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May 19, 2016

More on Quitting the Progressive-Owned-and-Patrolled Social Media Platforms

"The Emperor Cletus Augustus" wrote this in the comments.

He makes an important point: Anyone on FaceBook or Twitter isn't just a consumer and therefore a Product for Advertisers for the compaines.

They're also content providers.

The business model of these companies is to encourage the products -- you -- to create content for their other products to look at.

I realized this with regard to Twitter and took all my own content away from them. I use them now for advertising the site -- but I'm done providing them content. (And I don't look at the site often so I'm also barely providing them myself as a Product for Advertisers.)

Anyway, here's the Emperor Cletus:

The point is not to withdraw or quit. It is to demonstrate in a memorable way that it is in their corporate interest to remain neutral in the culture war. And the point is to let other corporations that provide news or entertainment see it happen. The idea is to impose a cost for choosing sides.

It is about denying the other side the space to maneuver unchallenged. Right now, corporations like FB do their bidding either from ideological agreement or because, more commonly, the left demands public fealty or exacts a price for dissent. Ace's suggestion is to improve the overall environment by the simple and direct expedient of inflicting a cost on FB for their violation of neutrality.

It's not about enforcing some kind of doctrinal purity. I don't care what FB thinks (in truth, I don't even have an account). It's their thing and they can do whatever they want with it. But I do think it is worthwhile, for conservatives to stop being such cheap dates. If FB wants our eyeballs and clicks make them act like it (and others will notice).

Because the "value of a telecommunications network is proportional to the square of the number of connected users of the system" the loss of users amplifies the effect of a mass cancellation.

See Metcalf's Law:

This makes it a bit different from a boycott of physical products and more likely to succeed. Keep in mind, corporations are very skittish about this stuff which is one reason they jump into line everytime some SJW crusader looks at them askance.

The key difference is that SJW-types use their control of sympathetic media and corporations to amplify their small voice. In this case, Ace is proposing the use of network effects to amplify the voice of a much larger group: us.

JeffB. said in a comment that my argument was "confused" because I seemed to be saying two different things:

1. These corporations selling You, Their Product to advertisers are using their media power to ruin your lives politically, and thus should be embargoed.

2. Living your life as a slave to social media is unhealthy and a perverse way to spend your limited hours upon this great and fine Earth God has made for us.

Jeff -- there's no confusion here. Both of these things are true simultaneously.

It's like quitting smoking because you both resent a corporation selling you disease in exchange for money and because you want to live a better, longer, healthier life.

There is no confusion whatsoever. It just makes the decision even easier.

A lot of people seem to think social media is just awesome and central to their identity and sense of self-worth. A lot of people also seem to think spending dozens of hours per week sitting in front of a television wasting their lives watching moving pictures is also still pretty neat.

That's fine.

But I disagree, strongly. Not only do I think these sub-mediocre media are in Enemy Hands and used for the purpose of harming you and destroying this country, but I also happen to believe these are horrible ways to spend the ever-dwindling numbers of hours each of us is given in our lives.

And I think -- as with smoking -- people invent a lot of spurious junkie-logic reasons to explain to themselves why they're spending so much time doing something that's objectively harmful and destructive. "Engaging the culture"/"fighting the left's memes"/"building one's personal brand" -- yeah, smokers are good at making up reasons why they must continue smoking ("It's a form of rebellion against an increasingly censorious, no-fun-allowed society!"), and so are people good at making up reasons why they must check in on Twitter of FaceBook thirty times a day.

I'll do my best to strip the bizarrely misplaced "cool, fun" factor associated with these meritless zombie waste-your-life activities.

Eh, do what you want. But my idea of a protest is to kill the beast itself, not pick ticks and fleas off it.


On the other hand, you could continue patronizing a corporation that packages you to advertisers and also attempts to destroy your political aspirations with the excess cash they make off you.

Gotta Be Cruel to be Kind: Whenever I say something like this, I get a lot of anger from self-conceived Twitter Personalities who have a lot of their self-worth tied up in the idea that their 4000 followers gives them "reach" and makes them effective agents in "engaging the culture."

I'm sorry to say this but this is a lie Twitter sells you to make you their Product (which they then sell to advertisers).

Before Twitter, we had a useful term for people who now think of themselves as "Twitter famous."

That term was -- is -- "not famous."

Sorry, but this is an illusion they're selling you. They are selling you the idea of fame, without the actual fame attached to it.

They're selling You, Their Product, a fiction, and selling their actual clients -- advertisers -- the truth. The truth about your location, interests, internet habits, etc.

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posted by Ace at 04:44 PM

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