Aral Balkan

Mastodon icon RSS feed icon

Everyone Hates Facebook (but this is more than just about Facebook)

Minimalistic vector illustration: a flock of Facebook thumbs-down dislike icons flies across a blue sky with fluffy clouds in the foreground.

“And my timelines lit up in a rare unity, the left and right, the rich and the poor, the healthy and the sick, all pleading and nodding and saying, yes, yes please, please do that.” - Adam Dalliance

Well, it’s official, everybody hates Facebook.

But why we hate it matters. As does what we intend to do about it.

For more good reasons to hate Facebook and other people farmers, watch my talk, The Camera Panopticon.

Good reasons to hate Facebook:

Bad reasons to hate Facebook:

So, we all agree that Facebook is a problem.

Some for the right reasons, some for the wrong ones…

But this is not just about Facebook: it’s about any corporation that has the same business model as Facebook. The business model I call “people farming.”

So it’s about Google too. And Snapchat. And TikTok. And, and, and, and… (this is the business model of mainstream technology today.)

So we have a bigger – systemic ­– problem on our hands. (Ooh, fun!) And it seems everyone has some idea or other about how we should do things differently moving forward.

Bad ways forward

Good ways forward

Watch my speech at the European Parliament in which I summarise the problem and suggest a solution.

Hating Facebook is all well and good but please let’s not forget that this is not just about Facebook. It’s about people farming in general.

If Facebook goes away tomorrow but another Facebook takes its place, we won’t have won anything.

So please let’s make sure we understand the differences between the various alternatives and pick the ones that will result in meaningful progress in protecting our personhood and democracy.

(Hint: look at the intent behind an organisation/project. Is it to make a billion dollars or to protect human rights and democracy? And yes, no matter what the capitalists tell you, the two goals are diametrically opposed and mutually exclusive.)

Like this? Fund us!

Small Technology Foundation is a tiny, independent not-for-profit.

We exist in part thanks to patronage by people like you. If you share our vision and want to support our work, please become a patron or donate to us today and help us continue to exist.