why facebook is shit

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Richard Stallman

why facebook is shit

Unread post by Richard Stallman » 1 year ago

Real Names
  • Facebook requires useds to use their 'real' (the name they normally go by as defined by Facebook) on the site or risk having their accounts suspended.
  • Facebook is not your friend. Its 'real name' policy is enough reason to refuse to let it use you, but there is so much more nastiness in Facebook.
  • Facebook spontaneously asked its useds questions trying to expose useds who had not given their real names.
  • Facebook with its 'real name' policy makes itself the arbiter of other people's selves.
  • Under pressure from cross-dressers, Facebook said it would relax the 'real name' policy and allow people to use aliases, but only if they are generally known by those aliases or if they were victims of certain types of abuse or stalking.
  • This relieves a very specific acute problem, but does not enable ordinary people to use Facebook without being tracked.
  • However, reportedly Facebook has not really changed the policy.
  • Even if Facebook makes this change, it will be unacceptable because companies and the state will be able to connect the account with your real identity. In order for the site not to mistreat people, it must let you have one account to show your boss and your parents, another for your friends, and others for various kinds of political activism.
  • What happened to Koko the clown demonstrates why it is very foolish to talk with your clients through Facebook or to keep any important information in a Facebook account.
  • Facebook makes a practice of asking its useds* to rat on their friends who use aliases.
  • People who don't dare identify themselves feel compelled to be used by Facebook, so they register under pseudonyms, which makes them vulnerable to blackmail by those who threaten to report their real names to Facebook.
  • These people feel compelled to be useds of Facebook because their friends and relatives are useds of Facebook. In other words, their friends and relatives are victim-coperpetrators: initially victims of Facebook, they contribute to its wrongs by pressuring others to be useds of Facebook.
  • Don't do this to others — don't be used by Facebook yourself!
  • Facebook silently changed its search system to expose the existence of hidden accounts.

Political Censorship
  • Facebook has frequently removed postings about protests (both planned and ongoing), political satire, and various political issues. Specific examples are given below.
  • Facebook deleted the news item announcing a major protest against Monsanto.
  • Facebook blocked a page announcing a protest in Russia obeying orders from the Russian government.
  • The order says the protest is illegal. In a tyrannical state, protests are generally illegal.
  • Facebook has yielded to Turkey's religious censorship, just as previously it yielded to China's political censorship.
  • Facebook has developed software to allow various countries to directly control censorship of what useds in that country can see.
  • Jim Wright forcefully condemned the pressure put on Americans to endorse all the bellicose or dangerous "responses" to the September 11 attacks. Facebook censored it, apparently for political reasons.
  • This shows the danger of depending on facebook.
  • Facebook deleted without explanation the page of a publisher in the UK that had posted articles about publications that criticize Erdoğan.
  • The article shows that Facebook has censored on behalf of Erdoğan before.
  • Facebook has a history of blocking the posting of links about certain controversial political issues.
  • Facebook blocked the account of activist Shaun King after he posted a racist email that was sent to him.
  • Algorithmic filtering can affect history, not just hide history. Facebook's filtering algorithm suppressed news about the riot by uniformed thugs in Ferguson until after it became national news.
  • Facebook censorship guidelines have been leaked. They include political censorship catering to various countries that do not respect freedom of speech.
  • Facebook has censored political satire aimed at the UK unemployment agency and associated organizations, apparently at the request of a target of the satire.
  • Facebook has censored a number of French anti-racist campaigners.
  • Facebook banned a video made by the Swedish Cancer Society about breast cancer because it showed cartoon figures with circles as breasts.
  • It got Facebook to accept the video by putting in squares for the breasts.
  • The real problem here is not that Facebook draws the line at the wrong place (though it does). It is that Facebook has so much influence that organizations such cancer charities feel obliged to publish through Facebook.
  • Facebook censored an ACLU post about censorship.
  • Facebook deletes postings for obscure reasons, and even denies deleting them. It is not safe as a platform for journalism.
  • By the way, I cannot understand why people make a fuss about just how they find out that someone they loved is dead. Compared to the fact of that person's death, such details seem insignificant.
  • If Facebook achieves its goal of becoming the main publication site for journalism, it will be a new chokepoint for censorship.
  • Facebook wants to present itself as a virtual town square … a censored one.
  • Facebook deleted a statement by a human rights group, then said that was a mistake.
  • That Facebook invited the group to post the statement again — instead of undoing the deletion — demonstrates arrogance.
  • However, the problem here goes deeper. It is not good for human rights groups' (or anyone's) statements to be posted using a platform where statements are censored.
  • Facebook arbitrarily censors and closes the accounts of prisoners.
  • Facebook did an experiment in biasing the filtering of useds'* news feeds (which are always filtered by Facebook in other ways) towards the emotionally positive or the emotionally negative. This experiment was widely condemned as "unethical" based on details, but this criticism was naive in that it disregarded the fundamentally unethical nature of Facebook.
  • Facebook deleted a photo of two men kissing, which was used to support a kiss-in in a pub that had shown bias against gays.
  • The person who posted it thinks that Facebook is not anti-gay, but rather than it is quick to censor whatever someone complains about.
  • While it might seem that the former would be worse, I think the latter makes Facebook really dangerous. Don't use Facebook as a substitute for your own web site!
  • Facebook censored a photo of two men kissing, posted as a protest against India's criminalization of homosexuality.
  • There's more about Facebook censorship.

