Hacker News new | comments | show | ask | jobs | submit login
Facebook Blocks Internet Pioneer “R.U. Sirius” (nwn.blogs.com)
193 points by spiralganglion 774 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 169 comments



Facebook has kinda chosen a path that sets them apart from, and often in active opposition to, the Internet RU Sirius envisioned. Facebook is antithetical to what a lot of folks wanted to see the Internet become, so it shouldn't be surprising that the early visionaries of the Internet find themselves being excluded from participation in facebook on their own terms. Participation in facebook is on facebook's terms, always, and it's not surprising when they're dicks who wield that power arbitrarily.

I've had several transgender friends excluded from participation in facebook based on this name policy, and I've known a wide variety of other people who use odd names for a wide variety of reasons (some silly, some deadly serious like trying to hide from an abusive ex) who've also been excluded from participation. Facebook makes pleasant noises about the policy and its implementation, but the reality is they're not doing this for us, for the good of the world, or for the good of the open Internet.

I'm not trying to go all RMS about facebook; I have a facebook account, and I use it daily. But, facebook isn't the Internet I envisioned, either. It is just another petty little walled garden where we're all peasants.


Excuse the poor pun but.. are you serious?

Facebook excluded several of your friends based on their terrible name policy. They run their walled garden however they want to. Your participation in it makes you (in your own words) a "peasant".

Yet, you're not trying to go all RMS about it and you continue to use it daily to give them more money/power?

Do you see anything wrong with this picture?

Say what you want about RMS, but at least he's principled and does/says what he thinks instead of conforming to social norms.


It's not reasonable to expect people to "just not use facebook". Not that it's not possible - it is (and I don't use it), but it doesn't mean facebook can just do whatever. Reposting an old comment of mine:

For a lot of people, Facebook is "The Web". That's all or almost all they use. The less tech-literate ones don't even know "the web", they connect to Facebook. They get their news from Facebook. They communicate on Facebook. Everything they do online, they do on Facebook.

Like someone mentioned above, when you get big enough you start to have responsibilities. When your actions affect and your voice is heard by billions of people, you're no longer "some random privately-owned website"... you're a supergiant with the ability to affect the entire world.


> It's not reasonable to expect people to "just not use Facebook".

Huh? Nobody used Facebook before 2003. Now people simply can't avoid using it?


And in 2015 everyone is on Facebook. If everyone moves off of Facebook then we're back in the "good old days" but until then, there are many social aspects, such as event planning, that are being done entirely on the site. You can't point to a time when FB wasn't around and say that everyone didn't have FB then and can just as easily not have it again when reality has changed so much since then.


there are many social aspects, such as event planning, that are being done entirely on the site

I haven't had a Facebook account for 3 years and while that was my main concern, I found that any event worth going to the organizer would simply call, message or email you because they wanted you to be there. People vastly underestimate the power of their real social network and what friendship or love can do to motivate people to maintain relationships.

Canning your account is also a good way to cull relationships not worth maintaining. In my case it was around 70% of my contacts, leaving 30% who I gave a damn about. The ultimate tool for social networking is still at my disposal - the mobile phone. Facebook is a middle-man. A relationship broker.

Some advice for anyone who plans on closing their Facebook account: scrape any photos with you in them (and anyone you have an affinity for), phone numbers and the big one: birthdays. My calendar reminds me when someone has a birthday and their phone numbers sit in my contacts list.


I haven't had a Facebook account for 3 years and while that was my main concern, I found that any event worth going to the organizer would simply call, message or email you because they wanted you to be there. People vastly underestimate the power of their real social network and what friendship or love can do to motivate people to maintain relationships.

Based on the comments people make about how essential Facebook is, it seems that not everyone has the luxury of such friendships. Maybe it's because they grew up in a military family that moved around frequently, or they came from a small town where nobody shared their interests, etc. They still might want the company of the fair weather friends who only invite them to do stuff via mass events on Facebook.


> Maybe it's because they grew up in a military family that moved around frequently, or they came from a small town where nobody shared their interests, etc. They still might want the company of the fair weather friends who only invite them to do stuff via mass events on Facebook.

Or maybe they're just... normal, regular adults? The kind that met their friends in school and university, and then had to split with most of them because some were from out of town, other moved; everyone now has a job and responsibilities and any tool that lets you maintain relationships without crazy amount of micromanagement is a very useful thing?

Some comments try to marginalize Facebook as if it was something weird. It isn't. It's normal to use it. That's what regular folks do.


Sorry to point that out but it seems you miswrote email in your reply.


No I didn't. Normal people don't use e-mail for day-to-day communication anymore, unless they need to send files (e.g. documents) as attachments. You may not like it, you may pretend it isn't happening, but it doesn't change that it's true.


Anecdote not data, but out of 96 emails in my inbox, only one of them is even remotely social (if you count a family member asking for PC tech support as social)...


well then I suppose you have a facebook and have blocked all those annoying email from facebook warning you about what's happening on facebook which is a dead giveaway that facebook understand that email is where the action is/was/will be.

Try surveying an inbox of those who do not use facebook. Chances are you'll get quite a different picture.

You can also have a look at those:

http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2014/08/why-em...

http://blog.frontapp.com/email-will-last-forever (seems to be down at the moment, try the wayback machine: http://web.archive.org/web/20150331054046/http://blog.fronta... )


(Please don't take it personally; I want to comment on a generic phenomenon.)

There is a pattern I see in every HN thread about Facebook. It consists of comments structured like this: "I haven't had a Facebook account for [1 year - ever]. I don't see what's useful about it. I think relationships maintained by it are bad / artificial / unnecessary." Am I the only one who notices that comments of the form "I don't use X therefore I have an opinion on X" are of... limited usefulness?

--

> I found that any event worth going to the organizer would simply call, message or email you because they wanted you to be there.

Facebook invitations are equivalent to the forms above.

> People vastly underestimate the power of their real social network

Facebook is as real as any other social network.

> and what friendship or love can do to motivate people to maintain relationships.

If you're my friend or love interest, why are you making it more difficult for me to contact you?

> Some advice for anyone who plans on closing their Facebook account: scrape any photos with you in them (and anyone you have an affinity for), phone numbers and the big one: birthdays. My calendar reminds me when someone has a birthday and their phone numbers sit in my contacts list.

