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On Quitting Facebook

Seamus Byrne
Seamus Byrne
4 min read
On Quitting Facebook

This week I decided enough was enough. The mental gymnastics around why I *must* stay on Facebook came to an end.

I’m not exactly deleting Facebook, but I am done using it as a place to offer up my attention as a commodity.

Instead, I will use it as a promotional tool. I will post my work and I will run work pages, like the Byteside page. And if people need to get hold of me and they live inside Facebook, they can still reach me through Messenger.

It’s been two years since Facebook allowed its platform to be used as a misinformation platform in Myanmar, resulting in the Rohingya muslim genocide.

The UN described it as a “useful instrument for those seeking to spread hate.” Sound familiar?

Two years later and it’s still done nothing to get better. It’s just refined its apology rhetoric.

This week it continued to say no to removing verifiably fake tweets attributed to Bill Shorten and Sally McManus. These have been shared on the site since April, ahead the May federal election. Its own fact checking has said they are definitely fake. But they still simply say they don’t want to be ‘arbiters of truth’ and will instead just downrank the content.

Concurrently, the company says it just can’t do anything to stop the prolific scam ads being placed on the site featuring public figures like Mike Baird or Andrew Forrest. I reported 12 on Monday alone. It’s bad enough to refuse to act on misinformation published to pages. It’s criminal to say they should be able to profit from any ad being instantly promoted on its site but not have to hold any responsibility for the damage such ads might do.

Our civic society, our public discourse, is damaged every day because of Facebook.

I’m hoping in 2020 I’ll spend my attention a little more wisely and work hard to encourage others to find alternatives that suit their needs. I know I’ll try to start a few more WhatsApp community and family groups. I’m not worrying about the idea that Facebook owns WhatsApp too. If the tool is fit for purpose, that’s the important thing.

Facebook, the app and the website, is unfit and undeserving of our attention. It’s that simple.

My stuff

Death Stranding aka The Postman 2 — Byteside: technology + digital culture — Overcast
Gaming giant admits it played wrong card on anti-China protest
Blizzard banned an esports star for speaking out on Hong Kong protests, but the gaming giant’s president says it should have handled things better.
A Closer Look at BlizzCon 2019’s Line-Up of Live Sponsor Activations – ARCHIVE - The Esports Observer
Mentioned in this article Teams: Method Games: Overwatch, World of Warcraft BlizzCon is widely recognized as Blizzard Entertainment’s annual festival of announcements and esports, organized around its own properties for a dedicated fan base. But it’s not only Blizzard paying to put on the show. The…
J. Allen Brack on His First ‘Really Hard Year’ as President of Blizzard Entertainment – ARCHIVE - The Esports Observer
Mentioned in this article Games: Hearthstone Battlegrounds, Hearthstone, Heroes of the Storm, Overwatch 2, Overwatch, World of Warcraft Blizzard Entertainment hopes its BlizzCon 2019 event has formed an endpoint to the turmoil caused by its poorly handled reaction to a political protest during a Hea…

Other cool stories

Roblox: 60% of teens rarely discuss inappropriate online behavior with parents
60% of teens rarely discuss inappropriate online behavior with parents. That means there’s a big disconnect between the, Roblox reported.
Open Source Code Will Survive the Apocalypse in an Arctic Cave
GitHub is preparing for a different kind of the end of the world.
Brave 1.0 launches, bringing the privacy-first browser out of beta
It also has a plan to pay users and publishers for ads.

Seamus Byrne Twitter

Founder and Head of Content at Byteside.

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