Personal Data
  • Facebook provided personal data to Mastercard.
  • The data was provided in anonymized form, but Mastercard could reidentify the data by correlating it with other data.
  • Facebook's "conversation topics" experiment actively shows certain selected useds everything that their "friends" are doing.
  • A detailed, long list of the data Facebook collects about each used, for targeting ads. Facebook may collect other information which is not used for targeting ads.
  • Look at the way the article ends by considering it incredible that someone might not submit to this. Maybe Facebook has Peter Eckersley, but it doesn't have me. Don't be a used of Facebook!
  • Facebook bought WhatsApp and committed not to combine that data with Facebook's other data. Now it is going to do just that.
  • For Facebook, any commitment is meant to be broken, after a delay for people to forget about it.
  • The Facebook app obtained useds' whole contact lists, either directly grabbing them or by tricking useds into agreeing without knowing it.
  • You have to expect a nonfree program to be malicious.
  • Facebook's app has started scanning photos people take with their phones.
  • The article says "camera", but that word is misleading; cameras do not have a Facebook app installed in them. This applies only to phones and tablets.
  • I suspect the face recognition is done by sending the photos to a Facebook server. If so, the server could do other things with those photos. It could save them and send them to Big Brother. From now on, when people want to snap me with a mobile, I will verify it does not have a Facebook app installed before I say yes.
  • Facebook's mobile app snoops on SMS messages.
  • When useds log in to a site through Facebook, Facebook gives the site access to lots of information about the used.
  • If this is what a site demands from you, you should not touch it anyway!
  • Facebook, as an 'experiment', collected the text its useds started to enter as status updates and ultimately did not send.
  • Facebook also announced it planned to track mouse movement even in the absence of a click.
  • These work by means of malicious Javascript code.
  • Pages that contain Facebook "like" buttons enable Facebook to track visitors to those pages. Facebook tracks Internet users that see "like" buttons, even users who never visited and never click on those buttons.
  • The ACLU has a way of enabling users to click a Facebook "like" button, which avoids this problem. Its pages have a link called "like us on Facebook" that leads to a Facebook page where it is possible to push a "like" button for the ACLU. But if you don't follow that link, Facebook gets no information about your visit to the ACLU page.
  • This page gives details about how much Facebook tracks people's browsing, which applies even to people that don't have Facebook accounts.
  • Facebook's tracking of useds through cookies combined with Like buttons violates EU law.
  • Facebook has turned on automatic face recognition on photos.
  • Facebook says that it only suggests identifications for faces in photos for people who are the used's friends. However, it might run the algorithm over every photo posted and not publicly announce the results.
  • I ask people not to post photos of me on Facebook. You might want to make the same request, for you and your children.
  • Facebook goes to great lengths to hide some privacy settings. Apparently it wants to claim useds have that option while making it so hard to find that people won't use it.
  • Facebook exposes lovers to lots of information about each other which can stimulate jealousy.
  • Innocent-seeming text posted on Facebook could cause you lots of trouble, due to development of systems to deduce things about you.
  • Facebook has automatically pushed useds' email addresses (which they never asked for) into the contact lists in other people's phones.
  • The lesson here is that it is a fundamental mistake to trust a company such as Facebook to give anyone data about you. It will give them the data it wants them to have, not the data you want to give them.
  • How did Mari Sherkin end up on a dating site unwillingly? Facebook opens browser windows showing other companies' sites, which trick Facebook useds* into agreeing to let those companies get their personal data from Facebook.
Profiling People
  • Facebook may be able to identify whether each used is mentally ill or not.
  • Facebook can tell when its useds are asleep. Via Facebook, others can tell that too.
  • When Facebook sees two useds are in the same physical location, it may suggest that the two 'friend' each other.
  • This can cause lots of trouble for people in certain circumstances. But remember that the NSA is doing the same thing, and doesn't let you opt out — except the way I do, by not carrying a mobile phone.
  • Facebook and Master Card will join forces to profile Master Card customers so banks can push them to spend more.
  • By doing this, Master Card is ratting on its customers. This reinforces the point that using a credit card enables others to take advantage of you. It also interferes with your efforts to limit your spending.
  • Don't be tracked — pay cash.
  • Many things can be determined about a Facebook used*, with pretty good accuracy, from the used's published list of "likes".
  • If you do as I do, and reject Facebook, you are safe from this form of snooping.