One of the most pathetic things people do on-line is putting a fake birthday into Facebook (and before that, into the IMs they were using), to see who actually remembers the real date. It always makes me wonder, what they're trying to prove this way? That some people don't care about them enough to remember the date? Well guess what, nobody is that fucking important. Your parents and your spouse may remember the date, but why should anyone else? Do you remember the birth dates of people you expect to remember yours?


> Facebook is as real as any other social network.

This has been proven otherwise.

> If you're my friend or love interest, why are you making it more difficult for me to contact you?

exactly! why do you force me to register an account on a known privacy invader website that don't respect its words nor its users to get in touch with you ?

>One of the most pathetic things people do on-line is putting a fake birthday into Facebook to see who actually remembers the real date.

The people I know who do that are doing it just because they don't want to give away their real birth date. This is sensitive info.


> This has been proven otherwise.

[citation needed]. Seriously, what exactly is so different about Facebook? As far as I can tell, it's the usual generational whining about "technology destroying social relations", that was repeated by every generation since invention of newspapers.

> exactly! why do you force me to register an account on a known privacy invader website that don't respect its words nor its users to get in touch with you ?

The OP phrased his comment in a way that implied you are the one burdening your loved ones on purpose, and this was what I responded to.

> The people I know who do that are doing it just because they don't want to give away their real birth date. This is sensitive info.

Birthdays are absolutely not sensitive info (regardless of legal definition); if you're thinking that, you're fooling yourself. Like name, address, sex, and bank account number, they're public info. Usernames, not passwords. You've probably left all of those multiple times this year to random untrusted third parties.


>[citation needed]. Seriously, what exactly is so different about Facebook? As far as I can tell, it's the usual generational whining about "technology destroying social relations", that was repeated by every generation since invention of newspapers.

This is not wikipedia. just use a search engine, talk to people who closed their or got removed from facebook, go to the library to get books on the subject, get in a horrible accident and count how many facebook contacts are on your bedside when you wake up, get convicted and thrown in jail and see how many facebook contacts will be visiting you regularly for 10 years.

I fail to understand how exactly it is news: party friends are not true friends, drug friends are not true friends, facebook contacts are not true friends either.

> The OP phrased his comment in a way that implied you are the one burdening your loved ones on purpose, and this was what I responded to.

And I phrased mine to show that your counter argument works both ways, except facebook is preventing outside people from getting in touch with inside people, not the other way around.

>Birthdays are absolutely not sensitive info (regardless of legal definition); if you're thinking that, you're fooling yourself. Like name, address, sex, and bank account number, they're public info. Usernames, not passwords. You've probably left all of those multiple times this year to random untrusted third parties.

People who do not put heir real birth date may think that, on the other I know that it is a sensitive information for I have personal experience with its exploitation. You may have confused a few concept here, data that is public can also be sensitive, see social engineering. But let's just give you a random innocent example: girl has crush on boy, stalks his facebook for birth date, find out his astrology sign, renounces for astrocompatibility bs. Boy unknowingly missed opportunity to explore bases.


> This is not wikipedia.

This is Hacker News. I actually expect higher standards of this place.

> I fail to understand how exactly it is news: party friends are not true friends, drug friends are not true friends, facebook contacts are not true friends either.

You seem to believe that "Facebook network" and "real life network" are distinct networks. They're not. Usually there are only few points when they don't overlap - because in reality, you have one social network and Facebook is a convenient tool to manage it. So yes, I if I get into an accident or get thrown into a jail I expect a lot of my Facebook friends, who are also real-life friends, to show up. Hell, I expect many more to come than without Facebook, because there really is no other widespread way of keeping many people updated about each other's day-to-day life.

> And I phrased mine to show that your counter argument works both ways, except facebook is preventing outside people from getting in touch with inside people, not the other way around.

I accept that it works both ways. In most discussions, people actually bring up only the side from your counter, completely forgetting about the one I wanted to remind OP about.

> You may have confused a few concept here, data that is public can also be sensitive, see social engineering.

Part of the problem of social engineering is that people treat "public but sensitive data" as anything but public. If I know your birthday or address or bank account number, it doesn't prove anything about my relationship to you. People who ignore it end up becoming victims of social engineering attacks. I think it's a part of basic security training to make them understand that this data is to be assumed public knowledge.

> a random innocent example: girl has crush on boy, stalks his facebook for birth date, find out his astrology sign, renounces for astrocompatibility bs. Boy unknowingly missed opportunity to explore bases.

Well, so what? Things like these happen all the time with any random things. She may have overheard his birth date in a conversation. Or maybe he put a fake date and she thought it's true and gave up even though both were astrocompatibile and believed in the BS. It's easy to invent such examples to prove just about any point.


As there is a current high profile story illustrating the issue of the effect of social media on teen, here are some of the requested citation: http://www.letsbegamechangers.com/ and www.zmonline.com/photos/zm-photos/instagram-celeb-reveals-the-ugly-reality-behind-her-social-media-presence/

> You seem to believe that "Facebook network" and "real life network" are distinct networks. They're not. Extraordinary claims requires extraordinary evidence. Having a look in a teen's facebook versus his/her real life should be enough to see by yourself the reality is not what you claim. But I'll rather introduce you to Robin Dunbar and the Dunbar Number: "orry, Facebook friends: Our brains can't keep up["1] and "The Limits of Friendship"[2]

> In most discussions, people actually bring up only the side from your counter, completely forgetting about the one I wanted to remind OP about.

And there is a reason for that, which is simply that facebook added an artificial barrier between people as tool to force people to register to facebook. The wall of the so called walled garden.

> Part of the problem of social engineering is that people treat "public but sensitive data" as anything but public.

Ok, it seems I have failed to express myself correctly and my simple and innocent example failed to get through. Allow me to reformulate: - A birth date is personal data, for it is indeed related to a specific person. -Personal data is sensitive data. - That's it, there's nothing more to it.

I suppose you live in a place and time too far away from the last attempt at rounding people for mass killing and attempted extermination to remember how important and sensitive personal data is.

I guess those who fail to remember history are doomed to relive it.

[1]: http://www.cnet.com/news/sorry-facebook-friends-our-brains-c... [2]: http://www.newyorker.com/science/maria-konnikova/social-medi...


Please don't take it personally; I want to comment on a generic phenomenon.

