Listened An Indieweb Podcast – Episode 1: Leaving Facebook by David ShanskeDavid Shanske from David Shanske
This second episode was originally recorded in March, abruptly ended, and then was not completed until April due scheduling. In it, Chris and I discuss the hot topic of Facebook scandals and where you might go if you decide to leave Facebook. Show Notes The originating articles that kicked off the F...
Bookmarked We are Missing the Point about Facebook, Cambridge Analytica, etc. (Baekdal)
Imagine if Facebook were to disappear tomorrow, would that solve this problem? No, because then the politicians would just use some other data and find some other tools ... and keep on telling different voters different things. The only way to actually solve this is to regulate the politicians. The politicians are the ones who shouldn't be allowed to do this.
Thomas Baekdal argues that current issues associated with Facebook are far more systemic. He provides three points of change:

Firstly, publishers need to rethink the entire ad model of the internet, and shift it to a 1st party data model rather than the 3rd party model that exists today.

Secondly, publishers need to change the way they report these stories, because, today, your Facebook-centric focus is out of tune with the real problem.

Thirdly, the tech industry needs to change.

Replied to WordPress >> Facebook by Chris AldrichChris Aldrich (Chris Aldrich | BoffoSocko)
I’m not sure why it didn’t exist before, but given the events of the past month I’m utterly shocked that neither WordPress, Automattic, nor the community have built an importer to allow people to easily put their Facebook data export into a WordPress website.
I have been wondering the same thing lately. Other than Jonathon Lacour’s work, I have not found many examples.
Liked Five things we learned from Mark Zuckerberg's Facebook hearing by Alex Hern (the Guardian)
By the end of the second hearing, we had learned the areas Facebook wanted to avoid. Questions about its profiling prowess, for instance, were generally answered through misdirection. Asked who owns “the virtual you”, Zuckerberg’s favoured response was to note that you own all the “content” you upload, and can delete it at will. That does not answer the question, of course: the advertising profile that Facebook builds up about you cannot be deleted, and you have no control over it.
Bookmarked Why Zuckerberg’s 14-Year Apology Tour Hasn’t Fixed Facebook (WIRED)
At a minimum, Facebook has long needed an ombudsman’s office with real teeth and power: an institution within the company that can act as a check on its worst impulses and to protect its users. And it needs a lot more employees whose task is to keep the platform healthier. But what would truly be disruptive and innovative would be for Facebook to alter its business model. Such a change could come from within, or it could be driven by regulations on data retention and opaque, surveillance-based targeting—regulations that would make such practices less profitable or even forbidden.
It is a little disconcerting when Facebook ever seems to do something positive for the ‘user’ in response to complaints. What is worse, Tufekci highlights how some of the changes they are promising now were promised years ago.

But the backlash wouldn’t die down. Attempting to respond to the growing outrage, Facebook announced changes. “It’s Time to Make Our Privacy Tools Easier to Find”, the company announced without a hint of irony—or any other kind of hint—that Zuckerberg had promised to do just that in the “coming few weeks” eight full years ago. On the company blog, Facebook’s chief privacy editor wrote that instead of being “spread across nearly 20 different screens” (why were they ever spread all over the place?), the controls would now finally be in one place.

Sadly, this has nothing to do with users or community:

As far as I can tell, not once in his apology tour was Zuckerberg asked what on earth he means when he refers to Facebook’s 2 billion-plus users as “a community” or “the Facebook community.” A community is a set of people with reciprocal rights, powers, and responsibilities. If Facebook really were a community, Zuckerberg would not be able to make so many statements about unilateral decisions he has made—often, as he boasts in many interviews, in defiance of Facebook’s shareholders and various factions of the company’s workforce. Zuckerberg’s decisions are final, since he controls all the voting stock in Facebook, and always will until he decides not to—it’s just the way he has structured the company.

Tim Wu argues that we need to replace Facebook with a trustworthy platform not driven by survelliance and advertising:

If today’s privacy scandals lead us merely to install Facebook as a regulated monopolist, insulated from competition, we will have failed completely. The world does not need an established church of social media.