  • How can we get the news items that interest us, without telling a server what criterion to use? Simple: download lists of items, and have software on our own machine decide which articles to show. This software can fetch additional articles (which it doesn't actually show us) just to create a false trail.
Other People
  • Facebook predicts who new useds* know, based on their phone lists and email address lists. Along with the phone and email lists of all the other useds.
  • This is a measure of how complete and dangerous Facebook surveillance is.
  • It implies that giving your email or phone list to a company is mistreatment of everyone in that list!
  • The NSA tracks Americans' social networks, and Facebook is just one of its sources.
  • Thus, if you talk about your friends in Facebook, you're ratting on them. If you say that you saw John and Arthur, you tell the NSA that John knows Arthur. If John and Arthur are dissidents, or journalists, your information will help the government suppress dissent or journalism.
  • Facebook invites useds* to nag other useds to fill in their profiles with all sorts of personal information.
  • Facebook has a new trick to get people to identify their spouses and babies in photos.
  • Facebook asks its useds to provide their entire list of other people's email addresses.
  • This by itself is surveillance of those other people, but Facebook uses it to go further and try to guess the relationships of people who are not Facebook useds* (along with collecting their phone numbers, and email and postal addresses).
  • That information must be worth some money to companies. It is surely worth money to the secret police of any country that isn't democratic enough.
  • However, the principal wrong here is not that Facebook can guess which non-useds know you or me. It is that Facebook collects information from its useds about whether they know you or me.
  • I think we can formulate the principle that any social network that asks its members for information about other people is abusive.
  • Facebook apps have access to that used's* information — and the useds' "friends'" information, too. Thus, if you make the mistake of using Facebook, even if you don't let a company access your data, any of your "friends" can give the company access to your data.
  • Facebook exploits its useds* by conscripting them for ads.
  • Facebook settled a lawsuit by promising useds will be able to 'limit' this use of their names and photos in ads shown to other useds. However, since this is "opt-out", by default useds will still be exploited. What's more, it may not even be a complete opt-out.
  • Facebook will no longer allow useds to decline to let their names be used in advertisements. More than ever, Facebook is really Suckerberg.
  • In addition, Facebook secretly collects useds' phone numbers. The article says it is not clear why. Perhaps it's a favor for the NSA.
  • Did the vegetarian used of Facebook* really "like" McDonalds, or did Facebook make it up? In fact, Facebook invents phony "likes", and worse, falsely suggests people liked specific text that they had never even seen.
  • Facebook sends political messages as coming from people who have clicked Like buttons.
  • Facebook recently settled a lawsuit, promising to stop a very similar practice involving ads, but these political messages are not considered "ads" and Facebook continues to send them.
Psychological Harm
  • Facebook lurkers are likely to feel happier if they stop being used by Facebook for at least a week.
  • If you want to "engage with others" more, how about doing it outside of Facebook? That would provide the same benefits and would avoid giving Facebook any more information about you or the others you engage with.
  • Facebook tends to lead its useds into a sort of trance in which they believe, more or less, whatever comes up in the feed.
  • Reading the feed on Facebook makes many useds feel envy and sadness.
  • They can reduce these feelings by posting more about themselves. Thus, the system (Facebook and the used) pressures the used into giving Facebook more personal data.
  • In some regions, 10% of Facebook useds don't realize that talking to Facebook is using the internet. And Facebook is directing millions of people into having no internet access except to Facebook.
  • This is the sort of thing that a democratic society should prohibit, for the same reason we prohibit other kinds of monopolies.
  • Why Facebook Is the Junk Food of Socializing.
  • Parents should regard Facebook as a sort of gang that you don't want your kids to get mixed up in.
  • The competition for "likes" on Facebook lures teenagers to procure "likes" by any means necessary, and no means is too sleazy. The way a player scores in this game is by selling the list of people who "liked" him to a company, thus paying back favors with abuse; but these useds* have adopted an amoral attitude in which they no longer try to judge exploitation ethically.
  • This competition inculcates an amoral attitude in which nothing is genuine and the only value is success. I don't think that the desire to build a career (no matter what kind) excuses this behavior.
  • A person's number of 'friends' on Facebook measures narcissism.
  • Facebook is designed to get useds* addicted to vanity.
  • One used writes that Facebook led her to be in love with "the projection of [her] own desired life".
  • Social networks, for lonely people, may only show them how lonely they are.