I don't and I appreciate your reply. The amount of years wasn't a penis-measuring contest, it was to add context to the rest of my statement. The subtext was with time your attachment to the thing lessens. I can see that my statement follows a formula that regularly appears in response to popular topics.

> People vastly underestimate the power of their real social network

Facebook is as real as any other social network.

I feel like this was the most important part of what I was trying to say - Don't underestimate human needs or desires. Don't underestimate the power of real friendship. This is what humans have used for a long time. If someone wants to see you, they will. If someone likes you, they'll like you whether you're on MyFace or only accessible by phone. Facebook is only a recent phenomenon, yet people act like they're severing a limb if they don't participate on it.

But! You make a good point and force me to add a caveat: Facebook did add value because I became good friends with people through weak initial bonds. Because of its ease of use, its casualness and how noncommittal you can be with people over it. It helped me produce some valuable relationships which now happen outside of it. It was a catalyst of sorts. But only for a very narrow selection of friends and later in life.

One of the most pathetic things people do on-line is putting a fake birthday into Facebook (and before that, into the IMs they were using), to see who actually remembers the real date.

I don't know anyone like that. They'd be culled from my circle if that's the kind of bullshit they pulled.


Thank you for taking time to answer :).

> The subtext was with time your attachment to the thing lessens.

I definitely agree with that. It's true about most of things in life; frankly, people (myself included) usually underestimate how people can come to terms with things and/or stop caring about something once they commit to detach from it.

I originally interpreted your comment as typical "I haven't used X for years therefore I don't see why others still use it" kind of comment, which always appear in FB-related threads. I now see that your point was more subtle and I jumped to conclusions.

I agree with your point about close friendships and the power of human needs and desires. But I personally find my life greatly enhanced by the ability new technology, and Facebook in particular, gives to keep the weak ties. Because I found out on many occasions that they don't always stay weak. Every now and then, you may end up getting real close with that one weak acquaintance, and then you're glad you've kept contact.

Also "casualness and how noncommittal you can be with people over it" feel important to me. Maybe it's the introvert vs. extrovert thing again, but myself and a lot of people I know really appreciate the kind of flexible commitment Facebook gives, which is a kind of combination of e-mails, IMs and newsgroups. Being introvert, investing time in constant face-to-face - or even voice - synchronized contact would totally wear me down. I love asynchronous communication, and I know I'm not the only one.

> It helped me produce some valuable relationships which now happen outside of it. It was a catalyst of sorts. But only for a very narrow selection of friends and later in life.

Personally I believe that Facebook, like all technology, works best when it's a part of your life - even if a big part - but does not take over the life completely. You really can't replicate all aspects of off-line contact in software.

> I don't know anyone like that. They'd be culled from my circle if that's the kind of bullshit they pulled.

I know a few, some did that before Facebook with various IMs. Some understand this is pointless and get over it, others sadly don't. I'd probably cull most of those who would make a big issue out of me not remembering, but fortunately AFAIR no one ever did.


I agree with you on the gist of your comment but wanted to address this:

> If you're my friend or love interest, why are you making it more difficult for me to contact you?

If you're my friend or love interest, I will immediately lose interest in you if you require me to use something I dislike simply for maintaining an online relationship. I don't make it particularly hard for people to contact me. Email, phone, IRC, gtalk, even shudders skype. If you can't use any of these, or simply talk in real life, you'll need to be quite the snowflake for me to actually use facebook just for you.


Yes, I agree, it works both ways.


I'm not on facebook never will be, many people are not. Some do not have broadband internet access, other do not have internet access at all or even a computer. Can you believe this, there are people who do not have consistent electricity.

Obviously not everyone is on facebook in 2015 and this is something that will simply not happen.


Being "on Facebook" does not imply that one loses access to other forms of communication. I'm not a Facebook user, but a few of my friends are (presumably). They still respond to E-mails and they still answer phone calls. I've never encountered anyone who claimed that as soon as they signed up for Facebook, they lost Grandma's phone number.


"And in 2015 everyone is on Facebook"

Not even close. Check some statistics on how many (or few) teenagers use it.


And in 2010 "nobody" will be in Facebook.

I've been watching this social media lifecycle for 30 years. No, Facebook isn't "too big to fail" any more than the dozen other "too big to fail" forums, all of which failed.


It's easy to say Facebook will eventually fail, but given its size it will take a major shift in Internet usage for it to happen. People compare Facebook to AOL. AOL started to decline because of the shift from dial-up to broadband. What will cause Facebook to decline? A shift to mobile? Facebook owns four of top social apps (Facebook, Messenger, WhatsApp, Instagram). VR? Facebook owns Oculus.


AOL bought Time-Warner, major broadband supplier. How could the monster dominating social media site lose market share in the shift to broadband when they practically owned broadband? But...they did, completely.


That was the idea, but then you have to execute. The AOL Time-Warner merger was fraught with managerial infighting. So far Facebook has been good at integrating its acquisitions.


Please tell me more about all these historical "too big to fail" "forums" where across the globe, all of my non-technical friends and their entire families, including grandma, were signed up and active.


So basically you are asking "tell me about those online places where I couldn't find those people who had no internet access at the time."

Internet penetration increases through time and with that more non-knowledgeable people get on board and go to the lowest common denominator, lower branches. See AOL, eternal september.

The point being that those site such as facebook and those who came before have no proper value. Value and content comes from the users, who can shift it around quite faster than expected. -edit- sorry, allow me to correct myself here, facebook has value in that it succeeded in linking real names with online profiles. Something that was unthinkable and contrary to common sense and netiquette. -/edit-

Follow the trail of 13 years old and you'll know which site is gonna succeed in the near future.


CompuServe. AOL. Both dominated social media so much that anyone new had practically no choice but sign up because everyone they knew who was on any social media was on there.

Wasn't long ago here on HN we were bantering about Facebook disappearing because everyone was leaving in droves.


There's always a Facebook-shaped niche. It used to a CompuServe-shaped niche. Then it turned into an AOL-shaped niche.

But it's the same niche, for more-or-less the same user profile.

And it'a a very vulnerable niche. FB may seem unstoppable at the moment, but it really isn't.

The number of ways it could be replaced is non-trivial.

Zuckerberg knows this, hence internet.org, which is really just a way to promote lock-in in the developing world. But that's a lot less useful than it seems if FB loses traction in the developed world.


