back to article Hey, we've toned down the 'destroying society' shtick, Facebook insists

Facebook has taken the unusual step of responding to comments by former VP Chamath Palihapitiya that the social media giant was "destroying how society works". Palihapitiya said that executives ignored cautionary instincts when creating Facebook, and he now regretted the consequences. The Sri Lanka-born investor who grew up in …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sorry, this is just PR Speak.

    The reality is that people are leaving them in droves. They need to 'show' that they have apparently cleaned up their act. We (the commentards here) know beter don't we?

    1. BillG Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: Sorry, this is just PR Speak.

      "The short-term, dopamine-driven feedback loops that we have created are destroying how society works. No civil discourse. No cooperation. Misinformation...

      Somebody finally gets it - this is totally correct.

      As someone who is deep inside psychological marketing, it's easy to see that getting followers, and getting likes, creates dopamine (and PLEASURE) in the brain. This basic science has tons of recent research to back it up.

      The way you get followers and likes? Well, the easy way is just telling people what they want to hear.

      1. handleoclast Silver badge
        Trollface

        Re: Sorry, this is just PR Speak.

        @BillG

        Yeah, before we had Farcebook we used to get our dopamine fix a different way. Then the popularity of smoking declined, so now people are hooked on Farcebook instead.

        We know how to wean people off their Farcebook addiction. The fix is obvious.

      2. AdamWill

        Re: Sorry, this is just PR Speak.

        "The way you get followers and likes? Well, the easy way is just telling people what they want to hear."

        I note that at time of writing this post has 18 upvotes. :P

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      'The reality is people are leaving FB in droves'

      I'd like to believe that, but a quick survey of friends, family, colleagues confirms its just not true. They won't even skim articles about surveillance capitalism (Shoshana Zuboff / John Lanchester). And the Max Schrems case proving Facebook never deletes anything? They don't care either.

      I could live with surveillance capitalism if we had robot butlers or hover cars at least. But instead we see such nasty manipulation of users by US tech giants (Uber especially). And manipulative pay-for-ads by political exploiters (Cambridge Analytics). Its Blakes7 dystopia, only without the spaceships / rebels!

      1. Roj Blake Silver badge

        Re: Its Blakes7 dystopia, only without the spaceships / rebels!

        I'd take Servelan over Zuckerberg any day.

        1. tiggity Silver badge

          Re: Its Blakes7 dystopia, only without the spaceships / rebels!

          Servalan would take you!

      2. rmason Silver badge

        Re: 'The reality is people are leaving FB in droves'

        Agree with AC.

        "People" aren't leaving in droves. I'm 35 and don't think I know anyone without a facebook account. The wife and her friends arrange their entire lives by it pretty much. Even mates who work as things like policemen and nurses have FB accounts, sometimes with a modified or truncated name but still, they're there.

        YMMV, and anecdotal evidence is anecdotal, but equally as anecdotal as claiming "droves" of users are leaving. I'd imagine the opposite is true. People are signing up younger and younger.

        1. tiggity Silver badge

          Re: 'The reality is people are leaving FB in droves'

          There seems to be an age issue, Facebook is seen as a preserve of the "older" people, and although lots of younger people have FB accounts to keep in touch with family etc, they do a lot more of their more "intimate personal details" interaction with their friends via other means, their FB use is typically low and sanitized

          N.B. I am not a "young person" - just know from younger relatives / friends that Facebook is "for olds" & treated as being about as relevant as writing & posting a letter - FB account main use to allow easy long distance comms with parents, grandparents, provide a bland, inoffensive profile for potential employers to inspect etc..

        2. JohnFen Silver badge

          Re: 'The reality is people are leaving FB in droves'

          Here's my anecdotal evidence: My daughter is in her mid 20s, and neither she or any of her friends have Facebook accounts. As she puts it, "Facebook is for old folks".

        3. JohnFen Silver badge

          Re: 'The reality is people are leaving FB in droves'

          "I'm 35 and don't think I know anyone without a facebook account"

          This probably varies according to social circles. I'd say about 1/3 of the people I know have a facebook account -- but I skew a fair bit older than 35.