  • A study found that being heavily used by Facebook tended to make people sad, independent of how the useds felt at the start of the study.
  • The study eliminated the hypothesis that people let Facebook use them more because they were sadder to begin with.
  • This is not yet proof, but given so many other reasons to avoid Facebook, why not take this precaution?
  • Another study shows that being used a lot by Facebook encourages depression; since people generally post an exaggerated positive picture of their lives, their lives appear to be better than your own.
  • Allowing yourself to be used frequently by Facebook promotes eating disorders.
  • Facebook is a tax dodger.
  • Of course, it's not the only one, but that is no excuse.
  • Facebook guesses the race of each used, and companies use this to show people different ads.
  • Facebook has introduced a racial discrimination feature that lets advertisers direct ads at people selected by race.
  • In response a group of Facebook useds have filed a lawsuit, which has led Facebook to stop allowing discrimination, although only in the specific areas where that is illegal in the US.
  • In other words, Facebook supports racism as far as the law allows.
  • Facebook is effectively racially profiling its useds, in an indirect and deniable way.
  • How "personalization" done by Facebook, presented as a feature, turns into a dangerous because it is done corruptly.
Control of media
  • Facebook threatens to subsume newspapers and magazines, gaining unprecedented power.
  • When a company has dangerous power, it is irrelevant whether it got that "fairly" in a "in a competitive open market". We should not let that irrelevance distract us from what matters: protecting ourselves from their power.
  • The Facebook news feed, seen as an instance of the AI apocalypse.
  • It is important to keep in mind that Facebook is bad for many other reasons. This is one more reason to oppose it, but we had plenty already.
  • It is unfortunate that the article uses the term "content" to refer to published text. Just because CNN does that is no reason why we should follow its example.
  • Facebook's automated "trending news stories", not edited by human minds, include bogus stories, clickbait and disinformation.
  • Facebook Is Eating the Internet.
  • Facebook's corporate-only news feed both directs useds away from independent journalism and tracks their reading.
  • Twitter told people about protests and the uniformed thugs' violence in Ferguson (those who were interested), while Facebook mostly steered people away.
  • A convicted blackmailer who helped Putin crush independent media in Russia now owns a large stake in Facebook.
  • Facebook tries to discourage useds* from visiting other web sites.
  • (This article uses the word "content" to refer to published works. I think that is a bad practice since that term disparages the works. See
  • Facebook draws useds by promising interoperability, then eliminates the interoperability once it gets them hooked. Here's how it did that with XMPP for messaging.
  • The writer of that page has recognized that the power Facebook has over its useds is dangerous, but hasn't thought it through to the conclusion that we shouldn't let Facebook use us.
  • Facebook measured the depth of its grip over its useds by trying to drive them away with malfunctioning apps. No matter how bad things got, the useds would not be driven away.
  • It is very important for you personally to refuse to use Facebook, especially if some of your friends do (or might), because that's how you influence them, for good or for ill.
  • Facebook keeps track of how long people look at an item.
  • Unfriend Facebook now — you are its product, not its customer.
  • Facebook says that a used can't have Facebook's data about him, because it's a trade secret.
  • A German regulator says that Facebook's face recognition is illegal.
  • It appears Facebook spontaneously sends phone messages to people in India who have had no connection with Facebook. This person is trying to find out why.
  • Facebook has put an outrageous trademark claim on the word "book" into its terms of service.
  • To be dependent on Facebook, or any other specific company you could not replace with another, is to make yourself vulnerable to unbounded legal aggression. Don't be a fool — unfriend Facebook today rather than accept these terms.
  • A credit agency in Germany plans to evaluate people's creditworthiness by who their 'friends' are on Facebook.
  • The lesson is that we should make sure that no activities collect information about lots of people's social networks.
  • Facebook is attempting to gouge companies and web sites that use it to keep in touch with their customers.
  • The attitude of this criticism is too narrowly commercial for me to sympathize fully with it, and I expect that Facebook will reduce this charge so as to avoid driving these customers away. I am also repelled by the shallowness that leads to thinking that Facebook in April 2012 was good merely because it aided their commercial goals.
  • Nonetheless, this demonstrates the arrogant way Facebook treats anyone that deals with it, which is a reason not to be one of them.
  • Parents of children used by Facebook are suing for a refund of money Facebook let the children spend using the parents' credit cards.
  • Facebook: the most congenitally dishonest company in America.
* We call them 'useds' rather than 'users' because Facebook is using them, not vice versa.

