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[Social Media]: Our Blasted Digital Hellscape

AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
So, continuing our ongoing discussion of social media, the people who run it, and how it has contributed to (waves arms around), the last week has been eventful as Facebook reported its first ever net loss in user base, something that could be more impactful than thought given Facebook's operations in the digital global South, where for many people Facebook is the internet. Around the same time, Facebook tried to bluff the European Union over their data protection laws, only for the EU to point to the above and go "really?" Also, TikTok continues to eat the lunches of everyone in the short video market, which a) demonstates why Jack Dorsey was a horrible CEO of Twitter, and b) has a lot of concerns given the company's ties to the Chinese government.

Welcome to social media in 2022 and beyond.

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  • The Zombie PenguinThe Zombie Penguin Eternal Hungry Corpse Registered User regular
    I kind of want facebook to actually pull out, and then be shocked when a whole army of startups invade the space with better products. Please, please do it. It'll be great and i might even be able to pry some of my friends off facebook

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  • RMS OceanicRMS Oceanic Registered User regular
    If a drop from 1.930 billion users to 1.929 billion users contributed to a huge stock plummet, choosing to withdraw from a market of potentially 750 million seems pretty dumb. Which is why they won't do it and why I'd love them to.

    It's kinda telling in one way: All these tech companies willing to adhere to China's less than upstanding demands to keep access to their market, but when the EU talks about rules they have to abide by they huff about it.

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  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    If a drop from 1.930 billion users to 1.929 billion users contributed to a huge stock plummet, choosing to withdraw from a market of potentially 750 million seems pretty dumb. Which is why they won't do it and why I'd love them to.

    It's kinda telling in one way: All these tech companies willing to adhere to China's less than upstanding demands to keep access to their market, but when the EU talks about rules they have to abide by they huff about it.

    The tech industry firmly believes that it should not be regulated at all.

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  • RMS OceanicRMS Oceanic Registered User regular
    If a drop from 1.930 billion users to 1.929 billion users contributed to a huge stock plummet, choosing to withdraw from a market of potentially 750 million seems pretty dumb. Which is why they won't do it and why I'd love them to.

    It's kinda telling in one way: All these tech companies willing to adhere to China's less than upstanding demands to keep access to their market, but when the EU talks about rules they have to abide by they huff about it.

    The tech industry firmly believes that it should not be regulated at all.

    And yet, China.

    DarkewolfeShadowhopeMoridin889Gnome-Interruptus
  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    If a drop from 1.930 billion users to 1.929 billion users contributed to a huge stock plummet, choosing to withdraw from a market of potentially 750 million seems pretty dumb. Which is why they won't do it and why I'd love them to.

    It's kinda telling in one way: All these tech companies willing to adhere to China's less than upstanding demands to keep access to their market, but when the EU talks about rules they have to abide by they huff about it.

    The tech industry firmly believes that it should not be regulated at all.

    And yet, China.

    The tech industry knows that not only it can't win that fight, but even trying will end badly for them. In the West, they can play on our cultural priors to attack regulation.

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  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    edited February 9
    If a drop from 1.930 billion users to 1.929 billion users contributed to a huge stock plummet, choosing to withdraw from a market of potentially 750 million seems pretty dumb. Which is why they won't do it and why I'd love them to.

    It's kinda telling in one way: All these tech companies willing to adhere to China's less than upstanding demands to keep access to their market, but when the EU talks about rules they have to abide by they huff about it.

    The tech industry firmly believes that it should not be regulated at all.

    And yet, China.

    The tech industry also firmly believes there are a lot of people in China it wants access to and there's literally nothing it's not willing to do to get that access. In that they are like literally every other industry.

    They probably just think the EU is bluffing. No one thinks the Chinese government bluffs.

    shryke on
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  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    Also the stockdrop from losing users makes sense for Facebook because it would indicate that the platform is on the downward trend and headed for eventually irrelevance or at least a plateau. Which is the opposite of what people who invest in these tech companies expect.

