My wife recently convinced me to give it another try. I didn't use my complete name, and was judicious about the information I associated with my profile. And yet, I proceeded to connect in a deep and healthy way with some people that I'd fallen out of touch with, and nurtured some newer relationships.
It's a tool that has a Tendency to be dangerous, prying, and abusive to its members. But even as a field of vast moral hazard, I've come to view it as "navigable and worth the risks."
Perhaps not the most glowing endorsement, but if they can convince me they're more valuable than they are dangerous, they've really done some things right in the last few years.
You must have had fallen out of touch for a reason, hadn't you?
I think this is the major reason why I am not using Facebook to find and connect with my old friends. If those connection would have been worth keeping up with, I am sure I wouldn't have lost them at the first place. Now, of course there are stories when some family members got lost at teen age and found each other through social network, I get it, but those are in minor, gems worth a short article on social blog.
After you re-connected with them again, after a while, most likely the same thing will happen. You will get out of regular touch and they will fall in the grey zone. Of course its harder to "loose" people nowaday because we living in much smaller world. And on the top of that, if you are a hard worker, if you have family, a bunch of close friends with whom you socialize, go to restaurants, movies, camping, etc, then do you really find time to socialize online? Isn't it enough that we forget about our spouses or parents birthdays sometimes, about anniversaries, other important events, don't always make on time to pick up son or daughter from school? I believe if you at least try to fullfill your daily obligations towards your job, families and friends, then you don't have time for social networking.
But I'll understand if that's not very satisfying, so...
Interpersonal connections just do not exist in some sort of static and immutable categorical hierarchy, wherein all those that share in the Platonic ideal of WORTH KEEPING are definitely kept above some threshold of positive health and repair, and those that do not are just as destined to fade naturally. If you're "sure that" you would recognize and maintain any connection that is worth keeping, then you're only correct insofar as the connection might not be worth maintaining for the other person. :)
The reason for this is that, in short, you can't see as far into the future as you think you can.
As you get older, you (hopefully) gain some perspectives that retroactively change the past. You occasionally notice important, even semi-profound things about people you used to know; things you had never really noticed before, that you could not have possibly noticed before because circumstances had not yet unearthed those facets of their character. High school isn't life. College isn't life. The first ten years of your career aren't life.
"Life changing" experience can come at any time, and it doesn't just change your life after the experience, but also reaches back into your experience of things that occured before.
In order to know this you had to be young and "get older". Social networks are only 10 years old, approx.
What social network did you use 25 years ago?
This is exactly what made me realize it was OK for me to drop Facebook.
I was unreasonably worried that I would again lose touch with these people who were my friends back in college. We fell out of contact after graduation, and then rediscovered on Facebook years later. These were folks with whom I didn't have a whole lot in common at all - maybe I might have lived on the same dorm floor with them, or maybe we were study pals in data structures class, or something else similarly un-meaningful.
Then there were the people I actually cared about and made efforts to keep up friendships. I looked through my phone contact list, and realized not only did I have telephone numbers and email addresses for every last one of them, but I had made use of it often. Facebook was not how I communicated with the people that matter anyway.
Your wife and kids are in your registers. You see them all the time, and generally they're either a room away or (at the most) a phone call away.
Your best friends are in your L1 cache. Sometimes they come up to the registers after you've been hanging out with them for a while, but even if not, they're only a phone call or text away in the L1 cache.
Your friend from elementary school you haven't talked to for years is on disk swap. He lives in Japan, and you might want to contact him if you're traveling there.
In that world, it's still very cheap to access your most frequently-accessed connections--your wife, kids, best friends. However, as you go down the memory hierarchy it becomes very expensive to access them. And so, you contact them less often.
Enter Facebook. Now your friend from Japan is only a post away. You don't have time to have email threads with all of your friends, down to that friend from elementary school. But you can occasionally keep up with that friend by browsing to his timeline, occasionally seeing some major events "X got engaged", and maybe sending a light message. Suddenly your disk became an SSD and it became much cheaper to keep in contact.
Your registers and L1 caches haven't changed much. Now you can contact them in the medium that's most convenient at the time. You can message them from your phone (fb messenger), or skype them on your computer, but you can also just call them or talk to them. Facebook gives you more options for accessing the most-accessed friends. As a result, it both expands the size of your caches and main memory, but also makes each level faster to access so you can keep in touch with more of them.
So I don't think the right approach is to think of friends in a binary fashion: Worth keeping in touch with, and not worth keeping in touch with.
Instead, it's a gradient, and communication platforms like Facebook just improve the gradient so it's worthwhile (i.e. possible and easy) to keep in touch with a lot more of your friends.
Taking the subject matter into account it would have made sense to instead chastise Stallman for exploiting an entirely different discussion (apparently about some student project) and injecting his own absolutist view into the original story that was at best only tangentially connected to Facebook.
Not to get into the whole discussion about whether that was the right forum or etc, but by definition I'd say being generally anti-humanity-propogating-itself meets the bar for "misanthropy".
> You see, I make software for most of my living. And I talked with Stallman (in email) before the show, about how I would love to get any ideas he has on how a developer, of proprietary software, can move that software to a Free and Open license… while still keeping food on the table for his family. From a practical standpoint.
> This is a topic that has come up time and again. And I really wanted to get Stallman’s thoughts on the matter.
> So, near the beginning of the interview, I ask him about that. How does someone like me make the move to working on only Free Software and still support his family?
> The end result was that he feels that all developers and businesses of proprietary software should fail. And that it is more important for there to not be proprietary software… than it is to be able to feed your children.
> I’m not kidding. I’m not exaggerating. I’m not putting words in his mouth. I even asked him, point blank, to verify his stance.
> He did not say that having Free Software is more important than kids having food to eat. I repeat: He said that it was more important that non-free software be gone… than for you to be able to feed your kids. That’s how evil he thinks non-free software is. Evil enough to justify causing significant harm to your family to do away with a small amount of it. (Of course this isn’t the first time Stallman has been anti-children.)
It is really, really not obvious to me whether the world would be better off if you and I stopped writing proprietary software, did something else as a career, and wrote free software as a hobby. That is a hard question. My intuition agrees with Stallman.
Whether or not you agree too, it's obvious from his published opinions that he has thought hard about (and acted in accordance with) the specific goal: what helps humanity the most? That is the clear point of his answer to you and it is the polar opposite of misanthropy.
I agree with many of his principles, however, his time has come and gone. His view of computing seems stuck to how it existed 25-30 years ago, which is proving increasingly detrimental to recruiting new people to the cause of Free Software. By ignoring why people use closed products, such as his views on why Free Software users would use closed source dictation software ( https://lists.csail.mit.edu/pipermail/csail-related/2012-Feb... ), he has made Free Software less capable of competing because it doesn't do what people expect software to do. Once he realizes this, and that one can and should look at why people use alternatives to GNU software, then we can possibly move forward. Unfortunately, I don't have much hope that that will happen as long as RMS is at the helm.
