Don’t confuse privacy with secrecy. I know what you do in the bathroom, but you still close the door. That’s because you want privacy, not secrecy. (From I have nothing to hide. Why should I care about my privacy? : https://medium.com/@FabioAEsteves/i-have-nothing-to-hide-why...)
> Secrets do not hinder transparency.
Sure, they do. Secrets on matters that aren't the subject of concern don't hinder transparency on the subject of concern, but that's not because secrets don't hurt transparency but because the specific secrets at issue are outside of the area where you are looking for transparency.
I'm not sure that's true. You might think you know what I'm doing in the bathroom. I don't think privacy and secrecy are truly separate things.
Well, even for the times that I know EXACTLY what are you doing (e.g. because I saw you gulp down 10 big Macs and a box of laxatives before rushing to the bathroom) you still want privacy.
It's odd because apparently citizens get to have no secrets. Laws protect government secrets, but as far as I know the law is just as confused about privacy and secrecy as we are when it comes to its people.
He said you can have privacy without secrets. But suppose there exists a room with a door where you don't know what someone is doing behind it. The activity behind the door is the secret. The door is still representing privacy (not secrecy). That was the point of the analogy.
A secret is an attribution to the contents of a description which are withheld for security reasons. Or at least, that's what it should be. And that's what it appears to be with the military.
Privacy is a right to withhold information based on a fair desire to not have that information be known.
Invasion of privacy is someone pulling the curtains when you're showering or opening the door when you're in the bathroom.
That should not be confused with invasion of secrecy.
Either way, the main point is that these two terms are confusing, and even the law confuses them. And yes, people would consider something they don't know a secret also, and your use of the word is intuitively correct. But a clearer distinction could and should exist, and we should all work towards that clearer distinction. I believe the words are already more than adequate, since we already see the correct (most practical and fitting) distinctions used where they are most needed in practice (military).
Privacy is a courtesy. And a right to courtesy. Secrecy should be all that is related to security. It's interesting because the military seems to know exactly what a secret is. It'd make more sense to have secrecy laws alongside privacy laws for citizens. Privacy laws are not secrecy laws. Hence the NSA get's to do what they did, and hence they trampled on everyone's privacy outright violating all courtesy. They then make it a security issue.
As it stands, citizens are entitled to no secrets. Hence it's the wild west and we're left encrypting ourselves and standing in direct conflict with the government that would do far better helping us than being rude and insecure. Insecure is what they are. They have no trust or confidence in the people.
> The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches
This, to me a layman citizen of our country, means we are emphatically and explicitly granted the right to privacy against our government. Then again, we live in a time where a secret court can grant an order that tramples on our constitution. Apparently our government believes on it is allowed privacy.
You ever hear about this secret court orders and ask yourself, "Are we both reading the same constitution??"
Well if it all goes to hell we will all be in the same handbasket. I'm simply not willing to cut people out of my life and miss out on things that are important to me because my data is mined and might be used against me. All these distributed platforms are a joke, no really they are technically cool but no one I care about is on them. Maybe if your entire social circle is technically sophisticated you can leave FB for something like diaspora (I don't know if this is the "new hotness" or if there is something better but I really don't care). My social graph is so far from able or willing to switch to something else it's not even funny. Like it or not there is a social stigma around NOT having a FB account. In fact I've thought on multiple occasions that someone is hiding something if they don't have one. You might hate me for that or hate the fact people think like that but good luck changing that mindset.
Look I've been on the other side of this, I paid for App.net (I think that's what that twitter clone was called) and tried multiple distributed platforms but they all fall short or require too many compromises. I tried to get friends to use Signal but no one really cares. iMessage/FB Messenger are just easier and everyone is on them. You want people to leave the "evil facebook" then make something better and easier to use. The best doesn't win, the easiest does.
> If you’ve ever had that conversation, you’ve noticed that there’s a big disconnect between your expectations when you communicate on Facebook and what really happens. Basically, Facebook filters out your posts based on whether or not people will use Facebook more if they don’t see it.
Too often I'd want to share or talk about something and radio silence. Checked with friends and no one saw it. Putting aside caring about privacy, why put effort into a system that over time is more and more geared to peddling crap to you and your friends, and gets in the way of actual communication.
Sure the app is a bit heavy with features I don't personally use (stickers, chat heads, games, stories) but it's at the point where it's easily the best messaging client I've used.
Remember when they tried to replace email with facebook messenger? And then tried to replace text messaging/etc?
If it's the best messaging client you've used, I'm bemused, because it's honestly no better than AIM was in 2002 for communicating with friends on my computer. In fact I probably find it worse most of the time.
Getting friends to switch to Telegram from Skype was a pain. Turning around and saying, after they got cozy, "hey Telegram blows, come check out Signal!" would result in rolled eyes and nothing more.
I concur that FB can be useful for finding out about stuff going in your world.
But if not using a certain commercial product -- any commercial product -- means "cutting people out of your life" to any significant degree, then well... you might want to think about the degree of dependence you've signed onto in using that particular product. And indeed, whether you really "need" that degree of (perceived) interaction with all of those people.
Note: I actually quit because I thought it would mean less procrastination, but then I discovered HN...
Or you could just do a quick inventory of which of those groups / are still important to you. And then sign up again using a different device / email address. Along with, of course, a totally fake user name. And (slowly) sign up again for those pages.
Which I guess would against FB's terms of service, in theory. But fuck that. They certainly aren't honest and above-board with you -- there's no reason you "owe" them any particular degree of honesty in return. Just use them for what you need, and let them (and their expected monetization off the minutia of your inner life) sod off otherwise.
As you with with, you know, any commercial product.
Even if you provided a fake name, you still agreed to the TOS, so they can proceed as if you're still bound by the legal implications.
We know they "can", in principle. But will they? That's something different.
Of course, the better solution is to never sign up with a real name in the first place.
They get info you still say, they get what sites you visit and what content is there, they get what you and your friends say to each other... like even as a partial user you still get MANY of the bad affects.
Not to mention, for me and many other people I bet, "cutting down" doesn't ever really work. They spend tons of money trying to increase engagement and make sure you stay on making that quite hard.
As with any serious addiction.
I suspect, the people you feel happy enough to call, will be people who you would be happy enough to keep in touch with no matter what the medium.
* I personally pay for Fastmail and have migrated all my communcations to email and texting (and feel the better for it). Obviously it is a personal decision, but realize everything you do is a vote towards a certain state of things.
This is anecdata but among my friends, e-mail addresses and phone numbers tend to change more often than their Facebook profiles. I know people all over the world, but out of all of Facebook connections, I probably only have accurate contact details for 20% of them or less. The contacts I interact with most often are obviously in that bracket, but many of those I talk to once a year or less are probably not.