There was a time..so I hear, where nobody used email.

How come people simply cannot avoid using it?

If you have a non-internet way for my computer illiterate parents to see photos of their grandchildren on different continents, please let me know


"If you have a non-internet way for my computer illiterate parents to see photos of their grandchildren on different continents, please let me know"

It's called "mail".


Have you ever sent a letter from Shanghai to Houston? By the time it arrives, the grandkids are already grown. You also neglect the cost: going to the photo lab, having film developed and printed. Buying a stamp, putting things in the envelope. Writing the address. Because since we're talking about not using digital tools, we might as well go back to using darkrooms.

Then you also have the scalability of physical mail: must you now send photos to all concerned participants? You have to make copies of everything and send letters to everyone? Technology improves social relationships; despite the whining about Facebook. In the old days, families living across the world actually communicated less. I live a continent away from my Dad, but each day we are still able to interact via digital means, including seeing each other via video. Facebook is just an implantation detail (that you may not like,) but the overall power of the Internet makes life better, regardless of Luddite complaints to the contrary. It's supremely ironic that some in the HN community have gone from being digital pioneers to being less technologically enthusiastic than our grandmothers.

I really think it comes down to snobbery -- the same attitude that leads people to proudly proclaim "I don't even own a TV,) despite working for a company that has an "-ly" at the end of the name. "Kill your Television" has been replaced with "Kill Facebook." Ned's Atomic Dustbin ought to update their lyrics.


There was a time we didn't take photos. Why do you need them? By the time the recipients meet you in person, the photos will have been outdated. It's just a newfangled thing that people are used to.

PS: Okay, I can see how they MAY be useful for things like news or seeing other planets up close. But that's it.


Not everyone, but yes absolutely. Sure, they won't die if facebook disappears tomorrow, but their social life would - and haven't we learned by now that social life is a core component for a healthy mind? Or did we stop caring about healthy minds at all? (After all, in the US, mental health is a taboo and anything that isn't "work" or "country" is massively belittled).

So yeah - telling people to "just stop using facebook" is akin to telling smokers to "just stop smoking", and will net the same results.

I find it incredibly sociopathic that some people around here simply can't picture a world in which others care about Facebook more than they do. And like I said, I don't have a facebook account - but I also am ready to admit I'm not the main demographic for that site. I dislike the site and have no use for most of what it offers. I'm less social than the average, and I don't have grandparents or family in general using it.

But there's a lot of people who aren't in this situation. For some, facebook is a social/family requirement; for some others, it's even a prerequisite to getting a job. And I actually see people saying "Just don't get that job"... yes, well, that's easy for you to say, what with your skills being in demand and your parent's house and massive cushion of money in the bank to catch you if you fall.

Get some perspective, please.


> So yeah - telling people to "just stop using facebook" is akin to telling smokers to "just stop smoking", and will net the same results.

I have no problem with that. Want to not have the damaging effects of smoking? Don't smoke. Seriously. You're addicted, I get it. But the fundamental unhealthiness of smoking isn't going to change any time soon.

I don't really disagree with you in general (though I don't think Facebook has gotten to the necessity point of being required to have a social life). That metaphor is just way off.


The metaphor is way off mostly because Facebook doesn't really have negative / damaging effects to its users, besides things constantly invented by people not using it to rationalize why they're not using it.

It really sounds like "reasons not to have a cellphone" sounded 15 years ago.


>The metaphor is way off mostly because Facebook doesn't really have negative / damaging effects to its users, besides things constantly invented by people not using it to rationalize why they're not using it.

You sound like a drug addict.

A first study shows that the longer people are active on Facebook, the more negative is their mood afterwards. The second study provides causal evidence for this effect by showing that Facebook activity leads to a deterioration of mood compared to two different control conditions. Furthermore, it was demonstrated that this effect is mediated by a feeling of not having done anything meaningful. With such negative outcomes for its users, the question arises as to why so many people continue to use Facebook on a daily basis. A third study suggests that this may be because people commit an affective forecasting error in that they expect to feel better after using Facebook, whereas, in fact, they feel worse. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0747563214...


And you sound like luddite.

I appreciate the link. I'll comment more when I manage to find a full-text PDF, because the abstract doesn't instill confidence in the quality of study, and I've learned (and it was confirmed by various analyses) that you have to assume that any social science study from this decade is total and utter bullshit until proven otherwise. I particularly expect to find out that the study can be equally applicable to e-mail and most other sites people use on the Internet.



> I have no problem with that. Want to not have the damaging effects of smoking? Don't smoke. Seriously. You're addicted, I get it. But the fundamental unhealthiness of smoking isn't going to change any time soon.

OK, and what did that just achieve?

Really, what's the point of telling people to do or not to do stuff? What if I tell you to stop putting sugar/milk in your coffee, will you? What's my say in it?

There's solid reasons preventing people to leave facebook or quit smoking. Work with that, and you'll make a meaningful difference. Or don't, stay on your lawn at kids and their facebooks, you'll be less relevant than an ant in china.


Amazing how my little one-liner has blown up into this huge thread full of people attacking and defending Facebook. My only point (which I still stand by) is that Facebook is a web site. It's not food or water. You don't need it to survive. You don't need it to have a social life. Some people choose to use it to help facilitate communication with friends and family and whatnot, but if it went away tomorrow, they'd just use other means to do the same thing. It's totally replaceable, and the idea that it is some essential human need and that people just can't possibly not use it is ridiculous.


I kind of agree with you on the sociopathic comment, but your anti-American quip is just wrong. Sports are neither work, nor country and they aren't belittled. Music isn't belittled and mental illness isn't taboo any more than anything else. People where their anxiety, ADHD and depression almost as a point of pride. Talk to any middle class New Yorker and inevitably the conversation veers to.. "My therapist told me.."


FWIW, I stopped using it years ago, and the thing I noticed is that FB is a good way to keep you fresh in peoples minds. Other than that, it's a great way to have something to talk about when you meet, since your life is a mystery to them.


> but it doesn't mean facebook can just do whatever.

It all comes down to this; Facebook can do whatever the fuck they want.


"Like someone mentioned above, when you get big enough you start to have responsibilities. When your actions affect and your voice is heard by billions of people, you're no longer "some random privately-owned website"... you're a supergiant with the ability to affect the entire world."