Sure - current generations deal with a different reality compared to when he started out, but there is still paramount value in having his philosophy at heart. He may be old fashioned when it comes to new technology and he sure is quirky in a way that drives away some people, but all that doesn't stop people from interpreting what he has done and applying it to the world today.
I think the real problem is that you put RMS on a pedestal that he doesn't belong on. He is not the root node for what happens in Free Software today and I'm sure that the examples you cited weren't really that much about him, or even about the GPL3.
He has a very distinct, central viewpoint: freedom - and the link you quoted shows that you simply have a differing opinion about where to start thinking about software. You start with the user expecting features, RMS starts with the user deserving freedom. Both viewpoints have value, but RMS represents a constant that shouldn't be messed with and does not necessarily get in the way of your objective.
It is much more sensible to respect his service and do your best to live up to the standard he has set than to deconstruct his persona based on it being somewhat anachronistic. In my opinion, the best progress is made in dialog with our history, not in annoyed, knee-jerk revolt against it.
For those curious, here's what appear to be his views on Facebook:
That doesn't strike me as a serious set of issues either, more a collection of possibly-bad things put together by somebody who didn't like it from the start.
That's not to say that there isn't a good case to be made for staying away from Facebook. But I don't think Stallman is making one.
I only post that comment here because it served as a reminder to me that, for all the privacy reasons we shake our fists at Facebook, FB actually does a lot to surface privacy issues to us that were always there (like whether or not a lab mailing list is publicly available) but you might not have noticed.
What Facebook provides is a completely unoriginal set of social networking tools wrapped in a mediocre presentation layer that requires you to surrender some of your most precious human rights in order to access it. Their users are their product. They sell you to advertisers and even more unsavory corporations like Zynga that are looking to lure you into a constant dopamine feedback loop to sucker you into buying virtual goods, so you can get that same dopamine fix faster still. Both corporations are parasites of the worst sort, because you're not only giving up your privacy, freedom, and money, you're doing so for a short term and minimal reward.
There will not be another Facebook, you can no longer be a "social network." Social networking at this point is just a common feature set that countless websites can easily replicate. In the future, social networking should just be a protocol that enables features like sharing photos, anecdotes, and relationships using a decentralized system. Bit torrent with identity. Or without identity if you so choose.
I'm genuinely curious, which human rights? I created an account, don't really use it... and don't feel like I've had any human rights taken away.
The idea of "giving away" a right is not that simple--for example, I think there are certain rights you cannot legally waive. Even if what Facebook is doing is legal (which it probably is), this same principle can reasonably be extended to condemn what they are doing from an ethical standpoint.
Additionally, Facebook does not only affect the people using it. Information about people without accounts (provided by people with accounts) is still archived and searchable, potentially by unsavory entities. For these people, a certain right to privacy is basically taken away, and certainly not given away.
As to your second point, Facebook is not running around taking pictures of you. Your friends are. If your privacy is being violated, it's your friends (to use the term loosely) who are doing it. Facebook provides a platform, but they are not the primary actor. That's another distinction I don't see being made frequently enough.
Freedom of speech is freedom from censorship by the government. Even that has restrictions, though. You can't incite violence against other people or cause other people to come to harm through your speech (yelling "Fire!" in a theatre being the canonical example).
You're agreeing to Facebook's Terms of Service when you use their site. You are agreeing not to upload that kind of content when you sign up.
The reason nudity is not allowed is because minors are on Facebook and it would be illegal to do so.
I don't see it as the parasitic pariah Stallman makes it out to be, nor do I dote on every status update of a friend or family member that scrolls across my screen.
If you were to ask me if I hate Facebook, I might agree. But the truth is I hardly use it enough to muster up much of a reaction. I almost never post. The only thing I really use it for is to get invited to things or figure out when someone's birthday is. I'm secretly very lamely proud of my non-activity.
But it's a scourge against humanity? It's a parasite on our populace? It suckers unsuspecting people into a one-way relationship where they are wholesale taken advantage of with no gain?
I call bollocks.
What if those governments had preexisting intelligence about the social graph? In World War II, Germans used paper punch cards to collate information about the so called "undesirable" residents of France and other occupied countries, and rounded most of them up in a matter of days. Just having most of the social graph in digital form would be devastating intelligence to be used by an oppressive government.
I hope the engineers at Facebook have put together a "self destruct button" for Mark Zuckerburg, and that he would have the courage to use it if the government turned oppressive. In all likelihood, this did not/will not happen, however.
And how do you know your government has turned oppressive? It won't be as visible as with the NSDAP the next time. Some would argue its already under way.
I knew many people who had AOL, but I also knew many people who did not. But it always struck me as absurd that film studios would bet their entire online effort on AOL's walled-garden instead of taking slightly more time to develop a web site as well.
(As an aside, unrelated to my point, the "Space Jam" web site is still live, where are all those AOL keyword pages?)
There is something similar happening today. No one would go back to the days of AOL, yet people find it perfectly reasonable to rely on Facebook to be the sole online presence for businesses and organizations.
This isn't a story about a local coffee shop having a poll to find out which roast is the most popular and doing it using tools that Facebook conveniently provides. This is Intel (based on the linked thread) developing a Facebook "app", with all the energy, money and time that entails in order to hold a contest of sorts.
Would it really have been that much more difficult to do it themselves on the open Internet? They could have still used Facebook to promote it even.
This is AOL all over again in the worst-possible way. I don't hate Facebook, and I didn't hate AOL. I just don't understand the logic behind companies and organizations that lock themselves into a walled-garden when they have other, better, options.
This looks like it could be the paper in question.
The worst part about it is oftentimes it makes the most sense to require Facebook for login. The gains are: 1) development and maintenance of only one login system. and 2) Easy integrated sharing/liking to expand support for your cause.
You can't really expect to win a rational argument with a site owner who sees how the benefits of requiring Facebook outweigh the perceived costs.
Although I dislike some of Facebook's policies, I don't hate them.
The currency in this case is the information that I'm providing them, either explicitly through postings and 'Like's on external sites, or implicitly by their plumbing of my social graph.
I would actually feel much better if facebook were a paid service, since then they would have an incentive to maintain me as a customer.
I'd rather that a third party with whom I've already established a financial relationship (Apple, Amazon, UPS or Fedex, etc) could provide an authentication token that could be used as a universal login.
It's good that we have him around to consider the utopian extremist viewpoint, even if it's rarely the favorable option. We aren't all made of money... the benefits outweigh the risks for most services where we pay with our ad-viewing, closed platforms, and information gathering. People can volunteer time and effort into building free systems, but nobody is going to donate data centers and storage space. I think there are limitations to the free mentality for widely adopted services.
Facebook isn't any more of a "parasite" than email.
And much like email, you can roll your own. It's much harder, but it's possible.
As for you can roll your own facebook, this is absolutely false. Facebook tries to get the whole planet registering with them, and don't have and probably will never have a protocol letting a fully featured "facebook bis" integrate with them (except maybe if legally bound to).
e-mail is a completely distributed service. People using gmail are not segregated from the others.
