back to article Facebook is abusive. It's time to divorce it

Every relationship has its rough edges, places where actions scrape, and through constant repetition, rub raw. Those tender spots can heal if left alone and if the parties are wiling to listen. But where the irritation continues, this raw spot becomes a wound that never closes, forcing a choice between continuing pain and a …

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  1. Pompous Git Silver badge

    Well-said, Simon

    Also worth reading Mark Pesce on the Farcebook issue:

    Why I quit Facebook (and you should too)

    1. JonW
      Thumb Up

      Re: Well-said, Simon

      +1000

      I committed Facey suicide a few years back when I got to 100 "Friends". I looked at the list and thought "I didn't even like you in school!" and pulled the plug.

      Regrettably, I've been sucked in again in order to access a couple of groups. However, setting up using photo ID and dedicated e-mail account isn't too painful and you can't be friended or seen by "Friends of Friends" if you have no friends....How Life mirrors Facebook :)

      1. Tom Paine

        Re: Well-said, Simon

        Photo ID? What what what? They send someone round to check your face matches the picture you submit??

    2. Solarflare

      Re: Well-said, Simon

      That link doesn't work, it has a trailing ". Although if that is the same Mark 'Misandrist' Pesce who writes for El Reg occasionally, I'll count me being unable to immediately read his article as a blessing...

      1. Pompous Git Silver badge

        Re: Well-said, Simon

        "That link doesn't work, it has a trailing ""

        Try this If he hates men that's his problem and doesn't seem to have any bearing on the issue in the headpost.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Well-said, Simon

      Well-said, Simon

      Also worth reading Mark Pesce on the Farcebook issue:

      Why I quit Facebook (and you should too)

      (the link is corrected in the above :) )

      I'd venture one massive caveat regarding that linked article, though: it makes the mistake of considering Google less dangerous. The reality is that Google has been even harder at work to get its grubby paws on your life as it also reads your email, joins Facebook in watching what you get up to on the Net (to put it simply, every Facebook and Google icon you see on a web page can be a spy) and keeps track of what you search for.

      "Social" media is anything but, because it was designed by what DSM IV would class as psychopaths...

      1. LDS Silver badge

        "t makes the mistake of considering Google less dangerous"

        There's something worse, Pesce writes "Privacy is dangerous, but privacy is not criminal", although he also writes "Privacy is the foundation of freedom".

        There's really nothing "dangerous" in privacy - which doesn't really mean "keep hidden from others our dirty, nasty habits" (that's better defined by hypocrisy). It's just to be conscious there's a private space (at several levels - i.e. personal, coupe, family, etc.) where we can live and be ourselves without peers and social pressure. Privacy defines us as a "person", and not just an element of a group.

        It's no surprise in continental Europe privacy became more important than in the USA (and many Anglo-saxon countries) - because in continental Europe Fascism, Nazism and Communism tried to remove it wholly, and force everybody to be part of controlled groups which didn't allow for any individuality (but for the leaders, of course, just as Zuckerberg, Brin, Page, Schmidt privacy is important, but yours is not), thereby people understood what the loss of privacy means - that's actually dangerous, not vice versa.

        Privacy cannot be defined with a "negation" as in "not criminal" - it's the removal and loss of privacy which is criminal.

        1. Pompous Git Silver badge

          Re: "t makes the mistake of considering Google less dangerous"

          "There's really nothing "dangerous" in privacy ... Privacy defines us as a "person", and not just an element of a group."
          And it's that which makes privacy dangerous... to the Elite that rules us.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Well-said, Simon

        If I weren't lazy, I'd pull up my copy of the DSM and check... I wholeheartedly agree though.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Well-said, Simon

        "(to put it simply, every Facebook and Google icon you see on a web page can be a spy)"

        Semi-false: _Is_ a spy as the icon almost never appears by itself, there's always a spy script attached to it, fetched directly from FB/Google site.

        Sole intention is to spy on you _on whatever page you are on_.

        Both FB and Google even create phantom user accounts to track those people who don't have an account. Whatever to collect data to sell.

