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Henry Edward Hardy @hhardy01

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.

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@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 @hhardy01 Yeah, there's a certain kind of tech hubris that thinks that not wanting to learn how to set up a blog is a failing in other people. I'd rather try to take into account what is good about blogs, and what was good about the golden age of Usenet, when designing something for non-technical users.

@gcupc @hhardy01 @ajroach42 @LogicalDash There’s also an entire generation of tech missing from this argument. The people who did those things could afford the high technical and monetary costs of doing them, mostly by paying University tuition. That internet was a walled garden, and it was Early ISP’s that broke the walls down and, in the process of monetizing the internet, democratized it.

Facebook replaced AOL (and MySpace).

@jay @LogicalDash @ajroach42 @hhardy01 @gcupc i feel like it both replaced those things AND brought in an audience that neither of those things could. there are people in my life who use facebook to the exclusion of all other parts of the internet, who never used a computer regularly before that. part of it is tablets/phones - they come with facebook installed. it's less intimidating

@wolfteeth @gcupc @hhardy01 @ajroach42 @LogicalDash @jay

I feel some of the tools are getting good anufe to be used by normal'ish people. of course lots are not

@hamishcampbell @jay @LogicalDash @ajroach42 @hhardy01 @wolfteeth I really like the idea of #Indieweb, but like the *minimal* requirement is to set up your own static website on your own domain, and IMO it would be ideal if everyone could do that, but it's not realistic today.

@gcupc I agree with this, and that's why I try not to criticize people for the networks and tools they use.

I'll critizie those networks and tools, but that's a different thing, you know?

And so much of my favorite indieweb adjacent stuff is still centralized (although it's open web, it's not siloed.)

Archive.org + neocities ftw.

@gcupc @hamishcampbell @jay @LogicalDash @ajroach42 @hhardy01 tbh i'd argue blog/website building doesn't actually meet the same need, even if it was easy enough for everyone to do. fb is a communication tool that is relatively easy to use and gives an illusion of privacy and intimacy ("only my friends/family will see this!"). imo the people who really got into the old indie web were oddballs looking for connection we couldn't find irl - so we wanted to broadcast

@hhardy01 @ajroach42 @LogicalDash @jay @hamishcampbell @gcupc some people use fb for that, but i think many more see it as the equivalent of a family email list or a christmas letter. i think that role does deserve to be filled by an easy-to-use tool, just maybe not one that harvests all your data to sell to advertising firms. and maybe not one that assumes all people in your life should see the same version of you

@wolfteeth @ajroach42 @LogicalDash @jay @hamishcampbell @gcupc

Well in my case I'd been doing student and community radio for about 12 years when I started on the ARPAnet so I wasn't without a broadcast channel it was rather that I was happy to have another medium.

But its true that when I started my own website in 1995 that took a lot of impetus from radio.


@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.

@hhardy01 those two sentences contradict one another



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.

@hhardy01 The fact that Facebook is the only part of the internet a lot of people use means that it is providing something to them, that they will still need if Facebook goes under

The only way it makes sense to not care about a Facebook replacement, but still want it to die, is if you're OK with those people not getting what they need out of the internet

@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.

@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.

@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.

@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?

@Hascobe @hhardy01 Do you consider the logging to be a feature or a bug?

@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.

@Hascobe @hhardy01 much like a lot of Google services. It's hard to move b/c of the huge base and things work (for most people anyway).


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.

@hhardy01 @slipstream Messages like this exact one are what I'm referring to. To me, this reads as "You know what we should do? Just kick 90% of the folk on the Internet off."

I think there's this misconception of what the Internet was like pre-Facebook - it was not the perfect frontier of FOSS solutions that y'all are building toward now, but a medley FOSS stopgaps to heal the dot-com burst. Not to be too harsh, but the linked toot reads as almost revisionist.