Sunset on the Social Media World

16 June 2023, 14:45 CEST — 4 min read

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

Hi Fab, I think I can understand what you mean and I hope that in the future more and more social media users will at least think about their usage behavior, even if they would unlikely make a similarly consistent decision as you. Because if you don’t want to say goodbye to the internet completely, you need a certain amount of technical know-how (or nerdiness) to keep at least some control over your own data or content, which is probably the case for users of this forum but I doubt that most people would turn to this type of networking if they left social media.

Regarding your decision to leave some social media site and web services and as a producer of TPC I would like to know if you are considering to leave also Patreon. In the past you have stressed on the show that Patreon is very convenient for you as a freelance journalist but that platform being also part of those companies I try to leave myself and having had similar thoughts than you about quitting at least some of too many platforms or services where I have created an account in the past I would be interested how I could continue to support TPC and help to keep it on the air/in the web.

(Maybe this comment would better fit in the TPC section of the forum, feel free to move it in case of a reply.)

I have to say that I understand completely.

In a previous episode, you talked about your twitter presence, and at that time I checked, and I have joined almost at a similar time, but I have till today 242 tweets in total.

To me as well, the promise of Social Networking was interesting, and being old, I can say that I had the social networking experience before the term actually came into use.

At work, around the 2000, I experimented with creating a website on the local network using PHPNuke and later PostNuke, where we colleagues can post news stories or general interesting stuff.

Later online, I started to use different services culminating in Twitter and Facebook, but from the beginning I wasn’t very comfortable with these networks being too public, for me it was important that the network is linked to a specific community.

And then the civil war started in Syria, and it was evidently clear that the very public aspect of the Social Networks can be a source of un-needed headaches, so I came to the decision that I would limit my participation to any public network.

I still have my accounts that I use occasionally to get some news, but I have to say that I don’t actively contribute anything.

But as I’m doing here, I’m more interested in interacting with smaller communities.

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Doesn’t seem to be happening, though. What a surprise. Now everyone is like: Elon is evil? Let’s use the Twitter clone from …wait for it… Facebook.


Even the tech journos champion this. After telling us for years how Facebook was the worst social media company ever and how Zuck is so very evil. It’s all so stupid…

Nah, it’s all good. If there was an alternative to Patreon that was better, I’d use it. I mean, you can use PayPal to subscribe. But is that really better?

This is so very well said. Yeah, this was when social networks were actually good, wasn’t it? Before the term was invented…

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To me, it is still very important that this stuff is public, though. Closed communities always feel too much like clubs or secret societies to me. The very public nature of things like Twitter brings many, many problems. But it also keeps people honest. Well, as much as is possible with human nature and pseudonymous accounts.

As usual everything has pros and cons.

I sometimes wonder if it would help to divorce a statement from it’s originator, as I see that ideas are usually not judged on their own, but they tend to be evaluated based on how told them.

Yeah, I’ve been thinking the same from time to time. The downside is that even the most horrible people in human history (Hitler, Stalin etc.) said some things that make a lot of sense, if taken out of the context they were said in…

Actually this is not what I had in mind: taking things out of context changes the meaning completely.

My idea was to probe “data/facts” on their own merits, with all of the context that can be applied to them.

You know the “ad hominem” fallacy, what I need is the exact opposite.

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This seems to be the shared sentiment in my circle to quite some extent[1]. I myself plead guilty of self-censoring on numerous occasions based on the understanding that my honest and sincere words may (and hence will) be twisted and held against me in one way or another.

There’s a Russian[2] joke that illustrates all this (by taking it to an extreme and beyond):

A prince, drinking alone on a river shore, staring vacantly down the river, talks to himself:
“With my army, I fought and crushed tens of thousands of enemy troops, yet people don’t call me Ratmir the Enemy Crusher!
For my people, I’ve ordered awesome roads to be built, and paid for all that, yet people don’t call me Ratmir the Road Builder!
With cunning diplomacy, I made peace with the Eastern barbarians that allowed for great trade and plenty of profits, yet people don’t call me Ratmir the Wealth Bringer!
But when a single time in my whole life I fucked a goat…”

We are living in the times when all of a sudden the Web Archive makes sure nothing we’ve said or done is ever forgotten. To be honest, we’ve had it easy: there are no videos of a 2-year-old me (or a 19-years-old me, which is more unsettling) published online. Of my daughter, there will be.

As a society, we need to (and will, of course) adapt to this fact. In a blog post on a tangential topic, I mentioned a possible way of adaptation some time ago. I don’t believe this way is what our society will eventually choose[3], but I think some solution will come up eventially.

I’m sorry the good old days of the “not-yet-called-by-this-name” social media ended. On the other hand, I’m so glad to have witnessed it and to have been — at least to some extent — a part of it.

  1. I don’t mean today; in today’s Russia, with wartime censorship effectively in place, people get longer times in jail for words than for rape and murder (literally), so voicing an opinion publicly is not something a sensible person does at all. Rather, I’m talking about a trend that’s been obvious for quite some years. ↩︎

  2. Perhaps. Maybe not. ↩︎

  3. Believing so would take about three times the faith in humanity at large than I currently have. ↩︎


That’s both comedy gold and a solid study of human nature, wrapped into one! :laughing:

Yeah, this is probably something we should all remember to be glad for.