About 8 months ago, I re-registered for Facebook. In the aftermath of the Cambridge Analytica fiasco, and the follow on hits of their handing excessive autonomy to phone and hardware manufacturers to sift through their treasure-trove of user data, I shut down and deleted my account(s).
For almost 2 years I remained blissfully off the platform, but picking up the hobby of RC Cars drew me back. Why?
Why indeed. If you go to the way back time, there were lively online communities, with forums and discussion groups for enthusiasts to coalesce, to yak at each other, and to share experiences.
However the rise of Facebook has vacuumed up all those communities and they are all on Facebook. If you want to see the results, head over to Traxxas dot com, and look at their forums. Sure, there is *some* traffic there. But it is miniscule, and if you look as the sub groups that are user created, you will see a lot of illegal behavior (offering of drugs mainly).
In short a cesspool of sleaze.
So, to be part of the community, you **HAVE** to be on FB.
Thus, I swallowed my pride and re-registered in April 2020.
There were some positive changes. First, the privacy controls are much better than they were, and you can limit people who see and can respond to your posts, and they *actually* help you tighten your settings. This is very good, as in the past, the defaults were loose-y goose-y, and most people couldn’t figure out how to improve their privacy.
Second was that the behavior for pages and groups is a lot better. More differentiation, and the pages really are better set up to advertise a business. Groups are still a bit wild west, but there are tools to help prevent bot invasions.
But these are small consolations. The bad is still prevalent. There are roving bands of distasteful people (I ran across mostly right wing nutters, but I did see more than a few lefties that were totally fucking insane) who have made it a mission in their life to infiltrate groups, and to just do the seagull thing. (that is swoop in, shit all over everything, then fly away).
These jackasses also mass report people who they disagree with, and cause a lot of temporary bans.
This leads to the prime issue with Facebook, the inconsistent application of their rules in restricting, and then banning accounts. The aforementioned righties will inundate their reporting system, and people get their accounts shackled for posts that clearly are not against the rules, while a lot of right wing shitposts flagrantly violate the rules, yet remain up.
The worst of this was around the election. It was hard to watch. And this was with my 40ish “friends” and the groups that I joined.
So, as of January 1, my account is dormant. I haven’t deactivated it, or deleted it, but the odds are high that I will go back to just cut the ties forever.
Facebook is as toxic as it ever was. They enable – nay encourage – bad behavior from sketchy people and groups, and damage social discourse.
I am not naive enough to believe that they will miss me, but I am gone. I do have people I have met with, and interacted with for years there, and I will miss them, but at this point, Facebook is just a giant shit show.