How to Leave Dying Social Media Platforms

I thought Corey Doctorow’s article about leaving social media platforms was very relevant to locus, and outlines some of the major issues around doing so. There’s also interesting discussion of legislation coming into effect that enforces interoperability. It’s a great idea but surely it stands a pretty good chance of crippling these products. What do people think of the likelihood of it being ratified? I find the idea of interoperability amazing and necessary, I just don’t know how possible it is.

I also think this article is relevant to an ongoing discussion with @j4d3 here

Finally, tangentially related, I know, but I plan on writing an article that brings these concepts together, I noticed a lot of people hanging around on twitter either desperately trying to justify the platform or deeply invested in Musk ‘Draining the Swamp’. It brought together some thoughts I was having about how people are some maligned toward climate activists and the like. A while ago I read an article the the American Psychological Association’s website about ‘System Justification’. Essentially part of the conclusion seems to be that people tend to have an ingrained instinct to lean toward predictability and stability. This instinct can be harnessed to make them dig their heels in when they’re told that ‘the system’ (whatever it is) isn’t working. Even if they are given proof.

I plan on expanding on this idea but I thought it would be worth sharing with everyone for thoughts and ideas. I may make a second topic for discussion of the argument I’m trying to make as I think there are likely people on the discourse who might be able to help give me pointers for research.


I have bookmarked this to swing back in later with something a bit more… fleshed-out, but one thing which might be of use to you is this piece which has been pushed by quite a lot of the bluecheck-but-staying left/left-liberal crowd - Leaving Twitter now says more about you than Elon Musk

I have no interest in minimizing the author’s viewpoint and feel there is a deep strand in it which is perceptive and adds something missing to the conversation, but I cannot help but find it somewhat incomplete. I guess this is not least because my reasons for not bothering with Twitter so much (would I be on there if I didn’t kind of have to have it for work, I doubt it) aren’t because of the latent hate speech and related issues. Obviously I agree these are horrible problems to be solved, but I guess my take here is more positive about the space we can build than negative leaving the other space behind. I disliked Twitter before, I dislike Twitter now, but there seems to be a momentum behind the opportunity of something which isn’t it being used by more people.

idk, this is a straight-after-reading take, I’m probably being a bit of a mug.

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Later is definitely correct, but probably not the kind of later I originally intended.

In Economics, toward the end of the degree we had a course offered called Behavioural Economics, probably one of the only times that actual data was brought into the subject from a course that was pitched as non-mathematical (Econometrics was also a thing, but, less said about that the better; they taught good statistics though). This is a roundabout way of talking about this line in the APA piece:

it addresses fundamental human needs to reduce uncertainty, threat, and social discord

We read quite a considerable amount of studies where this, in that course risk aversion came up, and although I’ve mainly looked at this through this Economics lens, this was a similar phenomenon. There was a lot of it too. I would imagine that a good slice of this is also motivated by the mental load that come from moving to another network also, but the familiar/known risk is more cognitively comfortable than the unfamiliar in a lot of situations.

We don’t have to accept those high prices. We can — and should — force the tech platforms to free their hostages.

Doctorow’s idea does look like (however impossible to deliver) it would solve this status quo bias, and overcome risk aversion… if people see their friends Having A Good Time Away From Big Tech then they’d be more likely to switch. Social referral to a social species is the most potent of convincing factors. This being said… how the hell to we make this happen?

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