Case in point. I'm currently planning a trip, and while on a previous trip to the same destination I made a couple of friends there. I have a phone number to one of these contacts, but it's out of date. However, we're also connected on Facebook so I sent them a message their to let them know I'll be in their vicinity later this year.
For better or worse – and this is obviously my personal context – Facebook is the best mostly self organizing contact list I've ever had. I couldn't care less about the wall, or liking things, or whatever you had for breakfast, but as much as I hate it it's the only stable way I've been able to keep in touch with all these folks that I want to keep in touch with. If or when I no longer want to keep in touch, I just prune them from the list, and likewise I get pruned from other people's lists whenever they feel we're "done."
I don't want to use Facebook, but e-mail and phone simply doesn't solve my problem of keeping an up-to-date contact list. They also don't work simply because I can't easily look up a contact and connect with them, because there's no global phone or e-mail book. I'd love to use something else, but fact of the matter is that everyone I want to keep in touch with is there, and until they are also elsewhere in a list that organizes itself, I feel obliged to use it. :o(
I email/text close friends and family but if I want to get in touch with a past friend/travel companion/acquaintance, FB makes that easier.
Saying that, a lot of people I come across now have also stopped actively using FB and are very involved in Instagram. I found it odd that co-workers so easily and quickly follow an Instagram feed but FB, email, personal cell #s usually took longer to exchange. I'm assuming because with Instagram, there's a degree of curation and it's personal but not too personal.
I also found it odd that peoples' dogs had IG profiles and they would use those profiles to follow other co-workers' dogs. To each their own, I guess.
- Facebook shows me updates about friends that I wouldn't otherwise know about. These updates provide an opportunity for a quick connect that is appropriately shallow, just enough to keep the relationship warm.
- For many people I have their FB, but not their email, let alone their phone number. I discover these people through FB's mutual friend suggestion. These people can be those I met briefly at parties, friends in primary school, etc.
- A public exchange on FB allows others to jump in and converse. An email is confined to the intended recipients.
Adding to this, text messaging and emailing and deliberate and specific, which means someone has to think to include you. It takes work to figure all that out--it is an active decision to communicate instead of a passive broadcast about something general that invites people to participate. It's very easy, and a good way to keep relationships warm and to make room for serendipity.
I don't know about you, but I really dislike things like personal newsletters and text messages/emails just to strike up any conversation, probably because at any given time I'm probably pretty busy, and being present requires both thought and time. On the other hand, when I share something on social media, it means I'm pretty much willing to engage with all comers, or if I see you've updated on social media, I'll assume the same.
Secondly, if you're that random friend that insists on only communicating via text message or email or some weird idiosyncratic way that applies only to you, I'm probably going to leave you out of a lot of stuff, even if I like you, because I have limited brainpower and I'm going to forget when I'm managing 15-20 people on a social channel and trying to update you out in the wilderness.
Lastly, email and text really, really suck for discussing topics in large groups, so if I send a link I want to talk about to a bunch of friends, I have the choice of managing 15 individual conversations (with lots of repetition), or managing an incredible amount of chaos.
So yeah, IMHO social media has definitely solidified a place in the communication stack.
1. Those who have a close circle of friends that don't change much over time. For these people, phone / email work great because they have a lot more depth.
2. Those who have a large circle of acquaintances that is dynamic (i.e. relationship strength changes over time, new acquaintances appear through FB suggestions). For these people, Facebook is the only way to keep connected, admittedly with little depth.
Everyone is a mix of these two archetypes. I have friends that I call, and also acquaintances that I chat up via Facebook.
Discoverability. Facebook has it inside the app. Email and texting require you to go out of band for it.
It's impossible to exaggerate the value of this. Groups of people who had lost contact in high school have gotten back in touch in retirement, planned trips, and traveled to a place to meet up together because Facebook has in-band discoverability. Before Facebook such a group of people would just hope someone in the group had enough time and patience to manually track everyone else down, which was probably hundreds of dollars of their time wasted.
Musicians find gigs through it. Friends of friends are leaky so you don't even have to bother people to find useful connections or fan pages. Businesses list specials, trips, blogs, etc. Way cheaper than sending out a snail mail newsletter or even managing an email list.
All Facebook's users save oodles of time connecting with acquaintances and making new connections, for whatever reasons they wish to connect.
Honestly, it's an incredibly difficult question to answer fully because I'm not sure where the short circuit is. Why do you see value in messaging protocols but not social networks?
Also students are highly reliant on it. These types of loose connections but strong network effects are hard to break.
> Way cheaper than sending out a snail mail newsletter or even managing an email list.
This is true less frequently. Facebook used to be a good organic channel to build, but now FB is forcing more payments, by forcing ads to FB pages, and then again for boosting posts on those pages. Plus, the costs are rising.
> Groups of people who had lost contact in high school have gotten back in touch in retirement
I experienced this too, but I also had a controlled test, since I wanted to track down some high school friends who weren't on Facebook. Turned out not to be so hard, and caught up with a bunch of other old friends along the way. :)
Sometimes the alternatives offer other advantages we don't see if we frame the problem as replacing what we have now exactly.
Less frequently than what? Keep in mind the OP I was responding to apparently didn't see any value to Facebook over email/texting. The fact that Facebook is willing to degrade its service even to be slightly better than managing an email list in return for higher ad revenue isn't particularly relevant to that.
> I experienced this too, but I also had a controlled test, since I wanted to track down some high school friends who weren't on Facebook. Turned out not to be so hard, and caught up with a bunch of other old friends along the way. :)
> Sometimes the alternatives offer other advantages we don't see if we frame the problem as replacing what we have now exactly.
That's great, but it has nothing to do with the value of Facebook's in-band discoverability over email/texting.
For me, there isn't one, and enough negatives to FB that I don't use it. I have no trouble connecting to people I care about via the many, many other methods available.
Voice telephone is becoming unusable for me due to spam, but so far somehow, not text messaging. (I guess the spammers don't cross-polinate yet?) I run my own email server, calendars, image galleries, and other tools for collaborating, sharing, ego-stroking and whatnot.
I do miss out on some random social interactions, but usually that's honestly a plus. Some relatives feed me the "email's too hard" line, and I take that to mean either I'm not or the message isn't important enough to bother, and that's fine.
At this point for me, FB is something I talk about more than I ever see - my view of the internet omits them (and several other surveillance shops), aside from the time between when they deploy a new splat of IP addresses and I notice and block them.
IMHO, the internet is much better without them.
 Of course there's backstory, too, but that's private, and not the sort of thing I'm going to discuss in public on a third-party server.