Copyright 2011-2013 Richard Stallman released under Creative Commons Attribution Noderivs 3.0 unported

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Re: why facebook is shit

Unread post by merzbow » 1 year ago

  • facebook is not

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Re: why facebook is shit

Unread post by SN » 1 year ago

I got lost in all those lines. Too much text. For me it's really simple:

- Don't post stuff you care about there. *
- If someone wrongs you inform others. (Somewhere other than Facebook)

Everything you post on Facebook is subject to censorship, editing, exposure or whatever. Like it is everywhere else. You cannot blog/PM/comment anything online without caution. Of course Facebook can read your personal messages. Do you think Microsoft or Google doesn't do the same? That really isn't an argument not to use any of these services regardless. I mean... Facebook is a great way for me to find events in town or outside town. I go there to connect and say hi to people I want to keep in touch with. It seems though, that the service isn't geared towards spreading "messages" or "opinion". One of the most frequent cause of "defriending" is posting stuff you care deeply about, but not everyone *does*. So yes it's not very useful for "serious" stuff, and yes it is very controlled and they try to do some shady stuff and lots of it. Everyone can potentially get censored, hell even I did, everyone can be shown to have said x when they actually said y and feel quite powerless about it - the thing is though that people who aren't famous rarely have this problem. But Facebook isn't alone in this. It's the nature of the web (or general media).

I had a banner where I'm pole dancing**. Next morning after uploading that banner was mysteriously gone. I made a post about it and re-uploaded. Gone. Then I reposted but with an angry edited image. People started calling me angry. And they were right. It's a stupid fight to go into. And I didn't pursue it further, and am glad I didn't. Choose your battles as they say. But now atleast I'm more concerned about why, where and how.

So I post random news and updates about stuff I'm doing, follow some groups related to events or similar, and write every PM as if someone I don't know was reading along.
I *don't* post stuff that is: religious, political, critical of FB, related to gore or violence, sexual or the like, although I sometimes share others article with "delicate" matters. I don't mind sharing, I just feel much creation targeting Facebook is time wasted. Luckily there are sites outside the Facebook "sub web" where these is more freedom for all these things. I'm still cautious though, twice as much if it's something I care about.

*If you care about anonymity, it's dangerous for you to use Facebook. But that is a rather "extreme" requisite for *most* people. In order to be 100% anonymous online, Thor and other stuff can help you by preventing the obvious stuff showing through (OS, Browser, IP, cookies), and less obvious stuff (capable size of monitor in window/video, system language, ...) but do you really feel secure? 100%? My point is that if you don't want people knowing what shit you post (read: everyone has a right to privacy/opinion) then think about why and where you post it. Like you would on the street.

**Hello Facebook, was somewhat surprised as I logged on today and noticed that my profile banner was gone. I am not understanding the cause of this as I:

I: Have not been made aware of this correction in any way.
II: Have not after following up going through your terms been able to locate any sign that any rule has been violated.
III: Have not been offered a way to ask directly what this is about.

