In light of the Facebook / Cambridge Analytica scandal, and the larger ramifications of people realizing just how much data Facebook has on us (IT’S SO MUCH DATA), in addition to how they have not exercised much care of said data. In response to this, I’ve heard talk of people deleting Facebook.
At this point, I treat Facebook as a news source, an entertainment source, as a gossip site, as a place to make life/career announcements, as a place to plan events, as a socializing site through the messenger, and many other uses (and Facebook knows this). I’m tempted to delete it, but the pure utility of it is undeniable (and Facebook knows this too).
I want to propose a not-for profit, or co-op, or open source model for a social media site. I’m also curious about what a decentralized “social media network” would look like.
For example, what if everyone had their own private server, running the same software that could communicate using a set protocol with other servers running the software?
Does this make any sense? If it were a co-op or not for profit model, would people pay in for it? If it were a de-centralized, open source software / communication protocol, would enough people take the time to download it and maintain it?
Aside: To be clear, problem goes beyond Facebook and for profit social media companies. Taking control of our online data should impact internet service providers (ISP’s) as well. The amount of data our ISP’s have is unsettling. ISP’s and any company that sells supposedly anonymized data should have some kind of oversight.