Really, asking "what should replace Facebook" is putting things the wrong way around.

A more interesting way to ask the question is, "what did Facebook replace."

People used to build their own websites. People used to have blogs. People used USENET which was truly distributed and un-censorable.

Facebook and Google took the open internet and open standards and monetized and made everything crappy. Enough of that. Nothing should replace Facebook, it's done, stick a fork in it.

@hhardy01 Most of the people who now use Facebook to communicate did not, in fact, do those things. They still need to communicate online. They need a Facebook replacement.

@LogicalDash @hhardy01 are you saying they didn’t do those thing because they are non-technical, or because those things had already been supplanted by Facebook when they started using the web?

@ajroach42 @hhardy01 Both are true, and it doesn't really make a difference to my argument

If you really believe that everyone who currently uses Facebook should get technical enough to start their own blog ... that's what you're advocating as a Facebook replacement. You are now in competition with the other efforts to offer a replacement for it, and should conduct yourself accordingly

@LogicalDash @ajroach42
I don't care about Facebook.

I was here on the net long before The Facebook, 16 years in fact, and will still be here long after it is gone.

Facebook is just a crappy website full of spyware and adware.

@hhardy01 @ajroach42 If you really didn't care about Facebook it wouldn't bother you that people who rely on it are seeking alternatives

@LogicalDash @ajroach42

I came here seeking an alternative to Facebook why would it bother me if others do the same?

@hhardy01 @ajroach42 It apparently bothered you enough to post "Nothing should replace Facebook, it's done, stick a fork in it."

@LogicalDash @ajroach42

RIght I look forward to Facebook failing. I totally don't get how you think that means it bothers me for people to be seeking alternatives to Facebook. Obviously I am for that, right?

@LogicalDash @ajroach42

What I mean is that I don't hope to see Facebook's deplorable business model replicated.

@hhardy01 @ajroach42 Yet you think that "what should replace Facebook" is a bad question to ask

If every Facebook user goes to Aardwolf and Friendica and whatnot, those have replaced Facebook

@LogicalDash @ajroach42

Right I do think what should replace Facebook is entirely the wrong way of framing the question.

It implies that Facebook is something we would want to replicate or perpetuate, and it is not.

@hhardy01 @ajroach42 Everyone who can physically operate a computer should be able to communicate effortlessly with their friends

Facebook is that for a lot of people now. That is worth replicating and perpetuating. We should find a way to do so without the exploitative business practices. We should nonetheless learn from the things Facebook has done for people

@LogicalDash @ajroach42

I don't think Facebook is particularly easy to use. The controls are quite obfuscated and nested and some obvious things one would want such as "opt out of data collection about me" and "opt out of targeted ads" just aren't there.

@hhardy01 @ajroach42 Even if the only thing Facebook did right was getting its app into the stock ROM for a bunch of Android tablets and provide internet for "free," we need to learn from *that*

@LogicalDash @ajroach42

So why are you here instead of on facebook right now if it is so wonderful?

@hhardy01 Because I don't like Facebook

I also think your rhetoric is harmful to the cause of replacing it


I don't care about 'replacing Facebook.'

I just look forward to facebook joining AOL, geocities, friendster, and myspace on the ashheap of the net.



I was here before Facebook. Before the web. Before any commercial use of the net was allowed. At all.

I feel like you think Facebooks is the Internet essentially and like it is a big deal.

I don't.

I see Facebook as a crappy website laden with spyware and adware.

I hope it dwindles down to almost nothing and becomes irrelevant as myspace, friendster, geocities, AOL have.

If you take Facebook as a model and try to 'replace' it, that's the wrong paradigm.

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@ajroach42 @LogicalDash

I don't exactly know why FB became so popular.

For me it was the world wide reach, illusion of private space, and pointy clicky illusion of ease of use. Even though no real control and everything obfuscated.

It is hard for me as I'm leaving now because I have 2000 peeps and so many artists, musicians, writers, intellectuals, thinkers, internet OGs, models, rebels cool people. But if they are real they will come to me here if not let them go.

@hhardy01 @ajroach42 @LogicalDash The way I remember it, Facebook was the first to pierce that membrane between offline and online life and do it well. Bebo sort of did it, but only for teens.

@ajroach42 @salixlucida @LogicalDash @Hascobe @hhardy01 (one of, and arguably the largest, although there were many other incompatible yet functionally similar BBS networks besides fidonet)

@ajroach42 @hhardy01 @Hascobe @LogicalDash yes, but not all BBSes were FidoNet

I used to have an account with a local Free-Net, which was sponsored by the city and had telnet and dial-up access. It did allow access to external WWW (Lynx browser only), gopher, and ftp, in addition to typical local BBS stuff, but no FidoNet.