      3. FlamingDeath Bronze badge

        Re: 'The reality is people are leaving FB in droves'

        'Cambridge Analytics'

        Kudos to you for mentioning them

        Bell Pottinger is another

        I'm certain there are many many more, who are just like the sociopaths mentioned above

  2. Dan 55 Silver badge

    Quality trolling from Facebook

    All that was missing was blaming Chamath for what they did while he was there (that they don't do now anyway).

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I could have told everyone many years ago and I haven't worked for facebook. I tried it when it started but as soon as it started getting toxic I left it and I'm glad I did.

    He's perfectly right though however my money is on facebook eventually imploding.

  4. Voland's right hand Silver badge

    facebook eventually imploding.

    facebook eventually imploding.

    To be replaced by something even more vile. The emergence of something like Facebook which makes most of humanity into a shallow, simple-feedback driven mob has long been predicted. It does not take long reading Huxley, Orwell, Levin, Asimov or more recently Gibson, Stephenson and Dan Simmons to see some of the downside of integrating information flow and human society.

    There will be no fix for it in the short term.

    Long term, if the SciFi by the same people is right (it has been prescient so far), AI may end up as a natural dampener and fix for this - on all levels. Starting from police and finishing with being the only "reasoned opinion" adult in the room (Neil Asher style). Unfortunately, our AI efforts are decades away so in the meantime we have to live in the era ot Twitterocracy and Facebookarchy - the time when any intelligent thought is treated the same way Torquemada treated anyone questioning how the Christian god could be omnipotent, omniscient and benevolent at the same time.

    1. Khaptain Silver badge

      Re: facebook eventually imploding.

      "The emergence of something like Facebook which makes most of humanity into a shallow, simple-feedback driven mob has long been predicted."

      I am afraid to say that humanity has been like that for far longer than just the period relating to the emergence of Facebook. Facebook and social media et definitely hold responsibly in its continual increase though.

      Social media has some positive points but I often feel that they do not outweigh the negatives. Hence I have no social media accounts.

      PS : I have no social media accounts unless El Reg is considered as Social Media ??

      1. JohnFen Silver badge

        Re: facebook eventually imploding.

        "I have no social media accounts unless El Reg is considered as Social Media ??"

        I know numerous young folk who consider YouTube to be "social media". If that's true, then El Reg must be as well.

      2. VinceH Silver badge

        Re: facebook eventually imploding.

        "PS : I have no social media accounts unless El Reg is considered as Social Media ??"

        Ever since I first heard the term, probably around the time of Web 2.0 (though the term was probably around before that) I've considered usenet and mailing lists to be social media.

        1. WolfFan Silver badge

          Re: facebook eventually imploding.

          "PS : I have no social media accounts unless El Reg is considered as Social Media ??"

          Ever since I first heard the term, probably around the time of Web 2.0 (though the term was probably around before that) I've considered usenet and mailing lists to be social media.

          Many mailing lists and especially usenet are, always were, and always will be, anti-social media.

          If you doubt this, visit talk.origins. Warning: the locals eat newbies, alive and screaming, for breakfast.

      3. Outer mongolian custard monster from outer space (honest)

        Re: facebook eventually imploding.

        RE el reg as social media. Apparently only if you use your actual name :-)

        If anyone is curious, my current username stems from demonstrating to a co-worker who insisted that el reg usernames were all genuine and vetted that he knew even less about user validation than he did about network security.

      4. Tigra 07 Silver badge

        Re: Khaptain

        It's media and you're commenting on it to others. Add the watering of virtual crops and it sounds like social media...

        1. Paul Crawford Silver badge
          Trollface

          Re: Khaptain

          Ah, but El Reg has the down-vote button, so really it is anti-social media.

          Oh and we can at least be honest trolls here =>

    2. Teiwaz Silver badge

      Re: facebook eventually imploding.

      which makes most of humanity into a shallow, simple-feedback driven mob has long been predicted.

      Well, makes sounds naive. Humanity is a shallow, simple-feedback driven mob.

