Breaking the garden walls

Europe has a social media #infosec issue. Most social media are American, some Chinese, a few Russian. No European. They were taken over by Facebook on its rise. Primary issue is their near monopoly power, but this event highlights that ownership is a risk as well.

Concentrated media ownership is nothing new. English language mass media has been dominated by the Murdoch family for decades. Media mogul Berlusconi is back in government in Italy. The US had Hearst. Would seem media are natural monopolies that can be owned and taken. But are they really?

To be clear, the solution wouldn’t be EuroBook (or for that matter Afritter or AsiaTube). Nor as such initiatives like #Mastodon.

You can and should download your data from social networks, but it isn’t in itself a solution either.  This is like solving the kidnapping of your family by having them all returned, in one box for their hands, one for their feet, one for their heads… It isn’t the tweets, posts, replies and comments that make social networks social, it is how they are put together live. 

It is the networks that creates the #networkEffect, and subsequent lock-in. Default is to be assimilated, people, media, organisations and companies. The barriers to network competition overwhelming. 

You own your own data is a good starting point. However you don’t own your network, it is a collaborative effort. If you join a chic new networks, your friends, acquaintances, customers don’t have to follow, but they’ll know where you are and stay in touch, if both of you want. 

Networks will be required to maintain forwarding stubs to pass on messages between networks. You will have a personal shadow network of the company you keep.

Which takes us back to #infosec for a sec. We don’t know the networks, their managers and present and future owners. They shouldn’t know us. They will have to know what we are doing on their network, but that is all they need to know. The less a network knows the less harm it can do, even if taken over by a Dr. No or hacked by some SMERSH.

In essence a #RightToLeave. It should be as quick and painless to leave a network as any other provider, like electricity or telecom. This complements #RightToBeForgotten. Take nothing but credentials, leave nothing but stubs.

And of course @doctorow put it better, read How to Leave Dying Social Media Platforms

Ultimately it is not about the social network mammoths, or their owners, but how to take care of all our data, and all our villages. On that topic, #DSA.

«Deyr fé,
deyja frændr,
deyr sjalfr it sama,
en orðstírr
deyr aldregi,
hveim er sér góðan getr.»

Bridges break, sites die, we ourselves do the same.

Still, @t shows the wider reaches and spans of open.

The unbroken bridge is #BridgyFed, connecting the two archipelagos of #IndieWeb and #Mastodon. This is a good solution, far better than no solution, but still clunky and brittle long-term. Somewhat reminiscent of this.

This was originally published on Twitter.

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