      4. ldjfaskjla

        Re: Well-said, Simon

        The DSM doesn't classify anyone as a psychopath (it's not even a diagnosis). Sociopath on the other hand...

    4. Thought About IT

      Re: Well-said, Simon

      If the dangers of trusting Facebook with our data were not already apparent, this article reveals how their data were used to influence Brexit and Trump's election using techniques developed for psychological warfare by Cambridge Analytica.

      1. Wayland Bronze badge

        Re: Well-said, Simon

        THought About IT, that Guardian article is written by MI5. Remember MI5 were batting for Remain as were almost all the media and government. MI5 even arranged the 'death' of an MP to swing it for Remain but although that had a huge influence it still ultimately failed.

        Terry is just making the best of a bad job. She stood back during the BREXIT vote and stepped in when it was over. All the EU rules will still apply except they will be reworded for the UK. The merger of our military into the EU is still happening. BREXIT will be reversible.

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    5. The Man Who Fell To Earth Silver badge
      WTF?

      Huh?

      Another Facebook hit piece, yet The Register still hasn't covered the now several-day-old story about the US Department of Justice opening a criminal investigation of Uber?

      Following lawsuit and embarrassing viral video, Uber hit with DOJ investigation

      1. RyokuMas Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: Huh?

        I don't see any "Share on Uber" or "Login using your Uber account" on any of the websites I visit...

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Stop

        Re: Huh?

        https://www.theregister.co.uk/about/company/contact/

        Scroll down, Press releases and news tips.

        Submit link to article.

        1. The Man Who Fell To Earth Silver badge
          WTF?

          Lost Re: Huh?

          Did. Last week. Got a reply claiming they were working on it.

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: Lost Huh?

            What the fuck indeed.

            Did you see the timestamp on that article? Friday fucking afternoon! Shirley ElReg staff are allowed to take the weekend off?

            Symptom of kids today: "I want it NOW!" ::stamps foot::

      3. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

        Re: The Man Who Fell To Earth

        We covered Uber here.

        C.

    6. MyffyW Silver badge

      Unlucky Mr Z

      When it comes to unburdening my emotional baggage online I take to the comments section of El Reg.

      Facebook? I've heard of it. Never been tempted.

    7. GBH

      Re: Well-said, Simon

      Hi PG, link does work, site not found...

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just say NO to Social Media sites/apps

    Many started out with good intent but seem to have gone over to the dark side and become just channels for anti-social rants, threats and worse.

    Give them all up and get your life back.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Just say NO to Social Media sites/apps

      Just read the Hyperion Cantos by Dan Simmons. The social media companies are exactly like the AI in these novels. Hiding between the cracks and leaching from us every time we move from one place to another. They have delivered a couple of "advancements", but only for their nefarious needs. So they can start leaching off us. Their moral level is about the same too.

      One thing I would love to see would be a Shrike making a thorough inspection of the Facebook HQ. Pity that this (for now) is just a figment of my imagination.

      1. Adrian 4 Silver badge

        Re: Just say NO to Social Media sites/apps

        Or read READY PLAYER ONE by Ernest Cline.

        In that novel, the social media giant is largely benevolent due to the ambitions of its founder, but it's in an advanced state of being the only 'real world' and a less benevolent corporation wants control.

    2. tiggity Silver badge

      Re: Just say NO to Social Media sites/apps

      And as a bonus, for UKers, with upcoming elections & likely massive ad budgets spent on social media, you will avoid lots of election related ads / opinion pieces etc if you avoid social media

      1. Rich 11 Silver badge

        Re: Just say NO to Social Media sites/apps

        Exactly. I've long since decided which of the parties I despise least, and which ones I can hold my nose and vote for -- if I have to -- in order to keep out the ones I despise most. If any of them want me to change my mind after all these decades then they're going to have to make some significant changes to their manifestos, and convince me that they're not doing so cynically. So far this time round there's no sign of that in the junk mail stuffed through my door, and if they can't manage it there then I'm not going to chase some transitory online targeted ad to look for it.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: which of the parties ... I can hold my nose and vote for

          In reality, you vote for an MP, not a party, although MP's usually do come with party affiliations.