Facebook should be nationalized.


Are you being serious? Poe's Law at work right here.


To which nation?


Facebook ;)


I dunno, I've never once had an account there, so it can't be that bad to just not use it. As far as I can tell, I'm missing... cow clicker? Farmville? I don't even know any more.


It would be nice if I had the luxury of completely disconnecting from modern society in order to stay true to my principles. But I don't. Modern corporations have gone to great to make it extremely inconvenient to not use their services--which is exactly the problem we're talking about, isn't it? If we didn't rely on them for our daily activities, we wouldn't care if they had abusive policies.

I admire RMS' ideals, but he famously doesn't actually use the internet like anyone else does--he won't purchase or pay for anything online, he won't browse the web except via wget--which makes his pronouncements about as useful in day-to-day life as a celibate priest giving sex advice.


Corporations don't make you use Facebook. Your grandmother does.


And you think that wasn't Facebook's intention?


I am human, and my flaws are many.


Likewise :)

My apologies if that was over the top, I meant no disrespect.


No apology needed. I understand where you're coming from.


Personally I use Facebook with AdBlock and Privacy Badger enabled. They don't make very much money from me. ;)


Yes they do, even better you probably gave them from your own pocket. You don't understand advertising do you ? It goes like this:

company has a product to sell, pays money for ads (may pay money to adblock to circumvent filters), factor the cost in the product price.

You buy the product, you pay for the advertising.


How does that work if he never sees the ads on Facebook?

I can't personally remember the last time I saw one on there.

Then again, I barely login these days, but when I do it's NoScript'd, uBlock'd, DNT'd, Self-Destructing Cookie'd, Protect Local Storage'd and Better Privacy'd out of the arse.


Doesn't change that fact that the company factors the cost of advertising in their product price that the consumer pays regardless of the ads being seen or not.

Only way not to pay for ads is to buy product sold by a company that does not advertise. Good luck with that.


That's cool, but having you on the service increases the network effect, thus you really are helping them make more money.


Facebook isn't the Internet anyone envisioned, mainly because it isn't the Internet. It's possible to block them completely and still participate meaningfully.


> It's possible to block them completely and still participate meaningfully.

It's not that long ago that conventional wisdom on HN was you should delegate auth to Facebook and the hell with anyone who didn't want to use it to sign up to your startup.


Mm, I was actually around here when we hit peak Facebook Connect (I think it was when Spotify launched in the US with no other auth method), and I call bullshit. It was never conventional wisdom on HN that you should delegate auth to Facebook. There were some people advocated that, and then some people who would loudly decry how stupid that was, but there was never consensus.


I've noticed a number of yung'uns ditching FB completely for Instagram. Delegating auth to FB alone is an insanely self-defeating move.


FB owns Instagram.


Accounts are not linked though.


Yeah, sure.


Snark aside, they're not. Really. They might be internally associated, but they're definitely not linked.

I'm banned (mysteriously) from Facebook, but not from Instagram.


You can't use your instagram credentials to log in on sites that have Facebook logins..


It didn't defeat Tinder or any number of other major apps.


The conventional wisdom on HN changes every 30-60 minutes.


OpinionOps: We push new opinions to frontal lobes 40-60 times a day.


Next, we complain about HN being an echo chamber.


underrated


Not sure where you get that. To me conventional wisdom has always be not to rely on a third party if you want to make it in the long run, specially not on facebook.


It's still good advice considering Facebook is nearing 2 billion users the vast majority of which don't care about any of this controversy.


I agree with you, generally speaking. That said, facebook wields a tremendous amount of power, and they often wield that power in ways I am uncomfortable with. I think it's valid to express that discomfort, especially in places where the people who may be building the "next facebook" (whatever that looks like) happen to be hanging out.

It's a complicated topic, but when you break it down there are billions/trillions of dollars on one side of the equation, and the values of human dignity and privacy and the open web on the other, with very little profit to be made from respecting those values.

I think it's OK to call it out when a company that employs a lot of good people is doing something that is at odds with good values. Maybe they'll think about it, and take the conversation up the chain. Or, maybe they'll laugh at the grumpy old UNIX beard on the Internet for not "getting it". I dunno.


And yet your friends can still be there, talk about you, tag you in photographs etc -- not to some niche site, but to a potential audience of 1 billion people.


The wider internet? Yes. My social group? I'd be a pariah. I use Facebook as an event calendar these days. I'm hopeful for upcoming.org.


> and I've known a wide variety of other people who use odd names for a wide variety of reasons

Or people who use perfectly normal Native American names...


> excluded from participation in facebook based on this name policy

A large bunch of my friends (30+ maybe) don't have their real names on Facebook. Some sound like they could be real, but most are pretty obvious they aren't. None of them are US based, so maybe they are only focussing on the real name policy there?


I dislike real name policies, but my vision is that I do want people to be able to use their real names as often as possible.


Problem is, what's a real name ? How many real names a person has ? Are they consistent through time ?


That is one of the reason I dislike the real name policies, but my point is that I do want people to be able to post non-anonymously if possible.


It is ironic to see the quote from RU Sirius about what a victory the internet is for the counter culture:

> The rise of the Net and the Web represents a victory for the counterculture and the subculture. The next generation, raised on the Net as their primary medium, won't even know what consensus reality is.

followed by this from the comments:

> This is what happens when you let little children manage grownup things.

basically begging for a more traditional power structure, and being extremely upset when the next generation, raised on the Net as their primary medium, manage it differently than how he'd expect.

I don't think RU Sirius is right about the internet being a win for the counter culture (I do hope he is right, though). I can't find a year for that, but I'll bet it was said before all the Snowden stuff.


Before the Snowden stuff... mmm probably yes.

I'd bet that quote comes from an old issue of "Mondo 2000" and is contempory with the Clipper Chip battles about mandated NSA backdoors in all telecoms circa '93/94.


Oh man. I read a story (possibly found on HN?) a few months ago about a guy growing up reading 90s techno-utopia stuff. He used the last of his money to go to a convention only to become disillusioned with it when he saw his idols were just making it up as they went. It was a really interesting read - does this ring a bell for anybody? I'm sure Mondo 2000 was mentioned in it.


Sounds like "The Guy I Almost Was" http://electricsheepcomix.com/almostguy/


Thank you. That was the best read in weeks.