Now I'm also not pretending that facebook is evil for all that. I was initially reacting at your comparison between facebook and e-mail, which made little sense.
Neither is hosted email. They are centrally-managed communications systems which you are free to use or not use as you will.
How'd the campaign against Apple go, rms?
"Should a campaign for abolishing child labor talk only about how valuable adult workers are to their employers or how happy kids are when they don't work?"
"Should a campaign trying to abolish land mines talk only about the benefits of bomb-free fields and intact lower limbs?"
"Should a free speech organization only speak out about the social welfare brought by a free press and never against acts of censorship?"
This is ridiculous. You're saying that anti-landmine orgs should spend their time finding more efficient ways to kill people.
> No, they should provide better more efficient alternative than child labor.
What if no such alternative exists? Just because it's economically efficient, doesn't mean it's right.
In a sense that this new weapon would obsolete land mines, and thus solve all problems of land mines. I don't see nothing ridiculous about that.
> What if no such alternative exists? Just because it's economically efficient, doesn't mean it's right.
Let us believe that it is not like that, otherwise ultimatly everyone that not uses child labor will die out, all that not uses land mines will lose a war. And no amount of negativity will stop it.
I recommend you all read this reply; I laughed pretty hard https://lists.csail.mit.edu/pipermail/csail-related/2012-Jan....
Who says it was a snap choice? For X project that needs viral promotion to achieve critical mass (either in support--like a donation drive--or just participation--like a vote), you can rank places to put that mechanism by how viral and well-connected the networks that "flow through" that place are. Facebook frequently tops such rankings, if there isn't a specific niche hang-out available where you can target all the "super-connector" nodes at once.
This wouldn't protect you from a CIA sponsored deep dive of your information, but it does give you a considerable advantage over your peers, scammers, and many levels of legal inquiry.
Does anyone know whether he regards them in the same light?
"As for Facebook and Google+, I reject them on principle because they require people to give their 'real names'. I am proud to identify myself when stating my views; I can afford to do that because I am in a fairly safe position. There are people who rationally fear reprisals (from employers, gangsters, bullies, or the state) if they state their views. For their sake, let's reject any social networking site which insists on being told a user's real name... Google+ says it will offer to hide the user's real name, but demands people prove an 'established identity' or provide ID. I am suspicious of this requirement, but not sure what it will mean in practice..."
(I wish I was joking.)
These issues are real when you have large organizations like Google and Facebook who stand a reasonable chance of extinguishing a significant part of the diversity.
I'm curious because slthough I'm critical of Google for various reasons, I think it's hard to make a case against the value that Google search has brought to the world.
In the particular thread about Facebook RMS is pretty absolute in his boycott. I wondered whether he'd be more nuanced with Google.
I'm more interested in what he thinks of Google as a service.
Parasitic, seems a bit strong --but I guess, to make a point, the analogy kind of works --just not for me.
Stallman is almost always polarizing, but there's something here. Does FB make society less or more efficient? Where's the proof?
The project is small and mainly full of geeks now, but so was Wikipedia when I started promoting it. Everybody told me it would never succeed then, but they all use it now.
More relevant to this discussion, it provides a Free (as in freedom) alternative to Facebook. As long as no free alternative exists, Facebook has something going for it. Once you have an alternative, you can kick Facebook. (Also relevant, Eben Moglen, who co-wrote the GPL with Stallman, inspired Diaspora).
Yes Diaspora is small. Wikipedia also once had only 10,000 articles.
I recommend joining. The community is smaller than 800 million, but you can connect with me so you'll have at least one awesome person in your network there.
And you own your data.
It started with my profile picture being public, there is no way to disable that.
Then I did not understand the aspect of "aspects" because at least in my language no-one ever uses that word in any way remotely related to a social network. I still have not fully understand the idea. I think it is way too intellectual and not natural.
You do not get recommendations for "friends of your friends you might know". Of course it would be a privacy issue, I know that. But this is a crucial feature, if not THE crucial feature of a social network.
And one thing I was looking forward to and what I thought would let me find likeminded people in this network, the ability to follow tags, seems to be restricted to my pod. Or maybe there is just no-one using it and thus there is almost zero content.
The name is standing in its way too. Reminds me of the "pirate party".
And I am a technology lover, hacker in mind, etc. Diaspora is not remotely close to being something I would recommend my friends.
While in parasitic relationship there is one side that is being parasited without consent and other that is parasite. If we must compare facebook and its most common users with realtionship in nature it is more like symbiotic relationship.
2) That discussion triggered me to install the do-not-track-plus extension in Chrome.
Epiphany: maybe these two things are related?
Facebook is not.
1) I have a product that users want to use with Facebook, so I need to use FB APIs etc and understand how it works for real users
2) I have a product that can benefit from viral-ness on Facebook
I wonder how many other developers share such ambivalence about being forced to use a tool that you might otherwise abandon.
Facebook = camp. The most oppressive and authoritarian thing about it is, at root, that most people appear to enjoy it and not see any problems with it, while you view it as this heinous violation of your freedom and imposition on your private space. The worst thing about it is that sinking feeling that no one cares what you think.
Feelings like this have been articulated far more effectively, and by individuals far more likely to have an impact. It's kind of questionable that a one-paragraph throwaway rant like this has hit the front page of HN. But if that indicates that a lot of people around here have burned their facebook accounts, or are planning to, that would be a hopeful sign for civilization.
Facebook is a problem of the latter form. It's entirely within your control to limit the information you give them, carefully select privacy settings (which are quite extensive), or not create an account at all. In any case, nothing about it is heinous violation of your freedom and imposition on your private space, since the whole thing is voluntary.
To me the problem seems the opposite of the camp problem. There are a few "weird" kids who cannot understand how people could possibly like Facebook, so they make it a personal crusade to make it known all the time. Look, our adult society is pretty good at accepting behavioral outliers. Not ideal, but probably the best the world has ever known. But sometimes it's the outlier that's the problem. Consider that many people don't see Facebook as a privacy issue once they've weighed everything carefully and not because they're idiots. Perhaps they treat "Facebook-haters" strangely not because they're not on Facebook, but because they go out of their way to annoy everyone by trying to make a point out of it all the time?
When camping was new, relatively few people went camping. The most exciting, adventurous and challenging way to camp is, of course, to bring your own food and gear and rough it, just you and nature.
Some businesses saw an opportunity to introduce a lot more people to camping and make some money. They'd build some cabins around a lake and do some marketing. It's not the same, but most people weren't going to rough it in the woods anyway, right?
A Harvard kid announced a new camp one day for other Harvard kids. Everyone who was anyone started going to Mark's camp. If you knew people going to this camp, and you wanted to really connect with them, you had to go to Mark's camp to do it. Sure, there were other ways to connect with them, but Mark's camp is where people are spending a lot of their time and Mark's campfire is where they share their stories. In fact, over a tenth the population of planet Earth has made Mark's camp their hangout.
