Alternatives to Facebook

Facebook Alternatives
Facebook has been under relentless attack since the Cambridge Analytica scandal in early 2018. Broadcasters and news publishers have declared open season on Mark Zuckerberg, Sheryl Sandberg, and other senior executives at the company. And while not quite ubiquitous, #deletefacebook pops up every time there’s a story about data privacy. The EU has fined them, the US is trying to figure out how to regulate them, and the notion that free services should be absolutely free (as opposed to checking a box on a terms and conditions page that allows the free service to use your data as payment) is gaining traction. Whether or not Facebook deserves the scrutiny it is under is a great topic for another article. Today, I want to have a look at alternatives. If you don’t like Facebook, what might work for you? Is the time right for the reemergence of focused social networks? Continue Reading →
Metamerica
I wrote an article back in April 2009 entitled Metamerica: Evolving The Governance Of A Digital Democracy. It begins, “Dateline New York: April 3, 2021” with breaking news about a massive, catastrophic data breach. So how would the Great Data Crash of 2021 happen? Or, perhaps more importantly, why have the questions I posed in 2009, and the very clear predictions of known consequences of our digital society, not only gone unanswered by our leaders but in many cases gone unasked? Let’s look back to help us see the future. Continue Reading →
Tim Cook, CEO, Apple
Apple is the most valuable tech company in the world. So when its CEO lambasts other tech companies for "weaponizing [user data] against us with military efficiency," people are going to take him seriously. After all, Tim Cook is the de facto leader of the tech world. While he didn't name names, his vilification was clearly aimed at his corporate peers (which ordinarily would be good clean fun), except as presented, his accusations sounded like self-serving corporate posturing. Of course, there is another possibility ... Tim may have just been speaking metaphorically. Continue Reading →
Bad Alexa
Some people believe that Alexa is listening all the time. This is true. Some people believe that Alexa records every word for posterity. This is false. Some people believe that having an Amazon Echo increases their risk of being hacked. This is also false. But, there’s more to the story. Continue Reading →
GDPR
On May 25, a new law called the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is going into effect in the European Union. The law was created to protect EU citizens from potential abuses, like the recent Cambridge Analytica scandal. Wondering how this will change your world? Here are 5 things you should know. Continue Reading →
Mark Zuckerberg
Mark Zuckerberg will testify before Congress on April 11. It’s going to be a big day for Mark. That said, I could not resist the temptation to imagine what I might do if I were in Facebook’s shoes. So, as a starting point for your own “If I were Facebook” fantasy congressional hearing, here’s my list of the five things Facebook must do right now. Continue Reading →
Chipping Humans
Proponents of the technology tout its convenience and the idea that you never have to remember your wallet or a password, ever again. While they are technically correct, chipping people invokes a train of thought that quickly descends to the darkest of places. Continue Reading →

The Invasion of Ideas

London Bridge
I was going to write about a specific threat to brand marketing this week. But, considering the recent vicious attacks in London, I want to revisit a thesis about a specific threat from brand marketing. Continue Reading →