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    Piling up reasons to leave Facebook won’t make people leave Facebook. Most people cannot leave Facebook for the simple reason they need it and they have not enough time/energy/stability to invest time in exploring a new social network and rebuild their connections there.

    Facebook is social infrastructure now and asking people to renounce using infrastructure is not just about the act itself, it comes with a big cost. You cannot ask people living in the countryside to renounce cars and ride bikes if the next town is 20kms away and the public transporation is basically absent. Yes, you can live in the countryside without a car and take the bus that comes twice a day but the rearragement required in your life is deep and complex. The same is true for Facebook. On top of this, expecting everybody to be able to rearrange their life like this is deeply classist and the like many “hackerist” issues, the condition of working people is not considered, limiting this action to a bourgie privilege equal to eating organic local food to fight global warming. This give the few activists a sense of moral entitlement and the others a sense of guilt (or directly a feeling of hatred for the cause and the activists, because they feel unable to join them), but contributes nothing to the ultimate cause.

    The solution must be systemic: lobby to limit or ban facebook in your country, promote local, indipendent, politically-aware projects of social infrastructure re-development to replace Facebook, grow existing global solutions and do it on Facebook, because you want to reach the people on Facebook, not the others. And please, stop asking people to leave Facebook.

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      I was mostly with you until you claimed it’s ‘classist’ to tell people to stop using Facebook. What ‘bourgie privilege’ is involved in not using a toxic, harmful social media website? Step back and take a look at the big picture, seriously. There’s no need to be so dramatic. Using Facebook is not some ingrained human notion, it’s been popular for less than 10 years. Nobody has to ‘rearrange their life’ to stop using Facebook. There are alternatives for nearly every way in which people use it that require the same amount of effort or less to use.

      Most peoples’ use of Facebook is in a few categories. They use it to show off, for messenger, for marketplace, for local groups, for family groups, or as a news website.

      A lot of people use Facebook to show off. They post pictures of their kids, places they’ve been, pictures of themselves having fun. There’s a better version of Facebook for this called Instagram. Use that instead. Probably a lot of the same privacy issues, yeah, but at least it’s not literal Facebook.

      Messenger isn’t even a good messaging platform, and there are lots of other ways of keeping in contact with people. A lot of people tell me they stay on Facebook for messenger, then when I ask them who they talk to on messenger that they can’t message otherwise they can’t answer. People want to ‘stay in contact’ with old school friends, but people managed to do that before Facebook fine, and personally I used that excuse until I realised that I hadn’t done so for years and I wasn’t going to. Let’s be realistic: people don’t keep in contact with old school friends because they don’t have anything in common other than having gone to the same school. They have no reason to keep in contact with or without Facebook. If there’s someone that really matters to you, you’ll find a way to contact them outside of Facebook (“hey can I have your email/phone number/whatever? I’m getting rid of my Facebook account”). And the rest that you never talk to anyway? You won’t actually miss anything by not being able to contact people you were never going to contact anyway.

      Facebook marketplace is useful to people, but eBay and its many equivalents in different countries still exist and work, the classified section of the local paper still works. There are lots of other ways to buy and sell stuff other than Facebook. In my experience, selling stuff on Facebook means you get the most entitled people in history asking you questions and demanding things of you. The number of times I’ve sold something specifically with a fixed price and ‘pick up only’, the person has said they’ll buy it, and then they’ve turned around and gone ‘hey can you mail it to me I live in [other city]’. It says pick up only what is wrong with you. Or the dozen people that will ask you numerous in-depth questions trying to judge the quality of stuff you’re selling for $5. They can’t seem to tell that the effort I want to put into selling something when all I’m getting is $5 is going to be much less than when I’m selling something for $500.

      Local area groups are probably the only subject where Facebook is still useful. If you’re a member of the local Facebook group for your suburb or whatever, then go ahead, stick with Facebook. I personally don’t know how people can stand them, they’re full of the kind of people I think Americans refer to as ‘soccer moms’: entitled, bougie, opinionated middle aged women (and it mostly is women) that think vaccines and fluoride are killing their kids and who can’t handle someone going on holiday for six weeks and not mowing their lawn from 10000km away. But some people find value in these groups and I can’t think of any particularly good alternative at the moment.

      Family groups/group chats/whatever have loads of alternatives. And Facebook is an awful news website. Getting people just to stop using it as a news website, even if they still use it for everything else? That would be a blessing.

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        There’s a better version of Facebook for this called Instagram. Use that instead.

        Instagram is owned by Facebook; don’t the same objections to Facebook apply to Instagram, as well? (genuine question, not a challenge)

        Personally, I find Instagram to be kind of toxic in a way because now everyone is focused on creating the “Instagram picture”. I’m not sure if we can really blame the Instagram platform for that, but I don’t like it. It’s also toxic in the same way as Facebook: you only see the good parts of people’s lives, which is often just a façade.

