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Social Networks Facebook Privacy

Is It Time To Stop Using Social Media? (counterpunch.org) 291

Slashdot reader Nicola Hahn writes: Bulk data collection isn't the work of a couple of bad apples. Corporate social media is largely predicated on stockpiling and mining user information. As Zuckerberg explained to lawmakers, it's their business model...

While Zuckerberg has offered public apologias, spurring genuine regulation will probably be left to the public. Having said that, confronting an economic sector which makes up one of the country's largest political lobbying blocks might not be a tenable path in the short term.

The best immediate option for netizens may be to opt out of social media entirely.

The original submission links to this call-to-action from Counterpunch: Take personal responsibility for your own social life. Go back to engaging flesh and blood people without tech companies serving as an intermediary. Eschew the narcissistic impulse to broadcast the excruciating minutiae of your life to the world. Refuse to accept the mandate that you must participate in social media in order to participate in society. Reclaim your autonomy.

Is It Time To Stop Using Social Media?

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  • by Maxo-Texas ( 864189 ) on Sunday April 15, 2018 @03:38AM (#56439993)

    We should not have more than 10% of the population on any given social media platform.

    I haven't used facebook for almost a decade. I saw it was a bad actor from the beginning.

    But Google is just as bad but not as obvious as is any other social media.

    You are the product.

    But part of their power depends on having most people on their platform. If they can't get more than a fraction of people on their platform, then they cannot build comprehensive profiles.

    • by Anonymous Coward
      yeah bullshit. all that would mean is more points of exposure and companies would just aggregate across platforms.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 15, 2018 @06:33AM (#56440317)

      No, it's time to boycott all those silos you call "platforms" and go back to open protocols. Everybody should physically own their data (including encrypted cloud storage, as long as the key never leaves the client) and connect with each other over a secure open protocol.

    • Your suggestion that different social media companies won't cooperate to get a full picture seems unlikely. Certainly the advertising companies will put it all together. Viable strategies: 1-government run social media companies. Yes the government will spy on us, but at least the adds will be limited. 2-cooperative social media, owned by the mass, for the masses. We'd be constanly fighting spies from corporations and government, trying to get our juicy data, and we'd have to pay operating expenses. 3
    • by angel'o'sphere ( 80593 ) on Sunday April 15, 2018 @10:05AM (#56440783) Journal

      Would not work.

      If I organize an Aikido seminar with a famous teacher I expect about 100 - 120 guests.

      For that I have my FB account and simply post into my timeline the event details or organize an "FB Event" , where people can click "join", "maybe", "no".

      To reach all my audience I would need to do that on every majour platform. And hence: I would be on all majour platforms. Sooner or later people would migrate to the more prominent one(s).

      E.g. classmates from school gather on platform A
      Ex military on platform B
      Family on Platform C, except for your spoces parents who refuse ;D

      And so it goes on. In the end everyone is on several platforms. I'm on several platforms anyway, because I don't use FB for business, but linkedin and XING.

      It is the same with messaging Apps ... I use 4 regularly and have probably 4 more installed (and that does not include FB messenger ... I only use it if I need to sent a reply, but that I usually do via the web site)

    • by GuB-42 ( 2483988 )

      We should not have more than 10% of the population on any given social media platform.

      It defeats the purpose of a social media platform, which is to connect people. I don't want a https://xkcd.com/1810/ [xkcd.com] situation where you need many accounts to get in touch. The alternative to platforms are decentralized protocols but only one gained traction: e-mail.

    • by Rob Y. ( 110975 ) on Sunday April 15, 2018 @03:16PM (#56442159)

      But Google is just as bad but not as obvious as is any other social media. You are the product.

      I don't know what you mean by 'not as obvious', but no Google is not just as bad. And it just confuses the issue to insist that they are. The problem with Facebook isn't that they have your info - it's the way they use it. Including sharing it with 3rd parties, sharing stuff they told you only your friends could ever see, and allowing 3rd parties to target you directly based on the info they got from Facebook.

      Google has your info and uses it to run their business. Which is plenty intrusive, but still consists of showing you advertisements that they think you'll click on. That's a devil's bargain that you might not like, but it's not what Facebook does - which is to use your info any damn way they can think of as well as selling it to others. It's possible to use Google's search service in incognito mode and not give them any personal info - and they can still make money off of you in that mode. Of course, once you sign on to Gmail, you're in the matrix. But at least it's possible. Facebook doesn't have the luxury of a business model that can exist without your info - but that doesn't mean they couldn't run a successful business without compromising it. They just choose not to.

