Even after all the Cambridge Analytica stuff and Zuckerberg’s 10 hours of testimony in DC this week, I’m still using Facebook. I’ve known for a long time that a lot of the free stuff on the Internet involves a tradeoff between privacy and convenience, and I’m generally careful of what I share and what I don’t, and which apps and services I use and which ones I avoid.
On the desktop, I use Facebook in Firefox, with uBlock Origin, Privacy Badger, and FB Purity all installed and running. On iOS, until recently, I’ve just been using the regular Facebook app. But I switched to using an app called Friendly recently. It’s pretty good, though it’s got a few rough edges. It does ad blocking (after a $2 in-app purchase), and lets you re-sort your news feed chronologically, and some other little tweaks. I’ve also recently set FB Purity to sort my news feed chronologically, so now I’m seeing stuff that way on both desktop and iOS. It’s funny how different Facebook looks when you’re seeing stuff in simple date/time order, rather than whatever order their algorithm decides to use. I’ve also reviewed and tweaked my privacy settings a bit. This page at iMore has some good advice for that.
I’ve been reading a comic book called The Private Eye recently. It’s a science fiction comic set in a world where there’s been a major internet privacy meltdown, and society has essentially reconfigured itself in a way such that personal privacy is a core value, and is taken to extremes. It’s a really interesting take on the subject of privacy and trust, and it makes me wonder what our world’s going to look like in 100 years.
Ben Thompson has a good overview of the Zuckerberg hearings at his site. A lot of interesting stuff has come out of all this, but I agree with Thompson on the bottom line: “The most likely outcome of Facebook’s current scandal continues to be that nothing will happen.”