Liked Peace and love by Ben WerdmüllerBen Werdmüller
Being generous, having purpose, working in service of others; the truth is that all of those things make you happier, too. I need to get so much better at this. But it's clear to me that it's the right direction. Rather than be responsive to hate, fear, or tragedy, I want to be proactive with love, with everything in my work, and everything in my life.
Liked Finding happiness in dystopia by Ben WerdmüllerBen Werdmüller
Happiness is a laudable goal, and we can only achieve it by creating a better society (and even a better world) for everybody. Not through authoritarianism or revolution; not through a worship of markets; not through tending to the individual at the expense of community, or through tending to community at the expense of the individual; not through accidentally creating new gatekeepers as we tear down the old ones; but through balance, compassion, and an eye for creating equal opportunities and making everybody's lives better.
Liked Open APIs and the Facebook Trash Fire by Ben WerdmüllerBen Werdmüller
What information is Facebook sharing with Palantir, or the security services? To what extent are undeclared data-sharing relationships used to deport people, or to identify individuals who should be closely monitored? Is it used to identify subversives? And beyond the effects of data sharing, given what we know about the chilling effects surveillance has on democracy, what effect on democratic discourse has the omnipresence of the social media feed already had - and to what extent is this intentional?
Liked Facebook's monopoly is harming consumers by Ben WerdmüllerBen Werdmüller
With any lens except the most superficial, Facebook fails this test. Yes, its product is free and available to anyone. But we pay with our data and privacy - and ultimately, with our democracy. Facebook's dominance has adversely affected entire industries, swung elections, and fuelled genocides.
Replied to I'm going dark on social media for the rest of 2018. by Ben WerdmüllerBen Werdmüller
I'm cutting out Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Mastodon completely. (Mastodon doesn't suffer from the organizational issues I described above, but by aping commercial social networking services, it suffers from the same design flaws.) As of tonight, I won't be logging into those platforms on any device, and I won't receive comments, likes, reshares, etc, on any of them.
You raise some interesting questions to consider in moving away from social media, especially the point about staying in contact. I have tried to be more mindful of my interactions this year. RSS has definitely been an important part in this (that is how I found this post).

Noting your concerns with Mastodon, I am wondering if you think Micro.blog fixes any of this, especially with its use of feeds and webmentions etc

Replied to Media for the people by Ben WerdmüllerBen Werdmüller

Fascist propaganda led directly to modern advertising, and modern advertising has now led us right back to fascist propaganda, aided and abetted by people who saw the right to make a profit as more important than the social implications of their work.
I think this is the time to take more direct action, and to build institutions that don't just speak truth to power, but put power behind the truth. Stories are how we learn, but our actions define us.

This reminds me of danah boyd’s call for:

  • Create a sustainable business structure without the pressure of ROI
  • Rebuild the social networks
  • Develop new ways of holding those who are struggling
Liked Gab and the decentralized web by Ben WerdmüllerBen Werdmüller
These are complicated ethical questions. As builders of software on the modern internet, we have to know that there are potentially serious consequences to the design decisions we make. Facebook started as a prank by a college freshman and now has a measurable impact on genocide in Myanmar. While it's obvious to me that everyone having unhindred access to knowledge is a net positive that particularly empowers disadvantaged communities, and that social media has allowed us to have access to new voices and understand a wider array of lived experiences, it has also been used to spread hate, undermine elections, and disempower whole communities. Decentralizing the web will allow more people to share on their own terms, using their own voices; it will also remove many of the restrictions to the spread of hatred. In America, we're unfortunately used ...