Geert Lovink on Tue, 5 Nov 2019 16:52:22 +0100 (CET)

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Re: <nettime> Facebook

Dear nettimers,

the Facebook Question is a timely and necessary debate. It turns out that we’re trapped. It is neither politically correct to leave, nor is it to stay. This is the perfect example of the current stagnation (also known as The Great Regression). 

This topic was already discussed a decade ago. I personally left Facebook as part of the first Leaving Facebook campaign, together with 50.000 others, in 2010, to protest against 

Together with Korinna Patelis our Institute of Network Cultures, together with many others, started the Unlike Us network, back in July 2011. At the time we were still confident that alternatives would be able to make a real difference, and that the global tribe would eventually move on—as we all did, coming from Friendster, the blogosphere, Myspace, email lists, forums, Geocities or Hyves. 

The problem we’re facing now should not be dealt with through moral policing. This nettime debate clearly shows that have moved on from there. The attitude of the radical left and autonomous movements across the globe towards Facebook clearly shows this. Whereas many aspects of life are used to controlled other comrades (such as eating meat, flying, language control), this is not the case with Facebook (let alone Instagram or WhatsApp). 

Ironically, it is precisely after the Cambridge Analytica scandal and now the Libra controversy, that there are viable alternatives available for literally any internet service.

Much like in the search engine alternatives debate is already happening for some time, we should 1. demoralize the debate 2. not expect anything much from governments or Brussels (or the UN, for that matter) and instead 3. focus to make it damn easy do a mass exodus of networks, profiles (code word: data or profile portability). 

Below are some links we collect together at the INC Unlike Us list and Sam de Silva's Billions list (as part of ‘collaborative text filtering’, one of nettime’s original aims and practices that we all continue doing up until today). 

What’s striking is the lack of places to have this debate. Everyone is talking about social media but there is little or no room for strategic collaborative thinking in this vast realm. There is plenty of reseach, a overwhelming amount of ‘use’ but little or no space to ask the ‘what’s to be done’ question. We’re all trapped in our very own way, either inside or outside.

Great we’re discussing this here!

Best, Geert

Mark Zuckerberg is a threat to democracy (via Gert)

Facebook hiding likes?

Colin Horgan: We Don’t Need Social Media
The push to regulate or break up Facebook ignores the fact that its services do more harm than good

Transcript of Mark Zuckerberg’s leaked internal Facebook meetings

We don’t need social media (via Patricia de Vries)

Transaction fees change culture bitcoin, study says

Social media app TikTok bans paid political ads amid increased scrutiny - 5 Oct 2019 - The video-driven social media app is shunning paid political advertising amid scrutiny of other social networks, particularly Facebook.

Social media in Egypt: From harbinger of a revolution to weapon of authoritarian control - 3 Oct 2019 - Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi’s tough crackdown in the wake of recent protests shows how the state has exploited technologies that were once used to mobilize people during the 2011 revolution.

The Same Old Encryption Debate Has a New Target: Facebook - 3 Oct 2019 - Attorney general William Barr seems eager to reignite the encryption wars, starting with the social media giant.

Here is AG Barr’s full letter to Facebook asking it not to make messages completely secret - 3 Oct 2019 - AG William Barr asked Facebook to postpone encryption plans in a draft of an open letter originally obtained by BuzzFeed News. Facebook previously announced plans to integrate and encrypt its three messaging services, WhatsApp, Instagram and Messenger.  • Officials from the U.K. and Australia joined Barr’s call for Facebook to create a way for law enforcement to access illegal content.

Facebook, Twitter and the Digital Disinformation Mess - 2 Oct 2019 - Disinformation, now known as fake news, has tainted public discourse for centuries, even millennia. It’s been amplified in our digital age as a weapon of fearmongers, mob-baiters and election-meddlers to widen social fissures, subvert democracy and boost authoritarian regimes. Companies such as Facebook, Twitter and Google are under pressure to take action.

YouTube moderation bots punish videos tagged as ‘gay’ or ‘lesbian,’ study finds - 30 Sep 2019 - A new investigation from a coalition of YouTube creators and researchers is accusing YouTube of relying on a system of “bigoted bots” to determine whether certain content should be demonetized, specifically LGBTQ videos.

At Least 70 Countries Have Had Disinformation Campaigns, Study Finds - 28 Sep 2019 - The researchers compiled information from news organizations, civil society groups and governments to create one of the most comprehensive inventories of disinformation practices by governments around the world. They found that the number of countries with political disinformation campaigns more than doubled to 70 in the last two years, with evidence of at least one political party or government entity in each of those countries engaging in social media manipulation.

Facebook Secret Research Warned of ‘Tipping Point’ Threat to Core App

Social Media Addictive Design Legislation (via Tatja Seitz)

Community, not Commodity (Sydney, August 20)

Terry Flew on the Australian Social Media report

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