      Increasingly individuals have grown bored of the obsession, and returned to the smaller circles of family and friends. It's probably an effect that will snowball. People might hold on to it for the necessary aspects they found really useful, and stop bothering with the superfluous first.

      I'd like to think humanity as a whole has learnt something from the experience, but mostly it'll be homergenised*

      * Homer-genised - as in Homer Simpson, and forgotten by next episode. Nothing to do with milk or things being made similar. 'homogenise'

      I'd disagree with the Torquemada thing, intelligent thought isn't particularly dragged down to the face the inquisition (well by most, ignore the propogandists) it's merely ignored like the sound of one hand clapping, people don't hear it, and probably wouldn't comprehend if they did,

      1. Captain DaFt

        Re: facebook eventually imploding.

        it's merely ignored like the sound of one hand clapping, people don't hear it, and probably wouldn't comprehend if they did,

        Twas ever thus:

        "Occasionally he stumbled over the truth but he always picked himself up and hurried on as if nothing had happened." (Winston Churchill, allegedly referring to Stanley Baldwin)

        Still applies to humanity in general.

    3. Phukov Andigh Bronze badge

      Re: facebook eventually imploding.

      upvote for Asher mention.tho perhaps this is what happens *after* the AI wars. FB is the means to keep humanity from realizing we lost? :) Paging Agent Cormac to the white courtesy phone!

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Leaving in droves...

    ... is good in itself, but not if they're leaving to just go to Twitter or some other online toilet instead.

    Social media will eventually wipe itself out; the only question is how much of a mess it is going to have made of society before it does, and how long that will take to recover and rebuild.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Value of facebook?

      When some hyper-millennial friend of mine tells me how wonderful facebook is, I ask them what it's value is to them.

      If it wasn't free, how much would they be prepared to pay for it? £20 per month? £10 per month? After a bit of thought, the answer generally comes out close to zero - if it cost money they wouldn't bother with it.

      My next question is then how much are they worth to facebook? For which you take facebooks annual turnover or notional value and divide by the number of users. Then (sometimes) the penny drops and the lightbulb comes on. Not for long though, as after a few moments of thinking time they are back to fiddling on facebook again.

  6. Inventor of the Marmite Laser Silver badge

    Just goes to show

    You can't polish a Faece

    1. Ledswinger Silver badge

      Re: Just goes to show

      You can't polish a Faece

      In the case Faecebook, the polishing has already been achieved in the IPO. There's no turd that an investment bank can't polish.

      In the world of proper biological turds, I'll wager you could even polish one of them. So long as it isn't too soft, and you're allowed to use a bit of Mr Sheen. If you get a dried log (or fresh, but heavily constipated) all you'd need is a quick squirt of Mr Sheen and a gentle rub with a soft cloth.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. Tigra 07 Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: Just goes to show

        You can't polish a turd but you can roll it in glitter.

        Mines the one with the turd in the left pocket

  7. JohnFen Silver badge

    Facebook is correct

    They were just learning in the early days. Now, they've pretty much perfected their mind-control, society-destroying techniques. Practice makes perfect!

  8. Russell Chapman Esq.

    Facebook issues

    I commented on an article on FB about a physical attack on a LGBT person,I wrote, 'While I dont agree with the LGBT lifestyle there is no excuse for any attack, physical or otherwise. The person who carried out the attack should be ashamed'. Result, FB deleted my post and I got banned from commenting on FB for 24hrs for hate speech. This was 2 days ago.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Facebook issues

      I commented on an article on FB I no longer comment on article on FB and enjoy real life.

      ftfy.

    4. Tigra 07 Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Facebook issues

      What's the LGBT lifestyle hetero people always speak of?

      PS. That doesn't sound like hate speech, just a dumb statement. And I don't agree with the hetero lifestyle. Vaginas? Ewwww *shudders*

      Sincerely

      A gay

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

    5. AdamWill

      Re: Facebook issues

      I don't think your comment should have resulted in any kind of ban, but it *is* both incorrect and mildly intolerant. Sexuality is not a "lifestyle" and you don't get to "agree" or "disagree" with anyone else's: it's none of your damn business.

