Social networks: What if there's no right answer?

In recent articles I’ve talked about what’s wrong with social networking and some ways I think we might improve it. This week I saw a Twitter thread about a Facebook group with a few hundred members that was being used to organize harassment campaigns. Then came the news that private Facebook groups were spreading the conspiracy theory that Ruth Bader Ginsburg is in a coma, or even dead and being replaced with an impostor.

WWW: What Went Wrong?

The Internet sucks. This is something that pretty much everyone seems to agree on to some extent. Somewhere along the way, things went seriously awry. The result has been a series of news stories of the Internet’s impact on the real world that are hard to distinguish from the dystopian nightmares of science fiction.v Social media has been a big part of many of these nightmares. WhatsApp triggering lynchings in India.

Facebook alternatives

A while back I posted about how online communication has changed, based on the experience of looking back at old e-mail and how we used to write. I proposed the idea of going back to mailing lists, as the easiest alternative to the social networking sites that are busy destroying society. Nobody seemed interested, but I’m not ready to submit to Facebook yet. I decided to go out and look for a viable alternative.

The Facebook data dump game

People have been downloading their Facebook data and discovering just how much Facebook knows about them. I decided to do the same. Sifting through, it looks as if my privacy practices have basically worked — they have very little information of any significance. They don’t have a log of all my phone calls, as they do for some people. They don’t have any messages of significance, because I never trusted Facebook Messenger.

Is it time to leave Facebook?

The movement to abandon Facebook seems to have gathered some steam. If you’re potentially interested, this is a summary of your best options. Let me start with the criteria I’m using. 1. No advertising-based business model As I’ve written before, the fundamental problem with Facebook is the business model. Any other site with the same business model will end up as bad. So that eliminates Google+ and Blogger, particularly since Google are funding neo-Nazis.

Some thoughts on social networks

Last week I spent some time moving all my e-mail archives off of Google’s servers and onto my own. At the same time I went through and cleared out a bunch of old mail, scanned for duplicates, pulled out family photos into an album, and generally tidied. It was an interesting experience. I found myself seeing names of people I had no recollection of, but who had apparently been a major part of my life a couple of decades ago.