Events/Groups is big for me. Not FB message groups (but I'll touch on that in a second) but FB groups, it's great for topics that my friends and I are passionate about to post into. FB Messager groups are awesome because they level the field in terms of experience and in some ways beats even iMessage. It's great for knowing if your friends saw your last minute message about a change in plans and works the same for my iOS and Android friends. Events are great because it keeps all the planning for a trip in one place and provide a good interface for seeing who is going/not. Yes there are other places that you can do all of these things but it's all under my FB identity and that has value. If it wasn't FB I'd probably use Google which is 6 in one, half a dozen in the other to me.
> but realize everything you do is a vote towards a certain state of things.
I believe heavily in democracy and the power of voting but this isn't just a vote. It's a choice to leave my friends and that's a choice I won't make. It's great if you've got friends who are ok with leaving FB, mine aren't and I'm not going to change their minds anytime soon and more honestly it's not worth being that annoying person.
Many people don't check their emails as frequently as you think. I know quite a few people (young and old) who are constantly on Instagram, FB Messenger, iMessages, WhatsApp, Line etc. but check their emails once a week. Especially if they aren't in an industry that revolves around email e.g. customer service.
Texting costs money in some places and lacks rich capabilities. It's antiquated.
That said, all the different apps have a very different social context to them - how I meet someone and the intention of what I want to say to them will dictate which medium I will choose. Indeed even the expected response time will be different.
An email is a comparatively formal means of communication - I would expect the longest response time and would typically choose this for someone I either didn't know so well or was opting for a more official tone.
A Facebook message is quite informal so I would opt for this if I met someone under quite casual circumstances and/or I wanted to downplay the nature of my message.
Whatsapp is quite quick and fast to the point so I would use this for the fastest response time.
SMS has started to feel weirdly distant now, given that almost everyone is on alternative mediums, I find SMS to be quite the oddball for communication.
YMMV these are just my personal findings...
People who can't see the difference between email and Facebook are not even trying to get what they can from Facebook.
That being said I'm personally still using email the most. But we have these mental associations that one liner emails are a bit frowned upon whereas texts/messages can be 3 words or just an emoticon. That mental expectation and association that has nothing to do with the technical limitations of the platform define our interaction with the tool, for better or for worse.
Lastly I really value being able to send messages on my PC since I have wrist/thumb pain which is helped immensely by the ability to use a proper keyboard.
An email conversation thread (in say, Gmail) is a poor man's version of a Facebook post. You can add more people to the thread, but they have to look at this poorly formatted "quoted" history of the email to get context of what's going on. Contrast this with a FB Post where you can just tag someone and they see the post in exactly the same format as you see it. No weird formatting.
You can create "subthreads" inside FB posts by replying to a comment in a post. This doesn't exist in an email conversation.
FB Posts have a URL - you can link to them. This mode of communication does not exist in email.
FB Groups are a much more powerful version of email lists. They can contain events, people can mark themselves as "interested" or "going to" events - share these events with friends.
Do you use FB?
I feel the same about people who do use facebook, when they take pictures of me and others who are not on "The Social Network", then they put those on facebook for others to see with other personal information without concent, they don't inform me about their comments regarding those pictures.
For all I know those people could be making fun of me for not being on facebook, not being social enough, having unfashionable clothes etc. From my perspective those people have something to hide, they share information in closed groups, refuse to email me those photos and waive it away like it's too much work, I have even experienced this with some of my relatives which saddens me alot. I'm not forcing them to use any specific website, forcing others to do that is nasty, it's no different than forcing others to smoke by the means of social pressure.
> it's no different than forcing others to smoke by the means of social pressure
Yeah... no different, except one of them causes cancer but sure, no different.
Email is not a platform, I think you are confusing it with gmail.
> You can't walk outside the bar then complain that none of your friends want to stand in the window and relay everything happening to you or get mad they might be talking about you when you can just walk right back in.
This analogy doesn't stand because such pictures that I were talking about are more often than not are taken in the bar settings or other festivities. Obviously if I were walking outside I couldn't be on the picture could I. And it's not all of my friends that's the point, being forced to smoke even passively harms your health, being forced to be on facebook harms your privacy - that was my point.
> Yeah... no different, except one of them causes cancer but sure, no different.
And Facebook causes harm to people in other ways. It's an overly dramatic way of making the point, but the point is that people using Facebook doesn't just affect them -- it affects anyone in their social circle.
I see Facebook as a type of cancer so...
Maybe it's regional; I'm in portland.
Back when I was on facebook I had a friend who wasn't. I remember just being kind of annoyed that I couldn't just send a group message, I'd have to send him an email separately, but otherwise didn't attach any significance to the choice.
Exactly. Diaspora and its ilk miss this point entirely. If users have to set up their own infrastructure or even think about how it works then it's never going to scale.
This is the crux of the challenge.
Plenty of people are concerned about Facebook, not only for privacy concerns but also for its impact on public discourse. 
But any viable alternative must be mindlessly easy.
Salim Virani’s suggestion of phone and email instead of Facebook works in part — replacing Facebook as a messaging medium — but it doesn’t address the use of Facebook as a personalized news feed informed by your social graph.
We need something better. Something with a good mission  but orders of magnitude better.
As for replacing a personalised news feed, I still use Twitter and find that email newsletters, especially curations like getrevue keep me well-informed on professional news.
As for a personal feed, I found that Facebook wasn't really that great - lots of noise and I still missed things I thought were important. I haven't found a replacement, but didn't feel the need to replace something inadequate.
To me, rethinking social means rethinking the internet as a whole. The dream of a decentralized global network has been stolen from us, and it's up to us to find consensus and work together to get out of this mess.
Very often people advocating that we need to flee from social media don't get the chance to argue or at least practice arguments against someone with such a clear and obvious stance as you.
In the end, people who hold a similar position as you, must of their own volition leave the site for a general uptick in privacy.
And the only way to do that is to show someone something they want.
Anyone have a source of "further reading" on perceptions towards people not on facebook? And does anyone have statistics on how many people in the U.S. are not on facebook?
I don't know joshstrange or his circle of friends but since I experience zero stigma of not being on Facebook, it seems to be highly depended on one's particular peer group.
If I think of the 5 people I regularly interact with, none of them have Facebook accounts. Therefore, it's not strange that I don't have Facebook. The topic never comes up. However, some of the guys' wives have Facebook accounts so in some sense, the female spouses act as the "Facebook gateway" to the outside world. I chuckle at this state of affairs because it seems to duplicate the exact situation of the yesteryear where the husbands engrossed in the newspaper/tv always ignored the ringing landline phone and let the wife answer it.
