Blog on the Run: Reloaded

Wednesday, March 21, 2018 6:07 am

Hasta la vista, Zuckerberg


My last Facebook post, from last night:

Hi, all. I should’ve done this years ago, but this week’s reporting on Facebook and Cambridge Analytica has put an exclamation point on things: I’m getting off Facebook. I have another “Lex Alexander” account that I will use solely to administer the Greensboro College and Greensboro College Alumni pages. This personal account is going silent (and, eventually, away).

You can reach me at lex.alexander@gmail.com (personal), lex.alexander@greensboro.edu (work), on Twitter at @LexAlexander, or at my blog, www.lexalexander.net. If you really need my phone #, you probably already have it.

I understand that giving up Facebook is going to inconvenience me in a thousand little ways. Just for starters, a lot of media sites use Facebook for comments, so I won’t be doing that anymore; rather, if I feel so moved, I’ll be leaving my commentary here.

I also understand that for me, at least, the horse already has left the barn, run over the hill, spent 20 years siring Triple Crown winners, died, and been buried with honors in the Churchill Downs infield. I think I was among the first non-.edu users to get a Facebook account, which I needed for my social-media work with the News & Record at the time. A lot of my personal data is in the wind, irretrievable. Still, it seems like the right call.

One upside of this is that stuff I’ve previously been inclined to post to Facebook now will be going here on the blog, meaning I’ll be posting a lot more often than I have done in the recent past. Dave Winer, the godfather of blogging, has pushed people in this direction, and it was meet and right so to do.

I’m not under any illusions that my action, or even the actions of a few million people like me, will make any difference to Facebook; it has 2 billion users, with a “b,” so it won’t miss us. But I’ve been thinking about getting off it for at least four years, and this seems, if late, a good time to do so. And the level of bad acting on the part of CEO Mark Zuckerberg and the company — firing the chief security officer for worrying about what was going on with the Russians and Cambridge Analytica and then reducing that position’s staff from 120 to three — just seems both too arrogant and too incontinent to ignore.

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8 Comments

  1. You might like this: https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2018/03/its-time-to-regulate-the-internet/556097/

    Comment by Roch — Wednesday, March 21, 2018 6:05 pm @ 6:05 pm

  2. Thought seriously about hitting the “Facebook” share button ya got there… :)

    I never had any illusions about the privacy of any of my information in FB. Doesn’t mean I’m happy about CA or any of the shit that’s come out in the last year+ about them, of course. I’m not ready to delete my account, but I’ll reconsider how I’m using it.

    Comment by Tony Plutonium — Thursday, March 22, 2018 6:44 pm @ 6:44 pm

  3. Lex said: ” but this week’s reporting on Facebook and Cambridge Analytica has put an exclamation point on things”

    I assume he was referring to Trumps use of Facebook data in the 20166 campaign.

    Well let’s see…

    Funny, When Obama Harvested Facebook Data On Millions Of Users To Win In 2012, Everyone Cheered.

    “But while the Trump campaign used Cambridge Analytica during the primaries, it didn’t use the information during the general election campaign, relying instead on voter data provided by the Republican National Committee, according to CBS News. It reports that “the Trump campaign had tested the RNC data, and it proved to be vastly more accurate than Cambridge Analytica’s.”

    Since this involves the Trump campaign, the news accounts have been suffused with dark conspiratorial tones. The Times article talks about how Trump consultants “exploited” Facebook data, and quotes a source calling it a “scam.” It has been widely described as a massive data breach.

    But Facebook had been promoting itself to political parties looking for a new way to reach voters.

    Nor was this the first time Facebook users had their data unwittingly shared with a political campaign.”

    And then there are these similar thoughts

    What’s genius for Obama is scandal when it comes to Trump

    “And that’s the goal in covering Cambridge Analytica, and Russian interference on Twitter, and all the rest — even without any serious information suggesting that such interference shifted votes, the left can rest assured that its Silicon Valley allies will act to de-platform Republicans and conservatives. There’s a reason Twitter has suspended alt-right racists but continued to recommend that others follow Louis Farrakhan; there’s a reason YouTube is being sued by Prager University; there’s a reason Google used automatic fact-checking on right-wing sites but did no such thing for left-wing sites.

    We’re in the midst of a radical reshifting in social media. Ironically, the people who have stumped against regulation — conservatives — are those being targeted by social media companies. If companies like Facebook, YouTube, Google and Twitter don’t start acting like platforms again rather than like motivated left-wing outlets, Republicans likely won’t let principle outweigh practicality for long.”

    Comment by Fred Gregory — Friday, March 23, 2018 7:57 pm @ 7:57 pm

  4. Lex, take off that Daily Beast tinfoil hat and accept that this is possible:

    “Today the most popular counter-narrative surrounding Guccifer 2.0 concedes that the account was a fake persona but posits that it was created by the DNC to support a false-flag operation implicating Russia. In this theory, advanced in two widely cited anonymous blogs, Guccifer 2.0 was the DNC posing as Russia posing as a Romanian hacker.”

    So there .

    Pulleze, you are surely aware that the sources for Steele’s dossier ( paid for by HRC/DNC $12 million ) were Russian government propaganda apparatchiks

    Comment by Fred Gregory — Sunday, March 25, 2018 6:35 pm @ 6:35 pm

    • You’re literally the first person I’ve heard claim that. Steele knew the difference between “propaganda appartchiks” and real sources. And he was working for Bush before he worked for the Democrats. Sorry.

      Comment by Lex — Sunday, March 25, 2018 7:35 pm @ 7:35 pm

  5. Comment by Fred Gregory — Sunday, March 25, 2018 6:47 pm @ 6:47 pm

  6. Scientists Show The Effect Quitting Facebook Has on Your Body And Stress Levels

    A study conducted in 2015 found that quitting Facebook seemed to make people happier, while it also might be interfering with our sleep patterns.

    At the same time, it keeps us in touch with family and friends we otherwise wouldn’t see, maintaining emotional bonds that would otherwise get broken.

    Vanman says he knows plenty of people who often take ‘vacations’ from Facebook, and the research was prompted by his own habits of taking regular Facebook breaks. Some of us seem trapped in a repeating cycle.

    “It seems that people take a break because they’re too stressed, but return to Facebook whenever they feel unhappy because they have been cut off from their friends,” says Vanman.

    “It then becomes stressful again after a while, so they take another break. And so on.”

    The research has been published in the Journal of Social Psychology.

    Comment by Fred Gregory — Friday, April 6, 2018 12:41 am @ 12:41 am


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