You can leave at any time

Replied to The New Wilderness (Idle Words) (

The large tech companies point to our willing use of their services as proof that people don’t really care about their privacy. But this is like arguing that inmates are happy to be in jail because they use the prison library. Confronted with the reality of a monitored world, people make the rational decision to make the best of it.

I disagree. This analogy is false.

It’s more like you’ve come to my house for a party. You notice all the cameras outside the hose, and a few inside the house. I tell you that I have recording devices in my living room.

You express your discomfort but I’ve told you that the devices are staying. I’ve told you that you are free to leave at any time. But yet, you decided to hangout in my lounge complaining to all my guests about how I should offer more vegan options.

It’s my house. It’s my party. Please leave if you don’t like the house rules. You need my permission to stay. You can choose to leave any any time.

I think the author is conflating privacy and anonymity.

human being | casual photographer | nemophilist | philomath | human being khakis | t-shirt | flip-flops

5 Responses

  1. It’s quite obvious that Facebook’s demographic has shifted over time – my parents and people of their generation joined up in droves when they discovered that they can use it to get in touch with decades old friends and also to look at their children’s photos, something with each generation hides from the last.

    That doesn’t mean that Facebook hasn’t sweated losing the younger gen to Snapchat. They’ve been worried about it since a long time.

    The party is dying down, and Facebook as a company is noticing and crying out (that news item that they send out CTAs to the 2FA SMS numbers is true, it has started happening for me!) about it. Their prime property is ailing and dying and their only way to survive is to choke some more life out of their other properties.

    I am not saying that Facebook won’t be around 10 years from now. But in what state? God knows.

  2. That doesn’t mean that Facebook hasn’t sweated losing the younger gen to Snapchat.

    They lost some. That doesn’t mean it’s a trend or even a mass trend. The death/decay/end of Facebook is grossly overstated. It’s hyperbole.

    The party is dying down

    We don’t know that. IMHO, it’s a vocal minority of people. It’s an echo chamber. From my perspective, in my world, the party hasn’t changed at all.

  3. Check out one suggested solution to one of the issues:

    In many ways, the anonymity of the Web strips individuals of the coercive forces of norms and consequences that typically govern behavior. In turn, the globalized nature of the Web means it is far more likely that individuals will come into contact with those who do not share their views, experiences and narratives, creating conditions ripe for unrestrained conflict. Would Replacing Anonymity With A Single Universal Social Media ID Fix The Web’s Toxicity?

  1. Pingback: Nitin Khanna

What do you want to say about this post?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.