OK, doei Facebook!

Doei Facebook

Afgelopen week publiceerde Mark Zuckerberg, mede-oprichter van Facebook, een Manifesto over hoe hij denkt dat Facebook de wereld verder kan helpen:

the most important thing we at Facebook can do is develop the social infrastructure to give people the power to build a global community that works for all of us. – Mark Zuckerberg

Mooie doelstelling, alleen jammer dat Zuckerberg denkt dat hij dat met een commercieel bedrijf moet doen, waarvan de aandeelhouders toch vooral interesse hebben in de koers van het aandeel. Maar belangrijker nog, zoals Aral Balkan mooi beschrijft:

It is not the job of a corporation to “develop the social infrastructure for community” as Mark wants to do. Social infrastructure must belong to the commons, not to giant monopolistic corporations like Facebook. – Aral Balkan

Daarmee wil ik zeker niet zeggen dat een commercieel bedrijf geen bijdrage kan leveren aan de samenleving, maar wel dat de (sociale) infrastructuur waarin dat gebeurt niet in handen mag zijn van één bedrijf. Want (opnieuw Aral Balkan):

Facebook’s business model is to be the man in the middle; to track every move you, your family, and your friends make, to store all that information indefinitely, and continuously analyse it to understand you better in order to exploit you by manipulating you for financial and political gain.

Facebook isn’t a social network, it is a scanner that digitises human beings. It is, for all intents and purposes, the camera that captures your soul. Facebook’s business is to simulate you and to own and control your simulation, thereby owning and controlling you. – Aral Balkan

Mark Zuckerberg had applaus van me gekregen wanneer hij zijn doelstelling was opgevolgd met:”en dus gaan we volledig open source en stellen we onze infrastructuur open voor derden om direct concurrerende diensten op te ontwikkelen. Maar goed, dat zat er natuurlijk niet in.

Waarom vind ik dit belangrijk? Nou, zoals Ronald Mulder niet al te lang geleden opschreef:

Onder meer door het bestaan van schaalvoordelen leidt marktwerking vaak tot concentratie en zelfs monopolievorming  – Ronald Mulder

Hij beargumenteerde dat er tot voor kort niet veel te doen leek te zijn tegen de platform- en netwerkeffecten die tegenwoordig beschikbaar zijn voor bedrijven zoals Facebook, en brak een lans voor de invoering van blockchain-technologie om dergelijke platformen meer open te maken.

Of dat lukt, moeten we nog zien. Maar ik wacht niet langer totdat Facebook laat blijken te snappen waar haar verantwoordelijkheid echt ligt. Dus ik stap op.

Doei, Facebook!

Post Scriptum 2018-03-21

Ondertussen is een grotere groep mensen boos op Facebook. Ik citeer Aral Balkan nog maar eens in reactie:

Want to #deletefacebook?


1. Sign up for @MastodonProject

2. Get on @wire and/or @signalapp

3. Write up a post on Facebook telling your friends about these alternatives and that they can find you there (& on your own web site if you have one).

Then #deletefacebook 🙂


Google makes $65,47/year with my data, Facebook only $0,02

Update 2016/06/03: PrivacyFix has been discontinued. Read more here.

If you are concerned with your privacy, and the way your personal data is being used online, then PrivacyFix is of interest to you.

It is available as a free extension for Chrome and Firefox (no other browsers support at this time). It scans your privacy settings for Google, Facebook and websites. It also tells you if you are tracked for ads. Most importantly, it helps you adjust those settings easily, so that your online actions are more private.

Do not make the mistake to consider PrivacyFix some sort of rebel initiative, though, that is against companies like Facebook and Google making money from your actions per se:

We’re sensitive to the need of Facebook and Google to manage their privacy frameworks, and for them to ensure that decisions are being made by directly by users. We also believe that it’s worth your time to consider each setting and any tradeoffs between privacy and functionality. We will focus your attention on the most private settings, but ultimately it’s up to you to choose the settings that work best for you.

As in: if you want to use this product (Google, Facebook) to your advantage for free, make sure you pay attention and understand what it is that you are giving up in return. Makes sense.

Nice touch


A nice touch is the calculation of how much money these companies make from your online activity. These are estimates, but nevertheless appear quite right. In my case, Facebook only makes about $0,02 per year, while Google makes $65,47 per year. Not a very high price to pay for all that information at my fingertips.


(Via Daring Fireball)сайт

Reclaiming Facebook as a useful social media tool

Over the years, my Facebook experience deteriorated significantly. During my recent holiday, I finally realised why: too much, too many. Too much notifications, too many ‘friends’.

The signal/noise ratio had definitely taken a turn for the worse.

So, in line with my previous post on focus, I decided to reorganize. But I needed to better understand how Facebook actually works, in order to do that successfully. So I turned to Bram Willemse; he knows these things!

Now, obviously, all of this is dependant on your personal preferences, so let me give you mine before I tell you how I am reclaiming Facebook as a useful social media tool. I decided that:

  1. Facebook is a personal environment, that I want to use in private. Business stuff will be on my companies website and Facebook page, but no longer on my personal Facebook account;
  2. I want Facebook to be a trusted environment where I can communicate with a known audience;
  3. Facebook should be a place to communicate with people that I would also like to converse with IRL (in real life) with at home, in a bar or at a concert.
  4. Facebook communications will take place on Facebook, not in my email inbox.

Again, your preferences might differ, and I am in no way suggesting that my resolutions would be best for you as well.

Here’s what I did:

  • I unsubscribed to all email-notifications, with the exception of formal Facebook product announcements;
  • I disabled the option to allow people to follow my updates
  • I disabled any setting that would use my activity in a commercial way towards my friends (this is a decision that is not undisputed, though. Facebook is free to use, since they make their money selling advertising. In a way, this decision diminshed FB’s possibilities to make enough money to keep providing me with a free services. Then again, if that were to happen, I would be happy to pay for an ongoing, ad-free service);
  • I limited the ‘virality’ of my Facebook activities to ‘Friends of Friends’;
  • I set the default privacy setting to ‘Friends’ instead of ‘Public’.

And that’s not all of it. Next up, I wil start pruning the list of (currently 417) Friends in accordance with Decision 3. Some will have to go, others will be ‘downgraded’ to Acquaintances. I will also create a number of lists that allow me to make updates visible to specific groups of friends and acquaintances. And I will problably un-Like a whole series of brand pages.

Obviously, it will take some time to get all of it done. And then it will take some time to see the results and adjust details. But I’m pretty confident that these decisions and actions will help me to regain Facebook as a worthwhile medium to have interesting and significant conversations with people I care about.wifihacker.ru