As long as:
1) people want to socialize freely (as well as privately) with each other in an online rapid medium,
2) the online forum is incentivized to make money, and
3) that same forum / business doesn't want the burden of regulating people's speech and behavior
then some Facebook analogue will take its place no matter where people go.
Right now it seems we can only choose to have 2 out of the 3.
There have been many examples of executives and engineers who have spoken to this effect:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d6e1riShmak (Chamath Palihapitiya)
Good point, but I'll add: if the ideas they are spreading weren't infectious, they wouldn't be spreading them in the first place.
I've been on FB lately because my local government has decided that it will use FB to give background info and outlooks wrt Covid-19. From what I saw in the local groups, the "ideas" people spread are not original content, ever. They don't have those ideas, they just read them and say "yeah, share", so the ideas that make it to your feed have proven themselves many times to be infectious. There's a reason we call it "going viral".
We are simply living in the Eternal September.
some time ago I would have agreed on some level but there is too much manual and/or algorithmic manipulation to encourage "retention", "stickiness", "addictiveness" (whatever the current marketing-speak du jour for dependence is) to be a true reflection of behavior.
thats the irony of the current state of social networks - its not just merely allowing conversation/connection; its about encouraging rage, confrontation, polarity. in the pursuit of metrics, ergo dollars.
and even worse, we then look at the distorted reflection we see in the digital mirror and our view of society/discourse is negatively reinforced. what a loop.
I've done it before for mental health reasons, and found it really refreshing.
Now I check Facebook maybe once a month and only for events or to sell stuff. I think it helps that I only ever used it on mobile to begin with. After being away for over a year the feed looks like a dumpster fire. I wouldn't touch it with a 10ft pole. There is some genuine cases of people connecting on there no doubt but it's buried under a pile of anxiety inducing crap. And not the constrictive kind of anxiety either, the hollow kind.
The next step for me is to remove Facebook from my password manager. Having to type a 20+ character password on a phone is definitely going to add significant friction.
It's surprising how many of my friends say they don't use Facebook for political reasons but don't see Instagram as the same company.
Also, I found in South America that almost no one would respond to an SMS sent to them. Apparently, SMSs used to be extremely expensive, so a culture developed of never answering them. If you want any kind of reply, then people insist you use Whatsapp.
Also there is no feeds in WhatsApp, making it very different from Insta and FB. But it's still giving strength to the ecosystem.
How can we leave and take the network with us?'
I actually didn't have "friends" in mind. Small businesses, formal and informal groups of interest, event discovery, the use cases are far beyond what I'm aware of.
Also, organizing and protests...
Basically try to keep to "business and meaningful contact only" rather than engage with the time-sinks. Make it work for me. (The Intention firefox extension has been super helpful as well.)
If people want to get in touch with you, they'll do so. If people want to broadcast information only to those following them on one service, then you'll stop getting that information. That's fine. Other information will take its place.
A lot of us use FB for organizing, not just for seeing what our friends ate for dessert last night. It's not reasonable to tell people abandon one channel without suggesting a replacement. You might as well ask people to give up email, or their phone.
I'm sorry, but this is ridiculous. We're talking about a company that has knowingly promoted white supremacists groups for the sake of clicks. I think that warrants putting just a little effort into email.
No tool is going to do your job for you. If Facebook succeeded where email failed, it's just because someone wasn't doing their job, not because of some special sauce that Facebook has.
You'd be surprised how crap email is for any of that. You'd be surprised how people don't want to have 10 different apps for all the activities and prefer one central source to catch up on everything. Facebook can be very useful.
I don't think that's fair to say in 2020. I'm not arguing for facebook's goodness here, just its ubiquity. When it comes time for me to organize a friends-only event (i.e., not a meetup or community event), I'm not aware of anything better than FB for the task. Say a party with 50 people at it - not all those people have my phone number or email address, but we're still close enough that I could tell you where they grew up. Maybe we chat on messenger sometimes.
I'm actively looking for alternatives. I think I'll disable my FB to still have access to messenger, but mostly I need a replacement for Events. Marketplace is pointless - I get way more hits on my craigslist posts anyway. Photos is stupid, I just put my stuff on photos.google.com and share the URL with people. Hah, though I am just now remembering Instagram is owned by FB.