      1. Tigra 07 Silver badge

        Re: mostly agree Adam

        Really Adam?

        I disagree with Bono's preachy lifestyle and he keeps making it my business each year when he asks me for money.

        He keeps ramming his preachy lifestyle down my throat (Yeah, massive irony alert)

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Facebook issues

        "Sexuality is not a "lifestyle" "

        I am not convinced that this is 100% or anywhere near 100% correct.. There a lot of people out there that "choose" both their sexuality and their lifestyle.. Or do you also want to dictate to us that sexuality can't be changed/decided upon.

        "lifestyle" and you don't get to "agree" or "disagree"

        Because you say so or because it is a fact..

        1. Tigra 07 Silver badge
          Thumb Down

          Re: Anonymous Coward

          Please provide evidence of a single person (Not an obvious troll) that "chose" their sexuality.

          Please also provide evidence of how this is done so i can laugh when it doesn't work.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Anonymous Coward

            I would challenge you first to provide a definition of Sexuality.

            You will probably be surprised to learn that is far more vague than you might imagine. Therefore and since many people are unsure, undecided, unaware, inexperienced their "choice" of sexuality can quite easily change.

            Nothing is written in black and white colour concerning your sexuality. That is merely a stance taken by those who object to choice.

            Very few things about human mentality cannot be changed given the correct environment.

            1. This post has been deleted by its author

              1. AdamWill

                Re: Anonymous Coward

                "Every gay person i have known, will categorically state that it is not a choice."

                I...think you're going slightly too far, there.

                Note, I was actually rather careful not to wade into the extremely charged and somewhat toxic debate about whether sexuality is chosen. What I said is that it's not a "lifestyle", because it isn't.

                This is not going to go anywhere good, but oh well. I identify as gay, because it's much easier than trying to express anything more complex without getting lynched. But if you gave me a safe space, a beer and half an hour, what I'd actually tell you is that I'm *mostly* attracted to guys, and have been since a very early age (about 10). I don't walk around with a limp wrist, I'm not a hairdresser, I don't have a high-pitched voice or lisp, I don't wiggle my hips all over the damn place when I walk, or any other thing tiresome people like the OP would presumably consider to be indicators of a "gay lifestyle" or whatever.

                I also would say I can't absolutely tell you that I was "born gay" or that I "chose to be gay". Honestly they seem like rather weird phrasings of a false dichotomy, to me.

                Frankly, I'd say not-entirely-straight people stick to very simple descriptors of sexuality (like "gay") and insist very hard that you're "born gay" (or "born straight") because it's a nice simple and unequivocal position from which you can derive a pretty convincing argument in favour of sexual tolerance. Which obviously is the end goal.

                If you got some social scientists into the safe space with me and gave *them* beers too, they'd point out that there are some awkward truths that complicate the nice simple narrative; fr'instance, people are a lot more likely to have sex with another person of the same sex if they're somehow placed in an institution where they *only* encounter other people of the same sex for a long time. Like prison. Or the navy. This is *both* an ugly stereotype *and* demonstrably true, which is a much more subtle thing than you can sensibly debate on twitter without getting your ass flamed into oblivion by both sides of the Morally Certain Brigade. (This is also why health workers, who generally get a pass from demonstrating their Ideological Purity, tend to target health campaigns at groups like "men who have sex with men" - MSM - rather than using terms like 'gay'; they know there are men who have sex with other men and don't consider themselves to be gay. Life is complicated.)

                The *problem* with bringing all this up, as a 'gay' person, is that it tends to open lots of doors for the "BURN ALL THE QUEERS" brigade. Which, frankly, in some contexts, is a pretty *good* reason not to bring this stuff up. But since we were going there anyway, hey, I felt like writing about it.

                Personally I actually think sexuality is a hell of a lot more fluid than people are at all comfortable thinking about, which is why we invent convenient and comfortable lies and labels to deal with it instead. (I've read about an interesting study/survey people have done with late high school / university students in some places, asking them to place themselves on a *scale* where 1 is 'entirely straight' and 5 is 'entirely gay'; apparently, quite often responses between 1 and 5 are more common than either 1 or 5).