          Sometimes the best candidate for MP may not be a member of your usually preferred party.

        2. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: Just say NO to Social Media sites/apps

          The problem comes when you realize NONE of the choices available are worth it. If you choices are down to a demon, a devil, and a mind flayer, people get desperate.

          1. Meph

            Re: Just say NO to Social Media sites/apps

            @Charles 9

            I'll take the devil in that lineup. At least you can make a deal with a lawful evil type, and be able to expect that the deal will be upheld. Just be very sure to read the fine print!

        3. Grunchy

          Re: Just say NO to Social Media sites/apps

          Rich 11: there's a tragedy about democratic voting wherein one is allowed to cast votes only in support of one candidate; even though most often, none of the candidates are all that acceptable.

          My proposal is to permit the choice of casting a negative vote. The premise is that if enough people are PO'd enough about a candidate that they achieve a net-negative vote (more votes cast against them than for them), then they are declared un-electable.

          Here's the best part: let's say many people hate all of the offered candidates, let's say it was Hillary vs Donald. Well in this scenario, it is highly likely that BOTH candidates would generate net-negative results, and so both would be declared un-electable.

          In other words -------

          neither candidate would win, and the election would have to be a do-over, with new candidates.

          And there's the possibility of a distant, third runner who somehow squeaks in with +5 votes, becomes declared King of the Kountry.

          (I've had people tell me this idea is ridiculous, but I promise you, there is precedent: sometimes if you answer a customer satisfaction survey they allow you to craft your response on a scale from "highly satisfied" to "highly dissatisfied". Somehow this isn't too complex to judge your satisfaction with a burger stand; yet I'm told it's far too complex for selecting an elected official. Hmm, I'm not convinced.)

          1. Meph

            Re: Just say NO to Social Media sites/apps

            @Grunchy

            The fatal flaw in current democratic process, is that it's nothing more than a popularity contest. Political types make sweeping promises based on what they think the bulk of their constituents want, and frequently have no intention of following through. They will generally have a plausible excuse to hand so that they can be re-elected again and again.

            I'd personally like to see politicians apply directly for cabinet positions. John Smith QC wants to be lord high bean counter, so instead of policy and promises, he needs to submit a document outlining his skills and experience in big business finance. The public can then vote on who has the best apparent skillset for each key position, and then perhaps the first runner up can be part of the wider ministerial pool, both for purposes of coverage in case of illness or incapacitation, and for the normal checks and balances that we westerners prefer. This would not only stifle the whole popularity contest debacle, but also potentially abolish party politics. I personally feel that you don't necessarily need to like the person running the show, so long as they have the skillset to run it well.

            1. Wayland Bronze badge

              Re: Just say NO to Social Media sites/apps

              Meph,

              The social media allows an AI to tailor the promises just for your desires. Different people can be made different contradictory promises. Well not promises just misleading suggestions that actually mean nothing.

          2. Kiwi
            Thumb Up

            Re: Just say NO to Social Media sites/apps

            My proposal is to permit the choice of casting a negative vote

            I'd be in for this!

            And maybe.. Maybe there could be a level of "vote them out of the country" as well? Ie if all votes against them are negative and there's enough of them, they take the hint and bugger off...

            /me queues up Motorhead's "Traitor" followed by "Sweet Revenge"

      2. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Big Brother

        Re: Just say NO to Social Media sites/apps

        "with upcoming elections & likely massive ad budgets spent on social media"

        And a corollary: Do you *REALLY* want social media and their evil infrastructure INFLUENCING elections? The 'lame-stream' media is bad enough already. But they don't know the details of YOUR life. The 'big brother' nature of knowing EVERYTHING about you, applied to an AI algorithm, and THEN targeting you with specific political advertisements in order to MANIPULATE your voting pattern... well that 'sentence' lacks a verb but I think the rest is obvious.

        "Just Say NO" indeed.

        /me plays 'Uprising' by Muse - gotta love that 'Dr. Who' mono-synth solo opening

        1. Wayland Bronze badge

          Re: Just say NO to Social Media sites/apps

          bombastic bob, that MUSE is psychological torture. You've just grown accustomed to it like a poison.

