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Occupy Geeks Are Building a Facebook for the 99% (wired.com)
32 points by taylorbuley on Dec 28, 2011 | hide | past | favorite | 23 comments

This does not pass the smell test. I think this is Facebook for the 0.1% who give a crap. The rest is pretty happy with FB as it is right now.

Normal folk care about social network privacy as much as they care about, say, Walmart's business practices, or Apple's obscure app acceptance decision criteria.

I have literally just returned from a meeting at the 28c3 conference in berlin, where the Social Swarm group were discussing strategy in this direction.

Social Swarm is an open think tank initiated by the German privacy and digital rights NGO FoeBuD. They are attempting to research and co-ordinate the many and varied efforts in decentralised, secure social networking. You should visit their wiki, where they have collected many resources from across the net, so we can get a handle on the many different projects and their statuses, as well as talk tactics with regards to that deciding factor, traction. You should also sign up to their mailing list if you are at all interested in these ideas.


Also, have a look at Secushare. Today I also attended a talk by some of the members of this project, and it seems extremely promising. They know what the hell they are doing, with something like a century of combined experience in the field. It's fully distributed, based on GNUnet, (similar to tor) and has some very innovative ideas around using the trust network implicit in the social graph for routing and distribution of data.


(Note that I do not necessarily represent the social swarm collective, I only just met them today ;)

This article is lacking on any sort of details. It's not even clear if they are building a "facebook". The technical standards they think there can reuse include things like oauth and openid. OpenID does not a social network make.

It also talks about solutions looking for problems, likkr RDF. I don't think the semantic web will be a social network for the 99%.

The biggest problem with building a new social network is traction, ie users. This is a social, not technical, problem. If the occupy groups want to stop Facebook, they could try to get all people to never use it for occupy stuff.

Can we say that the "99%" term has now officially jumped the shark?

Honest question: What about this platform will make it immune to subpoenas (since the author mentioned that specifically)?

I'm guessing one that would be based in a foreign (and preferably hostile) country?

If it is decentralized and pseudonymous, who do you subpoena, and how do you find out who they are?

Why, the DNS of course!

...waiiit a minute...

"[...]or forcing you to get yet another username and password to keep track of."

As a professional fraudster with first class honours in identity theft, I for one welcome the move to a grand unified 'one-password-fits-all' structure, and look forward to working hand-in-hand with everyone on your friends list for a better tomorrow.

I'll skip commenting on the actual site they're building, and zero in one paragraph I found particularly interesting:

"When he was an undergrad in 2005, Boyer, who is now 27, took a job at the Student Trade Justice Campaign, an organization focused on trade policy reform. In 2007, he wanted to build an online platform for individual chapters to organize into groups and to link those groups for national discussions – essentially what the FGA is meant to do. But Boyer couldn’t build it, he said. “I didn’t even know how to program at the point that I started with it.”

Because. Word. My first thought was: "Story of my life." Just substitute "2007" for "Summer 2010" and "Student Trade Justice Campaign" for "non-profit student organizations." I wonder how many others were inspired to learn web development because of similar motivations.

It would be great if Europe took the lead on these kind of services, it currently seems impossible to get decent web services that are outside the reach of US subpoenas. Boston PD has already issued a subpoena to Twitter for Occupy related info. Europe needs to step up.

Unfortunately things are generally getting worse in Europe with ACTA and data retention laws passing EU legislation and subsequently beeing forced into national laws.

But it is still hard for an American government agency to subpoena documents from an European company.

What the hell does "for the 99%" mean? Usually that means that refers to the bottom 99% in income but I think the bottom 99% in income are more likely to use Facebook, not less.

The FreedomBox Foundation inspired by Eben Moglen and which raised over US$85k earlier this year on KickStarter is also looking to cover this space through software and hardware:

http://freedomboxfoundation.org/ http://wiki.debian.org/FreedomBox

This reminds me of every time someone comes up to me and pitches me idea of making "Facebook, but better." I don't see where's the need of making a social network for specific purposes and reasons.

You clearly haven't seen the sort of people who are on Facebook.

If anything, Google+ probably skews higher on the socio-economic scale, since it's easier to keep the riffraff out of your circles and discussions.

I love how they're all just checking their email in the photo


"But those [diaspora, identica] developments aren’t specifically focused on protest movements. And the Occupy movement’s surprising rise in the U.S. has added new impetus to the desire for open source versions of the software that is playing an increasingly important role in mobilizing and connecting social movements, as well as broadcasting their efforts to the world."

So yeah, Diaspora. The article is not well-written.

... And there I was all this time, thinking the 1% isn't even on Facebook..

I for one am tired of this "I am the 99%" buzz phrase. It seems like most who dogmatically repeat this phrase have no direction in terms of what they are trying to convey.

The ironic thing about this is that it seems very very closed in terms of sharing which I believe is a step backward.


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