You still love camping as much as you ever did, and you want to connect and share stuff with all your family and friends. But it really grates on you that you have to walk through Mark's gate and live by Mark's rules in order to do that. Isn't there some way you could round up a crew, leave Mark's camp behind, and strike out into the wild somewhere, just you and your friends, to do some real camping?
You're setting up a zero sum analogy, assuming that everyone is so busy on Facebook that they no longer interact or share photos/jokes/memes in other ways. Not sure that's really the case.
But we can fight back. Quoting Dave Winer:
> BTW, I get invited to events that say check out the Facebook page for details about where to be and when. If I care about the event, I write back to them telling them I don't use Facebook, and would read about it if they put up a blog post. Otherwise I can't come. If people hear that a few times, it'll start changing behavior. It's not the kind of thing you need a lot of people to do to force change. It's kind of like Apple refusing to put Flash on their iPhone and iPad. I don't imagine too many events would get reconceived just for me, but if a few more people do it, that could be enough to make the change.
If the parent comment resonated with you, you might like this presentation:
I remember ... X person used to say about Y, in my family... "Why the hell would anyone wanna live under his roof, and live by his rules? Even if they had to sleep on the street it'd be better".
I reckon it's about the same for self-respecting men living with Zuckerberg.
I am willing to take him at his word on that one and not use his service.
(must extricate myself from google, somehow. not feeling that smug, really.)
 and at least he was honest about it. In some ways, that makes me trust him more than google.
stupid in this sense: http://www.searchlores.org/realicra/basiclawsofhumanstupidit...
Except Facebook unilaterally changes its guarantees about privacy, year after year, always in its own favor.
This takes you up to 2010:
In 2011 and 2012, they further codified how your private information is also subject to what your friends do. Some of this is common sense, some not so much.
I'm not saying Facebook is evil, exactly... no more than a parasite is. ;) Their business model doesn't align them with their users' needs for privacy.
But first, in regards to the Facebook of yesterday, you will find many resources that describe how few people actually change their privacy settings or even understand them. This has improved over time, but I know plenty of intelligent people who don't understand many of the settings that have been introduced over the years. The product that they signed up for isn't the same as it is today.
In regards to the reduced control over your own privacy, it's important to note that your friends can volunteer information about you indirectly by using "smart lists". You can tell facebook what city someone is in, what university, whether they are in your family, or if they are a close friend. You can add geographic information to other peoples' photos. Also, because of the different levels of update subscriptions, Facebook has made it favorable for people to use the "Life Stories" feature of their profiles/timeslines because they don't know which friends have unsubscribed from seeing "all updates" ("most important" updates most likely implies Life Stories).
Also, certain features still have no privacy. Answers to all Facebook Questions are public on your profile. Even as intimate with the privacy settings that I am, I didn't know this! So you either have to not use the feature (which would require knowing about the privacy setting before using it), or deleting these answers after making them.
Edit: I forgot to mention that so many people make public posts on Facebook, that you can't comment on any of those without your comments also being public. Most people don't care. So the network is becoming more public, with less opportunity to stay private. And remember that when you comment on those public posts, your comment is shown in the ticker and newsfeeds of your friends (which, in my opinion, is a violation of my privacy. Just because I comment on something doesn't mean I want it notified to my friends). These two actions of public posts have no privacy options... the only thing you can do is avoid commenting on public posts.
I didn't even know about this, but it illustrates that merely signing up exposes you to potential privacy violations. We recently became aware of how much of a liability it is for employers to look at Facebook profiles, because they may learn intimate details about a person's sexual orientation, religion, politics, etc. The only solution is to never look.
Likewise, the only way to adequately protect your privacy is to never sign up on Facebook. BTW, this takes care of the employer problem, too.
Not sure if this is still the case.
I'm not so sure about that. I'm reminded of the recent article & hubbub about the "Girls Around Me" app. My takeaway from that was while people are aware they are exposing all their information, they are ignorant of the myriad consequences and implications until they are directly confronted with them.
And in many of the scenarios the Cassandras are warning about, those moments of realisation tend to be past the point of rescue.
That's ridiculous. Maybe you'll try a couple of times to keep up with their changes, but eventually you'll just give up. Besides, they will constantly tempt you to share more (that is how they grow).
Using the "View As" feature and looking at your profile page while logged out is a good idea too.
If you care about your privacy and still want to be on Facebook, this is (unfortunately) a mandatory activity.
It's grandparent's fault for not being enslaved to FB's pain-in-the-ass purposefully exploitative system the way you are? No, it is FB's fault for being a purposefully exploitative pain-in-the-ass.
Would it be nice if FB was less of a pain in the ass about this? Sure. But the reality of the situation is quite clear. We're responsible for realities, not for how we'd like things to be.
With any other service when such changes are made you are required to opt-in. I tried to manage privacy via Facebook and just gave up as even the options to make certain areas private went away and I have lost track. I have just given up.
I agree with your point that IF you still want to be on Facebook this is a mandatory activity (& yet quite difficult as options just go away!).
I sincerely doubt that's the case. Most services explicitly state in their ToS that the service can change at any time and it's the user's responsibility to stay abreast of those changes.
That just has potentially scarier implications with a service like FB.
This is what pisses me off about most people: an unwillingness to take personal responsibility for your actions. You have a FB account. You know there are privacy issues around FB. You have three choices: 1) get FB to change so those privacy issues aren't a concern (unlikely to happen, but here for completeness), 2) deactivate your FB account, 3) keep your FB account and monitor privacy settings, be careful what you share, etc.
Those are your choices to make. If you pick #3, and you get bitten by a privacy change that you missed, I'm sympathetic, because it really does suck, but it is ultimately your fault.
What about those who say nothing about it, yet still need to tolerate people like you calling them a "behavioral outlier"?
Boy, do we disagree. Never before has political correctness and "fitting in" been so exalted. In fact Facebook is a direct consequence of this behavior.
Consider that many people don't see Facebook as a privacy issue once they've weighed everything carefully and not because they're idiots.
Not idiots, but completely ignorant as to what they are agreeing with and giving up on.
> Facebook is a direct consequence of this behavior
Just like anonymity lends itself to trolling, personality cult lead to idealized public images.
"I don't have a Facebook account" is the new "I don't even own a TV".
Only in the last half-decade or so have we started to fight the datavores.
If you read the information on http://europe-v-facebook.org/EN/en.html, you should understand that FB uses individuals' data without their permission or even their knowledge - in clear breach of EU privacy laws.
If someone takes a photo of you, they can upload it to Facebook. If they tag you, you can remove the tag. The photo will be there regardless of whether you accept/remove any tagging, and it will be outside the jurisdiction of your privacy controls. The uploader controls the privacy level of a photo, regardless of who the subject of the photo is.
The problem is a legal one, not something that facebook can simply add as a feature. (Though they do have a way to report a photo in addition to untagging it. And then you explain why that photo violates privacy laws. https://www.facebook.com/help/?faq=217091804975136#How-do-I-...)
Saying because internet here effectively becomes throwing hands in the air and saying "it makes no difference - so why bother?"
