Facebook is unfixable. We need a nonprofit, public-spirited replacement


Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/04/06/utterly-zucked.html


Still using Fbook? You’re not paying attention.


I saw a popup poll today from Facebook asking if I thought Facebook was good for the world.

I obliged and said not. They know they are in big trouble, and are trying to figure out how much trouble.


I started looking into escape routes recently. The two “not-Facebooks” I’ve found with some potential are minds.com and mewe.com, although minds makes me a bit squicky with their leaning on cryptocurrency. You get “points” for keeping your page live, so I think they’re using you as a mining service.


I’m sure that I would never trust a government run facebook, either.


Minds.com is decentralized, i.e. it operates with similar technology to bitcoin. They’re not using you as a mining service, not sure what you think that means, but unless you’re installing software on your machine or hand crunching hashes you aren’t “mining” anything.


There is also Mastodon, which is more of a Twitter replacement, but is still decentralized and offers higher character posts. They got a big boost from the #DeleteFacebook movement that recently sprung up.


I think I joined Diaspora to try out an alternative. The thing is that I have absolutely no clue how to use it or what I’m supposed to do with it. I think it might be designed for programmers? In any case, it’s not worth my time to try to figure it out because if it’s going to be hard to use I won’t have any luck trying to bring friends over to it.

I can’t even figure out how I’m supposed to sign in again.


I proposed to create Wikipedia’s social network https://medium.com/@HectorPerez/wikipedias-social-network-578b0257b8ae


Or we kind of have to, being our own biz and all.

If anyone wants to create an alternate space, we’ll move in there, too. (Also consider providing a drupal module so we can simulcast.)


I dunno, the Post Office does a pretty good job of carrying our messages to each other, all while upholding our constitutionsl rights and not abusing our trust in them. Facebook has no such constitutional limits, nor would any other private entity. I think the Post Office should offer email accounts for similar reasons.


i was excited about that project until it was revealed to be a big nothing useful for keeping in touch with exactly nobody.


email is already distributed, and standard. Clients are either commercial or not, can show ads or not, can be skeevy or not, can add additional features or not. Isn’t facebook just email with richer contact profile. oh and the default is to email your whole contact list…


And when you consider that Facebook’s feed is basically a usenet client – which are also backed into most email clients – and that your email client already does contact lists and calendaring, it just make sense to fold social networking in as another function. And then you also control your data as much as anyone really can.


The post office? That entity that fills my mailbox every day with junk mail? I don’t want them anywhere near my email.


I agree with the sentiment, but I am concerned about sustainability and accessibility. My friends got me to join Hubzilla and it felt like an IDE for social media that I didn’t know how to hold properly. I’m not sure how many people will be able to use it. I’m also not sure how sustainable the development is. The economics of FOSS has been better discussed elsewhere, but this is just to say I’m not sure what the economics of Hubzilla are.


The other day when Zuckerberg responded in an interview to Tim Cook’s recent criticism, he went on and on about how important it is to have an ad-supported service so that it’s available for free to everybody. It was supposed to be a dig at Apple and their high margin products, but I immediately wondered what would happen if FB charged users some small fee, say $5 / year. I think the number of active users would plummet.

If my guess is right, that tells you how little some people value their privacy. So it might not be that they aren’t paying attention, it might be that they just don’t care.


I don’t think any of my FB friends have “logged off”. Those who have probably never posted. My most tech savvy, security guru, OPSEC sort of guy rarely uses it and has everything locked down so tight that it’s mainly for his immediate family, and Star Wars X-Wing tournaments.


Let’s game out this experiment. With 2.2 billion monthly active users, and a current revenue of 3.85 billion dollars a year, $5 a year would net them an additional 11 billion dollars.

Do we think that they’d all of a sudden cut their ad and database revenues of $3.85 billion dollars? Or just the most egregious parts of that revenue? I’d be shocked even at the latter.


You are not aware of the javascript apps that can be embedded to mine cryptocurrency in an open web browser page?

We who do not block all js run all sorts of software that does not have an obvious install process.