MeWe a substitute for facebook?

so this related to another boingboing post but I’m kinda going off topic so restarting here. I reported the page that promotes that antisemitic pastor and got this reply:


I think I’m DONE with facebook. I just signed up for MeWe… Is that a bad idea? It seems better ethically except no one is on it. right? I’m open to opinions.

It’s the “leave facebook challenge!” (Kids love those challenge things right?)

I just love the idea of leaving Mark Zuckerberg in a ghost town with no users like what happened to friendster and myspace. we can do it, right? right?

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I ditched facebook 10 years ago. I’ve never regretted it.


That’s the crux of the problem. By the time enough people are using a platform to make it useful as a social networking tool the people who run the platform start compromising whatever values they have to maximize revenue.


Id be happy enough to not let them get that comfortable… But yeah facebook succeeded because almost everyone was on it. even at it’s height friendster was mostly a subset of young and tech savy people. Very few of the grandmas and random old high school friends were there. wait… maybe things were better then. ha.

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That’s the problem. Pretty much the only reason most people have bookface accounts is because they can keep tabs on pretty much everyone. Best friend from elementary school, unrequited love from high school, sorority sisters, frenemies from basically every stage of their lives. They have it because everybody’s on it.

It’s not really a social network, because it doesn’t seem to be for building communities or long-lasting deep friendships. It’s more of a way of people to keep their frenemies in check, because you can find pretty much anyone there. For something more social, you’re probably better off using one of the niche social networks that the hoi polloi haven’t discovered yet, or go old school and post on forums under an anonomous handle :wink:


I quit facebook for a few months and this BBS was my main form of social interaction. I don’t know anyone here personally, and that’s kinda refreshing. ha. But yeah.


if anyone wants to join and not have a totally empty feed (that was what I encountered upon joining yesterday), you can friend me. I’m trying to fill it with comics Im drawing and not talk about politics for the moment:

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It’s not even that, IMHO.

Most of these networks have polices that sound good in practice - either by promising open, uncensored communication, or by offering heavy moderation of certain types of speech. While this sounds good in practice (and indeed, we use heavy moderation here), it doesn’t scale, either because:

1 - “free speech zones” will inevitably be infested by nazis or trolls, and
2 - “heavily moderated zones” will fail at scale because they either will not have the size of moderation team required, will try algorithms which have yet to be successful, or will be forced to water down their moderation because of these two issues.

“revenue” isn’t the driver here, just plain realities of the population at large, and the realities of community inertia.

I’m fairly certain, knowing what I do about moderation, that one of the biggest issues surrounding the FB/twitter/YT sized giants is the reality of nuance in messaging. We keep our community guidelines here fairly nonspecific because the stricter you make them, the easier it is for trolls to rules-lawyer you. The more you try to define what is hate speech, the more nuance lets crap like the FB post you posted above get through. But, broaden your guidelines too widely and you get stupid shit like posts critical of hate speech or even discussing hate speech censored instead.

I’m not sure what the solution here is, other than smaller communities gathered around common interests, and perhaps curated, targeted discussions. These don’t really exist yet outside of places like the BBS or similar smaller groups, and worse, they risk creating concentrations of like-minded folk who are never exposed to novel thought. But I don’t see how you can even attempt to get all of humanity into one system given how different cultural and societal norms can be even within one group, let alone the scale of the big guys.


I really have no confidence this other social media platform will be better. I guess my main thinking is that as long as facebook believes they can do whatever and people will stay because there’s nowhere else to go, they have no reason to be accountable to anyone for any terrible decisions.

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