While many of my friends enjoy Facebook and I'm still to lazy to upload a profile image and mainly use it to find out where the next birthday party is located, I really can't say that I am feeling oppressed.
Some people just like camp.
It is very easy as an outside observer to decide that someone must like something you dislike because they feel they are "supposed" to.
Kind of like sushi. If you're grossed out by it, you've probably watched people eating it and having fun while saying to yourself "well, they only like it because they're supposed to...it's trendy right now, that's all".
You can say that about anything, "But there's something wrong with people liking grapes because they're supposed to like grapes.
Re: Stallman's statement - Maybe you don't like grapes, but calling it a mass-conspiracy to manipulate / document genetic information is a far cry.
Huh? Don't understand what you are talking about... A quick study of human history and psychology will show that this is a bedrock of human behavior. For good and ill, it is what I would regard a well-accepted facet of human nature. We wouldn't be the species we are without the pressures of 'social norms'
I do believe though that most social norms are good, not because they're social norms, but because they actually serve people and as such became social norms. But some social norms (as history has shown: slavery, etc.) are accepted by a lot of people not because they make sense, but simply because they are social norms. It's up to each of us to challenge social norms, the right ones will stand up to the challenge, the wrong one's wont.
That's right, a sizeable portion of Sweden's population would fit right in on this blog: http://hipsterorlumberjack.tumblr.com/
People who really love camp might be poster children for human herd behavior, and they certainly make excellent prison guards when they grow up. But they suck at thinking for themselves.
[edit. on consideration, the second paragraph was an unnecessarily harsh blanket statement, emotional, and without any logical foundation at whatsoever. The more important question is whether free thinkers who do reject social media, camp, or group activities in general, are being pushed further from their ability to contribute to mainstream society by their choice of self-exclusion from FB than they would by e.g. choosing not to drink coffee at Starbucks, or be a customer of some other individual mega-corp.]
Maybe they just enjoy the outdoors. Maybe they really get a kick out of building fires and singing songs and making crafts. What on earth does any of that have to do with herd behavior or independent thinking?
And that, my friend, is the tyranny of the majority. It is the people who just like things the way they are who opt willfully to take the side of the-way-is. You attacked, wrote a comment, preserving the status quo simply because you happen to find yourself with that preference, rather than considering the much more existential plight of the minority.
-use a smart phone w/ friends' contact info entered and the FB app installed
- talk about those friends on FB
- or upload pictures with them in-frame
I silently deleted my facebook account about two years ago because I didn't like losing my time looking at stupid stuff. I found out that falling into the Facebook time vortex was too much of an inconvenience and the only way around that was to delete Facebook. Now when I say that I don't have a Facebook people ask me what's wrong with me, if I have things to hide and plain and simple tell me that I'm some kind of social pariah...
What bugs me the most is that people are judging me before even hearing my concerns about time wasting, privacy. Facebook has become a token of having a social life.
I am not saying you all should delete your Facebook, that's a matter of personal choice but people should think about what they add to the "standards" of life. In my books Facebook should really not be in the standards.
And subconsciously, you're removing value from other people's valued medium/experience. By not having account, you must have some opposition to something that they have, use, and like; I think it might be subconsciously insulting and snobby to many people. To most people, the service holds unquestionable value.
(These generalizations may or may not be true... merely speculation/extrapolation from my own experiences)
It's gotten to the point where she just _can't_ understand why people aren't on Facebook. "Why aren't they there? Don't they want to hear from me? What's wrong with them."
Small aside: FB is significantly easier for her to deal with than email as it provides more contextual cues about who she is communicating with (primarily seeing profile pictures next to messages).
Exactly. Many of us geeks have dreamed of improved e-mail clients, better to-do lists... but frankly for the average person, they want to hear from their kids and relatives, easily see pictures of birthdays. Guess what: Facebook is years ahead of email clients for that purpose. Come up with a better client if you want to, but understand that some people have "simple" needs and your decade-old technology (what has changed since UUCP?) gets in the way.
> your decade-old technology [...] gets in the way
Seriously, though, the biggest argument in favor of it that I hear is event invitations. But think about it, if the most effort that somebody can put into inviting you to their event is clicking a button to "send to all", they don't really value your friendship. I don't have a Facebook account, and when people invite me to something, they send a personal message that signals they actually value my friendship and want me to attend. As someone on the Internet said, Facebook maintains friendships in a persistent vegetative state.
The difference is that the people who don't use Facebook care that you do.
We just don't like being left out because we don't have Facebook.
I don't think that pot is related to this in any way.
I've got a Facebook account, and I check it every now and then - it's quite a nice way to keep vaguely up to date with what's happening in the lives of people I've been to school with/worked with over the years. I also post occasionally - 90% of my posts are when I'm away on holiday as sort of cheap, mass-circulation postcards. But I've never found myself spending hours at a time on there - a quick skim every now and then when I'm bored is more than enough.
I agree with you that it's a matter of personal choice - I'm not saying that you should have to have a Facebook account but for me, deleting your account rather than simply using it less seems to be a rather sledgehammer way of dealing with it.
But statements like "In my books Facebook should really not be in the standards" suggest that some people think the issue lives with Facebook.
If you didn't like camp, you probably weren't very fun to be around at camp. If kids from camp ostracized you at school six months later saying "Oh, he didn't have fun at camp so he's uncool" then there is something up, but I can't blame kids for not wanting to hang out with someone who is NOT enjoying themselves. Someone who is NOT having fun, is not fun to be with.
You don't have to suck at facebook, or camp - or be unpopular or "no fun", to hate it. I bet some of the kids you looked up to at camp felt the way I did. What I really hate is the feeling that I have to waste my energy putting a good face on something I don't like, and having to act like I'm friends with a bunch of people I don't want to spend time with. When I was 11 years old, that kind of thing was just unavoidable. Now that I'm older, I don't feel like pretending anymore.
Then there is the bombardment of expecting to have a LinkedIn account as well.
People are far to quick to give up their privacy, I guess it comes down to the fact people want to be heard and noticed more listening and noticing others.
I suspect it has to do with the digital voyeurism that others have subjected themselves to (and participate in), and they wish you to subject yourself to the same. I find it quite disconcerting, and this thread has helped me greatly.
My plan was to win the $600M mega millions lottery last week in order to finance a proper distributed social system. Alas,it did not pan out, so feature phone/ email will have to suffice for now.
Yes, there's a lot wrong with Facebook, but you do realize that you act exactly like those kids in camp - if people don't enjoy what you do, or have the same preferences you do, there's something messed up about them.
Maybe most people don't want private space, I don't know. It's certainly a good idea to point out what the privacy implications of FB are, but you should be prepared to hear that people simply don't care.
(Me? I think privacy will inevitably die, or at least become a radically different concept. I might be wrong, and I'm open to debate. I won't treat the outcome of that debate as a sign for civilization either way ;)
Now, about your vision of privacy for the future, let's just say that you may have some people that agree with you at Girls Around Me. It also look like they thought privacy didn't matter to people.
