Rich Decibels on Teal, Scuttlebutt and Solarpunk. An episode of Stephen Reid In Dialogue.
“I’ve always had an ideological critique about Facebook; the privatization of profit, and the socialization of all the effort, the value exchange there is really off, and I think that there’s major abuses of power. I think there’s lots of things that I don’t like about the Facebook business model. But, sort of around that Occupy time, I made a commitment like – look, it’s really popular to hate Facebook, and with people with my sort of values, we’re all proud of saying how Facebook sucks, and we’re so much cooler than that. But, I made a commitment to be, like, look, almost everyone that I know, all of my friends are here, and – if you’re at a party and all your friends are there, and you’re having a bad party, that’s kind of your own fault. If everyone’s there, then surely we can do something fun, and creative, and constructive with it. So, I really put a lot of effort into it, for a few years, trying to create a positive experience on Facebook. And it’s quite strange but I would actually have quite a few people mention to me, in person, they’d say, “Rich, I really appreciate what you’re doing on Facebook.” They’d give me this strange compliment, that I’m hosting kinds of conversations and bringing insight and drawing in sources of news that no one else is paying attention to, and so on – and quite intentionally doing it.
And then, it was January (of this year). We were really starting to pay attention to the abuses of Facebook, where it’s not just about ad selling, it’s now about vote selling…where the algorithms have really made a significant impact on the way that our democracies are functioning. And that, to me, was just a bridge too far. I felt like, instead of what I was trying to create – a bubble of positivity within this kind of shopping mall – I just crossed the line. I said, look, I feel like I’m actually propping up a really toxic and abusive place. So, I pulled out. I’ll come in and comment from time to time, but I’ve just stopped posting altogether. Which was a major shift for me, I was putting a lot of energy in there for a long time…but more and more, my energy is going into Scuttlebutt, because it’s constructive.”
Rich’s personal site: richdecibels.com/
The Hum: www.thehum.org/
Thread on Reinventing Organisations: www.facebook.com/stephenreid321/posts/2175422099199363