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Facebook isn’t even hiding its manipulation anymore

Posted on February 25, 2016 | Comments Off on Facebook isn’t even hiding its manipulation anymore

So this is where we’re at now with Facebook (from FACEBOOK REACTIONS, THE TOTALLY REDESIGNED LIKE BUTTON, IS HERE)

Commenting might afford nuanced responses, but composing those responses on a keypad takes too much time.

Go ahead and read the article if you need some background. In fact, there’s some information in there on how Facebook is going to use this new feature. Make no mistake, this is all about money for Facebook. It’s about keeping you engaged. For the longest time the idea behind social media (at least as we know it now) is that you traded your time (as in the time spent viewing or avoiding viewing ads) in exchange for the provided service. Your mileage may vary but this seems more like a ranch now, and we’re the cattle. You get fed a diet of palatable information in order to keep you around long enough to get some ad clicks. The difference is that what most people either assume or are willing to negotiate upon is the idea that they choose what they see. That went out the door a long time ago for Facebook and much more recently with Twitter (and their new non-chronological timeline and shadowbanning). The latest round of “like-emojis” is just one more step in the same direction, but for me it may be the final straw. I’ll decide for myself what I see from my social networks.

I’d just posted recently that I intend to use blogs more. It’s my content, it’s my website, and ultimately I favor having 10 people that actually give me a few minutes of their thoughts than hundreds who can’t even spare a second. And frankly there’s no reason to rely on centralized, corporate social networks anymore. While they certainly pushed the technology forward in terms of accessibility and features, these days most internet users have their own machines that could be online 24/7. And virtual servers are so cheap these days that $5/month will get you a server capable of hosting hundreds of moderate-load users. So, I’m stepping away from Facebook and Twitter. Not abandoning them; they still have some value. That value decreases each time an algorithm is used to decide for me what I should be seeing. Their days are numbered and I’m going to get with the future now.

I’ll probably make a real post later about GNU social and why it’s better than both Twitter and Facebook, and also has advantages over other decentralized, peer-to-peer social media networks. But until then, read up about it for yourself. Just keep in mind one thing: it’s designed to be a federation. You don’t run your own server in isolation. Each server, if a user there follows a user on another server, is networked together. You can easily follow people from different servers and interact with them all the same. People think each one is a twitter clone, running in isolation, and that you’d need an account on every server you want to use. Not so, one account allows you to follow, like, reply, and repeat (virtually) everybody else. It’s more like email. Just because somebody isn’t on your email server doesn’t stop you from sending to and receiving from them.

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