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  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    shryke wrote: »
    Also the stockdrop from losing users makes sense for Facebook because it would indicate that the platform is on the downward trend and headed for eventually irrelevance or at least a plateau. Which is the opposite of what people who invest in these tech companies expect.

    There are also bigger concerns behind the drop as well. Facebook's growth as of late has been primarily fueled through aggressive cooption of internet and in particular mobile service in the Global South - there are a lot of developing nations where Facebook is the internet. If Facebook saw a net loss in userbase, it's very likely due to severe bleeding of users in developed nations - the sort of users that are a) more valuable and b) less likely to be recoverable.

    Basically, this user base drop may be evidence that pushes to get people to leave are having an effect.

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  • AegeriAegeri Plateau of LengRegistered User regular
    I know I’ve said it before, but if you’re on the fence deleting Facebook was one of the single best things I have ever done for my mental health.

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  • BurtletoyBurtletoy Registered User regular
    edited February 9
    I like to think that the Facebook stock drop was also due in part to them spending $10 billion on the 'metaverse' in 2021 and also the fact that Facebook changed their name to not-facebook in an attempt to distance themselves from their most popular and their most profitable product, Facebook.

    But, you know, sometimes stocks go up and sometimes they go down, too

    Burtletoy on
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  • Rhesus PositiveRhesus Positive GNU Terry Pratchett Registered User regular
    Aegeri wrote: »
    I know I’ve said it before, but if you’re on the fence deleting Facebook was one of the single best things I have ever done for my mental health.

    I keep it around for the few people that still prefer Messenger over WhatsApp, because my mental health is improved by talking to them

    I moved the actual Facebook app onto a folder on my phone years ago, though, so I don't see it every day and reflexively check it

    [Muffled sounds of gorilla violence]
    Fencingsax
  • PaladinPaladin Registered User regular
    Western social media in China is impossible and a waste of everybody's time. Western social media is information chaos. China social media is information control. Even if another western social media product tried to get in China's good graces, it would just be a massive tease because it's just a huge liability for the Chinese government's goals and ideals.

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  • IncenjucarIncenjucar VChatter Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    Social media can be just fine if you curate your experience with the appropriate tools, but yeah I do not ever question people being better off by noping out of it instead of putting in that effort. I don't have a lot of the same hooks that a lot or most people do, which social media tries to target, so I try not to extrapolate my experience beyond myself.

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  • MayabirdMayabird Pecking at the keyboardRegistered User regular
    Seeing a hypothesis that the Meta stock price crash was intentional, getting the company value under some certain limit to avoid regulations either existing or upcoming. Unsure if I believe this, but like everything else I guess we're just waiting and seeing since no one will take an axe to the damn thing as is actually needed.

  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    Mayabird wrote: »
    Seeing a hypothesis that the Meta stock price crash was intentional, getting the company value under some certain limit to avoid regulations either existing or upcoming. Unsure if I believe this, but like everything else I guess we're just waiting and seeing since no one will take an axe to the damn thing as is actually needed.

    I don't buy that argument, given what we know of Mark Zuckerberg's ego.

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  • PolaritiePolaritie Sleepy Registered User regular
    Facebook needs to be ground up in the corporate woodchipper for the good of humanity. Twitter is next in line.

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  • PaladinPaladin Registered User regular
    Incenjucar wrote: »
    Social media can be just fine if you curate your experience with the appropriate tools, but yeah I do not ever question people being better off by noping out of it instead of putting in that effort. I don't have a lot of the same hooks that a lot or most people do, which social media tries to target, so I try not to extrapolate my experience beyond myself.

    I think the temptation to make bargeloads of money is too great to have a beneficial massively online social media hub

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  • CptHamiltonCptHamilton Registered User regular
    Polaritie wrote: »
    Facebook needs to be ground up in the corporate woodchipper for the good of humanity. Twitter is next in line.

    I really don't know how you have anything like Facebook without it ending up as Facebook, or Twitter, but I'm all for them being destructo'd.