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          Instagram is bad for many of the same reasons that Facebook is bad, but it’s not got the same kind of nightmarish qualities that push Facebook from bad to should-be-illegal IMO. I’ve never seen ‘Fake News’ on Instagram, just incredibly facile crap mostly.

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            Fake news does seem to be a think on Instagram too: https://duckduckgo.com/?q=fake+news+instagram

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              That facile crap subsidizes facebook.

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                And yet if the choice is between Instagram or Facebook I’d rather they were not on Facebook.

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          People don’t need Facebook. People need water, amino-acids, vitamins and air. “But I have my entire social life in Facebook?”. I thought so too, then I quit Facebook and Instagram and found that I have exactly the same social life now.

          In fact. Leaving those platform didn’t change my life one bit. Everything stayed exactly the same. That’s quite telling of the content on there.

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            In fact. Leaving those platform didn’t change my life one bit. Everything stayed exactly the same. That’s quite telling of the content on there.

            I’m happy for you! Unfortunately that’s not the case for everybody. Maybe you should not assume that it is?

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              How do you know that is not the case for everybody? I am actually curious. Have there been any studies made? I actually believe it is like that for most people. I also believe that they wouldn’t know unless they actually quit.

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                I stopped using it instead of deleting it. The problem is that most people I know, friends and family, put their concerns, plans, important developments, etc on there. I missed all that past what people texted me. They generally won’t go through the trouble to do extra stuff for people just not on the platform. Missing out on stuff created both distance and sometimes resentment by those on the platform.

                So, I”ll probably rejoin Facebook plus get on one or more of the others in the future just to prevent that. I’m delaying it because it’s going to be a big change with a pile of incoming posts and messages. I got too much going on to respond to them right now.

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                  To combat this, I use FB in a “read-only” way. Although I don’t find a big issue with catching up with people when you actually see them in person. In fact, not paying as much attention to FB almost guarantees that they will have something surprising and interesting to tell me.

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                  I’ve never used Facebook and have no intentions to start, but it is not rare that I find I have missed events because they were posted only there. I am also at a point in my career where I don’t have to care that most local jobs are promoted on Facebook and sometimes only there.

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                    Well, I can help you with proving that. When I left Facebook a few years ago, I left about a dozen friends behind, whom I now miss.

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                      It is definitely not the case for me. Or anyone from Lithuania really. Here Facebook has become so dominant, that other platforms are made basically irrelevant. Twitter? Maybe a thousand users. Mastodon? Three that I know of. Other chat programs? I’ve only seen Discord used which is even worse than Facebook in my opinion. Facebook has over 50% market penetration here, with most of it being in 13-45 range(which by my quick calculations, has ~80% market penetration). This has effects with how people use Facebook. It is the dominant platform of political discourse here. It is basically impossible to leave Facebook without social changes.

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                        Have there been any studies made?

                        A thing is knowable without needing a study.

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                          That’d be an interesting study or survey - surprised it hasn’t happened yet. Personally I do most of my chatting on Instagram - friends, acquaintances, group chats, new people I meet. People of my age and socioeconomic group are more likely to exchange IG than phone numbers upon meeting. That’s what’s difficult about these arguments - everyone’s life is different.

                          Also like @vegai, I once deleted Facebook (~2013) and my social life was greatly hindered. Of course, I am still alive, but looking back I did miss out on a lot of events and people. At least back then Facebook was mostly for events and to easily be able to chat with people you may not be close with yet.

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                        Leaving those platform didn’t change my life one bit. Everything stayed exactly the same. That’s quite telling of the content on there.

                        Because you’re unaware of other ways of use facebook.

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                        I understand a little bit where you’re coming from… just making a website telling people to leave Facebook doesn’t necessarily make a huge dent in the “stop Facebook” campaign. However, I respectfully disagree with your comment, and I think following the advice in your comment would be dangerous. Having sites like this are better than not having them.

                        Specific to this site, I really appreciate that they clearly stated the intent of the site, gave direct reasons backing up their “thesis”, and also provided source links to further back those claims. I hear a lot about the “stop Facebook” campaign, but I think having a site that provides a myriad of reasons why someone should stop using Facebook is helpful. There may be a reason on that site that helps push someone over the edge.

                        The site at the bottom also provides “how” links so that people can attempt to keep the functionality they would lose by leaving Facebook. Sure, nothing at this point has the exact same scale and features that Facebook does, but this gives people direct reasons why they should leave Facebook and gives them something to go to.

                        Also… your points contradict each other. Two examples:

                        • How is someone supposed to “And please, stop asking people to leave Facebook.” while doing “lobby to limit or ban facebook in your country” at the same time?
                        • “Facebook is social infrastructure now and asking people to renounce using infrastructure is not just about the act itself, it comes with a big cost.” many people are aware of this cost. I know at least one person who has significantly changed their life, their work… and more so that they can help people get off of these dangerous platforms because they see the risk of keeping them as worse. They are prepared to give up temporary satisfaction so that those in the future can have something greater. Calling people “deeply classist” is not respectful to the people who have given a lot to leave Facebook or similar sites; you assume everyone making a stance against Facebook already has some form of privilege.