As such I choose to simply just put it up again, and consider the episode as a very understandable accident in your system. Glitch, server update related problem in the databse or what do I know. In the event that there is an actual breach of your terms, please explain this next time you remove the image. The photo in question is the one where I'm training pole dance. To my knowledge dance is not forbidden. My buttocks and genitals are covered on the photo. There is a great deal of exposed skin though, as it is difficult to dance pole dressed because you will simply slide off.

Should it be necessary more info about pole dance is videly available many places on the web, for instance here:

It saddens me if I cannot use your service to share my joy about this, to me important, interest in the future.

Have a nice day.

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Re: why facebook is shit

Unread post by cockdroid » 1 year ago

fb is horrible but you can avoid pretty much all rules because a lot of it seems automated. i think when they ask for your passport a software program does the confirmation so you can just glue some garbage together.

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Re: why facebook is shit

Unread post by SN » 1 year ago

Excerpt from an unsent letter to my mum:

The very nature of The Internet in general, though, prevents anything getting there from disappearing. You can unlike -but you still liked it. You have no way of knowing who saw. Who maybe took a screenshot. Besides FB is business minded which makes them good bookkeepers, and those don't like to delete stuff no matter what - so imagine something virtual with no size, right? Mark Sutherberg is one the wealthiest people on the planet now, right? If nobody is searching the info is still there, and the bots always search. Because Google needs them to in order to index it all. And Archived, another website, needs Google too for their automated historic archive of the web in all it's stages. Someone is always looking to keep it there for any reason, naturally.

I found a mistake on FB once. Someone had send me a friend request. But when I accepted something went wrong. She must have changed her mind so I guess she deleted the request again. But I still had it and it even gave me an error message with bogus empty words that said nothing. "Something unexpected happened".

(The letter also explained a few traits of shady business strategies etc in use today/how I see it anyway)
"I guess this breaks at least one of FB's regulations for conduct/use. But nobody really knows, right? That's a thing with cencorship. But FB knows from experience I keep copies. I don't even know who can read those."

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Re: why facebook is shit

Unread post by pelle » 1 year ago

Last edited by pelle on Thu May 25, 2017 4:18 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: why facebook is shit

Unread post by pelle » 1 year ago

 ! Message from: Richard Stallman
If you feel your organization needs a "presence" in Facebook Image
Facebook is a surveillance engine, accumulating lots of personal data which is also available to the state. For your privacy and freedom's sake, it is important not to have an active Facebook account; refusing blocks Facebook's main channel for collecting information about you and, through you, about your friends and relatives. (Whatsapp, a subsidiary of Facebook, is also important to avoid.) Explaining to them why you firmly insist on routing your communications with them through some other system will strengthen your will power to resist systems that use you to harm you and others.

Nowadays Facebook has gained so much power that it puts freedom and democracy in danger. Its rules for what can be published amount to censorship of society as a whole, leading to political disputes. But those disputes are a distraction from the bigger point that no company should have so much power.

Facebook has the power to manipulate elections through subtle policy changes. Whether or not it has intentionally done so, this state of affairs is dangerous.

Many organizations maintain a Facebook page to attract public support. Having the page does not directly harm the organization. However, if it's not careful, the page will add to Facebook's power.

Organizations typically manage Facebook pages to aim for the maximum possible visibility. Facebook's cunning engineers have designed the system so that the way to get maximum visibility is to boost Facebook's power as much as possible.

The simple way to completely avoid this is to refuse to have a Facebook page. However, a compromise may be possible, one which attracts public support while not boosting Facebook's power much. This article proposes such a compromise.
General principles

Make the organization's own web site the go-to place for all information about the organization. Whatever people want to know, the web site should be the best place to look for it.
Say in the Facebook page that the organization's own web site is the best place to look for information about the organization. Explicitly ask people to make links always to the web site, never to the Facebook page.
Adopt this motto: "Facebook is a bad place for a person to be. When people find us on Facebook, we lead them away from Facebook and then talk with them elsewhere."