  • by therealspacebug ( 4922543 ) on Sunday April 15, 2018 @03:42AM (#56440001)
    One does not have to stop using social media, but one can use own owned platforms like Matrix (http://matrix.org).

    Also one can stop sharing everything about your life.
    For example I have Twitter which I mostly use only to read posts as new. I seldom post something myself.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      "For example I have Twitter which I mostly use only to read posts as new. I seldom post something myself."

      Twitter here:
      That is ok, just knowing what you do read and what you do not is enough for us to monetize your personal data.

      Thanks for being a sheep,
      Twitter Inc.
       

    • Also one can stop sharing everything about your life.

      Or just don't post stuff you want to keep private. My wife posts photos of our vacation to Facebook. Do I care if the whole world knows where I went on vacation? Nope, not at all. My daughter posts pictures of all our meals. Do I care? Nope, unless Trump starts rounding up all the vegans (we are mostly liberals).

      The things I want to keep private (my heroin dealer's cell number, assassination list, KGB paystubs) don't go on Facebook.

      I have never regretted anything I posted. Using social media is fine

      • by peragrin ( 659227 ) on Sunday April 15, 2018 @05:42AM (#56440241)

        You went on vacation, so you weren't home, which is a great time to break in and steal stuff.

        You posted pictures of your home,probably move in dates. The location is somewhere in your history.

        Before social media so much knowledge was public, but hard to access. Now it is quick to access

        • by ShanghaiBill ( 739463 ) on Sunday April 15, 2018 @07:54AM (#56440451)

          You went on vacation, so you weren't home, which is a great time to break in and steal stuff.

          The photos were posted after we returned. Anyway, if you want to find an unoccupied house, there is a far easier way: Knock on the door. If someone answers, apologize and say you had the wrong address. Otherwise, jimmy a window and load up your sack. Of course, you can't be sure that no one is home just because they didn't answer the door, but you can't be sure everyone in the house went on vacation either.

          When we go on vacation, we lock up, recharge the security camera batteries, set all the motion sensor alarms, put bars in the windows, hide our valuables, and notify the neighbors. It would actually be the WORST time to rob us. A typical weekday while we are at work/school would be much better.

          The location is somewhere in your history.

          The location of my home was already public information long before social media existed. It is listed in the phone book (which is online), and is also listed on public documents at the Santa Clara County website, that anyone can access.

        • You went on vacation, so you weren't home, which is a great time to break in and steal stuff.

          If you post the pictures when you get back, this is a non-issue.

          You posted pictures of your home,probably move in dates. The location is somewhere in your history.

          Unless the address is in their "history", because they posted it to Facebook, it's not part of the database.

          Before social media so much knowledge was public, but hard to access. Now it is quick to access

          You have no idea what you're on about. Anyone with a business license can get access to government databases on a for-fee basis. They used to call it MERLIN, I'm not sure if that's still the current system. You can't easily use it to look up SSNs, but if you have someone's SSN you can use it to find all kinds of other information. And it

        • Before social media so much knowledge was public, but hard to access. Now it is quick to access

          The only 'quick access' information is the information that someone else decides to feed you. Ain't it great.

        • You went on vacation, so you weren't home, which is a great time to break in and steal stuff.

          You posted pictures of your home,probably move in dates. The location is somewhere in your history.

          Before social media so much knowledge was public, but hard to access. Now it is quick to access

          Hard to access? Hardly. The paranoid crowd seems to think that scooting over to the local courthouse and accessing everything you were talking about is too too hard.

          Even though that data is real, and unambiguous.

          What is difficult is going through life incognito, even without a computer or social media.You might be able to minimize your footprint if you faked your death, moved to Idaho and lived in a compound, bartered for everything with only people you trusted, and avoided others completely.

          Otherwis

        • Most people are smart enough to post pictures AFTER they are back from vacations.
          And most burglers are: not on my friends list, and hence don't see my pictures.
          And: 90% of the people on my friends list, don't have my home address ... but they could probably easily figure who has it and ask him.
          I'm basically only sleeping at home and spent most of my free time outside, unless it is a lazy weekend ... so they could break in any time anyway.

