toasters rocks

Facebook sucks

#Rant #Tech
~4 minutes

Well, I guess this thing will be a really nice place to vent. Because, allow me to say this, and I think everyone here will agree: Facebook sucks.

I mean, if you ever need to talk to their tech support to either change the name of your page, there’s a problem with it, or you even just want access to their API to integrate with your website (all true stories), let me get this straight, it’s going to be a pain in the ass and take you months to get anywhere. What else, the timeline is not making sense anymore and it’s showing more and more ads (actually, if you scroll too far it’s going to give up, tell you you reached the end and just show you ads). Yet, it’s still basically useful to reach your users and friends (even if it’s going to cost you money to reach just half of your followers). I’d like to quit Facebook anytime, but that would mean moving all of my friends and their friends and their friends to something less terrible. And it’s not going to happen anytime soon. Unless there’s a new Facebook-killer out there… and that might probably be Instagram, and guess what? They got bought out by Facebook.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg, I’d tell you all night long about pretty much every social network out there. Talking about Twitter, YouTube, things like that. Thing is, these social networks have upwards of hundreds of millions of active users. Anything they’ll do, someone is going to be angry. And they won’t care if it’s going to make the company stay afloat. It also makes it almost impossible to moderate because they’re dealing with so much users daily. They’re not going to sit with you and personally explain what’s wrong with you and how you can improve (which is to me something any good moderator should do), they don’t have time for that, instead pointing at their terms of service and make you try to figure it out, at best. They’re too busy to code the perfect thing to make the copyright holders and governments happy, which is to me almost impossible without said good moderation or at least a decent rate of false alarms that would make the users happy. Which is probably also almost impossible without the AIs turning sentient, but eh, who knows?

In the end, it just makes your social network a terrible place to go. You long for the good ol' days where forums were still a nice place to build a community. It still kind of is, but Facebook groups are way easier to build and invite your friends on. Also easier to attract cancer, I guess. Discord is also a very nice one I’d actually recommend (and also Skype and IRC-killer), but it’s a chat application and not very adapted to easily searchable long-form writing.

Enter the Fediverse. It’s a set of applications that resembles Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, YouTube and the like and have mostly the same functions as them, but they’re broken down in thousands of servers that can talk to each other with a common protocol. And the best thing, you can have one of them! Of course, it’d need a bit of configuration and resources just like hosting a forum, but eh, worth it. That means millions of users you can talk to just like the big, centralized, for-profit ones, except it’s broken down in units you can easily moderate yourself or with a small team. There’s no central admin and you can just ban other people, but also other instances (that’s what we call these units) if you don’t like them. And it’s very manageable.

In conclusion, well, there’s no perfect solution, but it seems to go back to self-host everything. It’s great if you know your way with Linux and you have a $10/month to spend on a VPS, or else you can always ask a friend. Just install the software you want and make your own rules. Even this blog, you can follow it on the fediverse. But yeah, if you’re fed up with the rules, make your own. That’s the internet for you. I really like the feel to be in control of everything, which is why I want to move to things like those, and if you’re like that I really recommend you to do that, but I understand that some people are the complete opposite, they have no technical know-how and they’ll like services that take their hands and do everything for them, so there is where general services like Facebook are useful, and even fediverse sites to a point (the biggest instances are half a million users already). But my point is, there will always be some place on the internet where you can be comfortable.

On that, I run things like (a forum for programmers), (a Mastodon instance) and this blog, feel free to join us if you want to be in a nice community :)

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