Nobody cares that you don't like Facebook because nobody is forcing you to use Facebook. I'm at a loss as to how you can consider it "oppressive" and "authoritarian." Did some thugs from FB come around signing people up at gunpoint?
I don't even see what you're trying to achieve, really. You just want other people to stop using Facebook because you don't like it?
I'm aware of parents who have 6 year olds and 10 year olds using Facebook so that they have access to games and family. The Facebook UI/UX does do nasty tricks to coerce people into providing more information than they prefer.
Did you know that other users can volunteer your information? Someone else can register themselves as your family member, close friend, or classmate at a specific institution, without your consent. They can volunteer your location (city) as well. This was not possible in the past, before the "smart lists" feature. They're literally getting people to fill in the information of friends so that they can be targeted ads even if they chose not to provide that information to facebook. I don't think many people know this.
Forcing people to use their FB profiles as the only means of accessing a service is a downright scary thing considering how much information we know they hold. I wish everyone would have just used openid... I was quite happy with iming/emailing/ and status updates through away messages. We don't need FB. But FB needs us.
Not feeling sorry for you.
As for the age old myth that people are migrating away from Facebook, dream on. Facebook is scheduled to have a billion users in the next few months, it's going to be around for a very, very long time.
I agree with your overall point, but no need to be so rude here.
Now it's all "up there", but at a cost, in that although this information has become more available and transparent, it's also cheapened, somehow. It's like you suddenly "know" these people... but you don't know them, really. All you have are factoids about them... drowning in the sea of all the other factoids you're continually digesting about everyone else you've become "friends" with.
The sad part is, this "other" time -- before the intrusions not just of FB, but of the whole ecosystem of social media tools -- wasn't that long ago. But pretty soon no one is going to be able to remember a time when people had an entirely different sense of intimacy and space. They won't be able to intuitively and viscerally assess the tradeoffs of being "always" in reach, or at the very least, findable to anyone they've every come into contact with -- simply because they won't have any baseline to compare it to.
Maybe is due to the fact that we are a social species, and group sizes have been mostly small till not so long ago, that you can explain the facebook success( we are in a certain way wired to an unanonymous live).
I use facebook and I use it a lot(lots of iddle time that can't be used in a more productive way), but mostly to post "lame" links or videos or pics. There are no personal pics or data in my account. The way the people usually manage their privacy settings and how they share with facebook, is due to the fact that they are not aware of the possible consecuences and how openly that info will be accesed by people who are not friends.
It can be somewhat oppressive to live in a place where everyone knows your business, even if they're all nice people. I think the difference boils down to walls and boundaries. I have a porch in front of my house where only friends will likely drop by, if I'm sitting out there. Unlike with FB, random people I barely know would be uncomfortable suddenly showing up on my porch and standing there without saying anything interesting. I have a yard in back where my girlfriend and I can be alone. If the phone rings at a bad time, or someone knocks while we're out back, we don't feel compelled to get up and answer it, or even to find out who it was; whereas with FB, we would feel bad ignoring someone completely, since they'd know we had a record of the contact. Conversely, if we're out in public and waiting in line at the bakery while the people in front of us are having a super-long 20 minute chat with the baker, we wait patiently because it would be obscenely impolite to interrupt; but we don't eavesdrop or intrude on the conversation, as we could with FB. If I'm cornered by someone in town I don't really want to talk to, I can talk for a few minutes and then leave; comfortably knowing they won't see live status updates of where I'm walking.
Maybe a better way to say it is that small towns, for all their gossip, have a decorum and a sense of human dignity that facebook simply hasn't developed, and maybe never will.
The worst part about that is that the people behind Facebook think this is a great thing.
Not only that, but all my relationships are from the "other" time, and I don't think I could deal with trying to develop them online, in some way that's mediated by a giant corporation. Especially one run by one of the all-time least-sexy nerds on earth, whose apparent sense of inadequacy and misunderstanding of the nature of personal relationships are written large across every aspect of that system. (It was probably inevitable that someone like that would end up mediating "friendship" for the rest of the world, but come on).
What you're talking about reminds me of the groups that got together to share memorized books, in Farenheit 451. I'm already a smoker so I know how to cut 75% of the world out of my potential-new-friends & dating pool... cutting out social media users isn't that hard. I don't want to see the preview if it ruins the movie, and I don't want to meet people on Facebook. If I like them in person, I'll like them.
I believe the contrary is true. Facebook is successful because Zuckerberg et al understand social ties to the point where they have locked people into their system, got them to interact more, provide all their private information, and then profit off them by serving them all intrusive advertising.
I don't think it would be at all possible if they didn't understand social relationships. They know them intimately enough to skew our idea of privacy and social communication to the point of profit.
I say kudos to them for their brilliance. But I also think they are one of the most evil corporations in existence.
Sure, it's brilliant. But it's incredibly misanthropic, because it really thrives on the worst impulses in human nature. Underneath those phony platitudes might be genuinely caring individuals, but now thanks to Zuck, that one lie they told in college - "Let's be friends, call me" - will be etched on their facebook pages long after they're gone.
Again, brilliant but evil.
Google had a huge shot at making an alternative, and although the G+ community is vibrant, the product has failed to reach the potential that it had. And there are many privacy concerns with that platform as well, because every massive social network needs revenue.
I read this to mean that everyone uses it because it's rude to be the first to leave a party. I always kind of felt that way on social networks, in the same way as even if you don't want to talk to someone, they're a friend-of-a-friend and you're going to have to explain it to them at some point if you block them.
There's like this whole category of people -- I'd say about 95% of the people I've ever met -- who I don't want to talk to, and will avoid hanging out with if possible, but who I don't totally loathe or anything, and I don't want to intentionally hurt their feelings. There's about 2.5% I really hate and want to confront, and 2.5% who I want to hang out with.
The reason I don't have a FB account is not because of what they do in terms of selling data, as gross as that is; it's actually because of what FB and all other social networking is. It's the 95% of people I don't have time for, the 2.5% I loathe, and the 2.5% I can always talk to in some other way. I mean, I also don't have a cell phone, and I also don't come to my door when people knock on it, even if I know they can hear my music playing. My friends have my private phone number and my skype account, and they can call me anytime. Everyone else can kindly or not-so-kindly f* off, and Facebook is nothing if not the ultimate, total collection of "everone else".
It's also a second meeting place. I'll meet someone once or a few times IRL, share an interest or a mutual friend, and connect with them on Facebook. Their profile helps me discover more about them (and vice-versa), and having their updates mixed in with the updates of my other friends lets me learn more about them over time and interact with them if something interesting or important comes up.
To many people, the idea of having nearly one thousand "friends" is baffling and stupid. Yes, it breaks the traditional model of what a friendship actually means, but your interaction in the system enforces the idea of who really matters to you. Because it's a communication platform, you tend to interact the most with the people you care most about.
Has Facebook warped my perspective of privacy? Yes. But I have experienced a lot of value from it, in terms of experiences and interactions that I wouldn't have had if I didn't put out that information about me or provided a medium to interact with 'my life story'.
