republic till inaugural elections are held.
“While mentioning Facebook, various experts have been pointing out that if it were a country, it’d have been only behind China and India in terms of population size,” said a Facebook source, “Our team spotted this opportunity and decided to give it a go.”
Coming Monday, every registered user of Facebook would receive a mail asking to confirm if they’d like to become the citizen of the new country. If a user confirms, he or she would receive his or her passport of the new country, whereas those rejecting the offer would have to apply for “visa” to continue being a user of the website.
“Yes, those not willing to join the Facebook Nation will have to pay visa fees. We’d have different types of visas for different types of users. The social media consultants will have to apply for business visa, Twitter addicts would have to apply for tourist visa, while those who still prefer Orkut will be issued student visa,” informed our source.
Interestingly, since Facebook doesn’t yet own an independent piece of land in this world, all those who’d become the citizens of the Facebook Nation (FN) would automatically become Non Resident Facebookers (NRFs), and thus may need to apply for visa in their existing countries of residence.
“We are in talks with all the nations of the world to allow NRFs to continue living in their respective countries on immigrant visa or transit visa till we buy land and relocate all our citizens,” the Facebook source said, who further informed, “In fact, we may not need to buy land at all because countries like India are willing to offer dual citizenships for the NRFs at no extra cost.”
“We are the fastest growing economy, so we believe we’d strike out a favorable deal with other countries, so the users willing to become citizens of the Facebook Nation should not worry,” the source added.
The new country FN will follow democracy and electoral politics with multi-party system. Any user, rather citizen, would be able to create his own party and ask fellow citizens to ‘like’ it. The parties with maximum likes (at least 10% of total population of FN) would be allowed to contest elections and form government. The first elections would be held in December 2012.
“It makes sense,” says sociologist Ashish Nandy, “people today spend more time online and socialize with virtual friends more than their real ones. Online business is growing exponentially and ‘e’ version of everything real is coming up. Soon, every action of a human being would be executed only in the online domain, so it’s better if there is an authority to regulate and govern all those actions.”
The minute details about how the new county would function are still awaited and could be announced next Monday, but experts believe that going won’t be easy for the new nation, especially if they don’t have a “physical presence” in the real world.
“Politics and business is fine, the e-country would be able to manage them,” says e-sociologist Pritish Nandy, “But what about the social aspects? Most internet users consider Google as God; they turn to Google for all their solutions. Will Facebook allow this practice or consider this as some heretic or traitorous action?”
“What would be the identity of this nation? The ethos? The symbols? Have they thought about these things?” Pritish Nandy sounded very cynical.
But our Facebook source claimed that all such issues had been discussed intensely within the team before they decided to launch a new country. The thumbs-up picture of the “like button” would be the national icon of the new country, FarmVille Cow would be the national animal, while poking would be the native way of greeting each other.
“There is a proposal to make one of the soundtracks of the movie The Social Network as the national anthem,” informed our source, who hinted that Beatles’ song “Baby, You’re a Rich Man” which appears at the end of the movie might win the race.
The not-so-cynical experts believe that the Facebook Nation would be a runaway success and would lead to creation of new e-countries, with Google most likely to follow suit and pave way for a bipolar but vibrant e-world.
“The real problem would be when companies like ibibo follow suit; it will create failed e-countries that might give rise to e-recession and e-terrorism,” warned an expert.
(Updated on July 1, 2011 to modify the script to incorporate the launch of Google+; the original script referred to the launch of email service by Facebook in November 2010. “Facebook Nation” picture source)