Reasons Not to Use Corporate Social Media by Andrew Codispoti (support my work)
Published: Tue, Mar 1, 2022; Updated: Mon, Mar 14, 2022
Reading time: 4 minute(s) (800 words)

Reasons Not to Use Corporate Social Media

“if you’re not paying for the product, you are the product”

See also Reasons to Use Fully Free Software, Leaving Corporate Social Media.

This page is where I collect links, information, and quotes on the topic of good reasons not to use corporate social media.

The Oatmeal puts it neatly: Reaching people on the Internet

Expanded version here:

From :

The Facebook researchers who warned of this problem understood what the company’s top leadership seems to ignore or deny: the problem with Facebook is Facebook. Facebook is designed to prompt engagement and reward engagement. The comments are its currency.

[…] Facebook’s own researchers had documented the psychological dangers that Instagram, which Facebook owns, poses to teenagers […]

Internal studies showed that, among teens who reported suicidal thoughts, 13% of British users and 6% of American users traced the desire to kill themselves to Instagram.

From :

For a decade and a half, Facebook resisted the fate of all the social networks that preceded it. In hindsight, it’s easy to see why: it cheated. The company used investor cash to buy and neutralize competitors (“Kids are leaving Facebook for Insta? Fine, we’ll buy Insta. We know you value choice!”). It allegedly spied on users through the deceptive use of apps such as Onavo and exploited the intelligence to defeat rivals. More than anything, it ratcheted up “switching costs.”

That same legal shift is how Facebook has kept its switching costs high. Fifteen years ago, it was safe to make a Facebook-MySpace bridge that would let you leave MySpace but stay in touch with your friends there by scraping your MySpace inbox and moving the waiting messages to your Facebook inbox. Try to build one of those bridges today – blasting an escape tunnel through Facebook’s walled garden – and Facebook will sue you until the rubble bounces.

Facebook is on the brink of having its business model declared illegal under the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

From :

The allure of a massive network is intoxicating. Why write in private on your little blog, when you could post on Facebook and access an instant audience? […] The answer is simple, but inconvenient: the price for access to that network is ownership. What you post on Facebook isn’t yours.

For Facebook, better is measured by how frequently you visit, how long you stay, and how much you click, comment, and respond.

We’re starting to realize how aggressively companies like Facebook cultivate these habits. They know the red dot is the first thing you look at—so they give you more red dots.

Like a bag of potato chips at the side of my desk, Facebook’s persistence made my curiosity too easy to indulge. Also like a bag of chips, I never stopped at just one.

In The Matrix, Neo learns that humanity is enslaved by machines. The populace “lives” in a virtual world, unaware that their body heat is being used as an energy source. I see a sort of low-fi parallel of this in our relationship with Facebook. Every member operates in that “free” forum, largely unaware that they’re powering the thing by relinquishing their user data.

This scenario is in stark contrast to what we once hoped the web to be. We imagined it as a means of liberating people. It’d democratize publishing, knowledge, and access. […] But, as with most innovations, the desire for control/ownership tends to overpower such openness. While no one goes out planning to relinquish their freedoms, they commonly trade them away for small conveniences. On Facebook, they trade ownership for an instant network. With Gmail, they trade privacy for frictionless email. With fitness apps, they trade their health information for easy statistics.

When I stopped looking at all the arguments on Facebook/Twitter, I started to feel more relaxed.

In addition to the quotes above the article has a section on “your reasons [not to leave Facebook] are wack”, and the author’s notes on post-Facebook adaptations, and what they did to quiet their notifications and smartphone distraction.

From :

That’s meant to be reassuring: they’re not listening to you because they don’t have to. But if anything, that should be even scarier. Facebook knows so much about you they can make you believe they’re listening to your personal conversations. They have so much data about you they can send you ads that have an uncanny relevance to what is going on in the real world.