That's exactly it. Good pull!


I make it a point to read it at least once a year, because so much of it resonates with me. Always fresh in my mind.


That was a great read!


Well it certainly mainstreamed all kinds of counter-cultures. Whether this is a "victory" for them is debatable.


Facebook have some really horrible policies.

A woman has some photos of her and her partner on her profile. He then murders her, is arrested and sent to prison. Her profile is memorialised. This means all those images of him are still on her wall. Nice memorial.

The family have asked FB to remove those images. FB have declined.

https://www.change.org/p/facebook-remove-the-pictures-of-hol...


That story could easily read like this:

A trans woman has some photos of her and her partner on her profile. Her partner then murders her, is arrested and sent to prison. Her profile is memorialised. Her family gets access to her account from Facebook and replaces all of her photos with photos of her before her transition.

Facebook has no way of knowing the motives of people so they don't try to.


There's two ways to go with this. One: delete the account altogether. Two: hand over control of the account to the deceased's estate.

The third option Facebook takes is to control it themselves. That's just not right.


The family doesn't need access to the account. It can still be "memorialized".

Facebook could very well deal with a list of images to remove and the reason for it. In this case, the reason is cristal clear.


A trans woman has some photos of her and her partner on her profile. She and her partner die in a car crash. Her profile is memorialized. Her family gets Facebook to remove all of the photos with her and her partner.


That's why I think that accounts shouldn't be "memorialized" but "frozen in time". Once the person dies, all that data should become a matter of public history record. No alterations.


Better yet, their account should just be closed and the content be taken down permanently.

If someone else wants to "memorialize" them, they should just do so on their own active account, using whatever content they deem fit.


I disagree. The default should be to preserve the record of a person, not trying to erase them from history and pretend they never existed.


What happened before Facebook? Did dying people get "erased from history" and did everyone just pretend they never existed?

You don't need a Facebook page for people to know you existed.


It's the general principle - don't erase records of things that really happened.


"memorialized" accounts are frozen and can't be logged into anymore. People can still post on their wall.


There's nothing at all trans about this profile. It's a very simple case, and it's very common.

About 2 women a week are killed by current or former partners in the UK.


Hmm, tricky one. In this specific case, maybe it's a reasonable request.

But people who don't have benevolent families would definitely not want to hand control of their online identity to them after death.


I don't think there's any doubt in this specific case, there's really no room for "maybe". We're humans, can understand language, surely we can understand why a family would want pictures of their daughter's killer off her wall.

How many people don't have benevolent families? In my opinion, if you're going to err on one side, that's not a good side to err on. And many people aren't even aware that their account will get "memorialized" after they're dead. That's a very strange default.


I believe the legal principle of inheritance is that the heir is the same person as the deceased.

So barring a provision in the person's will saying "nobody gets my facebook profile", Facebook would be legally in the wrong here?


This means FB is reserving for itself some form of proof of kinship that does not yet exist and which is not the government's.


Agree about Facebook being held accountable for the impact they have on the world.

But I also agree with shaming people who use it. If you have an account you are actively subsidizing the impact Facebook has on the world.

How frequently you use the product you are buying when you sign up for an account has no relevance.

And here's what disturbs me most; a vast majority of the citizenship has basically handed over all of their personal details to big brother. Now we live in an environment where not having an account is enough to raise suspicion.

History will prove Stallman the Cassandra of our times.


Well, I am subsidizing Facebook and its impact on the world, and I am proud of it.

Facebook had a tremendously positive impact on this planet - it connected people from all over the world like no other force in the history before. Maybe it's not really their accomplishment, maybe they just lucked into popularity at the right moment, but it doesn't change that they are there, helping over one billion people keep real-time communication across the world. People who don't use Facebook tend to not appreciate the impact it has on daily life, especially when it comes to staying up to date with lives of a hundred and then some people. 'peteretep provides some good examples[0].

So try and shame me all you want. I don't feel that I have anything to be ashamed of.

> a vast majority of the citizenship has basically handed over all of their personal details to big brother

Oh well. And the vast majority of the citizenship extracts tremendous value out of it and sees no negative consequence. Yes, maybe one day there will be an evil ad-company government that will drone-strike us all in bedrooms because twenty years ago we disagreed with the leading feminist activists. Or it will torture us eternally because it'll be so bored and have nothing else to do with all those real names it collected. But until then, explain to me like I'm five, why on earth should the majority of the citizenship care?

And don't get me wrong. I'm not happy about what advertisers are doing. That industry is rotten to the core and should be burned down. But please, if you really need to shame someone, shame the advertisers using this data.

> Now we live in an environment where not having an account is enough to raise suspicion.

I see this repeated often, but there is no real point in that sentence. Not participating in any activity or phenomena that the majority is participating in is enough to raise suspicion, by the very definition of "majority", "suspicion" and "standing out".

[0] - https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=10475506


So facebook is really succeeding in replacing internet and the web in the mind of people who don't know better.

I mean internet connected people from all the world like nothing before, people who are not online fails to appreciate how it can affect daily life. Heck it even grown a pimple on its back called facebook, this pimple has grown quite a bit now and is looking cancerous, even looks like it is actively trying to kill the internet (Cisa, internet.org, etc.) Sort of what msn tried in the 90's and failed because open always trump closed in the end.


I think FB is so insistent on using real names because, through its partnership with companies like Datalogix, it allows advertisers to show FB ads based on offline / elsewhere purchases. Won't work if FB doesn't have real names. Not a fan. Have personally noticed FB ads shown to me based on my purchase of a prescription drug. Tempted to go all cash when it comes to paying for health-related and other sensitive stuff.

https://www.facebook.com/notes/facebook-and-privacy/relevant...


I'm fairly certain it's illegal to target ads based on a medical condition.

That being said, I believe you're right as to why they require real names. It's also why I use it as my go to for advertising and marketing. The added data from Datlogix etc makes it incredibly useful as a marketing tool.


It isn't illegal to target based on a medical condition. I am not making any value judgement about it, just providing factual clarification. Unless HIPAA rules were violated, there's no problem. For example, at iCouch, if they were to take diagnostic information stored on their server by their practitioner and then send out emails to the patient based on the Protected Health Information, that would be illegal. But someone visiting a depression website and then targeting depression treatment ads based on that -- that would not be illegal. Don't would depend on where the information came from that was used to do the targeting. The targeting itself wouldn't be illegal, but the use of the data to do targeting could be illegal if that data were Protected Health Information covered by HIPAA or the Hi Tech Act. Of course, I am only speaking in a US context here..