                Everyone's a lot more comfortable if I just say I'm gay than if I say "well, I'm almost exclusively attracted to men, and I'm married to one, but I don't find women intrinsically sexually repugnant and I do actually occasionally think one's pretty cute. If I'd been born in 1935 I'd probably have just married a woman and made the best of it cos that would've been easier than the alternative. If all the other men on earth died out tomorrow I'd probably be happier having sex with women than not having sex at all. I quite honestly don't think I can tell you 100% for certain if I was "born this way", whatever "this way" actually is, but it certainly isn't hurting anyone and it's certainly not anyone else's business trying to decide what "way" I am or should be. What's the label for that?"

                But no, it's definitely not a bloody "lifestyle", whatever it is.

        2. AdamWill

          Re: Facebook issues

          See longer reply below, but: I didn't say anything about whether sexuality is inherent or chosen. I said it wasn't a lifestyle. I don't think the two are *remotely* the same question.

          There are a bunch of problems with talking about a "gay lifestyle" or whatever - it's extremely trivializing and belittling, it implicitly supports the pernicious idea that all gay people are some sort of mincing lisping limp-wristed stereotype from a 1970s sitcom, it implies that anyone who identifies as anything other than 'straight' is just sort of trying it on and causing trouble, and it similarly suggests that, because it's "just a lifestyle choice", it's acceptable to pressure people to consciously *change* their conception of their sexuality when they themselves are perfectly comfortable with it. That's just for starters.

          But I don't equate it directly with the question of whether sexuality is inherent, environmental, cultural, a conscious or unconscious choice or some sort of messy combination of all of the above at all.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Facebook issues

            @AdamWill

            Well done Adam for taking the time to write such a coherent and honest reply.

            Several of my colleagues are gay and we have openly discussed their individual situations on many occasions. Like you, they each have their own very individual views on the subject and by no means do any of them share the exact same story. It really is a case of each to his own.

            One of my colleagues explained that he "became" gay because of family problems, I won't relate the whole story but basically because of a very rigid Catholic upbringing his mother created a situation whereby girls were seen as a bad and dirty thing, which in turn created a very complex mindset for someone who was not inherently gay.

            She was also a very difficult mother and eventually my colleague found "safety and comfort" among guy as being with girls was taboo. Over a certain period he eventually resolved himself to the fact that this comfort was acceptable for him and he accepted his situation..

            It's far more interesting listening to him tell his story as he fills in the little details and challenges that were presented before him. What's most interesting though is that he freely admits that he does not feel as though he was born gay.

            Other colleagues do however feel as though they were more or less born that way. Some have been with girls some have not. Some don't like girls whereas others are ok with them but remain with a preference for guys.

            So the rules definitely do not apply to everyone.

            Between them all it is very easily to realise that we are not necessarily born gay, at least not in a black and white sense, each of them have very, very different backgrounds, cultures, friends, circumstances, each of which having various influences or not over their particular stories.

            Life is inherently far more complex that the media would like us to believe.

            1. Tigra 07 Silver badge
              Thumb Down

              Re: Facebook issues

              So liking girls = bad, liking men (which is a big sin to Catholics) = good?

              Sorry, not buying it.

              Find a nice man and go on a date with him (or just meet for sex). Enjoying it? No? Because sexuality isn't a choice you muppet, it's a spectrum.

              Offer me the ugliest man alive or a female supermodel and unfortunately i'll be stuck with the ugly guy. Hopefully he has a great personality...

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Facebook issues

                @Tigra 07

                "So liking girls = bad, liking men (which is a big sin to Catholics) = good?"

                You didn't actually read or attempt to understand what was written...shame

                Appreciate the fact that we are not all the same and that there is no "one rules fits all".. you can do whatever you want with your life, just don't expect everywhere else to adhere to your "personal" point of view.

