Today, humanity displayed how sad it really is when Facebook decided to crash. According to the Guardian, Facebook users, instead of switching off their computers, went to other social networks like Twitter and Google+ to check why Facebook was down.
Here is the traffic going to Facebook:
And here is the traffic, at the same time, on Twitter:
I’ve been off Facebook over a week at this point and absolutely do not miss it. It’s understandable that people do not want to disconnect from Facebook because of the contacts they’ve accumulated on the site, this coupled with the ill-imagined assumption that people outside your close circle of friends and family talk to you on Facebook, makes it difficult to leave.
I’d been wanting to delete Facebook since around 2010, when Diaspora* was released. Diaspora* is a privacy oriented network which conceived the notion of ‘aspects’, a feature galvanised (and stolen) by Google+ when it introduced ‘Circles’. There was a decent amount of press given to Diaspora* including on the BBC, but since the inception of Google+, I think it was robbed of it’s thunder.
Fast-forward to 2013, June. Edward Snowden’s leaks have been revealed to the world via the Guardian and privacy becomes the main issue for some, sadly a minority, of users. After months of experimenting with secure messaging and emails, and encrypting devices, the healthy dose of paranoia that I possess lead me to the revelation that only a minority of people talk to me on Facebook, and I could contact them by other means, so I stopped being a used (term courtesy Richard Stallman) and deleted myself from Facebook. Of course, I still have to encourage people not to add new photos of me to the network to aid Facebook’s shadow profile on me.
I encourage all readers to delete their Facebook accounts. Explain to friends what Diaspora* is, use Twitter, set up GnuPG, set up OTR messaging. While Facebook does monitor, and keep all your private chats, listen to your music and TV programmes, make shadow profiles, sells your data, follows you around the net, uses you as a proxy to rat on your friends and reads your text messages (More here), state surveillance still remains a bigger threat to personal freedom and liberty. The only way to stop illegal spying is by using encryption technologies that is libre software, governments can write all the laws they like, agencies are partaking in ILLEGAL spying.