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[liberationtech] Isaacson: The internet is broken. Starting from scratch, here's how I'd fix it.

Rich Kulawiec rsk at
Fri Dec 16 04:28:05 PST 2016

On Thu, Dec 15, 2016 at 11:31:20AM -0500, Thomas Delrue wrote:
> A great start to fixing the internet would be to stop using closed sites
> (of which LinkedIn is one). This would go a ways to bringing us back to
> a truly _distributed_ system, as the internet was intended to be,
> instead of an internet that is centralized in the hands of a few, very
> powerful corporations that hold us in a feudal lock.

Strongly seconded.  (Also, in this particular case: LinkedIn are notorious
spammers.)  Get off Facebook.  Get off Twitter.  Stop using Yahoo and
Google to host mailing lists.  (They're really terrible at it anyway.)
And so on.  It continues to amaze and appall me that even people on this
very list continue to use and support the operations that most want to
created walled gardens, a la AOL.   In case it's not obvious, and it really
should be: they are NOT your friends.  They are NOT your allies.  They
are NOT your supporters.  Their only value is profit, and if they can
maximize it by damaging you (or anyone else) they will not hesitate to
do so.

Like this.  Here's an example of one of those walled gardens and of
the damage it's doing (h/t to Lauren Weinstein):

	50 million people in Myanmar can now get Facebook, and they're
	spreading a trumpian ethnic cleansing movement

  	50,000,000 people are now able to get Facebook, in other
	words. The net has delivered a complex basket of social
	changes, among them a revival of the country's ugly, murderous
	history of ethnic cleansing, fueled by blood libels about
	minority Muslims attacking the Buddhist majority. The new
	incitements to violence are travelling hand in hand with news
	about Trump and his promise to end Muslim migration into the
	USA. Trump's election is being used to normalize and justify
	ethnic cleansing movements in Myanmar ("We should do like
	America and do it here too. No more Muslims!").  As was the
	case in earlier eras of the internet's history, these new
	users equate the net with the service they use the most (once
	it may have been "Netscape" and "the net"; then "the web" and
	"the net"; then "Google," etc) -- they use "Facebook" and
	"internet" interchangeably. This is due to increase, as
	Facebook has sold the carriers on its "Free Basics" system --
	a net discrimination deal with the mobile carriers, who take
	bribes from Facebook to exempt the company (but not its
	rivals) from their data-caps.


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