If it makes you feel better, a lot of celebrities (including some under age 30) don't use Facebook either. There are various articles listing names: https://www.google.com/search?q=celebrities+not+on+facebook
Edit: Did mean to phrase that like "just google it" I just don't have time right now to vet the articles and didn't want to post links before reading them.
I've never understood this reasoning
If you require Facebook to keep people in your life are they really in your life in the first place?
"If you require email to keep people in your life are they really in your life in the first place"
"If you require a telephone to keep people in your life are they really in your life in the first place"
"If you need to send letters to keep people in your life are they really in your life in the first place"
For me Facebook is my go to in messaging and events discovery/organisation and it is a genuine value add which I do not want to give up. Just yesterday I organised a party - the invite is on Facebook because every single person I see regularly has it and gives me a simple way to see who is going and contact them, and for my other guests to see the invite list and interact with each other/make plans around it.
Like it or not there is a social stigma around NOT having a FB account.
I'd even extend that thought to the current craze of US border control agents allegedly requiring your social media credentials for allowing you into the country.
Assuming that Facebook is a requirement to be allowed into the US, well, there's a host of other wonderful places to visit.
A world where you are required to do Twitter, Facebook or Instagram is a sad place, indeed.
When I first wrote that post, years ago, I expected most people to ignore it as tinfoil-hat stuff. But as time has passed, people are becoming more aware. (Also, the implications are becoming more costly.)
I no longer write off the non-technical public as "they don't understand/care."
This gives me hope that alternatives can work, even alternatives that require network effects. (Though, I think the best alternatives won't be another social network but something more akin to easy ways for people to run their own group communications. I don't think a me-too will win here, but something more of a leap-frog.)
We all have something to hide. It's called privacy.
I've been Facebook free for several years now. It feels great, and I didn't have to cut anyone out of my life to do it (who I wasn't otherwise already communicating with). Much less noice, more productive, both in my life and in my relationships.
Yes of course there is. Please do not take it personal, but the problem described in the article still exists, even if most people don't care. In Germany in the last century, most people cheered for a mass-murdering psychopath. Those who did not cheer, were surely stigmatised - right up to annihilation. Did this invalidate the stigmatised standpoint? On the contrary.
- Put anything on Facebook you're willing to have on a public web page. Stop there.
- Don't use Facebook's messaging or email.
- On desktops and laptops, run Ghostery and Privacy Badger. This keeps Facebook's "like" buttons from tracking your browsing.
- Don't run Facebook's phone app. It's way too intrusive; it gives your contact list to Facebook, just for starters.
- Remember, sharing is spamming. Don't "share" links from others on Facebook. That makes you an unpaid employee of Facebook's ad engine.
Unfortunately it redirects to the app/play store on mobile, and has a terrible layout if you force desktop mode.
I think a good enough compromise for me is to only use the messenger and contacts, and avoid the newsfeed/posts/pages.
I'd love to not use FB's messaging, especially since they recently changed the email message notifications to say "you have a message. log in to see it" instead of giving a preview of the message like it used to. However, I can't figure out a way to keep a minimal FB account and not use their messaging. Some of my friends do have the vile Messenger app on their phones and default to using FB messages for communication. I've just not been able to ignore those, as a bunch of the time it's message of the form "hey, let's do X."
go through every chat that you had in the last 2 years, and "mute" it.
That way you won't get the red dot notifying you about it when you log into Facebook, and you can blissfully ignore any message there. You might still want to check messages there every once in a while (every couple of weeks, maybe)
If you have other contacts (advertised on your Facebook about page, even!) and you let your friends know to avoid contacting you on Facebook, I think they shouldn't expect you to be alert and quick to reply to their messages on such a platform
I didn't realise you meant visual column - I thought you meant 'use X and in it disable everything in the right-hand column'; since uBlock Origin doesn't have a columnar UI, I assumed you meant uMatrix. :)
I have removed my account for more than a year though, NVM now :/
If Facebook were suddenly gone tomorrow, I would feel devastated (so many memories of my kids, deceased father, mom, all would be gone). The only other sites that would provoke a similar emotional response from me would probably be Google and maybe Github.
It's interesting to find someone on here who maintains all of their files/email/photos/etc locally in a redundantly backed-up manner at home on their own personal server. How did you do that? Can you recommend me a way to do that for a non-technical person?
If you don't then it would horrify and frighten me to reflect upon the fact that so much of my personal data was tied up into one private company. See what I did there?
Again, just to reiterate it's about the feed, and the loss of that connection to the people in my feed. I mean what would you do if apple/google wrote an update to their os that wiped all of your contacts for good? It's not going to happen, just like your example of loosing access to my memories because Facebook decides to destroy it's own brand.
> If Facebook were suddenly gone tomorrow, I would feel devastated (so many memories of my kids, deceased father, mom, all would be gone).
What did I take out of context?
And it's worth considering: "Facebook [being] suddenly gone" doesn't have to mean the service shuts down. It could just mean your account's been suspended for what some algorithm, opaque even inside the company and utterly occult from without, calculates is sufficiently probable cause. At best, it's going to take a while to resolve the problem via Facebook's famously helpful and proactive customer service. At worst, your account is gone forever. Maybe you can make a new one and start all over!
From your perspective, there's no distinction to be drawn between "Facebook is gone" and "Facebook is gone from me". Except that, in the former case, you're probably much better off, because in the latter case everyone else is still there - and it feels as much to them like the only way to keep in touch as it feels to you right now, and keeping in touch with anyone who isn't there feels like just enough of an imposition that, over time, they stop bothering.
(And if this seems like something that could never happen - that people would never just forget there are ways other than Facebook to stay tied into one another's lives - well, it can. Ask me how I know.)
As for the rest of your comment - I don't know to whose claims you're responding, but I'm pretty sure they're not ones I've ever actually made...
I may not have articulated how I feel very well in that post. I should edit it to miss out on the things in other peoples lives I got to see and things I got to share with them because of Facebook. So you didn't take it completely out of context but you only commented on 1/2 of my post ignoring the fact that a lot of the value I get is from the feed aspect.
>From your perspective, there's no distinction to be drawn between "Facebook is gone" and "Facebook is gone from me"
Not true, If I lost account access to Facebook, I'd create a new account and build my network again. Not a huge deal.
>Except that, in the former case, you're probably much better off, because in the latter case everyone else is still there - and it feels as much to them like the only way to keep in touch as it feels to you right now, and keeping in touch with anyone who isn't there feels like just enough of an imposition that, over time, they stop bothering.
This is something I have experienced because I only recently started using facebook again. I use it to reach some friends but not all of them. I know that. What you are describing ticks me off too but it's the same with people who don't have phones/email/etc. Except in this case it's not a generic protocol but a specific service. That's probably more the issue with facebook/twitter than anything else. They created a closed ecosystem that people rely on not a protocol that can be implemented by anyone.
