I am not sure what the ‘answer’ to the current situation is. I like your hopeful suggestion. For me it is about participating on my own terms, whether this be via webmentions or in a shared space that allows for more ownership, such as a social media space using Edublogs. I am not sure if this is the positive participation you are thinking about. I am mindful that this may not be for everyone, but it at least moves to something other.
I feel like I find myself in both camps Dave. I have been critical of way spaces and devices. However, I still participate, just differently.