A year ago, I began auto-deleting my Twitter posts. First, after 90 days, then after 30 days, and then generally after two weeks, my old tweets would get deleted. The half life of a Tweet is about 15 minutes, meaning that half of the views of the tweet occur shortly after it is posted. There’s no positive value in old Tweets – and there’s negative value in that some will go back and look at something you wrote years ago, and then take it out of context in order to slime someone. Look at the what the Des Moines Register did.
A few months ago, I began posting items on Twitter less and less and less, and might not post anything for days. I would reply to a few people, typically adding additional information to the story line.
This week, however, I was doxxed on FB. I had written a comment about privacy issues within the FAA’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking concerning remote identification of small model aircraft. Bizarrely, someone on the small forum where I made my comment, tracked me down and then published a photo of my house and price paid for the house. The forum moderators deleted the post; I also reported the post to Facebook as harassment as it violates FB’s Community Standards.
When something like this happens, one’s view of social media makes an abrupt change.
I deleted all remaining posts, replies and likes on my Twitter account and no longer plan to use Twitter. It’s value to me was becoming less and less. For one, Twitter’s news selection algorithm erroneously decided I only wanted to read about health policy and health care – and probably 50% of the items I was seeing were in that category. All of my other interests were censored out of the news stream by Twitter’s algorithm – which Twitter uses because it believes it knows better than us what we want to see. A related issue, as pointed out by others, is that Twitter is the home of angry people. So true! I had muted and/or blocked many accounts as I did not wish to see their anger, meaness and hate.
Meanwhile, there’s FB. In 2014, I began to see the rampant use of FB as a propaganda platform. By mid 2016, I stopped sharing or generally commenting on anything having to do with politics, even if worded in the mildest, non-partisan way. Later in 2016, I began hiding posts, using 30 day “snoozes” or stopped reading some “Friends” all together because of their constant politicking.
In 2018, the problem of “fake stuff” on FB became so bad I decided not to share anything from others – I would only post items I created or share items created by people I personally know in real life. I had shared an item about geology – which I had attempted to verify and cross check – but which turned out to be a hoax as it was an exaggeration of what was actually possible.
When the Cambridge Analytical scandal broke, we learned that Facebook leaked private information like a sieve. We learned that Facebook has nothing to do with their self proclaimed business of connecting you with the people who are most important. It’s sole business model was and still is the surveillance of everyone.
As a consequence of that, I deleted 10 years of FB content – posts, photos, likes, etc. I posted on FB perhaps 4-6 times per year, but continued to interact on some mostly private, non-public forums on topics like photography. Truth is, our FB content has a half life of about 1-2 days. Anything older may as well be deleted; its only value is for marketing surveillance.
This past week, Facebook offered a new feature that showed who had shared data with Facebook. There I discovered my off line grocery store purchases at Albertson’s had been shared with Facebook. I discovered when I looked up pricing information on a prescription medication using GoodRx, on behalf of a family member, that this too had been shared with Facebook.
Literally, Facebook had access to medical data and grocery shopping records – plus a lot more sharing listed by Facebook. Facebook’s sole business is invasive surveillance. You cannot escape it. Even if you are not a member and user of Facebook, FB is tracking you online.
With this week’s bizarre doxxing, I have decided I will rarely post on Facebook anymore. It’s not worth the risk to be using dangerous and toxic social media.
We have reached peak social media.
I will likely continue to read some items on social media platforms as part of my interest in the use of social media for propaganda messaging. But my own content will be reserved primarily for my own blogs.