The default privacy settings are horrifying. But as an individual, there is enough customization so that I can target my content at specific groups of people.
Which of your freedom(s) is being violated?
What of your private space is being imposed upon?
In short, the freedom to be a private adult and not spend the rest of my life in a high school locker room.
Thats not a freedom, that is a choice. You can have a facebook account and never log in to it.
There may be other privacy concerns, but "freedom to be left alone" is not one of them.
In reality, I would have far more options; there's a long gradient of subtle ways to let him know to what extent he's my friend or not. Most of all, I would have the option to defer making any kind of statement, assuming he's not a nutcase who asked me "so are we really friends?" And that deferral -- plausible deniability -- is the first thing FB takes away. That's what I call the freedom to be left alone.
Also, there is no "reject", there is only "ignore" (i.e., the person does not receive a "rejected" message, they'll just never get an "approved" message). And if someone doesn't respond to my friend request: who cares? It's just Facebook. It's not the be-all end-all social network manager; it's just a communication medium.
BTW @ the guy who called me a sociopath: Not all relationships are black and white. There's such a thing as being polite to someone at parties and still not wanting to know every detail of their life.
I'm starting to think people here are just overanalyzing.
An analogy that I can think of in the real world similar to what you are saying is, when I go to the mall, I like a hassle free shopping. Which means, I don't like to be bothered by sales/stores clerk. When I am at Macy's it is just a matter of time when a store clerk walks up to me to find out if I am finding everything allright. Now I can go ahead and be rude to that person considering he/she is intruding, or fake to be nice to quickly move on.
The point is going to the mall was my decision and I chose to go, very aware of what the system has.
You can't be bothered about what someone else thinks when you really don't care much about them. Ignoring a friend request is a valid option.
But writing letters does the same thing, and I don't see people complaining about pen and paper.
It's a shame that FB privacy settings are confusing (and ever changing), but aside from that, why blame the communication medium for what you choose to say (or not say) with it.
What's Buenos Aires like, Josh Strike?
Of course I have a public web presence. The point is, I control it. I run a few sites including a bitcoin casino. I have clients, friends, and people who use my code. I probably write 15-20 emails a day. Yet none of it through facebook. It's not mediated. There's no extraneous information, either for me or the other party. And what you know about me by googling me is, for the most part, what I want you to know.
Including my last name and where I live. "Strike" is a pseudonym, and I haven't lived in Buenos Aires for about five years. But that level of privacy isn't available on facebook.
Is the mental pain individuals experience when using freely provided and voluntary services equivalent to the physical pain individuals experience when coerced to perform actions against their will via threats of violence?
While implicit threats of violence may exist in the majority of parent-child relationships (mandatory schooling, etc), I have not seen any evidence of such a relationship between companies like Facebook or Google and their customers.
I would define 'freedom' in a very narrow and non-metaphysical sense, as 'the ability to make choices free of threats of violence by others'. I derive this definition by asking the following questions: Do slaves choose where to work? Do prisoners choose what to eat? Do victims of murder choose to die? Or has someone else made the decision for them by threatening violence?
This is more or less the definition of 'freedom' by philosophers of Liberalism and more precisely http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Negative_liberty . Under such a definition, the concept of 'violation of freedom' is semantically linked to authority, force, and violence.
Examining Stallman's logic, one finds a variety of alternate definitions of 'freedom'. Whether these are more universally consistent definitions of 'freedom' is up for others to decide. The ongoing debate over whether it is fair to characterize the actions of Facebook and similar corporations as 'heinous violations of freedom' will remain unresolved until a definition of 'freedom' is agreed upon.
I think Sartre settled this one. We're either wholly determined, or else wholly free. And since consciousness means that fate isn't preordained - we're free. Anyway, in case he was off the mark, the alternative is a boot on a human face and the (real, nazi, concentration) camp that you pretended I was alluding to.
As to whether there are degrees of freedom, there's room for them in that philosophy. Take away movement, that's one. Take away speech, that's another. Hey, just go down the bill of rights - you don't have any at summer camp. Is it nazi germany? Did I say that? It was freakin Jewish camp. No fun for an atheist, but at least you survive. Unlike my grandparents. Now stop your trolling and own up to a position for once in your life.
A 'violation of freedom' requires the use of force by an authority. A parent forcing a child to go somewhere in spite of their preferences is a 'violation of freedom'. A government forcing a citizen to go somewhere in spite of their preferences is a 'violation of freedom'. Neither the first case nor the second case are necessarily the same proportionality or equally 'heinous'. 'heinous violations of freedom' implies massive and egregious use of force by authority. The institutionalized system of heinous violations of freedom is known as Authoritarianism.
A company voluntarily offering a free service that users have the option of using if it fulfills their preferences has not committed a 'violation of freedom'. It is not capable of committing a 'violation of freedom' unless it first asserts the right to use force and becomes an authority. Accusing it of violations of freedom that are heinous is to accuse it of Authoritarianism.
Have I "owned up" to my position by repeating it with sufficient clarity? Could you be kind enough to point out the logical fallacies in my position, which I have offered for public critique solely so that others may help me clarify it, before accusing me of trolling?
I do not believe this matter has been previously settled by Sartre without the use of metaphysics, I generally side with Wittgenstein that clarity of definition is needed to resolve philosophical conflict.
I'm not sure what clearer example of Authoritarian behavior I could give. The only thing that makes it like summer camp is that a lot of people still seem to like it for the sense of group camaraderie its membership instills, despite its ever-encroaching and heavy-handed tactics. In that sense, its appeals to group happiness aren't too different from that of any communist party.
I watched you over several threads act as if I were talking about concentration camps, or making some absolutist moral judgment on the site or its users. I did none of those things. My point was that group thinking leads to moral equivocation, tolerance for authoritarianism and overall civic rot, and that we're better off if more off-beat, free thinking, smart people decline their invitation to this behemoth, or burn it in effigy. There's no need for a universal agreement on the nature of positive v. negative freedom for this rejection to go forward... and the fact that you chose to misinterpret the most basic of my references, "camp", to mean a nazi death camp, most likely means you either didn't read what I wrote or you were trolling.
I do not, and I really appreciate your thoughts here, as they echo my own (though I think you've articulated the issues better than I've ever seen). In my view, no centralized entity could ever occupy the role FB is attempting to claim; certainly not a commercial entity.
I've personally deleted all my personal information from my first Facebook account a few years ago. There were zero consequences for doing so. I didn't even loose any friends, so I put it back up after a year offline to make it easier for people to find my email address and phone number.
> My point was that group thinking leads to moral equivocation, tolerance for authoritarianism and overall civic rot, and that we're better off if more off-beat, free thinking, smart people decline their invitation to this behemoth, or burn it in effigy
Why does Facebook promote authoritarian group think and civic rot more than email, text message, instant message, twitter, voice mail, phone calls, television, and newspapers? Is social media in general or Facebook in particular more likely to promote "groupthink" and "civic rot" than older forms of media? How can we confirm or disprove this hypothesis? Do protest organizers using Facebook to orchestrate the Egyptian revolution provide evidence supporting or negating your hypothesis?
