HomeCensorshipFacebook: a digital boot stamping on a human face, forever


Facebook: a digital boot stamping on a human face, forever — 4 Comments

  1. There’s only one thing that can be done about Facebook (and Twitter, etc.), and that’s to ignore it in the hope it withers and dies.

    I won’t say the “social media” craze has played out exactly as I expected, but it was obviously flawed from the get-go. There is simply no way to build a monolithic, proprietary, platform that’s immune from censorship. Even if their owners solemnly promise not to interfere, as these single-points-of-failure grow they become targets for governments and politicans.

    The internet was designed specifically to avoid this kind of problem, and the “social media” giants have broken it. Way back in the early days of Facebook, one of the fathers of the ‘net (I can never remember who) said that he didn’t like it because “it isn’t internet-shaped”. It’s always stuck in my mind, even if his name didn’t. We need to return to distributed, federated, “internet-shaped” services.

  2. Would it be possible to create a social network where everything is hosted on the individual device(s), and there is no central point for the State to attack? Rather in the way that the early file sharing systems worked? As I recall with them when you searched for a song you’d get different numbers of available links depending on who was logged on at that point – some people obvious operated their systems like a mini server and left it on 24/7 as their links were always there, but others came and went as they turned their computers on and off.

    Indeed does such a social network already exist? Social media has entirely passed me by, a conscious decision on my part, I just got bad vibes from the whole thing when it was kicking off 10-15 years ago and chose to ignore them. And am very glad I did…….

  3. Jim, yes. Suffice to say that such a system looks very much like the existing internet architecture.

    Sam; yeah, AOL, CompuServe etc, etc with the portal/walled garden idea – pretty much equivalent, really.

  4. >these single-points-of-failure grow they become targets for governments and politicans.

    And the traditional media. A lot of the problems arise because newspapers run campaigns against social media companies saying ‘X allows this and it’s causing a crisis’, and eventually X is forced to act (the latest one being Instagram and teen suicides). Newspapers do this entirely cynically – they’re deliberately intending to create problems for the social media companies, who they see (correctly) as commercial rivals.

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