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  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    Polaritie wrote: »
    Facebook needs to be ground up in the corporate woodchipper for the good of humanity. Twitter is next in line.

    I really don't know how you have anything like Facebook without it ending up as Facebook, or Twitter, but I'm all for them being destructo'd.

    I see them as very much the product of the egos of their creators, personally - and that goes for their flaws. A lot of the issues with social media can be laid at the feet of the culture of the tech community that created them.

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  • PaladinPaladin Registered User regular
    I'm waiting for a good version of facebook like I'm waiting on a good version of nfts

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  • ShadowfireShadowfire Vermont, in the middle of nowhereRegistered User regular
    Bring back MySpace.

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  • XaquinXaquin Right behind you!Registered User regular
    Shadowfire wrote: »
    Bring back MySpace.

    they did!

    but it was (is?) terrible to use

  • LilnoobsLilnoobs Alpha Queue Registered User regular
    Polaritie wrote: »
    Facebook needs to be ground up in the corporate woodchipper for the good of humanity. Twitter is next in line.

    I really don't know how you have anything like Facebook without it ending up as Facebook, or Twitter, but I'm all for them being destructo'd.

    Who cares? Break it up every time.

    Man in the Mists
  • MorganVMorganV Registered User regular
    Xaquin wrote: »
    Shadowfire wrote: »
    Bring back MySpace.

    they did!

    but it was (is?) terrible to use

    So... like most social media then?

    Shadowfire
  • SorceSorce Not ThereRegistered User regular
    Just got back to Friendster and ICQ or something.

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  • XaquinXaquin Right behind you!Registered User regular
    MorganV wrote: »
    Xaquin wrote: »
    Shadowfire wrote: »
    Bring back MySpace.

    they did!

    but it was (is?) terrible to use

    So... like most social media then?

    no I mean from a technical standpoint (minor coding, which is far beyond most people (myself included!))

  • MorganVMorganV Registered User regular
    Xaquin wrote: »
    MorganV wrote: »
    Xaquin wrote: »
    Shadowfire wrote: »
    Bring back MySpace.

    they did!

    but it was (is?) terrible to use

    So... like most social media then?

    no I mean from a technical standpoint (minor coding, which is far beyond most people (myself included!))

    It was mostly as a joke, but yeah, arguably the main reason for Facebook's ascendency was while the platform is clearly fucking terrible in most ways, it's UI is about as user friendly as you can get.

    And that's probably the thing that'll make it hard for something to replace it, beyond the other factors (user critical mass, and FaceBook trying to kill any competent competitor).

    What's needed, is a barebones base structure that allows the plugging in of your social media platforms of your choice. Sorce mentioned ICQ which is probably the best comparison I can think of.

    The problem with that, is that they tend to require a little bit of technical know-how, and that automatically excludes the majority of users. And that assumes that FaceBook don't tinker with shit to make their stuff "evade" it, meaning people resort back to FaceBook. Also I'm not a software engineer, but if it was texts and URL's, it might be simple enough, but with the increased volume of images/gifs/videos, it might make things harder to convert.

    Xaquin
  • PolaritiePolaritie Sleepy Registered User regular
    If Facebook hadnt been allowed to keep gobbling up its competitors in clear antitrust violations it wouldnt be an issue. Since it was, smash it to pieces.

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  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    MorganV wrote: »
    Xaquin wrote: »
    MorganV wrote: »
    Xaquin wrote: »
    Shadowfire wrote: »
    Bring back MySpace.

    they did!

    but it was (is?) terrible to use

    So... like most social media then?

    no I mean from a technical standpoint (minor coding, which is far beyond most people (myself included!))

    It was mostly as a joke, but yeah, arguably the main reason for Facebook's ascendency was while the platform is clearly fucking terrible in most ways, it's UI is about as user friendly as you can get.

    And that's probably the thing that'll make it hard for something to replace it, beyond the other factors (user critical mass, and FaceBook trying to kill any competent competitor).

