Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Leaving Facebook in the name of democracy

The origin of the Internet can be said to be the TCP/IP stack, a pear-to-pear networking protocol. When HTTP was added on top the internet was born, making links and design of web pages possible, a major advantage from the previous text-based bulletin boards, FTP servers etc. Many of us set up our own web and e-mail servers at home in the 90:s and it felt like a whole new world opened up.

But was has happened since the 90:s? Almost everything on the internet has been concentrated to a few huge service providers, such as Facebook and Google. Homepages and blogs are easily done using such services, further increasing the concentration to a few giants.

Having a few giants instead of many competitors makes the market weaker and is, in the end, anti-democratic. When you add the fact that the giants are all financed by commercials (as they all provide services without a monetary cost as the data about the users is the currency they seek) the democracy problem becomes obvious. If we constantly are bombarded with commercials they will change our view of the world and that is truly a dangerous development.

Following Gandhi's advice I will now try to be the change I want to see. The first step will be to leave all the giants. Instagram was easy as I don't care too much about photos. Today I inactivated my Facebook account and this will be a good test. Will I be able to keep in touch with people? Will my relationships be fewer but of better quality?

I pay for the hosting of, so that part is ok. With that also comes e-mail addresses that I forward to Gmail. Which brings me to the next few steps. I need to find an e-mail service provider so I can leave Gmail. I also need to figure out a solution for my blogs.

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