                Troll me not... (Over and out, the bitterness is becoming too unsavoury)

                1. AdamWill

                  Re: Facebook issues

                  See, this is where you and I actually disagree:

                  "just don't expect everywhere else to adhere to your "personal" point of view"

                  You keep insisting that one person has the right, in some way, to pass judgment on another person's sexual identity or choices or whatever. That's just *not right*. The only remotely coherent justification for it that has ever existed is religion: if you live in a religious state and the state religion is opposed to homosexuality, there is at least a logical justification for the state suppressing homosexuality. Obviously I'd still say it's entirely wrong, but on its *own merits*, the situation is consistent.

                  If you live in a non-religious state (or, you know, a modern state like the UK which technically still has a state religion but clearly doesn't use it as a basis for legal policy), there just *is no such place to stand*. You just don't get to have some kind of opinion on other people's sexuality. If the idea of sleeping with other people of the same sex makes you uncomfortable, then you get to exercise your freedom of choice to *not do that*. But it doesn't somehow give you the right to talk about "agreeing with" or "adhering to" other people's views of their own sexuality. I can think of a couple of limited exceptions to this:

                  i) you and the other person are both members of some sort of organization whose moral superiority/guidance you accept; on that basis you can possibly exercise some sort of 'judgment' over the other person's behaviour on the basis of that organization's moral principles.

                  ii) the other person is in some way attempting to dictate *your* sexual choices; in this case you get to push back against them to whatever degree is necessary to pursue your own freedom of choice

                  But that's it. If it's just a case of you and some random stranger - like me - you just don't have any kind of logical position to talk about whether you "agree with" or "adhere to" my sexuality. It's inherently an absurd thing to say. Imagine you said "Well, I like Doctor Who but I don't like Game of Thrones", and someone else said "No, I don't agree. Actually you like Game of Thrones and you don't like Doctor Who. You just don't understand it yet", or "No, I don't agree. You ought to like Game of Thrones. Liking Doctor Who is bad and you should feel bad". Are you gonna take that person seriously? Do they have any right whatsoever to dictate to you what it is you like and don't like?

                  You can of course say "Huh, really? I don't like Doctor Who, but I do like Game of Thrones". Because then you're just expressing your *own* preferences. You're not telling the other person that their preferences are somehow morally wrong, or that they actually don't know what their own preferences are. So you can of course say "me, I'm not attracted to people of the same sex at all!" and that's totally fine. What you don't get to say is "...and I don't agree with or approve of or 'adhere to' people who do!" or anything along those lines. That's just not something you have any logical basis for doing. You don't *have to* 'adhere to' or 'not adhere to' my sexuality. It doesn't reflect upon you at all. It's my business. It's not your business. Just like my liking Doctor Who (or not) has absolutely no bearing on you.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    no problems now, nothing to see

    but notice how Zucky keeps dipping his toes into the political swamp. Dumb enough to put his name out in front, or content to continue as the arbiter and decider of who is allowed to sit on the throne? Only his ego, and time, will decide.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A massive improvement on News Corp

    Compared to shitheads like Murdoch, Facebook is excellent.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Facebook is nasty and addictive

    I do photography as a hobby and started using Facebook as a way to improve my hobby and meet people. It's been good for me, I've got a book deal through my Facebook contacts after someone saw what I was capable of. I've made a great many friends in the UK photography scene and I've even made contact with some of the best known photographers in the UK who've praised my work. All great things that Facebook has given me.

    However only recently I've begun to realise how f**king insidious Facebook and social media are. They made me an addict. I became addicted to posting image after image, it made me want to shoot better and better images, a good thing you might think. However it made me so desperate to shoot better images that I became obessed with my work to point that nothing was good enough, no image I shot was ever any good unless I got 1000+ likes. I started to judge all my images by how many likes I got on images. I didn't care what anyone thought, what their opinions of the images were, I simply wanted people to like them and I'd go nuts when they didn't 'cos I didn't get the addicts rush. I would go nuts if anything failed and it made me shoot images purely for the sole reason of posting on Facebook and nothing else. I shot the same old shit over and over in different ways simply to get a fix.