What to post on Facebook; what not to post

Select what you post on the Facebook page so that the organization's own web site is clearly the best place to find information about the organization.
Do post important new articles and announcements from the organization on Facebook, but only around half of them. Then say, in the Facebook page, "See our web site — we have a lot more there."
When you announce an event in Facebook, don't put the full story there. Do state the place, date, time, and a brief description, enough for people to attend if they wish — but give a link to the page in the organization's web site about the event, and reserve part of the interesting information about the event for there.
Post the same list of event summaries in the web site, so that people who want a summary don't think Facebook is the best place to look for it.
Don't update all the fields of transitory information in the Facebook page. Instead, when you change your the organization's web site significantly, update the Facebook "status" with a few words to say so.
On the organization's website, provide a way for people to ask for notifications of changes and new announcements, so that they don't depend on Facebook for this.
Don't post on Facebook any information about the participants in your events — especially not their names. Respect their privacy! The only exception is names of speakers or teachers, as part of the advance description of events.
In particular, don't post photos on Facebook that show any people. Remember that Facebook identifies people in photos from their faces, and even from the backs of their heads. Don't show anyone's head, viewed from any angle, to Facebook.

Avoid Facebook messages

State in the Facebook page that those who wish to talk with the organization should use other systems, not through Facebook messages. State which systems you prefer, and give the account names or numbers to use.

Other communication systems may have other flaws. At the FSF we use mainly email and phone calls; we use SIP for audio/video communication over the internet, but never Skype because Skype requires proprietary client software. However, the crucial point here is that any communication method other than Facebook and WhatsApp (owned by Facebook) will move people out of Facebook.

If someone sends you a Facebook message despite your request, respond by saying, "Please let's switch to system X, Y or Z to have this conversation. We do not want to give Facebook any more information about our organization or its participants, including you."
Avoid helping or boosting Facebook

Don't mention the Facebook page in your web site or other postings. The Facebook page is for those that look for it on Facebook.
Don't display a "Like" button on your web site. Facebook uses "Like" buttons in non-Facebook pages to track all visitors to those pages. The button tracks even visitors that don't have Facebook accounts.
It is advisable on general principles to use a browser such as IceCat that blocks tracking systems in web pages, including the Facebook Like buttons and most advertisements.
Another reason not to have a "Like" button in your own web site is that they encourage visitors to be more involved in Facebook.

How you can communicate safely with Facebook

Facebook uses many methods to get data about people. Some of them are rather tricky. If people in the organization have Facebook accounts and want to use those to manage the organization's page, the organization has no reason to object. But the organization must never urge a person to submit to Facebook's surveillance in order to manage the organization's page. That would be a gross wrong to the person in question.

Here is a guide for how people can manage the page using pseudonymous Facebook accounts. A few of them stretch Facebook's commands, but it is not wrong to do that — Facebook does not deserve obedience.

Make an account under an alias for maintaining the organization's page. Give made-up plausible data which is not humorous and doesn't relate to you. Then never use the account for anything except to handle the organization's page. Facebook will never have a reason to doubt the data on the account.
If several people manage the organization's page, give each one a separate alias account. Don't give any of the same data in two accounts.
Make a couple more such accounts as backup.
The only more-or-less safe way to connect to Facebook is through a browser. Never connect using Facebook's mobile app, because that requires giving Facebook access to other information on the mobile device, including personal contact information, text messages, calender events, and other confidential information. This can expose personal information — yours and others'. It can even expose sensitive information, harming you or others you know. This is no surprise, because the app is proprietary software (an injustice in itself; see here), and proprietary software commonly snoops on users (see proprietary surveillance).
It is safest to connect to Facebook only from a computer that belongs to the organization and is in the organization's office.
To make the site work without the need to run nonfree Javascript code, visit to rather than itself.
If you ever connect to Facebook from your own computer (rather than the organization's computer in its office), do it this way: install the Tor Browser Bundle (available for Windows and OS X as well as GNU/Linux) and use it to visit https://m.facebookcorewwwi.onion/ rather than Facebook directly. This stops Facebook from determining your location or your IP address.
Note: the site is a fake. Don't be fooled.
Never "check in" at a location no matter how much Facebook nags you.
Make a separate local account on the computer for each Facebook account, connect to it from that local account, and don't ever use that local account for anything else.
If you don't make a special local user account to talk to Facebook from, delete cookies immediately after each connection with Facebook. Not just once a day! Facebook uses cookies to surveil other browsing done from the same account. Many browsers will allow you to specify a setting to treat all cookies as one-session cookies. That will delete them automatically, provided you shut down the browser after each connection with Facebook, which is advisable.
Do not give Facebook access to any real account on any other site. If Facebook demands info about your other accounts, make real accounts that you don't really use, and tell Facebook about those. It is OK to give Facebook the email addresses that the organization publishes for contact from the public, but not the passwords of those email accounts.