Quoted Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-being by Martin E. P. Seligman (via Google Books)

Along with creative developments in gaming, Facebook seems like a natural for measuring flourishing. Facebook has the audience, the capacity, and is building apps (applications) that speak to the development and measurement of well-being worldwide. Can well-being be monitored on a daily basis all over the world? Here’s a beginning: Mark Slee counted the occurrences of the term laid off in Facebook every day and graphed the count against the number of layoffs worldwide. Sure enough, they moved in lockstep. Not thrilling, you might think.

But now consider the five elements of well-being: positive emotion, engagement, meaning, positive relationships, and accomplishment. Each element has a lexicon; an extensive vocabulary. For example, the English language has only about eighty words to describe positive emotion. (You can determine this by going to a thesaurus for a word such as joy and then looking up all the related words, and then counting the synonyms of all those related words, eventually circling back to the core of eighty.) The hypermassive Facebook database could be accessed daily for a count of positive emotion words—words that signal meaning, positive relationships, and accomplishment—as a first approximation to well-being in a given nation or as a function of some major event.

It is not only measuring well-being that Facebook and its cousins can do, but increasing well-being as well. “We have a new application: goals.com,” Mark continued. “In this app, people record their goals and their progress toward their goals.”

I commented on Facebook’s possibilities for instilling well-being: “As it stands now, Facebook may actually be building four of the elements of well-being: positive emotion, engagement (sharing all those photos of good events), positive relationships (the heart of what ‘friends’ are all about), and now accomplishment. All to the good. The fifth element of well-being, however, needs work, and in the narcissistic environment of Facebook, this work is urgent, and that is belonging to and serving something that you believe is bigger than the self—the element of meaning. Facebook could indeed help to build meaning in the lives of the five hundred million users. Think about it, Mark.

Replied to
I love Zuckerberg’s positivity. Maybe with a bit more grit and determination he might find a few more million. Really must read The Circle again.
Replied to 🎧 ‘The Daily’: Can Facebook Be Fixed? | The New York Times by Chris AldrichChris Aldrich (Chris Aldrich | BoffoSocko)
I’m coming much closer to calling it quits on Facebook. I’ve outlined a plan for extracting myself and just need to begin implementation. I’ve even got a potential scalable plan for family/friends who would like to leave as well.
My Facebook account has lay dormant for a year or so. I feel that leaving would not be so hard, however I really want a workable archive. I really like what Jonathon LaCour did. Just feel that all that parsing is Generation 1 and that is not me. I wonder if this is an #IndieWeb opportunity? To develop a meaningful extraction plan that includes keeping a working archive?

I am also mindful that simply leaving is only one part of the puzzle.

Bookmarked Silicon Valley Has Failed to Protect Our Data. Here’s How to Fix It by Paul Ford (Bloomberg.com)
The activist and internet entrepreneur Maciej Ceglowski once described big data as “a bunch of radioactive, toxic sludge that we don’t know how to handle.” Maybe we should think about Google and Facebook as the new polluters. Their imperative is to grow! They create jobs! They pay taxes, sort of! In the meantime, they’re dumping trillions of units of toxic brain poison into our public-thinking reservoir. Then they mop it up with Wikipedia or send out a message that reads, “We take your privacy seriously.”
Paul Ford proposes the creation of a Digital Protection Agency to clean up the toxic data spill. This touches on what Mike Caulfield calls Info-Environmentalism.

A quote from Paul Ford on the toxic data spill
Background Image via “CIMG5200” by Phil LaCombe https://flickr.com/photos/phillacombe/3625101565 is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA
Replied to Facebook scraped call, text message data for years from Android phones [Updated] (Ars Technica)
If you granted permission to read contacts during Facebook's installation on Android a few versions ago—specifically before Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean)—that permission also granted Facebook access to call and message logs by default. The permission structure was changed in the Android API in version 16. But Android applications could bypass this change if they were written to earlier versions of the API, so Facebook API could continue to gain access to call and SMS data by specifying an earlier Android SDK version. Google deprecated version 4.0 of the Android API in October 2017—the point at which the latest call metadata in Facebook users' data was found. Apple iOS has never allowed silent access to call data.
Isn’t WhatsApp built on access to your contacts? And isn’t it owned by Facebook?