    I've had a terrible year trying to find my muse, trying to find out why I can't find my mojo. A month ago I made a promise to myself to quit posting on Facebook. I still shoot images but not a single image I shoot for at least the next year will ever be posted online, not now and not ever. In the last month I've felt so much better. All the self imposed pressure to feed the insatiable social media machine has completely vanished. I'm now shooting images like crazy, out every single day before and after work, even lunch times, just shooting pictures for me and no one else. I'm enjoying it like never before because there is no reason to shoot them other than for me to enjoy it. It's hard to resist posting but like all addicts take it one day at a time.

    Facebook is a addictive. People think you're an idiot when you say it, and as a rational person it does sound utterly stupid but everyone has something they can be addicted to. My love of shooting pictures as a hobby was almost ruined by my addiction to getting people who didn't really care about me or my pictures, to simply like them. I'd even paid Facebook to boost my ratings every so often to get a rush of friends and likes, utterly pathetic and no excuse but that's addiciton for you.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      Re: Facebook is nasty and addictive

      Would you like an upvote?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Facebook is nasty and addictive

      Meanwhile, I upvote to make random AC addicted to El Reg.

  12. Walter Bishop Silver badge
    Terminator

    The future as nightmare

    There is no technical reasons for this concentration of the means of communication. The original Internet was supposed to be about bringing people together with shared interests. The Facebooks are a bastardized corporate conspiracy to control and manipulate people, replacing rational discussion with f*****g likes. A self referential bubble of only like-minded people agreeing with one another. The majority of subscriber seem to consist of immature teenagers who confuse Facebook 'friends' with real life.

    Or representative of commercial entities pretending to be same. Some Facebook 'star' pretending to chat with her 'friends' from the confines of her pretend bedroom. Foella or some such, describing her daily outfit that she just threw on, the entire cost adding up to the best part of a hundred quid. Or people recording their every tedious daily routine and broadcasting it to the Ethersphere, Pewdiepie or some such moniker for one example, I don't care. J.G Ballard once described such in a Vogue essay. It's the future as nightmare, none of this is real, go outside and talk to real people.

    Every home will be transformed into its own TV studio. We'll all be simultaneously actor, director and screenwriter in our own soap opera. People will start screening themselves. They will become their own TV programmes.”, 1977 Vogue essay by J.G. Ballard

    All this, of course, will be mere electronic wallpaper, the background to the main program in which each of us will be both star and supporting player. Every one of our actions during the day, across the entire spectrum of domestic life, will be instantly recorded on video-tape. In the evening we will sit back to scan the rushes, selected by a computer trained to pick out only our best profiles, our wittiest dialogue, our most affecting expressions filmed through the kindest filters, and then stitch these together into a heightened re-enactment of the day. Regard-less of our place in the family pecking order, each of us within the privacy of our own rooms will be the star in a continually unfolding domestic saga, with parents, husbands, wives and children demoted to an appropriate supporting role.”, 1977 Vogue essay by J.G. Ballard

    “Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life.”, Steve Jobs

  13. 0laf Silver badge
    Meh

    I'm not sure people are leaving but how much and what they post is changing.

    I see far less personal 'life' information being posted. Far more facetious comments or forwarded funnies. It's no longer the running commentary to many peoples lives that it was.

    Younger people I don't think are leaving becasue of any privacy concerns. I think commerce has sufficiently brainwashed them into being happy to reveal everything. But I think they are just bored and are looking to move onto the next thing and the next etc.

    Plus FB just isn't slick as a comms platforms. It's a PITA having to manage multiple platforms to suit everyones' favourites and FB messenger is probably the clunkiest to use.

    I've slipped into using Apple Messenger as my default without even knowing I was doing it. Which I suppose is a mark of well that suits me.

  14. 0laf Silver badge
    Pint

    If you can find it... Radio 4 did a new series of the old C4 comedy sketch show Absolutely.

    They did a skit of "what if Facebook could talk". It was quite good at highlighting how stupid FB really is.

    1. Teiwaz Silver badge

      If you can find it... Radio 4 did a new series of the old C4 comedy sketch show Absolutely.

      I'll have to keep an ear open for that...

      i think the TV series ('89-92) was the last thing my entire family would gather to watch....

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