Erling Ambles Web Site/ blogg

Facebook is out, now you can rather go for WT.Social.


There is a new Bus Line in Town.  
 

I strongly appeal to everybody to close down their Facebook-accounts as soon as possible, and open an account in the new social network WT.Social instead. The latter is very simple and done in a minute, you just log in to https://wt.social,

fill in your name, e-mail account, date of birth and preferred language and create yourself a password, and then you are in. I have heard that the closing of a Facebook-account is slightly more complicated, but not impossible.


But what is "WT.Social", and why should
one move one's account to it ?

"WT.Social" is short for "Wiki Tribune Social" and is a social network founded i october 2019 by Jimmy Wales, who was the man who also lies behind the foundation of Wikipedia.("Wiki" is an expression from hawaiian that means "quick", but on the internet is used about a website where texts are developed in a cooperation between people who read them. Jimmy Wales did this after long times frustration over Facebook and Twitter. Wikipedia defines WT.Social as a "microblogging and social networking service".

This is how WT.Social present itself on its opening page:

  • The non-toxic social network
  • Welcome to a place where advertisers don't call the shots.
  • Where your data isn't packaged up and sold.
  • Where you - not algorithms - decide whar you see.
  • Where you can directly edit misleading content.
  • Where bad actors are kicked out and kept out.
  • Where you actually like spending time.
  • Welcome to social media the way it should be
  • Welcome to WT.Social.

WT.Social has, as reported, only been running a little more than a year, since october 2019, and has so far only appr 465 000 users. Thar is not much compared to the 2,4 billions of Facebook. But nearly half a million is also quite a lot of people. Anyway, most of those 2,4 billions do not have more than a few hundred "friends". So the greater part of those 2,4 billions is of no value to the indivdual user.

As WT:Social is a non-profit web site, you will not need to relate to the endless list of persons Facebook want you to be "friends" with, nor to all the groups they suggest you should enter. But this does not mean you don't have friends or groups in the WT.Social. The groups are called subwikies and are organised around defined issues. There are thousands of subwikies, and you are free to enter any of them, or create new ones.

It might be that WT.Social will appear to be slightly more oriented towards discussions and issues of common interest than parts of Facebook does. So if you mainly are using Facebook to post pictures of your cat or what you will be eating for dinner, it might be that you will feel more at home with Facebook than with WT.Social. Anyway, you could give the latter a chance and see what it is like.

With an account in WT.Social you will get a profile page rather similar to the one you had at Facebook. You are given the opportunity to put in your profile picture and portrait, and give a short presentation of yourself.

 
 
 
 

My critical attitude to Facebook and other "social medias" I got partly from reading these two books, that I will warmly recommend:

   
Jaron Lanier is a veteran from Silicon Valley. In his book he gives a far more detailed description of how the "social medias" are manipulating us, than it is possible for me to do here. In his autobiograby "Permanent Record Edward Snowden does not only describe the monitoring of us all carried out by NSA and CIA. He also unveils things about the "social medias" similar to what is described by Jaron Lanier. Last but not least he writes about his nostalgic longing for what internet was like when he was a teenager, before Google and Facebook etc turned most of it into a commercial business. Further details about the content of these two books can be found in my two bloggs "Sosiale Media" and "Edderkoppenes nett", but unfortunately only in norwegian.

And what is wrong with Facebook ?

1. Facebook is sailing under false colours.

Facebook likes exposing itself as an organisation that unselfishly promotes contact between people all over the world:
This is a fundamentally fake image, and it is incredible that FB to such a high degree has been able to maintain it as some kind of "truth".


This is a more correct image. Facebook weaves its web in order to catch you and me and earn money exploiting our personal information, exactly like the spiders weaves their web to catch insects which they thereafter eat.

The fact that Facebook has succeeded in maintaining the impression of being some kind of charity organisation must be one of the most profitable bluff operations in history. The Facebook users should ask themselves how it is possible that Facebook in 2018 made a profit of the astronomical sum of 55 billion Ṣ when users pay no fee to be there ? The truth is that the 2,4 billion users are not Facebooks customers, as they might believe. On the contrary, they are what Facebook is selling. The users are giving Facebook a lot of information about themselves for free, information tha Facebook organises and sells to companies engaged in marketing, monitoring and manipulating.

That Facebook is "free" is part of the bluff, and contributes to disguise what enormous values the company draws out of their users. WT.Social on the contrary is really free: no information about us is being sold, and you pay no fee to be there. The activites on the site is instead funded by voluntary donations (as is the case also with Wikipedia).

2. Facebook creates addiction and promotes conflicts.

To maximize its profit, Facebook has developed a lot of rather sophisticated algorithms who design their web pages in such a way that the users are lured into spending so much time as possible there. The endless stream of suggestions for new "friends" is one way of doing this, the system with the "likes" is another. The fact that this leads some people to feel failed because they get fewer "likes" than somebody else, is bad enough, but not the worst. The algorithms also give more exposure to information that is supposed to generate more interest and traffic on the page ("click-friendly news"). That will often mean that information about violent incidents, use of invectives and threats is given priority over information that suggests contemplation and peace. In the name of truth it shall be admitted that Facebook in no way is alone in using that kind of algorithms, so do also a majority of search engines with Google in front. The "social media"s use of this kind of algorithms has led to that what could have been decent discussions on the web has been turned int arenas for invectives and threats. This might even have contributed to the increase of terror attacks and violence-orientated organisations that we have seen develope simultanously with the "social media".

3. Facebook is a threat against democracy.

Facebook is one of the most powerful companies in the world. They are not the only one in this division to exploit this to trick with their book-keeping in such a way that they pay ridiculously low taxes in most countries, with the advantages this gives them in the competition with domestic companies. But in addition they have taken an unproportionately big part of the advertising market in all countries, which has made it more difficult for traditional newspapers to survive. Besides that, a lot of people no longer read newspapers, but stick to the "social media" to keep themselves informed about what is happening in the world. If things continue to develope along these lines, soon it will be impossible to do serious reporting work and make reliable newspapers. Then we can end up in a situation where the only source of news information will be what the algorithms of the "social media" chooses for us, with the opportunities for controlling us this will be giving them. We should not forget the manipulation of the presidental election in 2016 that Cambridge Analytica accomplished by using exactly Facebook.

The enormous power of Facebook is built on the fact that so many people have chosen to open an account there. If sufficiently many of us decide to close our accounts instead, the power and influence of the comapny will decrease to a more common level. It is your choice: Do you want to continue to contribute to Facebooks dominating position in the world, and to continue to be exploited and manipulated by the company, or will you rather support the alternative that now is at hand ?


By opening an account at WT.Social you can continue to do what you used to do at Facebook, but Facebook will no longer be able to exploit you and your friends while you are doing it. This will contribute to decrease this companys enormous

and destructive power. So: shut down your Facebook-account as soon as possible, and open one at WT.Social instead, and ask all your friends and contacts to do the same !