My Own Private Guantanamo

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Just another Tuesday in exile

November 17, 2010

Boing Boing editor and reliable web trendsetter/watcher Xeni Jardin deactivated her personal Facebook account today. I really envy her taking the initiative. I wanted to play the “You can’t fire me cause I quit” card, but it’s hard to quit when you’re in exile. Is Jardin’s departure a harbinger of things to come? Will Facebook go the way of Myspace and become supplanted by something cooler, just around the corner? The last few months have felt to me like Facebook jumped the shark. Maybe it’s the presence of everyone’s parents or the increasing political tribalism or the inevitable creep of monetizing the social web. Whatever the reason, Facebook has been getting lamer and lamer.

Xeni Jardin cited privacy reasons, but I wonder if Facebook’s new Messages app also played a role. Zuckerberg’s gambit which seeks to compete with email (which is TOO SLOW for the kids these days) might sound like a good idea, but do you really want to turn control of your email over to a company with a proven track record for gross invasions of privacy, sudden non-consensual shifts in policy, and a total lack of transparency?

Right now, I’m locked out of my Facebook account, which means I don’t have access to my contacts, my writing and my photo albums. There is no word on why I was banned, nor any indication of when my access will be restored, if ever. I can’t imagine how much worse it would be if Facebook were also my email provider. Once the new Facebook phone comes out, a person could, in theory, turn all of the tools for his mediated communication over to a single, largely unaccountable company. One’s entire public face could be privately owned. (And don’t forget, this is not an Onion headline: Zuckerberg really does want to trademark the word “face.“)

So fuck Facebook’s growing monopoly and praise the Web godz for Twitter and WordPress where I am still free to find and post viral videos, depressing news stories and funny links. And praise also be to Friendster, where I can interact with my tiny dissident social network in near total privacy. It’s like the Guantanamo Bay Prison of social media. (By the way, I have been looking at your neglected profiles, circa 2003-2005 and y’all were beautiful.)

Here’s some good stuff via the interwebs.

Stormtroopers in love.

Love Will Tear Us Apart, sung by a Tuvan throatsinger.

Privilege Denying Dude

In other news…

It was reported that an Iraq War whistleblower in the UK was likely murdered (as he himself predicted), former President Jimmy Carter provided material support to terrorists (a federal crime in the United States of Hope & Change), a cat stared down a gator and construction began on the first Starbucks at Gitmo.

Goodnight.

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