In case you were wondering why my Facebook profile has looked like this for the last few months:
Five years ago in “Re-owning” I lamented that social media sites incentivized us to post our content to ephemeral walled gardens rather than our own web spaces. We spent years feeding our souls in short bursts to marketing data aggregators, in exchange for the momentary thrill of a fave or a retweet — or just because that was the online space where our family and friends had gone.
And then it got worse. These days posting to Twitter or Facebook feels more like being complicit in their own crimes of negligence against society as social media matures into a viral disinformation amplifier rather than an authentic communications medium.
- 14 years of “sorry” from Mark Zuckerberg.
- The Rohingya Genocide.
- Cambrige Analytica.
- Facebook using 2FA phone numbers for targeted advertising.
- Facebook hiring a reputation-management consultancy to spread anti-Semitic conspiracy theories.
- “Activists, officials and journalists from countries including Ukraine, the Philippines and Myanmar who reported abuses say Facebook took little or no action.”
- Facebook-Snopes fact-checking initiative turns out to just be a PR exercise, with Facebook uninterested in actually addressing disinfo.
- “Facebook is an emotional labor machine, and if you want to leave it, you’re going to have to start doing a lot of work.”
- WhatsApp founder leaving after Facebook favored more invasive monetization.
- Degradation of Instagram after Facebook acquisition.
- Instagram has huge problems with harassment, anti-Semitism, and spam, and is lagging on proactive cleanup.
- Chuck Wendig on Twitter’s continued susceptibility to and apathy for malicious report-brigading alongside existing concerns of content non-ownership.
- Twitter also susceptible to obvious imposter cryptocurrency scams using hijacked verified accounts, despite claims that they are taking action against these.
- Twitter keeps a serial misogynistic harasser on and even he’s not sure why he isn’t suspended yet.
- On @PicPedant I’ve noticed that Twitter seems fairly tolerant of repetitive spambots spreading the same scraped misinformation over and over again.
- Twitter languished on banning high-profile impersonators and despite repeated reports still has not suspended a PostMalone impersonator who tried to harass me in 2014 for running PicPedant.
- “#jack is @complicit.”
- “Twitter is behaving exactly as it’s been designed to behave.”
Given all this I decided the best course of action would be to stop posting to Twitter and Instagram, and use the Social Book Post Manager plugin to “blank” out my Facebook profile, deleting all posts, tags, likes, comments, and other FB content. (I don’t want to delete those accounts, at least not yet, while certain logins are still tied to them, and to keep public permalinks active. And hey, maybe they’ll clean up and I can go back.)
For quick and whimsical status updates I’ve moved over to Mastodon, and for pictures Flickr has always been a steadfast paid service. Given time I’d like to set up my own Mastodon instance and tie it in to WordPress somehow. I think should have some time to try that in about *looks at watch* 16 years, so around 2034.