Facebook harms people in many ways, and there is no way to completely avoid the harm. We hope this compromise approach to Facebook will provide benefit to the organization, while saving it from becoming Facebook's tool. Meanwhile, there are many other social networks one can use. Many well-known centralized social networks are less intrusive than Facebook; what's more, GNU Social and Diaspora respect users' rights through a decentralized architecture, based on free software — why not try them?
Last edited by pelle on Thu May 25, 2017 4:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: why facebook is shit

Unread post by pelle » 1 year ago

:noise Come on guys, time to stop being used by Facebook. Quit today.:noise

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Re: why facebook is shit

Unread post by pelle » 1 year ago
By John Gruber

Fuck Facebook
Thursday, 1 June 2017

Dave Winer, “Why I Can’t/Won’t Point to Facebook Blog Posts”:

1. It’s impractical. I don’t know what your privacy settings are. So if I point to your post, it’s possible a lot of people might not be able to read it, and thus will bring the grief to me, not you, because they have no idea who you are or what you wrote.

2. It’s supporting their downgrading and killing the web. Your post sucks because it doesn’t contain links, styling, and you can’t enclose a podcast if you want. The more people post there, the more the web dies. I’m sorry no matter how good your idea is fuck you I won’t help you and Facebook kill the open web.

I’ve made exceptions a handful of times over the years, but as a general rule I refuse to link to anything on Facebook either, for the same reasons as Dave. Last week I linked to screenshots of a Facebook post to avoid linking to the original. The original post by Marc Haynes was public, which I know because I do not have a Facebook account, but here’s what it looks like for me without being a Facebook user — a full one-third of my window is covered by a pop-over trying to get me to sign in or sign up for Facebook. I will go out of my way to avoid linking to websites that are hostile to users with pop-overs. (For example, I’ve largely stopped linking to anything from Wired, because they have such an aggressive anti-ad-block detection scheme. Fuck them.)

You might think it’s hyperbole for Winer to say that Facebook is trying to kill the open web. But they are. I complain about Google AMP, but AMP is just a dangerous step toward a Google-owned walled garden — Facebook is designed from the ground up as an all-out attack on the open web. Marc Haynes’s Facebook post about Roger Moore is viewable by anyone, but:

It is not accessible to search engines. Search for “Marc Haynes Roger Moore” on any major search engine — DuckDuckGo, Google, Bing — and you will get hundreds of results. The story went viral, deservedly. But not only is the top result not Haynes’s original post on Facebook, his post doesn’t show up anywhere in the results because Facebook forbids search engines from indexing Facebook posts. Content that isn’t indexable by search engines is not part of the open web. (Even if I wanted to link to Haynes’s original post, how was I supposed to find it? I wound up with the original post URL via a Facebook-using friend who knows I prefer to link to original posts as a general rule.) The only way to find Facebook posts is through Facebook.

Winer’s third reason:

3. Facebook might go out of business. I like to point to things that last. Facebook seems solid now, but they could go away or retire the service you posted on. Deprecate the links. Who knows. You might not even mind, but I do. I like my archives to last as long as possible.

Facebook going out of business seems unlikely. But Facebook pulling a Vader and altering the deal, blocking public access in the future to a post that today is publicly visible? It wouldn’t surprise me if it happened tomorrow. And in the same way they block indexing by search engines, Facebook forbids The Internet Archive from saving a copy of posts.

The Internet Archive is our only good defense against broken links. Blocking them from indexing Facebook content is a huge “fuck you” to anyone who cares about the longevity of the stuff they link to.

Treat Facebook as the private walled garden that it is. If you want something to be publicly accessible, post it to a real blog on any platform that embraces the real web, the open one.

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Re: why facebook is shit

Unread post by pelle » 10 months ago ... ial-norms/

"Safety Check also compels everyone, willing or otherwise, to engage with a single commercial platform every time some kind of major (or relatively minor) public safety incident occurs — or else worry about causing unnecessary worry for friends and family. This is especially problematic when you consider Facebook’s business model benefits from increased engagement with its platform. Add to that, it also recently stepped into the personal fundraising space. And today, as chance would have it, Facebook announced that Safety Check will be integrating these personal fundraisers (starting in the US)."

Last bumped by Anonymous on Sat Aug 05, 2017 2:53 pm.

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