Notes for "What Happened to Sharing Is Caring" (6): The Inverse Turing Test Tarpit, and Other Tales of Social Media Madness

London, May 5, 2018 | #Anthropocene #Facebook #TuringTestTarpit

Here's the call:

Facebook has disrespected our personal data and disregarded the spirit of our user agreements. To demonstrate our collective power as users, log out of Facebook and Instagram May 25 – June 1. #facebreak2018 #newpower

Let's make this go viral.

Best, Anni


Community Strategist

When I woke up to this, I thought it was the saddest thing I had read in a long time. Coffee and cigarettes later, I knew there is no time for sadness, no time to waste, and the proposition is actually quite funny. It's the inverse of the "Turing Test Tarpit" (1) I suggested recently: After a few weeks of increased virality, the Facebook Liberation Front leaves Facebook and Instagram – only to be glued to Twitter, most likely, to self-surveil their trending hashtags – and FB and IG suddenly become inhabitable for a week. I'm all for it. Even more so if that gives me seven consecutive days during which I don't have to read about the "disrespect" for personal data – you just posted your phone number to a public mailing list! – or think about the "spirit" of user agreements.

It still makes me sad, but one can find consolation in literature. Like in The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy. It's the anthropocene, stupid! This species was doomed from the beginning, and one must cherish every short and unlikely blip of non-idiocy. Because thanks to Douglas Adams we know that the "humans", contrary to popular belief, are not the fittest: not the descendants of apes, but the offspring of social media sanitizers, innovation managers and communication strategists.

P.S.: Obviously, I don't know you, and had we met in person, we might have discovered many areas of alignment, or countless issues where it's me who is braindead. I have nothing against you personally. I have something against the proposition you're circulating, politically.


May 5, Update

A good day to make your bill to Facebook?
Why? Because Facebook stole your digital labor.

Will the madness ever stop?

This sounds like a person in a breakup who claims the other person "stole" all his or her years.

No, FB did not steal your "digital labor", or whatever term for electronic boredom you may come up with next.

You offered it, voluntarily. You joined because it was fun. You became "friends".

And if you ever read the fine print, the "agreements", you know what you signed up for.

You spent years feeding the largest social surveillance network ever devised with your own free content and data.

It's your fault, not Zuckerberg's!

You fucked up. Big time.

P.S.: And yes, I see, you want your posts and comments and discussions. But are you telling me you were not aware that Facebook is a commercial space, like a mall, and that whatever you do there or add to it is not yours? Are you telling me you did not copy, paste or screenshot the stuff that you cared about? Did you really expect it to still exist a week later, like the spring collection at H&M? If I make a website and you post stuff on it – do you think that gives you any "rights"? If the nettime archive disappears tomorrow – who are you going to blame? Who are you going to sue? Are you really telling me we need to kill the internet with "consumer protection" mechanisms, just because consumption is all that people on the internet are trained for? And can anyone please tell me how we got to the point where otherwise intelligent people are suddenly calling for more internet regulation, just because some folks, almost 25 years in, still don't get the difference between a post on a website and a file on their computer? This is insanity.