In my case, I'm 99.9% sure the info was based on my offline purchase behavior at a CVS. I had a prescription filled for a very specific condition and, a few days later, was shown a Facebook ad for a related product. Not an ad that would be shown to a general population. I had not searched about the condition anywhere online in the recent past.


This question may sound absurd to some, but does it even matter if you are not allowed to use Facebook anymore? I use it to sign into Candy Crush. They paid me a few thousand dollars for discovering a bug, that I only discovered because I was playing with their advertising system. That is the entire extent of my Facebook usage. It doesn't play a role in my daily life to any extent whatsoever, and its role in the lives of many formerly heavy users seems to be diminishing as well.

So while it sucks to be excluded from anything for arbitrary reasons, it shouldn't matter very much to him or anyone else. There are plenty of other places to accomplish the things that can be accomplished on Facebook.


> There are plenty of other places to accomplish the things that can be accomplished on Facebook.

Except when there aren't. For example, my local cat shelter set up a Facebook group to coordinate volunteers. There's also a closed group for a particular program's volunteers.

Sure, they could have set up the groups somewhere else. A shelter I used to be involved with still has a Yahoo group. But the fact is they didn't, and the decision was made way above my level. So if I lost access to Facebook, I'd lose access to a lot more than Candy Crush.


This is vendor lock-in and this is how facebook retains users.

If facebook was not locked down but open, many people would have left already if they had come in the first place.

Now when the volunteers stop using facebook, it's the shelter that will lose their volunteers. The obvious solution is for the shelter to self host its own group.


> This question may sound absurd to some, but does it even matter if you are not allowed to use Facebook anymore?

If Facebook access didn't matter, we wouldn't be talking about this.

This isn't about you or me or our friends. It's irrelevant that Facebook doesn't matter to us. You only have to look around and read the news to see that it is the #1 communication tool for literally hundreds of millions of people. If you care about reaching those people, losing Facebook makes it much harder for you to do that.


Yes, it matters a huge amount.

I fully understand your social life is not the same as my own, but mine revolves almost entirely around Facebook. Every party I go to is organised via Facebook. Every small social event is coordinated via FB Messenger. I maintain a large network of friends around the world who o can and do visit when I travel, and it's not weird because they're up to date with my life and I'm up to date with theirs in a way that would take far far too much work outside of FB. Every baby photo from a friend, every wedding photo, is on Facebook. When I meet someone in person and enjoy their company, we connect on Facebook, and it's a low pressure way to keep in touch that often blossoms in to a real and fulfilling in-person relationship.

I realise not everyone's social life is like this, but for many many people, there would be a severely restricted in-person social life by not being on Facebook.


Indeed your social life works this way, but you're mistaken in thinking that not being on facebook would restrict afk social life. Look at the feedback from people who actually left facebook, humans are social and social finds a way to happen.

Though you are right in pointing out that facebook divides people, without being active on facebook you cannot reach people who put all their social life through this giant transnational corporation website.


It's not that leaving would restrict your social life so much as that FB enables a much looser social network to coordinate. I'd stay in contact with my friends, but I'd see a lot less of what my friends-of-friends and acquaintances are doing. Those more distant social interactions are less valuable to me, sure, but there is some value in them and there are a lot more of them.


It's not that it's absurd, it's just that (as you've admitted) you're not using Facebook for anything so you may not see the utility of it. For those of us who use it, the utility is tremendous. It basically covers all personal and social communication that is not better done via phone (voice) or face-to-face interaction. Which means, it covers almost all personal / social communication. Excluding yourself from Facebook when your social circle uses it would be severly handicapping yoursrelf.


I don't use Facebook much but it's the way many of my friends handle invites to events, so I need access to it for that at least.


Facebook is a private company with its own rules. It's not a government with a bill of rights.

I do not have a Facebook account and I do not use it because I disagree with everything they are doing and everything they represent.

It is sad, or shall we say pathetic, that individuals connect their identity and sense of self to an ability to patronize a particular brand of consumer ad delivery network.


OK, so Facebook has a "real name" policy. People try to circumvent it, for reasons both good and bad. And there's risk of getting outed or losing high-value accounts. But bottom line, it's their business, and they can run it as they like, subject to law.


What law are we talking about? As the internet doesn't stop at national border, deciding which law applies is not so easy.

Even in the US, some funny thing can be made with the law, maybe the law can offer total immunity if you collaborate with the government[1]

[1]: https://www.youbetrayedus.org/facebook


The law could always be changed to make them run it another way.


That seems unlikely in the US. It's my impression that shopping malls, which are arguably even more public than Facebook, are considered to be private property in the US. But I can imagine regulation on an antitrust basis. And if EU has jurisdiction, all bets are off.


Malls may be considered private property, but they're certainly also considered public accommodations, which comes with a whole host of legal restrictions on what you can and can't do.


That's a good point. Owners can exclude demonstrators. But they can't discriminate based on race etc. However, they probably can exclude people wearing masks. Except on Halloween, anyway ;) And maybe there's a better analogy to using pseudonyms on Facebook.


Facebook as a public accomodation? That's an interesting idea. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_accommodations

Public accomodations in the US are in many states prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, national origin, sex, gender identity, or prohibited from discrimination against breastfeeding in public. That's an interesting angle to attack Facebook's hostility toward Native American names, breastfeeding photos, or queer folks who go by other names.


Yes, that's what hit me from thaumasiotes' comment.

But anonymity (or at least, pseudonymity) is the issue here.

It's possible that their policy is different for accounts created via their Tor onion service https://www.facebookcorewwwi.onion/. But I haven't tested whether they require mobile text authentication, ID, etc. There's a thread on tor-talk.


Facebook is a very closed system where it's users have little to no rights. I myself have checked out of most of it and only occasionally use it to chat with a few friends in a private group. I found that once you cut using it you really don't miss much. There are better alternatives in my mind that we should all start shifting towards.


