Intelligencer: Brian Feldman: Mark Zuckerberg’s Private Facebook Is a Supplement, Not a Replacement

I agree with the basic tenet of Mr Fieldman’s piece; a “Private Facebook” doesn’t address the bad features Facebook already has. For me the notion of a “Private Facebook” is a distraction. It’s the same strategy employed by old media for decades. Faux outrage is routinely spewed by populist newspapers trying to distract us away from the real issues. Newspapers function like a pickpocket pulling our attention, getting us to look at this shiny thing over here, while they steal the Apple Watch from our wrist. But distraction are just that, a distraction. Sooner or later we’re going to realise, our watch is gone. The question then becomes, do we care? So many of us seem wilfully ignorant of the manipulations we are subject to. Perhaps we accept these manipulations because the “truth” is too painful to accept. We all like to believe we have agency. Accepting that we are being manipulated removes that agency. It’s easier to accept that a “Private Facebook” will protect our privacy, give us back what they took, what we wilfully gave them, than accept we have no power in this dynamic. Personally, I don’t think a private Facebook will change anything. Ephemerality doesn’t remove the ethos at the core of Facebook. An ethos that believes because they own the platform they own what we share. It is easier to accept a shiny promise of a private network than accept, Facebook owns us, and we are but serfs to Lord Zuckerberg’s want.

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