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    • Kbasa, I'm one step behind you (as usual). I'm convinced it's not making my life better, but I've hesitated to delete because it is a useful tool.

      I think the better answer is to figure out how to use it as a tool that suits me, but I'm not sure if I have the discipline to interact with it only in ways that are beneficial. Too easy to go to the newsfeed and start seeing things that waste brain space.

      If it was possible to turn off messenger and pay for the service (to avoid any information sharing), I'd be interested. I don't like being the product.

    • Over the last 2 years I have stopped posting pretty much anything on Facebook when compared to the previous 2 years. It came down to the fact that I changed the way I use it. No longer was I posting "my shiny life" photos, but instead it became a tool to keep in touch with distant friends and occasional family updates.

      For that purpose, it is great. I just have to be disciplined enough to stop mindlessly scrolling through the feed. So I plan on keeping my account but spend even less time on it now.

      P.S. This recent article isn't helping Facebook to win me back: Facebook has been collecting call history and SMS data from Android devices

    • They also don't have two functions that, IMHO, make FB such a cesspool: no share is available inside the platform and you can't add links to a post.

      That helps keep the post content to just what someone types to go with the picture they took. I think those are probably the two "missing" functions that have kept IG rather calm.

    • Moderators tend to be volunteers since there isn't much (any?) money in it and when done well there's usually a back and forth dialog with the community so the policies have buy-in.

      One of the reasons I like pointing to Reddit is that you can see the effect of different moderation policies. It's easier with the more technical sections since they tend to be on topic (/r/askhistorians, /r/spacex) and the mods can shut down everything really hard. The result is high quality content but they always feel kind of sterile to me. The fun/cute pictures ones also seem to be positive, though I don't know if it's because of the subject matter or the mods just delete everything that isn't positive.

      I find the gaming subreddits to be the most interesting because they're a mix between people who want to have serious discussions about mechanics and people that want to have fun with other fans. I've been following the moderating saga of /r/fireemblemheroes for a bit over a year where a fair sized chunk of the community REALLY likes memes and fan art but a roughly equal sized chunk thinks these are annoying so there's been a periodic shifts in moderating policy and it impacts what shows up on the front page of the sub and how it influences how the discussions develop. I find it interesting but I don't know if it applies more broadly.

      One of the things I'd like to know is whether discussion quality is like a garden where you can weed stuff and the discussion comes back or whether it's like entropy and you can slow it down but the quality is only one way. I've only ever seen it go one way but it's not like I've made a formal study of this stuff.

      Hannibal (Jon) is my favorite arsian. His writing was very influential on my career. I still think his CPU architecture articles are some of the most accessible for the enthusiastic layman. I've been less happy with Ars as a whole since they got bought since it's drifted more into the Popular Science / Wired area instead of keeping its focus on their unique mix of detailed computer stuff and digital rights (I still have no idea why Conde Nast would want a second Wired when they already have the first) but I'm happy all the founders got a payout.

    • honestly I have deactivated it a few times in the past... usually when I realize I’m wasting a bunch of time with it... I’ve been off since two Novembers ago and I can’t say I’ve missed it all that much.

      There’s been the occasional news update from family and friends because I’m not on it but most of the people close to me know I’m not on and make a point of reaching out to me via text or phone call it’s actually kind of refreshing... hearing the tone I’m their voice etc...

    • I'm still on FB. I tend to share political articles that I find interesting, mainly because I think the majority of my FB friends are like-minded, so it's sort of like virtual kvetching to friends. I know some people think that is not how one should use FB, but I don't think in general people care about what is going on in my boring life. I do post occasional funny anecdotes, or dog photos (everyone loves dog photos) or some "proud mom" news about my kids once in a while.

      But I stopped following most of my FB friends (and acquaintances) a long time ago to cut down on the amount of stuff in my feed. I can still go to their news feeds to see what's going on with them, but don't need to see a photo of every cup of coffee they order.

      I mainly use it now to follow headline news from various news outlets like BBC, New York Times, Washington Post, Slate, ProPublica and NPR. It's a quick way to check what's going on and what the breaking news is.

      I do my very best to ignore the adds, and recently went in to check and see what apps I may have inadvertently added over the years and deleted the ones I didn't want or didn't recognize.

    • I would love nothing more than to purge my facebook off the face of the earth, but I feel very much locked in by the social aspect. I have so many chat groups I use regularly to communicated with my friends but I've found that a lot of people don't seem to care about the privacy implications whatsoever.

    • I ditched my Facebook a little over a year ago after realising I wasn’t gaining anything but lost time using it. I was finding better ways to connect with friends so I don’t really miss it, and probably make more effort to directly message friends instead. I love Chris’ comment, “I still think it's great for connecting friends and family, not talking about politics or the obscure interests you have like neurology, same as at family dinners like Thanksgiving.” +1 from me on that point, and I think that’s where it’s went wrong. Where’s the line between wanting to stay up to date with what your family are up to but not wanting to see their political differences? That’s the big appeal for me with Cake... We can follow the conversations we want to follow 🙂.

    • Buzzfeed published an internal Facebook posting that was leaked about growth at all costs and it's getting a lot of attention. The interesting thing is how Facebook's employees reacted, which The Verge covered after reading through the comments.

      I have always felt that we should all conduct ourselves as if everything we say will be leaked one day, because if it's awful, it probably will be. And then a lot of people will be mad at the leakers instead of the awful things we said.

    • I work in electronic discovery and one should always consider how your internal communications will be viewed. Many times, a phone call will work better for potentially "difficult" discussions.

    • An Argentine reporter has weighed in on what Facebook is doing to elections in Latin American countries. It seems that Cambridge Analytica or companies like them have a presence in countries like Mexico, Brazil and Argentina, but they are expensive and the candidates there usually don't have the budgets to spend a lot with them.

      What has become a huge thing though is fake news. Countries where polarization is high like Brazil are hotbeds of fake news because it's produced by people on the extreme, not moderates, and Facebook is a great channel to distribute it.

    • to be honest, the fake news seems way more disruptive than Cambridge. Not that either is good but people seem to rally around the wild claims.

    • Last night, I pulled my data down from Facebook, which arrived in a surprisingly tidy package, and clicked the Delete Account Button. The notification indicates that it'll take about 14 days.

      One thing I noticed was that in addition to content I'd created, it also downloaded those little videos they make that reference your friends or your birthday or the like. It's interesting to think about those from the perspective of what consumer behaviors those videos seek to enforce.