> chose to misinterpret the most basic of my references, "camp", to mean a nazi death camp, most likely means you either didn't read what I wrote or you were trolling.
My position regarding 'violation of freedom' is hopefully clear: even comparing Facebook to summer camp is hyperbolic. As innocent as summer camps are, they violate far more freedoms than Facebook. Attendance is compulsory, and as you pointed out, your freedom of speech and ability to dissent as an atheist was denied.
I believe we share the same concerns regarding groupthink and authoritarianism. I also enjoyed your prior allusion to Orwell. But like Orwell, I believe the most harm comes from imprecision in the meaning of language. I do not believe your definition of 'freedom' and 'heinous violation of freedom' allows one to differentiate between the acts of Facebook and the acts of full blown authoritarian governments with camps. That is, I believe your method of reasoning will actually make it harder for people to identify institutions that fall into the later category, which is why I posed the question as to whether this disservices those who have suffered under such institutions.
The alternate definition of freedom I proposed was that of John Locke. He used it to derive a principle in Two Treatises on Government for detecting when governance is illegitimate and may be overthrown. I believe adopting such a position regarding freedom will help further your goal of opposing authoritarian groupthink more so than your current method and organizational target.
Questions: Does Facebook constitute a monopoly? Is there a difference between natural monopoly and coercive monopoly? Does Facebook compete in the narrow market of personal webpages, or in one of the broad markets of information, media, or time? If Facebook is bad, is television better? If I choose not to watch the same TV series as someone, and cannot hold a conversation regarding the characters, would I be right in blaming the television manufacturer, the television channel, or the show's screenwriter? Is it possible for me to forcibly obtain social fraternity from others without also denying them their liberty?
I think that Facebook is relatively oppressive and authoritarian in the context of online services and social software in general. Extending the analogy to another context (death camps?) is... well, I don't know how to describe the irrelevance.
>Facebook = camp.
If Facebook is oppressive and authoritarian, and Facebook is camp, is camp oppressive and authoritarian?
The absurdity of internment camps is relevant because his or her logic does not allow one to differentiate between the actions of Facebook and the actions of authoritarian government.
When I was a kid, my parents sent me to a computer camp. We sat around and wrote text adventures in BASIC, while we weren't sneaking bit copies of games. (Someone wrote a bit copier that let you play Pong in the foreground so the camp counselors couldn't catch you by looking over your shoulder.)
You are the luckiest dude in the world.
Well, actually this was like in 1979 or 1980 and the Macintosh wasn't out yet. I don't think C++ even existed, but my dad did get his hands on UCSD Pascal.
You are the luckiest dude in the world.
A few years later, they sent me to a military academy in Indiana. No, seriously. I wasn't a bad kid. It's complicated, and maybe everything balances out.
personal nitpick, but the linked post didn't read like a rant to me. seemed fairly polite, (unless you're facebook) in contrast to the sneering jab he was replying to.
I tried Google Plus for about two days, until I realized I would wind up wasting a lot of my life curating these "circles." I just don't find "digital friendship management" to be a killer app in my life.
I know on a deep level, Facebook is a part of this dilemma in my experience. I would personally rather avoid it, but I know it connects me to society and society connects me to women... so I tolerate it.
I was hoping that it would provide a good starting point for a discussion about using Facebook. I think it did.
It sounds like you are anti-social. I didn't like everything about camp, but to say there are no redeeming qualities just sounds a bit suspicious to me. Anti-social people don't like Facebook because everything about it is social.
"The most oppressive and authoritarian thing about it is, at root, that most people appear to enjoy it and not see any problems with it, while you view it as this heinous violation of your freedom and imposition on your private space. The worst thing about it is that sinking feeling that no one cares what you think."
It's not that bad. The government isn't forcing you to use Facebook at the threat of death. You do have a choice. You can choose not to use Facebook. Many people do this.
Think about it this way:
Apple is the same way. They control all app distribution and can crush your app if they see fit. Apple has always controlled the hardware and software. This is more controlling than Microsoft. But there are tons of people that develop for the platform.
Google is the same way. If you lose major standing on the search engine, your sales will suffer as a result.
I have an account to do just that, keep track of what's happening with my extended family and friends I lost touch with ages ago. A lot of the pictures, comments, likes and so on are designed to show off but so what? It mirrors real life ;)
Hopefully governments step in to break up this evil oonopoly that's on it's way to another microsoft, AT&T, Standard Oil. However, it might too late already, since the NSA and CIA desperately want facebook to exist.
Can't the NSA use an open graph just as easily as a closed one? And with Facebook, you only have to worry about the government abusing the graph. With an open graph, anyone could abuse it. (Including: advertisers, angry ex-s, people that were upset that they lost a flamewar with you, etc.)
Also, on facebook people engage in bullshittery, while on the open, sites such as this people at least might learn/teach a thing or two.
He's not living in "the past", his living in his convictions. And that in itself is to be admired.
My point was that even though he happens to be spot-on in his very pithy remark about the disease that is Facebook, if you know anything at all about RMS -- or have interacted with him personally, for a minute or two -- you'll know that he's so far off the page from the vast bulk of humanity (in terms of how he communicates) that it's difficult to take anything he says about the pros and cons of social media very seriously.
"Perhaps someone who has such narrow and specialized communication needs that they need to browse the web via email isn't in the best position to be dictating what communication methods the world at large should use".
Boiled down futher:
"What's good (and bad) for one person with specific needs isn't the same for everyone else".
You made nothing more than an ad hominem attack. First you wanted us to discount Stallman's argument because of...wait for it...the way he reads web pages.
Second you wanted us to discount Stallman's argument because "he's so far off the page from the vast bulk of humanity (in terms of how he communicates)".
Can't imagine how such a mess at communicating and someone so very far off the page keeps duping all those folks who keep inviting him to speak (as well as the folks who gave him the ACM Grace Hopper Award, a MacArthur Foundation fellowship, the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Pioneer award, the Takeda Award for Social/Economic Betterment, andseveral honorary doctorates):
Mar 01, Madrid, Spain "Por una sociedad digital libre"
Mar 07, Sunnyvale, CA "Copyright vs. Community"
Mar 13, Republic of Singapore "Free Software and Your Freedom"
Mar 14, Republic of Singapore "For a Free Digital Society"
Mar 27, New York, NY "For a Free Digital Society"
Mar 29, West Lafayette, IN "The Free Software Movement"
Apr 03, Ashland, OR "Copyright vs. Community"
Apr 04, Ashland, OR "For a Free Digital Society"
Jul 10, Dresden, Germany "The Free Software Movement"
Now. Do you actually have anything at all to say about Stallman's actual argument(s) in that thread? Did you even read them?
If the answer is no, then you don't know if it's a need or a choice or some variation between the two - and I daresay you're accusing him of something untoward.
If the answer is yes, which is it?
Not that it makes it any betterfor him either.