Wednesday, July 1
This, from Ello, is sort of interesting. Limitedly interesting, maybe:
- You have the right to privacy.
Data about you should not be collected, bought, or sold to third parties.
- You have the right not to be tracked.
You should be able to turn off tracking when you use a social network.
- You have the right to control what you see.
You should never be forced to see ads or boosted posts from people and companies that you haven’t chosen to follow.
- Your followers have the right to see everything you post publicly.
What you see should not be controlled by algorithms that favor paid posts by advertisers over friends. Everyone that follows you should see everything you post for free.
- You have the right to own what you post.
You should not give up ownership of the things that you create when you post them on a social network.
- You have the right to be anyone you want.
You’re safest when you control what you disclose on a social network. You should not be required to give your real name, age, sex, race, marital status, sexual orientation, religion, education, home address, or any other personal information which could be sold to third parties.
- You have the right to relationships that won’t be exploited.
When a social network uses your network of friends to sell things, they violate your trust.
- You have the right to clear and transparent terms & conditions.
Terms should be written in simple language that you can understand.
- You have the right to see all the data collected about you.
When a social network builds a secret dossier that you don’t have access to, it violates your privacy and threatens civil rights. Downloading your data should be as easy as clicking a button.
- You have the right to permanently delete your account.
Leaving your social network should be simple, hassle-free, and permanent.
On the one hand, I think those are by-and-large good things, and they’re stated in plain language. I am willing to acknowledge the apparent sincerity of this document. On the other hand, there is this maddened stomping great all-devouring elephant in the room: We can’t see the code and we don’t own the computers. There’s something more than a little weightless, by now, in this rhetoric floating so free of the machinery.
“Revolution” is still good for branding, but branding remains a poor indicator of the likelihood of revolutionary change.