    3. jgarbo

      Re: Just say NO to Social Media sites/apps

      Ever consider that Facebook *was* their life? Nothing to get back to.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Did you see his shared Sedan photo on Facebook...

    .. or on his own hosted webserver?

    That's your problem right there.

    People are narcissistic and cheap.

    People are prepared to have their lives sold for ease of use and cost-free.

  4. chrismevans

    Such a true reflection of a sad world

    Simon, so true. You hit the nail on the head here when you highlight how Facebook has become intrinsic to many organisations' businesses. Think of the schools, colleges, pubs, shops, etc that direct you to their Facebook page for information. That easy solution to not building your own website has ensnared these organisations into something they can almost certainly not get out of without serious financial investment.

    Facebook has transformed from an interesting social experiment to something not far off a dystopian nightmare. What right-minded company continues to claim they will "police" videos of hangings, murders and suicides without having a moderate before publish policy? one that is interested purely in profits, I think we'll find, and not the human impact of their greed.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Such a true reflection of a sad world

      You hit the nail on the head here when you highlight how Facebook has become intrinsic to many organisations' businesses. Think of the schools, colleges, pubs, shops, etc that direct you to their Facebook page for information. That easy solution to not building your own website has ensnared these organisations into something they can almost certainly not get out of without serious financial investment.

      Any company that forces clients to contact them via a medium that forces them to screw over their own privacy is effectively in breach of EU (and UK) Data Protection rules, because that falls under non-voluntary disclosure. In addition, a little known problem with the use of Gmail by companies is that email received from the public must be protected - by handing it off to Google to have a good rummage in the content they commit a breach as well as they have not sought permission from that user to do so.

      At present especially the Google thing is kept quiet to prevent a trade war, but I suspect that won't be the case come September when the EU Art 29 working party revisits the Privacy Shield excuse.

      However, there's nothing stopping anyone to file a complaint with the company in question and follow it up with the ICO - they're already looking for complaints about such companies because that gives them the incentive to launch a more generic investigation without being accused of being on a witch hunt.

      Complain, and cc the ICO. Silence is what makes bad things grow.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Such a true reflection of a sad world

        I refuse to use any service which tries to treats me as a product, this is especially bad when by widely used business networking sites, like linkin, and many lazy retail sites!

        I use several security filters including NoScript and uMatrix to stop all sites, including lazy retailers from bundling spying by demographics and analytics businesses, who probably sell the information to others too! One I recently spotted was iesnoop.com on a sports nutrient retail site payment page, when it was mainly seen previous on betting sites!

        I think a lot of this blatant disregard for privacy is from r-type (Rabbit) human behaviour, which is disloyal and promiscuous, so often deceitful and immoral. The obvious, significant, left-wing bias in 'social' and search sites, including the fake-fake-news censorship, while often ignoring genuinely damaging stuff, in Facebook, Twitter and Google strongly suggests r-types driving business policy there!

        1. Spoonguard
          Devil

          Re: Such a true reflection of a sad world

          disloyal and promiscuous

          couldn't bring yourself to say "Sinful Fornication", could you? It would be best to honourably euthanise yourself now before the islamomarxist death squads get you for abusing pseudo-science.

          1. Hollerithevo

            Re: Such a true reflection of a sad world

            Islamomarxist? Surely a non-thing?

            1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

              Re: Such a true reflection of a sad world

              Marx was a muslim, it was on Breitbart - fact

        2. Tom 38 Silver badge

          Re: Such a true reflection of a sad world

          I refuse to use any service which tries to treats me as a product, this is especially bad when by widely used business networking sites, like linkin, and many lazy retail sites!

          But interestingly, you still read The Register. We're the products here, nice literate well educated professionals with disposable income ready to be advertised to.

          1. Outer mongolian custard monster from outer space (honest)
            Joke

            Re: Such a true reflection of a sad world

            Adverts? *looks about*... *disables ad block*...

            Oh yeah, as you were.

            1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

              Re: Such a true reflection of a sad world

              But the register is able to use advanced artificial intelligence to monitor the mental and emotional state of its readers.

              Generally pissed off, bored and cynical

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