      • by AHuxley ( 892839 )
        Thats nice but people forget what govs/mil want to do in the USA.
        DARPA LifeLog
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]
      • If you have Instagram, WhatsApp, Facebook, or FB messenger installed; they have that info.

        youPorn has a like button next to that funky butt lovin midget porn. They already have your dirty little secrets. Some websites only put a single tracking pixel on their page so FB and Google know everywhere you go. It's literally next to impossible for the average user to get away from it
    • Also one can stop sharing everything about your life.

      Alternatively, start sharing things about your life which aren't exactly true. For example, I just landed a full-time job that pays $45,000 a year, and all I have to do is sit at this console and turn that key if we get the alert and the other guy turns his key at the same time.

      • Also one can stop sharing everything about your life.

        Alternatively, start sharing things about your life which aren't exactly true. For example, I just landed a full-time job that pays $45,000 a year, and all I have to do is sit at this console and turn that key if we get the alert and the other guy turns his key at the same time.

        This is actually not a bad idea. Making your data useless via screwing with it. Also much fun.

  • by wierd_w ( 1375923 ) on Sunday April 15, 2018 @03:42AM (#56440005)

    Of course, it is never too late to realize your mistake in believing it was ever OK to give a soulless corporation access to your personal information, and thus also allow HR to look at all your party pics where you got drunk, and other things you really dont want your professional career life to know about-- but really, what ever made you guys think it was even a good idea to start with?

    I remember when the very idea of using your real name online was a point and shame offense.

    We need to get back to that kind of thing,

    • I remember when people freaked out when /. started having user IDs and logins.
    • Before dedicated social networks we used mailing lists, Usenet and forums. They were great because you could meet interesting, like-minded people, and they didn't harvest your personal data.

      These days it's harder to avoid social networks. They offer a lot of features that people want, like easy photo sharing and real-time chat built in. Sure, you can replicate it all, but try getting random non-techies to install an IRC client, or spell Diaspora.

      Modern life has become reliant on those services. People are too busy, they aren't going to post everything to five different networks and your personal email address.

      The only solution is an open protocol. Make Facebook a protocol, let people choose the platform and client that suits them the best.

      • Usenet was my favourite thing about the internet. I still use it but feel sad that hardly anyone else does.

      • by DontBeAMoran ( 4843879 ) on Sunday April 15, 2018 @09:54AM (#56440749)

        Modern life has become reliant on those services.

        Says who? I've never used those services in the first place.

        People are too busy, they aren't going to post everything to five different networks and your personal email address.

        The question is, why are you posting everything? Stop broadcasting your life online!

        Go back to regular forums, there's still millions of them all over the place, targeting specific topics. If I visit a DIY arcade cabinets forum, the worst thing that can happen is that I see ads related to arcade hardware, which I might be interested in because I visit that kind of website.

        • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

          I actually managed to convince most of my friends to move to WhatsApp as an alternative to Facebook. WA at least does end-to-end encryption and isn't a social network, so while not perfect it's a lot better.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      This is the problem. People think they need it now. The abuses possible are inherent in all present implementations. A federal injunction should be issued. If they want to save face. Perhaps they read slashdot? The sharing of all (or part) personal information online is a national security risk. period. fucking period.

      But I beg to digress (facebook needs to die. shutdown.) We need to focus on the solution. Open source (free as in beer) software and hardware to the rescue.

      Let's get to this, gentlemen.

    • Just ditch Facebook (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 15, 2018 @04:55AM (#56440167)

      For f**ks sake, *Facebook* sold access to your messenger private MESSAGES to a company that markets that data worldwide. Using some hidden psuedo opted in by default consent.

      It isn't some sort of endemic that spans every social media company. It's just Facebook that's constantly pushing the boundaries of what it can get away with.

      "A Facebook spokesperson confirmed that the app, which was designed by Cambridge University researcher Aleksandr Kogan to collect data on Americans on behalf of Cambridge Analytica’s British counterpart SCL, requested access to user inboxes through the read_mailbox permission."

      So your private messages were sold to Putin. It wasn't by accident, they weren't hacked, Cambridge Analytics requested access to the messages in your mailbox and Facebook sold them that access via an implemented API. And CA were not at all secret about their intentions, they toured the world offering up your Facebook data for sale.

      Here's Aleksandr Kogan of Cambridge Analytics touting the data grab and the ability to use it to influence foreign elections to Putin's St Petersberg group:

      http://money.cnn.com/2018/03/20/technology/aleksandr-kogan-video-facebook-cambridge-analytica/index.html

      Ditch Facebook, delete your account, never ever log in again. If you use a site and it has a Facebook button on it, its a tracking system, ask them to remove it.

  • by fahrbot-bot ( 874524 ) on Sunday April 15, 2018 @03:46AM (#56440027)

    The best immediate option for netizens may be to opt out of social media entirely.

    Posting that on /. Are you going to hit up Facebook and Twitter too, or should one of us do it?

    [ RT to take back control. #OptOut ]

  • Is it time to stop posting dick pics to social media? /s

    Social media can be valuable for people. It is not however an excuse to allow the harvesting of your personal data.

  • https://www.vanityfair.com/new... [vanityfair.com]

    I tried to post this nearly 6 months ago, but y'all weren't having any. Then.

  • Yes! Use a chat-app that uses end-to-end encryption instead. You can share the same information, but with more privacy. For information you really want the share with the rest of the world, use something like a blog.
  • The Oxford dictionary says: "Websites and applications that enable users to create and share content or to participate in social networking." -- Well, even comments here on Slashdot count as "content" and therefore Slashdot also fits the definition presented here. Basically, any online-system that allows people to write a comment or comments counts; should we recklessly abandon every such system, or should the author formulate his arguments better? I vote for the latter, especially considering his argument

  • But it’s definitely time people started using it more wisely.

    And I’d argue it may very well be time to stop using the truly evil entities like Facebook... of course having left it around 2014, I realize that’s easy for me to say but harder for existing users to do.

    • by AHuxley ( 892839 )
      How can the product use a system thats selling information about it more wisely?
      The user is the product. Every interaction is sold. Every word, image, voice is ad friendly.
  • Take personal responsibility for your own social life.

    Social media doesn't take away any personal responsibility any more than the telephone or a newspaper advertisement did. Your social life still needs to be built on information whether you see an advert for an event on TV or on a poster glued to the side of a building, or get invited to a party through an SMS.

    A lot of people fundamentally don't realise that a large part of social media doesn't offset meeting people in fleshy person, and actually provides even more opportunities to do just that.

  • But everyone around me seems to and for many their lives revolve around it.
    As to the question, my initial take is yea! But maybe things are not that simple for others in their world.

    Just my 2 cents ;)
  • Those of us who cared for their privacy and are horrified at facebook or other social media practice, ALREADY limited their use strictly. Those of us who "vomit" their private live on social media, did not care to begin with and will probably not move. The only real solution is to lobby for stronger privacy rule and data protection, which we get in Europe. Good luck with that in the US.
  • While there is a place for electronic communication: emails, 'phone calls, on-line group messaging, what is far more satisfying is meeting people in the flesh to: chat, eat together, dance, go for walks, ... that is how true friendships are nurtured and grow. When you are with people you more easily learn their true nature [wikimedia.org]. We are a social species -- this need has been exploited by social media, with the unfilled promise that using it will make us more socially successful: whereas the result is often the opposite.

    • Indeed, tell me your Facebook name and I'll send you an event invite so we can meet.

      Oh and if that wasn't snide enough just remember I'm currently in Italy, but meeting in real life is easy right so it should be just as easy to catch up in Milan for a coffee as it is to have this conversation right?

      The world of social network is not as simple as the proponents of alternatives always make it out.

  • by Qbertino ( 265505 ) <moiraNO@SPAMmodparlor.com> on Sunday April 15, 2018 @05:51AM (#56440255)

    We need to upgrade/replace email and Usenet.

    I've said this time and time again: Facebook only exists because we're still using protocols and services from the steam age of computing. Usenet is super-dead and email is some awkward crutch.

    Replace it with something from this day and age and Facebook will disappear all by itself because people will stop using it because it won't be the best solution around anymore.

    It's that easy.

    • by AHuxley ( 892839 )
      That is the way. A nice GUI on tech that works. Designed by users, not ad experts.
    • I also think you need a new service to go along with upgraded email/usenet: Identity management.

      It's one of the things that Facebook and Google do that these other systems don't. Both provide some degree of single-sign-on for consumers, and allows you to link your activity online together into a coherent profile, showing your status and activity across multiple platforms. There needs to be a set of open industry standards that allow any number of allows your activity to be discoverable and verifiable if

  • by petes_PoV ( 912422 ) on Sunday April 15, 2018 @06:29AM (#56440303)
    "How would you like to pay?"

    The question we hear many times a day. Yet we expect that almost all websites will not charge us. Even though they have costs: depreciation, electricity, staff, buildings - that someone has to pay for.

    So would the public be willing to hand over a credit card to use a website? Experience shows that almost nobody does, when compared with the billions of accesses per day that come from subscribers to "free" sites. And what happens to "privacy" then? We would just trade fears of all the lies we tell when we subscribe to a website being replaced with the far more serious fears of having our card details stolen, bought and sold.

    Personally, I don't give a damn about who knows when my date of birth was, what I last bought from Amazon or whether I "liked" a particular posting or not. It seems to me that the only people who do worry, do so about how other people might be losing their privacy - not about their own. If it bothers you, then stop. If it doesn't then ignore all the media frenzy. Though since almost all the online sites that are carrying scare stories about mass data collection are doing exactly the same thing they criticise FB and social media in general, of doing.

    • Personally, I don't give a damn about who knows when my date of birth was, what I last bought from Amazon or whether I "liked" a particular posting or not. It seems to me that the only people who do worry, do so about how other people might be losing their privacy - not about their own.

      So because you don't care about your privacy, nobody else does? I care very much about losing my privacy, and I give all kinds of damns about whether someone knows my birthdate, my purchases, or what I like.

  • And I did this long before all of this media storm. I am 5 months free of Facebook. Furthermore, the apology that the Zuck offered was, at best, hollow. And the denial of the shadow profiles just about undid all of that apology. I am sure I still have one somewhere on it.
  • When was the time to start using them?

    • by AHuxley ( 892839 )
      PRISM should have been the wake up for all smart people.
      Your company, your brand, your work is getting spied on by the USA.
      The social media brand was the way in to spy on you.
  • Snake handlers eventually get bit. Lion tamers get eaten, and outrage farmers get turned against.
    It's the natural order of things.

  • I 'm as anti-social as they come. Let me ask you again:
     
    You talkin to me? There's no one else here; you tawkin to me?

  • I am really tired of crap like this:

    "Take personal responsibility for your own social life. Go back to engaging flesh and blood people without tech companies serving as an intermediary. Eschew the narcissistic impulse to broadcast the excruciating minutiae of your life to the world. Refuse to accept the mandate that you must participate in social media in order to participate in society. Reclaim your autonomy."

    How about YOU stop assuming others use social networks for the crap you probably used it for?

  • Anyone else find it ironic that the article that says to leave Facebook says "Join the debate on Facebook" at the bottom? https://www.counterpunch.org/2... [counterpunch.org]
  • 500 million people all joining another social network sounds nice but won't happen. Regulation is required. Just like Verizon can't sell access to all your text and calls, neither should anyone else. "But Facebook is a private company!!" I hear. And Verizon isn't? There has to be a way to monetize Facebook without invading everyone's privacy.
  • ...but commenting on /. is social media.

  • It's pretty much impossible NOT to reveal your social connections using social media, but it's the combination of insight into the nodes in that graph with the network that gives people with that data power over you.

    So any kind of game, app or quiz where you reveal things about yourself or personal preferences is a bad thing. Forwarding and commenting on political news is probably a bad thing -- not in itself, but combined with the analytical power a social connection graph provides; it's one thing to exercise your free speech, it's another to contribute to a the greatest political surveillance network in history.

    You might want to think twice about face tagging and geotagging your photographs too -- going by the Categorical Imperative. If enough people do that they've got a covert body tracking network.

    People use social media because they serve a useful purpose, but they aren't aware of the unintended consequences; exploiting unintended consequences is those companies' entire business model.

  • Social media shouldn't be used to replace contact with the people you're close to, but it is useful for keeping in touch with people you aren't close to.

    For me, social media is mainly useful for keeping tabs on musicians, authors and actors that I like. I like being able to find about their upcoming projects and appearances without spending hours of my time checking individual websites or hoping a news site will mention them. Even better, I can interact with

    Right now, there isn't anything that comes close

  • The outrage appeared first strange to me. I always assumed that signing up for a free service means that all the data provide are essentially public and can be sold. It is the prize to pay for a free service. I also still assume that a free service can at any time change its rules and policies or disappear or even assume that some censorship might occurs. The network is not mine and I don't pay for it. Where free services cross a line is when they collect data of users which are not on the network or data
  • Yeah! Gonna Like and tweet this, bro!
  • Slashdot sure has gone downhill since the corporate overlords came on board. Where are Cowboy Neal and Cmdr Taco when we need them?

I owe the public nothing. -- J.P. Morgan

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