Leaving social media can be traumatic because you are suddenly brought face to face with the fact that many relationships in your life are a bit of a lie – people don’t really care about you all that much. And sure, you are left with a handful of “real friends” who are still willing to engage with you even though you are now the weirdo of the bunch who doesn’t use social media, but still. I sometimes wonder if the psychological toll of continuing to use social media is less than that of quitting social media.
I'm happy to say that the network I have built through Instagram has taken my photography to new levels and facilitated social interactions I'd never have had otherwise.
It is very fair to want to take the good (network/community) and leave the bad (walled-garden and tracking).
I suspect this is a subset of what I call "The Fallacy of The Best", the idea that things can objectively be quantified as "the best" and that there is significant value that cannot be realized without "the best".
In reality, the products and services you choose have relatively little impact on the quality of experience you have, both because there is little substantial difference between most things on the main, and because the effort you put into things is far more important.
That was easy because it was clear where it was headed. Getting friends to quit took some time, but about 40% of my friends are off completely, and another 20% mostly read instead of post (so they claim).
Now if I lived in certain parts of the world like Myanamar  where the Facebook -IS- the internet, I'd be hosed. This is some serious Dole / DelMonte level stuff Zuck is doing.
I didn't feel like I needed to download anything, since I had not been sharing anything anyway.. Now onto deleting other FB properties. I'll need to figure out how to motivate some friends to move off of WhatsApp and onto Signal. But once I'm able to do that, or just decide that the price of staying on WhatsApp is not worth it, I'll be fully rid of FB. Was never on Instagram or anything else..
To those who are on the fence, just try not to login for a few days, then a few weeks and you will realize you are not missing anything at all.
Of all the social networks, I believe LinkedIn would be the most difficult, if not outright impossible for me to get out of. But FB was a very easy choice.
Yes, that's right. While he's busy pretending to feel bad about the situation with bad cops, he recruits and pays them to protect his family.
Facebook and Zuckerberg are well beyond complicit.
If anything the virulent comments on this thread are enough reason for him to hire as many bodyguards as he may need.
Some people here have no sense of perspective.
(I don't know the truth about the situation, but if the facts are correct, that is morally troubling.)
Apart from its flagship product, social network 'drugs' it owns includes Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp. The fine-print is if you mix that with trolls, disinformation and bots it equals never-ending reactionary anger. Very unhealthy for you.
From my experience money talks. Many people will use the logic of "if not me it will be someone else" for their cognitive dissonance to work at morally degenerate organizations. I'd be interested if there was a survey of current employees who would be willing to leave if another entity paid an analogous salary.
Of course not. The proof is in the puddin'. There is, and never has been, a mass exodus of technical talent from these companies. And during this period there has been near constant hand wringing and crocodile tears about the evil things these companies do.
That line of reasoning doesn't lead to any opinion of google, apple, amazon (except youtube, which has some of the problems of social media).
Why does leaving one require someone to leave all the others?
Do we not bandage a wound just because there are other wounds?
I've seen an amusingly large number of tweets lately calling for deletion of Facebook.
Facebook doesn’t really offer much more than “social” but I can have gmail without using any of google’s other products, including search.
I used amazon a lot in the past but less and less and probably never again based on their response to COVID.
So, for me at least, it’s not the companies so much, I’m pretty disappointed in all of them. It’s the features and I just don’t see a need to be on anything social media related these days unless we’re counting HN as social media. This is close as I come anymore. But, again, for me, buying from amazon or having a gmail account isn’t the same as following what social media has to offer...
Calling a platform evil may be a bit out there, however, in the case of FB, the word toxic is the best way to describe it. HN users, I assume, can handle the toxic FB feed. But I’ve heard numerous times from people (usually older generation) claiming that a certain (fake)news article was real.. because it was on FB. People who can’t distinguish between real or fake news, real or misleading ads, are becoming victims of fraud, misinformation and all sorts of bad stuff.
Is FB to blame for all of that? Maybe not. But serving the world brings about a certain responsibility that they clearly don’t seem to take serious enough.
Leaving FB so your friends and family members will leave may be the least you can do to help.
There are good things too, my friend found a kidney donor on there, a random person which saved their life !!