@salixlucida @ajroach42 @hhardy01 @Hascobe @LogicalDash Excellent point (that not all were on FidoNet). But in those days the technical barrier was higher, too. You had to buy a modem, know who to hook it up, how to use the dialer. The “magic” of AOL in those days was all UX - they lowered the barriers to access. Similarly Facebook with its UX (including on mobile) lowered the barriers for social sharing and connecting.

@hhardy01 @Hascobe @ajroach42 @LogicalDash There were all those things, but they were small. Facebook works for all those people that don't get "the internet" in all its complexity and variety. Same as Apple's iDevices work for many that couldn't get a grip on all that computer stuff before.
Both are massive enablers, but they come at a hidden cost. Only those users that are being enabled are the least well equipped to understand the costs, because they don't understand the ecosystem.

@galaxis @hhardy01 @Hascobe @ajroach42 @LogicalDash Exactly. Facebook made the user experience super simple for people overwhelmed by all the other choices... and the technical complexity of some of the choices. “Just come here and you can communicate with your friends and family, you can meet new people, join discussions, etc” It offers a simplicity for people who don’t care about the tech- they just want to communicate and connect!

Situations like yours remind me that I shouldn't even weigh in on this topic; My only "friends" were friends IRL so cutting the cord wasn't a crisis. I have their phone numbers 🤷🏼‍♂️
@ajroach42 @LogicalDash

@ajroach42 @hhardy01 @LogicalDash I'd say both. We should work to make the barrier to entry smaller for non technical people

@LogicalDash @hhardy01 True.

And we should provide the best possible experience for those people. #scuttlebutt #matrix and #mastodon (though the latter two are only federated, the former is distributed, which is way better IMO)

Totally agree. People who have 0 technical interest use Facebook; they would never make their own website, ever.

@LogicalDash Unfortunately, agree. Here in our bubble, we tend to completely ignore how many people just got in touch with technology via Facebook, WhatsApp, Google - a lot of them people who were coming from dumbphones and texting before, a lot of them (at least in my environment) people who never ever owned a "computer" and never will (asides a smartphone). They don't know or care about "technology" or "the web". They care about the people they connect with.


@hhardy01 Let's not be reductive.

Facebook works, regardless of whether you have tech abilities or disposable income.

Facebook centralises and logs communication in a way that IRC never did.

Facebook is accessible and convenient af. Any competitor has to match that.

@Hascobe @hhardy01 Exactly this. I have a blog. I'm never going to convince everyone I interact with on Facebook to join me there. I'm never gonna convince my mum that she needs to make an account to talk to me there and then get her childhood friends she's reconnected with to contact her there, too. Why would they?

@Agentfoo @Hascobe @hhardy01 This is a big part of the challenge. Facebook has become the place where people have reconnected. Now they are there and have built a mesh of connections. It is hard to move from that well-connected space to a place where all those connections have to be rebuilt. There is a “switching cost” - and most people don’t (yet) feel the need/urgency to switch. It’s a great bit of work.

@USBloveDog @Hascobe

As a sysadmin I know everything gets logged, question is who can see it.

@USBloveDog @hhardy01 for my personal use, a feature. It's useful to have flawless, asynchronous group conversations, or the ability to search messaging history from any device. The issue, as always, is that it's also incredibly useful to those I don't want it to be useful to.


IRC has always used a server. And there's been bots such as eggdrop since forever. Try freenode and irissi client now.

@hhardy01 I'm sure it's doable in some form. The problem is, it's not accessible enough for someone to go from ignorant of the technology to fully integrated, without substantive research. If I say 'join Facebook' to people, they can can find Facebook, and from there the onboarding process takes them through to completion. (Even then, the grossly tech illiterate can struggle.)

That's the barrier we need to surpass.

the future of social networking 

@hhardy01 I think it's only the wrong question because the answer, broadly at least, is kind of obvious: pretty much anything that isn't centrally owned or operated.

(There are multiple reasons why we wouldn't want to go back to what came before.)

The real questions are:
1. What should it be about? (What's the concept?)
2. How can we get people to use it?

I have some fairly detailed ideas about #1.

@hhardy01 One thing Facebook and other social media did, though, is that they made it accessible to people who don't know how to make their own websites and who aren't tech-savvy enough to learn. I don't like facebook, but I don't want having a presence on the internet to have the massive barrier to entry that it had before social media was a thing.

@hhardy01 I think this is a bit optimistic though - while people did do those things, far more people were able to communicate with people because Facebook made it easy.... while also siphonining their data, slinging ads, and violating their privacy.

The things and protocls you mention had a lot of freedom, but fraught with problems. Usenet became a hive of spam. Most people couldn't make a web page.

The problem is how can we make it easy *and* liberating?

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