>As for the rest of your comment - I don't know to whose claims you're responding, but I'm pretty sure they're not ones I've ever actually made...
I was using a fake example to make a point. We all rely on services that are hosted by private parties and the fact that you're horrified by my choice seems a little extreme. I'm not trying to put words in your mouth, if you felt that way then my bad.
If Facebook permits you to do so. They don't have to let you, and it is within their power to stop you. Whether they choose at this time to exercise such power seems to me less important than that they can, and that it's only up to you whether you participate in Facebook's privileged access to your friends, family, loved ones, and confidants, insofar as Facebook suffers it to be.
> Except in this case it's not a generic protocol but a specific service. That's probably more the issue with facebook/twitter than anything else. They created a closed ecosystem that people rely on not a protocol that can be implemented by anyone.
Yes, that's the point I'm making. They - and here I mean mainly Facebook, which is the only one of those two actually thriving - created a closed ecosystem which is entirely mediated at the whim of its creator, whose motives and methods are almost entirely obscure. And it has over a billion people using it - for many of whom it's the primary medium of social interaction.
That one relatively small and relatively secretive private corporation should have such astonishing insight into, and power over, the social interactions of such a significant fraction of the human species as a whole, is a new thing in history. To be sure, we live in an era of such novelties. But I think it's reasonable to question the worth of this one, as compared with the extent of damage it might be able to do.
That's why - while I'm not horrified by your choice - it would horrify me to realize, in retrospect, that I had inadvertently made such a choice in my own life. To the extent it is a choice, of course - when, as my own experience demonstrates, while one may indeed demur, to do so often incurs a peculiar new sort of social nonexistence by way of punishment.
None of this is simple, just as nothing else is, and I don't mean to suggest that only your choice, and not mine, bears a potential cost. It's only that, while I know in very real terms what my choice cost, the cost of yours has been a very abstract thing to me - as I said before, I've never actually used Facebook. I suppose the way you described it just brought it home to me in a way nothing had before.
I hadn't previously seen your comment  describing your experience of not being on Facebook. There is much you recount with which I'm also familiar! But I hadn't thought it through to the extent you have, and your point about unplanned interactions, which had previously not occurred to me, is extremely well taken. I'll certainly be including that in my future commentary on the subject, here and elsewhere, and thanks again!
You can get a pretty good system set up with rsync, ZFS, RAID, etc. distributed between multiple machines and multiple sites, and have good security at a low price at the cost of a high knowledge bar.
Alternatively, you can have a pretty simple cloud backup system through Backblaze, Carbonite, Crashplan, etc., which should provide good security to people with relatively basic technical knowledge, but at a non-negligible cost (compared to free).
Finally, you've got the current cloud "ecosystem" players like Apple, Google, FB, etc., who can offer good technical security (ignoring the "we have locked your account" arguments) to absolutely all skill levels, with zero perceived cost.
That being said, I think the kinds of people who (A) actually even think about the privacy of online services, and (B) care enough to do something about it, probably have sufficient technical skill to choose other options. They can decide how important that privacy is to them, in terms of investing time, money, or both to solve these problems.
That's what I was trying to show. It's hard to not rely on some sort of third party service in life. I think a lot of people here just don't like Facebook.
I should probably create a Flex server at home to do this for my friends and family who aren't technical, but again if I host that on Amazon then I'm again relying on someone else.
Meanwhile, if FB boots you off, you lose everything, and must hope they at least allow you to create a new profile.
...You don't do that? If you don't have local "gold master" copies of your files, then you don't own your files. And if you don't copy them onto multiple devices, then you have a single point of failure.
> I mean what would you do if apple/google wrote an update to their os that wiped all of your contacts for good?
I'd be very impressed that they could also reach my copies of that data that aren't stored on Apple/Google services...
You missed a very important point I'm trying to make with my question.
Can you recommend me a way to do that for a non-technical person?
Many people on HN forget that there are many non-technical people in the world and that they don't have a data server
with raid drives in their house running OwnCloud/Flex for all of their backup needs. Hence why they use the cloud and that shouldn't be appalling.
I mean this analogy can be taken to some extreme places if you start looking at the fact that you trust a bank, the stock exchange, a government, etc. You could minimize how much you trust each of them because your personal happiness is based on them. And PLEASE don't tell me if your bank was all of a sudden taken to a negative balance you wouldn't be sad, mad, angry, etc.
The point is, many people don't like Facebook, Microsoft, etc. and they press that opinion on others in a manner I don't always appreciate. It's a company that offers a service I like. If it goes away I'll be sad, but life will go on.
The problem is no more "technical" than that.
Right...but they've probably got a laptop and a USB flash drive. That's all you need to keep your own copy around. I don't maintain an always-on server, OwnCloud, etc...but I certainly have multiple copies of everything, such that if Google, Facebook, and other services disappeared, I wouldn't lose any very-important data. Doing it with less automation takes a little more manual work, but that's the way I'm doing it right now myself, and I don't think it's unreasonable.
Even taking the option of cloud-only storage, set your phone to strip EXIF and upload to multiple unrelated accounts, preferably not connected to a social network.
> And PLEASE don't tell me if your bank was all of a sudden taken to a negative balance you wouldn't be sad, mad, angry, etc.
Why would I tell you that? Money isn't a copyable asset, and I keep mine spread among multiple federally-insured banks that operate under different business models. It's the same idea: Don't put all your eggs in one basket, no matter how attractive that basket is.
> The point is, many people don't like Facebook, Microsoft, etc. and they press that opinion on others in a manner I don't always appreciate.
There are a lot of things that people do that I think are stupid...but they don't need to know that. I don't express most of my opinions (including these) without some form of invitation to do so. Facebook's currently a somewhat-necessary evil. It's a company that offers a service that I used to like, until around 2008. I thought it was at its height of charm when it was still a college-only service, and has become steadily less likable since that changed. It would be inconvenient if it disappeared, but I think it would ultimately be a good thing.
> Can you recommend me a way to do that for a non-technical person?
1) Use IMAP with copy-to-local-drive for email; Thunderbird or Apple Mail or a variety of other applications will do this reasonably for a non-technical person.
2) Store your files and photos on your hard drive, or a hard drive plugged into your wireless router which can then expose it as a network drive (e.g. Apple's Airport Extreme can do this, as can other wireless router).
3) Use Crashplan for backups. This is fairly easy to set up, even if you're non-technical, if you back up to their server.
This does rely on Crashplan, but they're the backup, not the only copy of the data.
> I mean what would you do if apple/google wrote an update to their os that wiped all of your contacts for good?