    What's needed, is a barebones base structure that allows the plugging in of your social media platforms of your choice. Sorce mentioned ICQ which is probably the best comparison I can think of.

    The problem with that, is that they tend to require a little bit of technical know-how, and that automatically excludes the majority of users. And that assumes that FaceBook don't tinker with shit to make their stuff "evade" it, meaning people resort back to FaceBook. Also I'm not a software engineer, but if it was texts and URL's, it might be simple enough, but with the increased volume of images/gifs/videos, it might make things harder to convert.

    Facebook's ascendency is because it was better and cooler then MySpace and it did so right at the exact moment this kind of social media really took off. After that network effects and buying out the competition have kept it going. And even that is losing steam now as it becomes uncool.

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  • evilmrhenryevilmrhenry Registered User regular
    Polaritie wrote: »
    Facebook needs to be ground up in the corporate woodchipper for the good of humanity. Twitter is next in line.

    I really don't know how you have anything like Facebook without it ending up as Facebook, or Twitter, but I'm all for them being destructo'd.

    You don't have a corporation create it. I've pointed this out in the past, but on a technical level, blogging software with an RSS feed has, like, 90% of the functionality of a social media site. Write a specification, make it so your social network can go across sites, and get decent free software in place, and you have a social network that is not tied to any one company any more than email is.

  • XaquinXaquin Right behind you!Registered User regular
    anyone tried Vero?

    I'm not looking for some thrice sainted app that is made of pure light, just something better than facebook that will let me read all of the content I want, from the people I want, in the order it was created.

  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    Polaritie wrote: »
    Facebook needs to be ground up in the corporate woodchipper for the good of humanity. Twitter is next in line.

    I really don't know how you have anything like Facebook without it ending up as Facebook, or Twitter, but I'm all for them being destructo'd.

    You don't have a corporation create it. I've pointed this out in the past, but on a technical level, blogging software with an RSS feed has, like, 90% of the functionality of a social media site. Write a specification, make it so your social network can go across sites, and get decent free software in place, and you have a social network that is not tied to any one company any more than email is.

    The problem isn't portability (see also: Mastadon and the issues that community has had regarding hate and such), and the focus on it is once again the tech bad penny of forking as a form of damage control - which doesn't work with social issues. The problem is that there is a culture where we say that abusers are somehow entitled to be abusive.

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  • SleepSleep Registered User regular
    shryke wrote: »
    MorganV wrote: »
    Xaquin wrote: »
    MorganV wrote: »
    Xaquin wrote: »
    Shadowfire wrote: »
    Bring back MySpace.

    they did!

    but it was (is?) terrible to use

    So... like most social media then?

    no I mean from a technical standpoint (minor coding, which is far beyond most people (myself included!))

    It was mostly as a joke, but yeah, arguably the main reason for Facebook's ascendency was while the platform is clearly fucking terrible in most ways, it's UI is about as user friendly as you can get.

    And that's probably the thing that'll make it hard for something to replace it, beyond the other factors (user critical mass, and FaceBook trying to kill any competent competitor).

    What's needed, is a barebones base structure that allows the plugging in of your social media platforms of your choice. Sorce mentioned ICQ which is probably the best comparison I can think of.

    The problem with that, is that they tend to require a little bit of technical know-how, and that automatically excludes the majority of users. And that assumes that FaceBook don't tinker with shit to make their stuff "evade" it, meaning people resort back to FaceBook. Also I'm not a software engineer, but if it was texts and URL's, it might be simple enough, but with the increased volume of images/gifs/videos, it might make things harder to convert.

    Facebook's ascendency is because it was better and cooler then MySpace and it did so right at the exact moment this kind of social media really took off. After that network effects and buying out the competition have kept it going. And even that is losing steam now as it becomes uncool.

    They were the first on smart phones. Smart phones is when Facebook really exploded. They’re one of the reasons smart phones really took off as well.

    DoodmannShadowhopeMoridin889
  • DoodmannDoodmann Registered User regular
    edited February 10
    Xaquin wrote: »
    anyone tried Vero?