                        I don’t share this to be “rude” or argue. I share this because I think what this site is doing is important.

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                          Having sites like this are better than not having them.

                          I agree, but is it the best way to spend your effort? I mean, any tech person is already aware of why Facebook is bad for you, including people working in Facebook. Same is true for people in tech critique. Yes, there are still areas of the intellectual world that haven’t been conquered by these ideas, but it’s not a list of facts that will change that.

                          How is someone supposed to “And please, stop asking people to leave Facebook.” while doing “lobby to limit or ban facebook in your country” at the same time?

                          This is not contradictory: I’m on Facebook, I want Facebook to die. In the same way I’m a programmer with a high salary and I believe the system is broken for paying programmers so much. Or that I live in a society that I think it’s broken: it’s literally a meme.

                          The difference between individual action and systemic action is the key: here the solution must be systemic, not individual. Your stance on a political, systemic action doesn’t have to be somehow in accord with your individual consumption, because changing your consumption would be irrelevant. After the change you will lose Facebook and need to adapt your life? Yes, but so will everybody else and the transition will be easier because you will just follow the flow instead of going against it now.

                          They are prepared to give up temporary satisfaction so that those in the future can have something greater. Calling people “deeply classist” is not respectful to the people who have given a lot to leave Facebook or similar sites; you assume everyone making a stance against Facebook already has some form of privilege.

                          If you have time to care about political issues you’re already privileged. I say it as a person that spends half of his time on this and I feel deeply privileged, because I know that if I had to work 12 hours a day on stressful jobs, I wouldn’t be able to do all this stuff. I see the impact of a particularly stressful week at work on my projects and activities: if that was the norm as it is for the general population, I know I wouldn’t be able to achieve anything.

                        2. 4

                          lobby to limit or ban facebook in your country, promote local, independent […]

                          My thinking lately circles around a legislation requiring social services to federate using an open protocol, so that people could freely choose between apps and services without losing their connections. This would recognize the fact that Facebook didn’t create your social graph — you did. And you should own it.

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                            I’d be more in favour of just banning Facebook. People don’t need Facebook or websites like it. Everyone I know that uses it does so under a feeling of duress: everyone else uses it, so I have to use it.

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                              What would a law banning it look like? Just outlaw social networks entirely?

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                                It’s enough to say that they cannot be privately owned, centralized or for-profit. Implementing it in law is much much harder but we don’t want to throw the baby out with the bathwater

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                              Such protocol would have to allow for end-to-end encryption, otherwise not much would change. The real problem isn’t who owns the data, but who can access them. Is strong encryption something society would consider desirable? Hint: Law enforcement.

                              Using a single protocol also means that there’s little to no space for inovation. Facebook did come up with things such as reactions to messages, which are not easily translatable to more oldschool IM protocols. As far as I know, it’s been also the first platform that came up with a confirmation that message have been read. I may not like these inovations, but that’s not the point.

                              The point is that you either force everyone to use a single protocol and make it difficult to push for any change, or allow for multiple protocols, which is basically what we have right now. Yes, it’s not open, but having documentation doesn’t necessarily mean it’d be possible to keep up; especially when it’s against Facebook’s interest. They would undergo some extra effort to abide the law while making sure no one can actually threaten them by developing a good FOSS client.

                              “These scandals just bother everyone. I’d ban all those computers and internets.” – Věra Pohlová, 72 years, pensioner. Newspaper “Metro”, 09/17/1999. Source.

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                              Most people cannot leave Facebook for the simple reason they need it and they have not enough time/energy/stability to invest time in exploring a new social network

                              Most people can’t leave. But many people can.

                              The people that stay might think twice before making their next event facebook-exclusive once they realize why other people have left.

                              Yes, we need laws to protect us, but until those laws arrive we should do what we can to limit the harm.

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                                The people that stay might think twice before making their next event facebook-exclusive once they realize why other people have left.

                                Until they realize how attached to Facebook they are and come to the conclusion that “oh well, it’s their loss for leaving it.”.

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                                Piling up reasons to leave Facebook won’t make people leave Facebook.

                                The only way to make people leave Facebook is to make them believe that it is unsafe to continue using it. That’s why people flocked to Facebook when MySpace was still around: MySpace let anyone message anyone, but with Facebook you could only talk to someone if you knew them and were their friend. This gave people the perception that Facebook was safer to communicate on, and thus the big migration occurred.

                                However, Facebook is well aware of this, and Mark Zuckerberg isn’t quite as short-sighted as Rupert Murdoch. This is why they pour so much money and time into “security” and “privacy” initiatives, so the average Facebook user feels safe on their platform.

                                lobby to limit or ban facebook in your country

                                Yeah because banning things works… What a joke.

                                Facebook isn’t going anywhere unless it does something really spectacularly dumb.

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                                Don’t tell others what to do.