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Not a post about leaving social networks



Cambridge Analytica is a red herring. Oh, look, F*c*b**k gave your data to eeeeeeeevil Trump people! Never mind that it gave five times as much to those wuuuuuuuuuderful Obama people in 2012!

No matter. It’s still lovely to see people finally waking up to the fact that when you’re on FB, you’re the product, not the customer.

I wonder how long this will last? Will the rage and revelations against FB begin an online privacy revolution? Or, more likely, will data-gobbling and stupid data-spilling go on unabated after a few token crony-gov regulations?

It’s encouraging that even big names like Playboy, Tesla, and Space-X are dumping FB. But as long as Granny and old high school chums are still giving themselves away to the Zuckerbergians, millions are going to hang out there.

Heck, even I have a FB page, although it’s not really mine, and I’m grateful to the quiet friend who maintains it and who has built it up. Fortunately, it’s meme-heavy, funny, useful, and not personally revealing.


But speaking of personally revealing, isn’t it infuriating that our “friends” are probably handing over our private communications data — including unlisted phone numbers, the numbers of burner phones, and times and lengths of our phone calls — to FB?

FB whines that users of their Android app had to give consent to that particular datagrab. But nobody mentions the rights and interests of us who may have had our information scooped — thanks to our “friends” opting in to having their calls and texts logged — despite every attempt to avoid both FB and idiots.

Social media has cheapened the very concept of friendship and turned “friends” into informers — who for the most part don’t even know that’s what they are.

People have always been the weak link in security, but now the ways they can casually betray others are simply beyond comprehension.


FB is after your kiddies, too, and gaining access to them in the classroom with the help of Our Glorious Government.

Ohhhh, and surprise, surprise, the creepy connections run deeper and deeper. (Palantir = CIA)


I was saving up links to make a post about alternative social networks. But as long as Granny remains on FB and Twitter is the official source for both quick news and pithy wit, alternatives don’t mean much.

With social media you have to already have critical mass before you can have critical mass. It’s a weird world.

So this is not a post about leaving FB or other social networks, just another rant of rage and, this time, a little hope.

Still, here are a few links related to alt-social media, and good luck with them:

Meanwhile, if you want to leave FB, the #1 alternative social network remains Instagram, which is owned by … wait for it … FB.


And finally, with Passover upon us, the Jewish publication Tablet compares Zuckerberg with Pharoh and says, “Let our data go!”


  1. david
    david March 28, 2018 9:24 am

    Hmmmm. Friends can opt in to have their calls and texts logged? That means that even without an account, some of my calls and texts are going into Unca Sugah’s bottomless memory pit? Crap! Am I going to have to go back to a land line with a white noise machine beside it?

  2. Claire
    Claire March 28, 2018 10:22 am

    david — If it’s any comfort (and yeah, it’s not much), the evidence I’ve seen so far says FB is logging only metadata: who you called or who called you; times; length of calls. They’re also logging texts received and sent, but whether they’re actually grabbing the messages I’m not sure.

    In this case, I don’t even think a landline and white noise machine would help. Sigh.

  3. Comrade X
    Comrade X March 28, 2018 10:33 am

    Mamma use to say; Be careful who you have for friends!

    Mamma is so right!

  4. ~Qjay
    ~Qjay March 28, 2018 10:38 am

    They recently forced me to “prove my identity” after an anonymous report said my altered name was fake. I don’t get much mail by that name so it took me a few days to provide the proof they requested, outside of government ID.
    Even then, they said everything with my address blocked was digitally altered (our alterations were physical, THEN scanned, thank you very much) so I eventually had to provide documents with an address and other information.
    I suggest anyone using social media prepare those documents now, before you ever need them. It’s not illegal to provide false or modified information to anyone but the govt or for financial reasons, as far as I can tell…

  5. larryarnold
    larryarnold March 28, 2018 10:54 am


    No one can establish and maintain a network until they can make enough money to keep the lights on and the electrons flowing, and enough left over (the profit) to take care of their family.

    Facebook can be “free” because it makes money off ad-clicks and mined data. It’s a large example of earlier companies that gave “free webspace” if they could advertise on it. They inherited the idea from “free” network television, supported by advertising. They inherited the idea from newspapers mainly supported by advertising.

    And I’m preaching to the choir again.

  6. Claire
    Claire March 28, 2018 11:47 am

    “I suggest anyone using social media prepare those documents now, before you ever need them.”

    I’m curious about why you were even willing to jump through those hoops. I realize FB is vital to some people’s businesses or family connections. But ugh. Personally, I’d tell ’em to go stuff it.

  7. ~Qjay
    ~Qjay March 28, 2018 12:18 pm

    Family connections and I’m using a name that is not directly my legal name. I will not put my legal name out there in such an easily searchable location, especially in a data sieve like that.
    It’s hard to stay in contact at all, much less network, in the limited time I have available, and my family is tough to do so with, so this makes it much more feasible.
    It was a tough call, though. Almost said “eff it.” I REALLY dislike FB now though.

  8. Claire
    Claire March 28, 2018 12:46 pm

    David Gerrold called it in 1999

    Wow. He did nail that, both technologically and in terms of what’s happening to our lives. Unusual for somebody to get everything so right.

  9. fred
    fred March 29, 2018 10:59 pm

    No social spy system for me.Never have,never will.

  10. Claire
    Claire March 30, 2018 1:31 am

    Unfortunately, part of the problem here is that even we who don’t do social media are still being betrayed by others who do. The FB app user who opts in to the collection of her phone and text data gives away OUR phone and text data without our knowledge or consent. The family member who takes our picture at a party, posts it to FB, and tags us, contributes to us being in facial-recognition systems whether we like it or not.

    And on it goes. We can limit our exposure by keeping off social media (of which FB is the devil among demons) and by choosing our friends well. Also by not allowing photographs and various other practices that make us freaks in the current era. But too much is now out of our control.

  11. Paul Joat
    Paul Joat March 30, 2018 1:05 pm

    I use f*c*b**k with a name that isn’t the one the state knows me by. My name is as near as I can tell unique, I can’t find reference to anyone having the same first and last name. So I use a pseudonym online, unfortunately the one I picked also seems to be unique.

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