    I'm not looking for some thrice sainted app that is made of pure light, just something better than facebook that will let me read all of the content I want, from the people I want, in the order it was created.

    I liked the levels of public-ness in a post and some of the customization stuff, didn't it crash and burn at launch and then everyone found out it was some half baked thing on the back end?

    Doodmann on
    Whippy wrote: »
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  • XaquinXaquin Right behind you!Registered User regular
    Doodmann wrote: »
    Xaquin wrote: »
    anyone tried Vero?

    I'm not looking for some thrice sainted app that is made of pure light, just something better than facebook that will let me read all of the content I want, from the people I want, in the order it was created.

    I liked the levels of public-ness in a post and some of the customization stuff, didn't it crash and burn at launch and then everyone found out it was some half baked thing on the back end?

    I know it went from about 15k to about 3mil users fairly quickly but nothing really since.

    Doodmann
  • CptHamiltonCptHamilton Registered User regular
    Polaritie wrote: »
    Facebook needs to be ground up in the corporate woodchipper for the good of humanity. Twitter is next in line.

    I really don't know how you have anything like Facebook without it ending up as Facebook, or Twitter, but I'm all for them being destructo'd.

    You don't have a corporation create it. I've pointed this out in the past, but on a technical level, blogging software with an RSS feed has, like, 90% of the functionality of a social media site. Write a specification, make it so your social network can go across sites, and get decent free software in place, and you have a social network that is not tied to any one company any more than email is.

    How many people do you know who don't use one of about 5 email providers?
    How many people do you think could, for example, stop using gmail and start using outlook.com without losing their saved emails or changing their email address?

    There'd be a couple of years with a thousand different social media front-end websites and then everybody would end up congregating around a handful of sites for the features provided that aren't baked into the social media standard specification and the fact that social media doesn't really work if you need to know the unique identifier for every person and business you want to find. If there are 5 aggregating services they can presumably scrape one another/use one-another's APIs to find you all of the "John Smiths" across them without you needing to know your cousin John's account identifier and/or which social media aggregation server he uses.

    It'd be a better world, at least, where you could keep in touch with people who use Facebook without having to actually use Facebook yourself, but just standardizing social media activity wouldn't take us to a world where companies don't do the same things Facebook does now.

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  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    Polaritie wrote: »
    Facebook needs to be ground up in the corporate woodchipper for the good of humanity. Twitter is next in line.

    I really don't know how you have anything like Facebook without it ending up as Facebook, or Twitter, but I'm all for them being destructo'd.

    You don't have a corporation create it. I've pointed this out in the past, but on a technical level, blogging software with an RSS feed has, like, 90% of the functionality of a social media site. Write a specification, make it so your social network can go across sites, and get decent free software in place, and you have a social network that is not tied to any one company any more than email is.

    How many people do you know who don't use one of about 5 email providers?
    How many people do you think could, for example, stop using gmail and start using outlook.com without losing their saved emails or changing their email address?

    There'd be a couple of years with a thousand different social media front-end websites and then everybody would end up congregating around a handful of sites for the features provided that aren't baked into the social media standard specification and the fact that social media doesn't really work if you need to know the unique identifier for every person and business you want to find. If there are 5 aggregating services they can presumably scrape one another/use one-another's APIs to find you all of the "John Smiths" across them without you needing to know your cousin John's account identifier and/or which social media aggregation server he uses.

    It'd be a better world, at least, where you could keep in touch with people who use Facebook without having to actually use Facebook yourself, but just standardizing social media activity wouldn't take us to a world where companies don't do the same things Facebook does now.

    Again, you can't engineer yourself out of a social problem.

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  • PaladinPaladin Registered User regular
    As of yet, there is no acceptable large scale social media solution

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  • evilmrhenryevilmrhenry Registered User regular
    Polaritie wrote: »
    Facebook needs to be ground up in the corporate woodchipper for the good of humanity. Twitter is next in line.