Restore from the contacts backup I store on my hard drive every so often (and which hence gets backed up via Crashplan). This part is fairly rocket-science for non-technical people, unfortunately.
> just like your example of loosing access to my memories because Facebook decides to destroy it's own brand.
The real question is what happens if/when Facebook goes out of business...
I am not using it because I believe “I have nothing to hide”.
I am sensitive to privacy and secrecy. I will fight for it every chance I get.
But I willingly share my life on facebook and enjoy the content shared with me. I get more value out of facebook than the countless other services that spy on me.
For example, just a few weeks ago I got a fake hand written letter from a car dealership telling me exactly how many miles I have on my car and how I should trade it in.
My ultimate conclusion about privacy is that you should take steps to protect with you want to remain private. Because even if facebook disappears tomorrow, something else will take its place, including things created by our own government.
It's sad to think that, but it keeps me from naively thinking that what I share online is somehow private... because it's not, and never will be.
That includes places like HN and Reddit. The government has programs to monitor all our profiles on these sites. I am aware of that, and I live my life accordingly.
This is not a contradiction. Someone with privacy has the right to decide what they do and don't want to share publicly. Like you, I am concerned by how Facebook is used, and some of its societal implications, but this sort of extremist attitude helps nothing.
> Unfortunately for the average user (and even very advanced users) leaving Facebook altogether is the only option to maintaining secrecy of any kind. FB updates ToS far too often and nobody bothers to stay up to date with it.
This isn't true at all. While Facebook is somewhat sketchy about changing their privacy rules, if you don't want certain information made publicly available, you can just not put that information into Facebook (and yes, that includes Messenger). Any non-technical person can understand this.
What you call an "extremist attitude" I call "info security common sense". Companies like Facebook are well known to lull their users into a false sense of being in a "safe, governed social utopia" all while profiting from vast amounts of data both explicitly provided by users and implicitly
provided through data analysis. Anyone even remotely close to fields like infosec, cyber security, or data engineering know that Facebook is quickly becoming a giant spider web for its users. While I agree with you that an extremist attitude is not helpful, it's come to a point where I just know too much about the background of companies like Facebook to simply ignore these issues.
Exactly. Everytime I see a person using Facebook (so basically every day) I think: Gosh, again a guy or girl not getting paid and yet eager to work. What a world do we live in?
> I am sensitive to privacy and secrecy.
I do not want to be rude, but unfortunately those options are mutual exclusive.
It demonstrates that it is a bad idea to trust important information into the hands of a third party.
If Facebook offers you a way to make a backup of your account then you should seriously consider to use it to have an alternative copy of your important memories.
>Do you mind if I word for word quote your above to see if I get downvoted too? I want to repost with just the last two paragraphs to see what happens. I'm curious how this post would have been received without the intro.
I think facebook has unique features, in particular a true global scale, but for the emotional side, is there anhthing inherent to facebook that makes connection deeper ?
To be honest, I still feel that the 'real identity' concept is a big hurdle to participate freely, and stops me from posting some of the more personal stuff that I was posting before under nickname based anonimity (even if my contact are all offline relations). A lot of people don't seem to get along with the idea of having multiple profiles targeted to different circles, and switching profiles is actually a PITA in facebook when using it mainly on mobile.
I switched to instagram for a while, but it is yet another niche that doesn't really overlap with what other social services where filing.
WTF? How would they be "gone"? Facebook does not control your memories. So what else would you be losing if Facebook suddenly disappeared? Photos or videos? You don't say exactly, but I suspect this is the case. If so, then that's your own stupid fault for not keeping personal copies of that stuff. If you don't value that data enough to keep your own personal copies of it, then you don't deserve to have it IMO. Portable hard drives are not expensive these days, and store literally terabytes of data (I just bought a 4TB USB drive a couple months ago for just over $100). USB thumb drives are less than $10 for smaller sizes which will still probably hold everything that's on your phone now. There is absolutely no excuse for not having copies of data that's most precious to you.
But memories cover many other aspects as well. Such as the descriptions that you write on your Facebook photos. The conversation threads that ensue. The face tags that you add and other people add to your photos. The set of photos that you selected for upload (rather than the outtakes). The way you name, organize, and describe albums.
Storage may be cheap these days, but ensuring that you have copies of your data in multiple places - such as hand-typed text - can be very time-consuming.
It doesn't sound like you actually understand the service Facebook provides, which makes your claim that it's all about to come crashing down very suspect.
I tried the author's method of using phone and text but did not have the encouraging results he did.
I'm also really sick of having my absence of a Facebook be commented on by all sorts of people.
All in all, I'm starting to regret my choice and despite the warnings of the author (all of which I was already assuming to be going on behind the scenes as I always judged Facebook to be untrustworthy).
Light acquaintances are actually a boon when travelling or trying new things. Facebook makes it quite straightforward to tap this resource, and surprisingly people are quite receptive to being called up by semi-distant people.
It's too easy these days to construct echo chambers to live in and discover only too late that you have drifted out into the fringes without ever realizing it.
This is one of the most surprising things about the Internet IMHO. I had thought for a long time that all of the conversation online would bring people together in shared understanding. Now I realize that it has more effectively allowed people to segregate themselves into like minded groups. In the old days there was only one or two big news stations and maybe a couple of local papers where people got their news and opinions. Sometimes the newsmen would say things that conflicted with your worldview and maybe on a rare occasion make you reconsider. Now you can customize the message to only ever hear what you want.
Social media can fight this a bit, if only because you don't get to choose your family and people notice if you selectively ignore them.
- Delete account
- 1st week, open facebook tab close facebook tab.
- 2nd week, visit facebook once a day by accident don't login
- 3rd week, visit facebook once a week, don't login
- 4th week, stop visiting altogether
It's been about 6 months now without an account and my wife and I are really happy about no longer have it. Try it!
- 2nd year, wonder if I should get back on to 'stay in touch.'
- 3rd-5th year, never think about it
- 6th year, wonder if I should get on Facebook so my family can see pictures of my kids. But, my wife does Instagram.
- 8th year, smug comment on HN to show how long I've been off Facebook :).
I had a realization: those who really want to see photos of my kids will simply ask me for them so i never posted their photos (pull not push)...so far, about four people have asked which made me very happy that someone is really interested in seeing them and also that my kids didn't become a source of nuisance for many others.
As a result I share fewer photos, but the ones I do share are precious and well-received.
In between, I keep my privacy shields up and relegate all the FB notifications to the trash. There is only so much social interaction I can handle at a time anyway.
1. Did not delete my account, an attempt to guard against someone impersonating me there.
2. Deleted all content I had stored there. Obviously I don't believe FB actually deleted it, but I figured their soft delete is as good as it will get.
