This week, I am ceasing my use of Instagram. Over the course of 2023, I will cease use of Messenger. My timeline for departing Facebook is less clear, but it is a certainty that I will leave the platform.
I’m not interested in persuading others to follow, but I will explain:
For-profit social platforms will never adequately moderate bigotry, harassment, and disinformation, because those things drive engagement and therefore, revenue. Nor will they ever suddenly become responsible stewards of our personal data, because that’s antithetical to their business model.
I’m done enabling surveillance capitalism, and done being part of the network effect that traps the people I care about on those platforms.
I started leaving the walled gardens erected by the likes of Google, Twitter, and Meta in 2019 and accelerated my efforts in 2022 when Apartheid Clyde took ownership.
But let me be clear: I’m still Extremely Online, I’m just elsewhere. Increasingly, that’s federated, nonprofit, open source social platforms that represent the true promise of the internet before it was colonized by people who worship at the altar of money.
As I leave Instagram, know that I’m still posting my delightfully mediocre photos of cats, house projects, gardening, nature, travel, architecture, and the people I love.
Now I do that on Pixelfed. You don’t need an account to see what I post, you can find those any time by going to josh.link/pix. But if ever you decide to set up shop on the fediverse, you can follow me – whether you use Pixelfed or Mastodon or something else entirely – by searching for @email@example.com.
You can learn more about the fediverse and where to find me online in my recent blog post, The deep end of the Fediverse, and a blog.
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