We’re quietly replacing an open web that connects and empowers with one that restricts and commoditizes people. We need to stop it.
I quit Facebook seven months ago.
Despite its undeniable value, I think Facebook is at odds with the open web that I love and defend. This essay is my attempt to explain not only why I quit Facebook but why I believe we’re slowly replacing a web that empowers with one that restricts and commoditizes people. And why we should, at the very least, stop and think about the consequences of that shift.
The Web: Backstory
(If you want, you can skip the backstory and jump directly to the table of contents).
I love the web.
I don’t mean that in the way that someone might say that they love pizza. For many of us in the early 2000s, the web was magical. You connected a phone line to your computer, let it make a funny noise and suddenly you had access to a seemingly-unending repository of thoughts and ideas from people around the world.
It might not seem like much now, but what that noise represented was the stuff of science fiction at the time: near-instantaneous communication at a planetary scale. It was a big deal.