It needs to happen, its a tough jump
I will miss the concert notifications for bands I follow, but I guess I'll just have to put slightly more effort into following them :)
I suspect that Facebook makes very little money off of me. On the other hand, I have relatives who love Facebook, and as long as they don't try to use it as a way to contact me I am fine with whatever they want for themselves.
The FB Ads SDK has infiltrated every nook and corner of your life. From websites to your phone to TV's to iot. I am scared by the prospects of that level of intrusion than anything else. They don't need your account.
Visiting my account off FB activity was just there tip of the iceberg. They can connect everything about you without your involvement...
A mere FB account doesn't do much. Sure in the short term we can have lengthy blog posts about "deleteFB" and so on but really it's mostly for sentiment not really concrete.
(One could argue that targeted ads that would still follow you are another way of manipulation, but it's way lesser than willingly consuming The Feed)
I would love to see some type of fact check warning be implemented for FB but not necessarily censorship.
I did in fact leave over that. It was a simpler time.
You could become a "stuck cog," deliberately working shittily to slow down development. You could cause a disaster hid behind plausible deniability - fuck up a deploy, accidentally forward an email, that kind of thing. You just gotta try to avoid committing a crime.
Or you could bombard senior management with emails demanding they take action until they just fire you.
You could spend all day improving your vimgolf skills.
One of the best things I did for my mental health. Highly recommended.
Also I bought this book for my dad - Facebook is extremely toxic for Boomer-era people, just absolutely overrun with propaganda, low-value memes. The complete opposite of critical thinking.
We haven't had a chance to discuss the book's arguments or merits, but I told him I was really concerned for his mental health and his increasing paranoia, and I thought a lot of it stemmed from social media.
Anyway, if anyone has any other advice for convincing others to leave social media, I'd love to hear it.
If you want to switch away from other surveillance capitalist software like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or WhatsApp here's a list 
An interesting example relevant to this case would be Mastodon: it's an alternative to Twitter where many instances federate together, and instances are allowed to do their own moderation. Many instances have much more protective rules than Twitter and have smaller communities that their moderators are better able to integrate with.
There's a whole ecosystem of decentralised alternatives out there, which you can check out at https://fediverse.party/
It's definitely not easy to get people to jump ship, but I've seen an influx of new users to the Mastodon instance I'm part of.
Plus it's their network, they likely have TOS allowing them to do anything on it. Probaly except altering the posts (... but they replace links with their shortener i think).
* If someone criticized newspapers for yellow journalism and inciting violence with sensationalism, would it seem so weird to push the newspapers to "essentially become fact-checkers for the content posted" on them?
* Is the way that people view large public figures on social media all that different than how they did with newspapers?
I think it is important that there is a diversity of avenues toward publishing, so that incorrectly judged messages / messages that the population disagrees about the harm of can still be published somewhere, but it's never been easier than now to publish things to the web even without the help of a specific individual platform like Facebook. The web isn't just Facebook.
I left Facebook five years ago but it certainly wasn't about Zuck or Facebook. I hate to break it to you guys but at the end of the day, Facebook is just people. Get upset all you want but you're really just getting upset at other people for whatever reason. Facebook isn't the problem, human nature is.
We need to extend these laws and values to Facebook and other social media.
People should be held accountable for things they post publicly on the internet. Public posts should not be anonymous. If damage is caused as a result of your misleading communications, you should be held responsible for that damage.
Yes it would destroy social media (and reshape the entire internet as we know it), but the world is burning and its because nobody knows what to believe.
This is almost exactly the line of thinking that the story The Weapon by Fredric Brown warns against.
I am sceptical that the paternalists will let me be when they're done dealing with Trump et al.
How is it the last bastion of anything? It is a place where people seem to be able to speak their mind. It's not the last place. The Internet is vast, and the major social networks aren't the only things in existence on it.
Do LinkedIn or Reddit or Medium not allow you to speak your mind? In what way?
Reddit is small in comparison to Facebook. I think it's like one or two orders of magnitude smaller than Facebook in DAUs. Medium is tiny likewise. I think both Instagram and WhatsApp individually are bigger than Reddit, let alone the big daddy FB itself. 1 in 3 people worldwide visits Facebook at least once a month.