About a decade ago I retired my – then relatively well-read – blog after getting tired fighting off the ever growing influx of spam. The back-end of my site was a simple cms, the result of experimenting with php 5.1. The idea was to revive it as soon as I completed the migration to a real blogging framework, one that could offer me the tools to properly fight spam. Real life got in the way and before you know a decade has passed.
During the last 20 years I’ve been making extensive use of fora and/or mailing lists, most of the time using an alias. Not because I wanted to use an alias per se, more because it was common practice. The majority of my posts on those fora can’t stand the test of time, but some actually do. Hence why I decided to finally resurrect my blog, under my own name. I have no clear path in mind, but at least my ramblings will appear in the same place from now on .
Meanwhile I’ve also created a Facebook account under my own name. Ever since it’s inception I’ve had many objections to using Facebook, a company that has violated pretty much every privacy regulation out there, a company using an impressive lobby to influence the privacy decision making process. The amount of user data Facebook gathered over time is far beyond what most intelligence agencies combined have ever managed to do. That is not based on some far-fetched paranoid theory, I have first-hand experience with – and an in-depth understanding of – profiling algorithms – not to mention future possibilities. I simply never trusted them with my personal data. And I still don’t.
Personal data is not limited to what an individual posts. If you go to a birthday party, someone will post the pictures on Facebook. Without your consent. If you object you have to explain yourself. Valuing your privacy is no good reason enough, it makes you look suspicious. The world upside down. While I genuinely believe that it’s only common courtesy to respect the privacy of your peers. I simply chose not to conform to the trending reversed privacy logic.
While the former is rather a philosophical objection, another reason why I was not a Facebook user is because I didn’t want to expose myself to a certain audience who seems to lack every ability for common sense, context and basic logic. A battle I can’t win, due to strong opinions and innate sarcasm. A lesson learned the hard way, after being online for over two decades. It seems as they have made progress with their rather advanced privacy settings, so this is no longer a main concern.
Much to my dismay more and more forum activity is shifting towards Facebook. That is a trend I can’t stop myself. However, I’ve come up with an acceptable sandboxed approach where they can only register what I do on their site, and that is stuff they most likely already knew cq. stuff I don’t really care about.
So long story short, I’ve come to terms with Facebook as a marketing medium that I’ll use for my online shop, and I’ll comply with their Terms of Service. But completely sandboxed.