Perhaps, since Facebook is so terribly concerned with what we call ourselves, we should take it upon ourselves to be concerned with what Facebook denizens call themselves. I think I'll start inventing names for them. Henceforth, the industry titan formerly known as Mark Zuckerberg will be known has Howie Hughes II.


why someone who preaches counter culture even was on facebook?!

this is akin to complaining that some kid was disappointed to be called Bartolomeo instead of Bart while attending the Sunday church bingo. Really?


Might as well ask why someone who preaches counterculture is on the internet.

If you want people to hear your message, you need to be able to reach them in the place where they listen. This isn't hard to understand. It's irrelevant that you or I think Facebook is dumb.


Might as well not. The internet is open and neutral, facebook is made possible by this open internet but facebook is closed and partisan, a walled garden.

Facebook is an enemy of the internet and actively trying to replace the internet in the mind of people.

It makes sense that counter culture would use the internet a global connecting medium which doesn't care about who you are and what your fetish is allows you to meet and find other people sharing the same counter culture.

counter culture would rather go to 4chan than facebook, but when given the opportunity would hosts itself outside of these designated places.


Oh well, no one is telling you to stop preaching counterculture. Don't act entitled. Counterculture is by definition the thing you'll have people reacting weirdly to, so complaining about it is like complaining the water is wet.


I'm not sure what you're trying to say. I think you may have misread my post.


How much more does Facebook have to do before people realize they're a scourge of the Internet and delete their accounts?


Facebook also does not allow clergy prefixes such as Fr. (father), Rev. (reverend), Br. (brother), etc. If you are a priest or a bishop, apparently your facebook friends cannot know about it. Or something like that.

What's even more remarkable, some clergy I know have complied and dropped these prefixes because often the choice between not being on Facebook vs losing the "Fr." designation is not a choice if you need to be reachable by people on any medium.


If they allowed that, then they'd open themselves up to having to allow pretty much any prefix. Professional titles like Dr aren't even allowed, and those are far less disputable.

https://www.facebook.com/help/132247486851813


"Real names, but not real titles, those are too real-world for us"


Is this intentional? Things like this are frequently done using scripts, or well-meaning support folks that don't know any better. Let's get all the facts before throwing a fit.


I like this commenters take in the article:

"Fecesbook was the former MySpace, which was the former friendster, which was the former [keep filling in the blank]

Fecesbook is the next AOL walled garden of junk. They were founded on calling their users dumb f*cks and voyeristcally to spy on girls.

Google, worth an order of magnitude more that FB, is a true internet and technology company founded on algorithms and smart innovation as opposed to being a copy of myspace and walled gardens that anyone can cut and paste.

Good riddens to Fecesbook but I wonder what's next. Better yet, what's going to be the next Google/Alphabet?"


Don't worry, google will see that there will no be a next google any time soon.


Facebook = AOL 2.0 ;)


Exactly.


How does Facebook identify what is a real name and what is a pseudonym?


Reportedly a mixture of automated systems, user reports, and manual work by facebook employees.

See the 'How Fake Names are Flagged and Targeted' section of this article: http://lifehacker.com/how-to-use-a-fake-name-on-facebook-wit...


They probably have a list of words to check. If you have the same name as its founder then you'll be removed as well http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1386069/Mark-Zuckerb...


Poorly. I'm a bit sick of the annual purge of Native American names. For f sakes, Yellow Horse has a wikipedia entry. If you are an American company claiming to want real names, then you damn well can accept people's real names. Never mind what real name means to a group that often has two "real" names.


Mostly snitching.


I wonder what FB would do if everyone just changed their name to "John Smith" to comply with a "real names" policy... it's about the most common name in english speaking countries.


Facebook would block access to those accounts and ask to upload ID photo.


Presumably their policy is not that it has to be A real name, but YOUR real name.


Evey worse, nobody under 50 remembers him.


I don't think people like him should even be on Facebook.

It's not that you should boycott Facebook; any more than you boycott North Korea. You don't really have business with it and the only take away is lulz.

Yes, real name policy is an unfortunate feature of Facebook, but I struggle naming any of its fortunate features.


You do know that in most courts even france now you can call your self what you like.

I certainty have several people I know who I really only know by their nickname and vice versa I even have a thank you in a book by a booker prize (award like the pulitzer) nominated author which is in my nickname.


Déjà il rêvait à une thébaïde raffinée, à un désert confortable, à une arche immobile et tiède où il se réfugierait loin de l’incessant déluge de la sottise humaine. -- Huysmans


OT: what brought you to Huysmans?


I realized that National Socialism, the iconoclastic world-view of Adolf Hitler, was the doctrine of scientific, racial idealism, actually, a new 'religion' for our times. I saw that I was living in the age of a new world-view. Two thousand years ago there had been a similar rise of a new approach or world-view, called a 'religion'; a world-view which shook and changed the world forever.

I realized that this new and wonderful doctrine of scientific truth applied ruthlessly to man himself, as well as to Nature and inanimate matter, and that it was the only thing which could save man from his own degradation in luxury, self-seeking short-sightedness and racial degeneration. The doctrine of Adolf Hitler was the new 'Christianity' of our times, and Adolf Hitler himself was the new 'savior', sent by inscrutable Providence recurrently to rescue a collapsing humanity.

Hitler's and Germany's 'crucifixion' was all according to the inevitable workings of this unknowable Scenarist. Even the eleven hanged disciples in Nurnburg were not without significance! The most hated and dreaded idea two thousand years ago was Christianity, and the most hated and cursed man on earth was Jesus Christ. His followers were bitterly persecuted and murdered by the 'good', 'sensible' people who could see that anybody in his right mind recognized Rome and the Empire as the solid, substantial reality.

I realized that today's Marxist- Democratic world is another sprawling 'Roman Empire', and today's Nazis the early 'Christians'. What is going on is far more than a battle for political supremacy in the present social and political situation. It is the utter smashing and destruction of a society which has become so rotten that it will tolerate and even love its own Marxist destroyers, just as it hates, despises and fears the slowly-growing Nazi society which will replace it. Such mighty, awesome thoughts come to a man but once in a lifetime, if ever, and when they do, that man changes for all time.


"Germany's 'crucifixion'"

Germany did not suffer a thing. Returned to be European powerhouse in a whim.

Losers of WW2 (Japan, Germany) are way more successful than most winners of WW2 (UK, France and especially USSR).




Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | DMCA | Apply to YC | Contact

Search: