2022-07-03Genre: Articles

Facebook a Choice, Not an Obligation

A brief reminder of the freedom of choice and privacy.

Last year, I decided to ditch Facebook and meta in overall because of the raising privacy concerns and addictive nature of these mainstream social media platforms. Of course backed by my knowledge of privacy and the help of different online communities, especially the Linux community talking about internet privacy and the openness of FOSS I quickly realized that the world of internet is not a very good place to be in, especially the social media platforms without federation and very high filtration of what people can/not, want/not to see. I realized that the posts that I am scrolling through are picked and compiled for my tastes and to keep me stuck in the place for so long that I see enough ads and decide to buy one of the products that I see is what I want but don't need.

I felt that the social media should not have any filtration over its contents by a person to person basis but have a good moderation for a set of people/community where one thing of one community may think what they are doing is good/legal while the other communities because of their social norms sees bad/illegal. Another thing is the arrangement of posts, the posts should be arranged in a chronological manner with respect to time (new posts on the top and older at the bottom.). It should be private and should have an ability to federate with other platforms if one decides to not use it but wants to be in touch with the people inside it. And last but not the least It should be open by which everyone is ensured that they are safe and the company/organization is not using our data for their own betterment behind our back.

But what you get is not always what you want. I had to make a Facebook account because my university circulates all its regular notice via Facebook and only Facebook, despite them having a website of their own where they do post some very specific notices. I could have lived with the university's specific notices but every other group/club/association; the club for students interested in robotics, in software development, associations of computer, civil, etc engineering students, etc inside my university share information solely on Facebook which I being someone interested in robotics as well as software really want to know.

It could be a whole different story if anyone except I were concerned about their privacy and/or didn't use Facebook with one reason or another. But even if I proposed a solution it will be just for me, and they will eventually stop following it and keep posting on Facebook as they are doing right now. I quote Olamundo from mastodon (@olamundo@red.niboe.info), "Having a Facebook account is an option (which highly educated people are expected not to take, considering current news and concerns), not an obligation."

It's very difficult to maintain privacy on the internet, either you have to completely disconnect from them or keep using what they give without even considering if privacy was a thing.

Proposable Solutions :

  • Using a website for everything with support for RSS.
  • Using mastodon or any other federated social media for notice circulation, along with some sort of redirection to it for Facebook.
  • Using MATRIX w/o bridges for those who don't want an account on discord/messenger and still be able to contact with everyone.
  • Using discourse or similar software for notice as well as chats.
  • Anything that doesn't require any specific non privacy respecting software and is accessible by everyone.

Information on RSS (subscription method for websites) Federated Social Media (Mastodon, Pleroma etc.) Matrix (bridging chat platforms.) Discourse (a forum for community)