You don’t want unaccountable monopolies mining every intimate detail of your personal relationships and deepest confidences? You don’t want them sharing it even though they promised not to?
Then don’t use corporate social networks.
OK, in fact, not using them is harder than you’d like, because
- The No-network effect means that all your friends have forgotten how to manage their life without Facebook all up in their business, i.e. there is a dilemma of collective action here
- If you log in to one of these accursed things even once you are tracked in perpetuity by the browser cookies wand web beacons and such which hang around you like the stink of dog turd on your shoe, so also need to work out how to wash that off.
- We are social primates doing bullshit jobs with smartphones in our pockets and we crave social distraction from the relentless grind of late capitalism.
How do you say? I’m quitting Facebook, except for all the parts I currently use:
after I post this status, I will be quitting Facebook, except for groups, events, messaging, sharing my take on controversial op-eds, promoting my podcast(s), and seething with jealousy about my friends’ positive life updates.
Pretend to be on social media but don’t actually bother
80% of my strategy is this. See faking being on social media.
But that means I can get off social media?
Maybe. Scott Locklin summarises the fakebook extraction: Download your data. Delete your account.
Oh wait, your friends keep on using Facebook messenger to organise their lives? FFS, friends.
Practice social surveillance hygiene to reduce harm
Don’t use the facebook/whatever app. Alex Yumashev’s (uncited) tip for mobile devices:
use Facebook in mobile Safari, with an adblocker, and delete the iOS native app — helps a lot AND saves you from tons of ads and 3rd party cookie tracking. Not to mention wonders for the battery.
Wonder if that’s correct?
- Access your social network using a quarantined single site browser. (I’m a fan of this)
- Firefox has a new smoother alternative: Multi user containers makes separate mini-browsers for each social app so they each live in their own little universe. There is a facebook-specific one, plus a bunch of other extensions to reduce the addictiveness/advertising. Maybe social fixer is the goods See more under browser hacks.
- Logins. Don’t login with Facebook, Google, Twitter, Wechat etc. There might be better alternatives in the future (e.g. persona?). But don’t hold your breath. For now, don’t use centrally-tracked logins if you won’t want the vendor knowing about your connection to these sites. Make a new password for everything.
- Disable tracking in your browser using one of the extensions for that.
- Reconfigure Facebook settings to be less leaky: How to gain control over Facebook
Roll your own
See DIY social networks.
Archive your social network
Minimise the dependence by having your own backup of your social wossname.
There are GDPR extraction tools built-in, e.g. For Facebook. Timeliner and Perkeep are two different approaches to this.