3. Asked all FB friends to kindly ignore my account, not to tag me or post pictures of me, and that if they saw activity from my account they can be assured it was not from me.
It did not bother me at all not being on Facebook, and still does not. There seem to be no drawbacks whatsoever. When I read about people feeling that their lives would be ruined and that they have no social life without FB, I kind of just shake my head.
Use the settings / notification tab to disable certain notification type. E.g.:
* Some one tagged you
* comments on a discussion you liked, commented...
* who viewed your page
* who shared a link....
Eventually, Facebook ignores some of these settings in a desperate attempt to bring you back.
So create email filters to delete Facebook notifications based on certain keywords.
Also use an extension to block those fun / addicting autoplaying videos.
- Quit smoking.
- 1st week, light up a cigarette in a stressful situation, enjoy it...
- 2nd week, light up a cigarette and immediateley regret it...
- 3rd week, wonder why you still have this package of ciggis at home (and the inner schweinehund responding: they are for emergency situations, EMERGENCY IS NOW!!!)
- 4th week, throw away the "emergency"-package, lighters and ashtrays, just to be sure...
No shit, I never used facebook, but it seems like it has a similiar addiction-potency as nicotine (wich is quite high).
Humans are social animals, even those of us that /usually/ prefer to be private.
- Facebooks creates false endorsements for products from you to your friends without revealing this to you.
- Facebook filters out your posts based on whether or not people will use Facebook more if they don’t see it.
I don't mind/can put up with the rest, but those two things really bug me.
But my concern is that there are some people I would lose the ability to contact if I delete my fb. Maybe I should ask those people for their email, etc., then proceed.
Not sure anything guarantees they'll stop doing this after you delete your account.. They knew your name before you created it, and they'll know it after you close it.
While there are no guarantees, it still helps a little, since your endorsements are less likely to appear as genuine to those who know you're not on Facebook.
There used to be a two week period where it worked as you described, not sure if it's still in place.
They also see Facebook as the way to stay in touch with their own friends and family, and that's probably the biggest draw to staying on. Until that changes, I don't see them leaving.
Or Luddites, or perverts, or criminals, etcetera…
I would get my family off of Facebook because they cannot stop using it even though it makes them feel bad after being on it. That's reason enough for me.
Obviously a heroin addiction would not be what you want in life, I am thinking that constant checking in to Facebook is in a similar league of must avoid.
Check out Lyra instead (www.hellolyra.com), it's a conversation service that requests language and attention. We are also a nonprofit and solicit no investment.
I recently disabled third party cookies in Chrome and it's had no negative effect. Can someone tell me if this will block the Facebook code that's embedded in nearly every web page from reading my Facebook cookie and identifying me?
1. Privacy Badger (from EFF)
2. Clean Links (removes all the redirect links from several sites, including FB)
3. Self-Destructing Cookies (destroys cookies when tabs of a particular site are all closed; default time to delete after tab closure is 10 seconds, which I reduce on my installations)
4. uBlock Origin (blocks ads and trackers)
5. BetterPrivacy (deletes "super-cookies" from things like Flash)
I don't use Ghostery because its business model depends on advertisers. Same goes for Adblock and its cousins too.
Even with all of the above, FB may still be able to track because there are many ways apart from cookies to do it. There could be browser fingerprinting  using various other indicators.
Because Facebook's profits come from advertising and that understanding our browser habits is a requirement for their core business, it is not too far-fetched to believe that they track non-users as well.
Developers on HN regularly proclaim wonders of Chromebook/Google Docs without any corresponding rhetoric about privacy.
Would it not be a witch hunt against Google if people here complained about Google Docs? Would it not be a witch hunt against facebook if people here also complained about Google Docs?
I'm putting "witch hunt" on my list of stop words. I don't see the phrase being used in utterances that move a discussion forwards.
Back then there was no option to remove it - the only option was to convert it to a page with the mention that all your friends will become page likes. Then you will lose all your content posted (statuses, pictures, messages, etc). It was written red on white as a warning prevention. They said it was not possible to revert back.
Id did that, and the next day I felt so good afterwards. No guilt or fear of missing stuff. There were other means to stay in contact with people.
Forward two years later I wanted facebook back because I moved to another country.
I searched if there is an option to recover an old profile, and it was (even before they explicitly said there is none, and all your data is lost). I got back all that I've posted, only friends I needed to add back manually.
Now I use news feed eradicator and I don't see anything. Also, I don't have that urge to scroll feeds anymore. Basically, I wanted only messenger, but back then there was no such option.
I like Facebook, it serves a lot of good roles in my life (including my job) so I can't just quit and/or block Facebook. But I was spending pointless hours a day reading my news feed, disgusted with my own lack of productivity.
This extension kills the home page feed, but nothing else.
I still have access to messages, profiles, events, invites, etc. I can still find everything I search for if I seek it out, only difference is it's not drip-fed into my eyeballs with an endless scroll.
My productivity (and happiness) immediately took a step up.
My best partial solution thus far has involved programmatically expanding the entirety of the mobile activity log and using Chrome's 'Save Page As.' I've written Python code to then replace all links to images in the HTML with locally stored copies that I obtain using FB's Graph API.
I'm not familiar with what digi.me offers specifically. Moving data from one closed ecosystem to another doesn't seem especially desirable. I would gladly participate in an open source effort to automate FB data export--scraping, alas, isn't my forté.
My suspicion is that services like digi.me similarly won't have access to anything beyond the timeline. Have you used digi.me?
I wonder why there's so much anti-fb commentary on HN? Maybe it has to do with the software engineers tending to be less social and introverted, therefore a social service appears to have less worth? Just speculating.
As for me, Facebook creates an emotional connection unlike any other service out there. I get to see my friends kids grow up, comfort lost friends when they lose a parent, share with my family when something great has happened. It's absolutely amazing and there's nothing out there that comes close to its reach.
If Facebook were suddenly gone tomorrow, I would feel devastated (so many memories of my kids, deceased father, mom, all would be gone). The only other sites that would provoke a similar emotional response from me would probably be Google and maybe Github.
> I wonder why there's so much anti-fb commentary on HN?
> As for me, Facebook creates an emotional connection unlike
> any other service out there. I get to see my friends kids
> grow up, comfort lost friends when they lose a parent, share
> with my family when something great has happened. It's
> absolutely amazing and there's nothing out there that comes
> close to its reach.
> If Facebook were suddenly gone tomorrow, I would feel
> devastated (so many memories of my kids, deceased father, mom,
> all would be gone). The only other sites that would provoke
> a similar emotional response from me would probably be Google
> and maybe Github.
