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Warning - strong opinions ahead: Provide services and tools without the strings attached.

That is to say, provide email services that don't mine data for profit. Provide a social interaction space that doesn't attempt to manipulate moods, opinions, or sell its user's eyeballs. Provide an aggregation service with strong filtering tools in place of strong moderation. Provide a code repository with great tooling that doesn't include value judgements. Provide anonymous, secure communication between parties. Make mobile applications that provide wanted services without the in-app purchases, ads, or profiling.

The downside is that you're unlikely to get paid for it. You'll probably even lose money on it. In some cases, you'll even face legal pressure to stop or change.




Is "Facebook without advertisements" really the bar for social good now?


In some way it is. One can't deny that social networking has pretty huge positive impact on communication and creative output. It would be better if it didn't come with surveillance capitalism in the same package.


Why not? If we're being realistic and ideal simultaneously, one recognizes the immense social impact and shift driven by Facebook, as a social media platform as well as a lexus of modern web programming, at the same time as one recognizes that the user is the product to be sold and could imagine the potential negatives of that paradigm. So why not?


If an ad-free, privacy-friendly social network actually managed to replace Facebook, that would be an enormous social good.


My idea was that Google+ should have run ads from the beginning, but donated all profits to some large but approachable goal like eliminating polio. This could have undermined Facebook's drive to create an alternative advertising ecosystem, while giving G+ some hook to encourage people to switch.


It would be an improvement, but probably not enough to convince many people to switch to it. The network effect gives Facebook too much of an advantage.


yes. the world would be a much much better place had a non-corporate version of facebook had become facebook.


I'm not convinced yet that a non-profit is capable of doing what Facebook does. I'd love to read about it if you have any lit on the topic.


I doubt anyone has ever written anything on the topic. Keep in mind that non-profit is not the same thing as non-revenue. Also, replicating facebook isn't necessarily what I'm talking about, but instead seeing whatever sorts of applications would be developed in the presence of altered incentives.




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