    I really don't know how you have anything like Facebook without it ending up as Facebook, or Twitter, but I'm all for them being destructo'd.

    You don't have a corporation create it. I've pointed this out in the past, but on a technical level, blogging software with an RSS feed has, like, 90% of the functionality of a social media site. Write a specification, make it so your social network can go across sites, and get decent free software in place, and you have a social network that is not tied to any one company any more than email is.

    How many people do you know who don't use one of about 5 email providers?
    How many people do you think could, for example, stop using gmail and start using outlook.com without losing their saved emails or changing their email address?

    There'd be a couple of years with a thousand different social media front-end websites and then everybody would end up congregating around a handful of sites for the features provided that aren't baked into the social media standard specification and the fact that social media doesn't really work if you need to know the unique identifier for every person and business you want to find. If there are 5 aggregating services they can presumably scrape one another/use one-another's APIs to find you all of the "John Smiths" across them without you needing to know your cousin John's account identifier and/or which social media aggregation server he uses.

    It'd be a better world, at least, where you could keep in touch with people who use Facebook without having to actually use Facebook yourself, but just standardizing social media activity wouldn't take us to a world where companies don't do the same things Facebook does now.

    I mean, I use a private domain for my email, Dad uses his work address, and from checking my address book, someone from church has their own domain as well, which is something I didn't know until now, but is also something I didn't need to know until now. Plus, I have a bunch of corporate emails in my address book. Changing email addresses is a pain, but for social media, you can literally just post out "Changing hosting to X" to alert everyone who follows you.

    I would be completely fine with the social media scene taken up by around 3-5 large companies, all using the same standard, and all cross-compatible. This nearly eliminates the inability for people to leave a provider without also breaking their friend network, which provides actual competition.

    The only real downside is the lack of moderation on arbitrary sites, so someone can just post hate all day, but I'll note that:
    * This is also a thing on actual websites; stormfront and the like exist now. The real nasty ones can get pressure applied via their hosting, registrar, and credit card processor.
    * Moderation is not always good, especially if the site desires being "advertiser-friendly", or the ability to access oppressive countries.
    * While hate speech sites exist, they don't show up via The Algorithm, which is what actually matters. There's always people willing to seek out hate speech, and there are always dark recesses of the Internet. Having Youtube recommend a Sargon of Akkad video is a different type of problem.

  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    Polaritie wrote: »
    Facebook needs to be ground up in the corporate woodchipper for the good of humanity. Twitter is next in line.

    I really don't know how you have anything like Facebook without it ending up as Facebook, or Twitter, but I'm all for them being destructo'd.

    You don't have a corporation create it. I've pointed this out in the past, but on a technical level, blogging software with an RSS feed has, like, 90% of the functionality of a social media site. Write a specification, make it so your social network can go across sites, and get decent free software in place, and you have a social network that is not tied to any one company any more than email is.

    How many people do you know who don't use one of about 5 email providers?
    How many people do you think could, for example, stop using gmail and start using outlook.com without losing their saved emails or changing their email address?

    There'd be a couple of years with a thousand different social media front-end websites and then everybody would end up congregating around a handful of sites for the features provided that aren't baked into the social media standard specification and the fact that social media doesn't really work if you need to know the unique identifier for every person and business you want to find. If there are 5 aggregating services they can presumably scrape one another/use one-another's APIs to find you all of the "John Smiths" across them without you needing to know your cousin John's account identifier and/or which social media aggregation server he uses.

    It'd be a better world, at least, where you could keep in touch with people who use Facebook without having to actually use Facebook yourself, but just standardizing social media activity wouldn't take us to a world where companies don't do the same things Facebook does now.

    I mean, email suffers from it being a pain in the ass to migrate from an old address to a new one. (which hilariously has left a bunch of people with embarrassing ones they made when they were kids, unless they are the boring types who just used their name even back then) But it's still way more open to competitors then social media because there's no network effects.

    DoodmannevilmrhenryFencingsaxElvenshaeGennenalyse Ruebenmaraji
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