Thursday, January 4, 2018

Facebookistan? / Icy Foggy Morning / Red Cedar in Flight, Refusing to Die / Update on Facebook issues

"There are a lot of people who don't trust Facebook but use it anyway because everybody else is on Facebook, but I think they recognize that there could be a tipping point where suddenly, you know, everybody just leaves." (At 56:21 -- Rebecca MacKinnon, a Facebook user, author of Consent of the Networked, internet activist, and co-founder of Global Voices)

My Facebook page is only deactivated, not deleted, and this video gave me much to think about in our connected world today.  So much depends on being on Facebook, often including being able to get a job. I have not yet left Facebook completely, but if there ever were to be a fee to use Facebook, I would leave.  There are other options for being in touch with those I want to be in touch with.  I am grateful for the option of blogging.  May it always be free and allow us to be as anonymous as we wish to be.

Then, of course, there is the issue of loss of net neutrality and the real possibility of less freedom on the internet and beyond.  There is also the possibility of more freedom in the realm that has nothing to do with the internet.  I'm going to focus on that possibility.

We grieved when this extraordinary Red Cedar tree, which had survived against all odds, was cut down this past summer because someone from the local parks department with power and a chainsaw determined that it was "dead."  A few days later, we noticed the two young trees that had been growing from its side for some time.  Our Red Cedar tree is not dead.

Here, in Red Cedar language, is the story of the tree that is not dead. May the two young trees that are growing from it like new wings carry on the Red Cedar tradition of storytelling far into the future.

Update.  Mark Zuckerberg accepting responsibility for problems with Facebook:

"We won't prevent all mistakes or abuse, but we currently make too many errors enforcing our policies and preventing misuse of our tools. If we're successful this year, then we'll end 2018 on a much better trajectory."

May it be so.


Elizabeth said...

Interesting. I, too, feel ambivalent about FB but "need" it to keep up my connections with the vast cannabis and disability world, as well as maintaining connections to the writing world. Sigh.

That tree. Double sigh. I'm always sad to see a tree down.

Take care!

am said...

Elizabeth -- Thank you for your comment. At this point, Facebook is not necessary in my life, and I know that for many people it is a miraculous lifeline and source of priceless information and community. My hope is that the founders of Facebook are listening and learning and making changes for the better of its users. Facebook has taken on a life of its own, beyond the wildest dreams of its founders.

Sabine said...

Some time ago, when this documentary was shown on German TV I did the test that's mentioned in it (Cambridge University: and was somewhat reassured that based on my posts at the time, fb considered me a 39 yr old male with liberal views, high intelligence, a desire to follow my goals and a calm personality.

I remember the early years when we all got onto fb to stay connected as a family spread out across the world. That was a giddy time, so immediate, so *with* it.
Now, we write letters again, lovely long handwritten/typed and printed ones on paper with an envelope and gorgeous stamps. Real treats. That and phone calls.

Sad tree story, looks perfectly healthy inside.