Facebook isn't necessary for any of those experiences. In fact, you state how you wouldn't be able to see your friend's kids grow up, or comfort your friends when they lose someone they love. But was Facebook really the only way for you to do that? It seems to me like you're attributing to Facebook quite a few characteristics that aren't really there. Ditching Facebook and actually meeting with people or staying in touch with the occasional phone call is a hell of a lot more personal. As for all of your memories, fortunately you still have those in your brain. They don't need to be in an advertising archive to be more real.
Hey! What are the odds you and some other user commenting here both have such similar experiences?! You should connect with them on Facebook! Maybe Github?
What I care about is Facebook creating a shadow profile on me, even when I explicitly go out of my way to block them.
If it would only affect those people that are on Facebook, I wouldn't give it a second thought. But it doesn't. It also affects those that want nothing to do with it, in part through the people that are using it, and that is the major reason for all the Facebook hate.
I think it's awesome that people are finding ways to get off Facebook. It's like getting out of a heroine addiction or something:)
>The issue is what they do with our data and whether you'd be comfortable letting them use your data this way
I believe that I have addressed these issues by still utilizing the service.
They're well known to the HN community. They're not new. They just don't matter to me. Nor to most of the rest of the market, because billions still use it.
facebook has its uses (i've had acquaintances reach out for help in the past), so i keep the account, but i have better ways of connecting to the people i love. weak connections are meh imo
i use instragram because i like their mobile photo editing tools, but i'm sure i can find a suitable alternative. i'd prefer to publish them somewhere where i can easily (and obviously) include the cc-by-sa license info.
honestly, i get very little out of these products. there's no way i can care intimately about 500 people. the people i do care about are the ones that i keep in touch with on snapchat or via sms/im. discussions are often overly emotional and barely stimulating. reddit was better for a while, but i spend most of my online time on gnu/social these days.
i would be super happy if facebook, google, and github burnt to the ground. there are better, decentralized and non-corporate options out there that provide adequate service and are actually aligned with my interests.
I would love nothing more than a standalone events app that not only had future events, but a, 'hey, I'm at %location%, anyone want to meet up?' that allowed for multiple degrees of social interaction --- e.g. just friends, anybody.
If I could trust people to properly respond to emailed invites, I would, but most people I know have 1k+ unread emails. They'll never notice it. FB replaced my email+SMS+(various messaging app) approach from before, but caught almost all my intended audience in one place. There may be other services I could use, but people would have to create yet another account, which isn't likely.
I first started leaving Facebook when my feed was consumed with children and lovey-dovey posts. That's cute and all, but I can only handle so much of that (let's round up to one per month...)
Down the road, if things start going south for Facebook, I wouldn't be surprised if they broke off the events into a separate app.
This sounds batshit crazy to me.
Honestly if my partner expected that of me and used it as a reason to be upset with me I'd be thinking of ending the relationship.
Why do I do it at all? Being off Facebook is good for my mental health-- this is the main reason. Privacy reasons are secondary but also important. I've posted some really stupid stuff in 2004 that I'm glad is (theoretically!) stricken from the record.
"When you delete your account, people won't be able to see it on Facebook. It may take up to 90 days from the beginning of the deletion process to delete all of the things you've posted, like your photos, status updates or other data stored in backup systems. While we are deleting this information, it is inaccessible to other people using Facebook."
From a Facebook-makes-money-from-retaining-user-data perspective, I would imagine they are making every effort to ensure they're permanently deleting user data only where legally compelled to do so.
In effect, what the GP does in no way helps provide more privacy from FB for the GP.
It's interesting to me that my friends ask did you see my X post on FB instead of telling me about things in their life.
Do you have some evidence for this or just presuming?
The fact that I am not on facebook, means that I am not even covered by the privacy of their ToS.
Anyone who knows me, ends up exposing my information and privacy, which I have not consented to.
How does that make sense? The only way I can deal with this intrusion, is to open myself up further and get on Facebook?
I'm unsure how to parse the rights and restrictions here
Did this happen? Who knows. The evidence is ephemeral, no paper trail to prove or disprove. Which is another scary thing about facebook.
It's not exactly Facebook that is doing it, it's that a set of smart external actors can use the data from fb advertising services to spread propaganda with unprecedented granularity. And to make it even scarier, there's no public record of what was shown to whom, and it can be run by smart actors in a completely anonymous fashion.
I feel we have gotten to a point where there's a direct threat to the fundamental concept of a free democracy from the fb platform.
I wish I could entirely close my account, but unfortunately there are too many people who only use Facebook to contact me, and there are a few groups that I need to participate in.
As for the apps: On iOS, at least, you can turn off location services and access to your contacts. Everything still works just fine.
"Facebook is impersonating you to post things!" -> Facebook clumsily attaches an advertisement to a post with a prominent Related Post header.
"Facebook selling your data to Mastercard!" -> anonymized data is being sold to Mastercard to understand browsing habits and interests.
"Facebook buries posts that it doesn't like so your friends don't see them" -> The News Feed is a compilation of the most popular items of your friends postings; all shared items are available by looking at a friend's page.
"Facebook influenced the 2016 election because it only showed news that was in each users' bubble" -> The little-used Trending Topics section showed news that a given user was likely to want to click. Most users just click on what their friends post. If they're in a bubble, it's because they don't have friends outside of it.
"Facebook gives direct access to the NSA via Prism" -> Facebook receives a National Security Letter and then is forced to give the information to the government.
At least 2 of the most outrageous claims (insurance companies getting Facebook data, Facebook teaming up with data brokers) lead to broken links. Other evidence is on forbes.com/sites, which is not far off from Medium in terms of oversight.
There are some good points. The issue of Facebook's adding the @facebook.com email address as the default (and in some cases deleting the contact's existing email) was a hugely unethical and unpopular thing to do. Many of the future risks the author mentions are realistic and damaging to privacy and personal liberty. Also, looking at idealized pictures of friends' lives can cause feelings of envy and inadequacy. Not to mention the near-constant outrage effect of sensational news being shared.
The author has some good points about the potential future risks of being on Facebook. And some excellent suggestions on how to mitigate it, especially the anti-web tracking tips. Why water it down with deception? It serves only to weaken the argument.
Also, "anonymised" data just doesn't have your name attached to it, but can still be a very detailed personal profile. All it takes is one link between your identity and that data to de-anonymise it.
Also: you don't feel deceived by having at least two claims to be completely unsubstantiated (the broken links)? You don't feel deceived when someone tells you a truth that implies a completely different conclusion because they omitted a crucial detail?
We're a nonprofit and don't accept investment.
How are you guys going to make money? I understand it's a non-profit but you're gonna still need money for servers and man-hours.