I wanted to write up a quick blog post to let everyone know that the Facebook community will be shutting down. The group will be frozen as of February 26th.
Why did I make this decision? The first thought most people might have is that it’s a political reason, which it’s not. A lot of people are hating on social media sites nowadays, and this isn’t about that at all. LearnLinuxTV is not a political platform, and never will be. It’s a technology platform. That’s it.
On a personal level, I don’t like Facebook much. Mainly because of how rude everyone seems to be, and I’ve always felt that online platforms should be places you go to further your creativity, hobbies, or personal interests. On my end, I’ve been a member of not only several Linux communities on Facebook, but also other subjects such as Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, retro-gaming, and other stuff I’m into. But nowadays, Facebook has become a place of bickering and it’s just annoying.
When you use a social media platform, you have an important choice to make. Since your free account is only free because YOU become the product, then you have to decide if that social media platform is worth the tradeoff. If you feel the value you get from that platform is worth your personal data, then go ahead and sign up and use that platform. If you aren’t okay with tracking and having your data harvested, then don’t sign up. As an individual, that’s your choice to make. And I respect both sides, and don’t encourage your decision to use or not use a platform one way or another. That’s the social contract – it’s your choice and your choice alone.
Personally, I’m not okay with the way Facebook handles this in particular. Initially, as a user I decided that the value I get from Facebook outweighs its cons. So I made the decision to sign up. And while this news isn’t new and I’m late to find this out, I recently became aware of the fact that Facebook tracks people that don’t even have an account (as reported by Newsweek and some other sites) – and to me that breaks the social contract it has with users. It’s gone too far, whether to be tracked or not isn’t even choice at this point. But again, maybe this isn’t a problem for you. And that’s totally fine. I am not writing this blog post to convince people to stop using Facebook, LearnLinuxTV is not a platform to encourage or discourage what sites and platforms you decide to use. That decision is yours alone. I’m merely explaining my thought process, since I’ll no-doubt be asked if I don’t mention it. For me, I’m not able to quit Facebook completely, I have friends and family that use it and I intend to stay in contact with them. But I am limiting my use of that platform.
Okay, so at this point, you’re probably confused. If LearnLinuxTV is not making an anti-Facebook stance, and doesn’t aim to make a political stance at all, then why is the Facebook group for this channel closing down?
Due to the fact that I’m planning on using Facebook less often, that also means I won’t be able to admin the group as much either. With no admin watching the page, it becomes a free-for-all. And to be fair, I could just limit my use of Facebook to everything else outside of the group for LearnLinuxTV, but the other problem is that I haven’t done a good job of maintaining the Facebook group either. For some reason, notifications of new topics in the group don’t always reach me, so I may not know that there are new posts. By the time I find out that people are posting things, it’s already weeks later. Even if notifications do happen, they get buried underneath all the other notifications that Facebook spews out. Given that I work multiple jobs, notifications of new messages need to be reliable, and maintaining a Facebook group can be tedious as a result.
TLDR; Since I’m limiting my own use of Facebook due to the reasons above, and I barely have time to watch the Facebook group anyway, it just makes sense to close it down.
It’s possible I could reverse this decision, and who knows, maybe one or more awesome people will volunteer to admin the page. And while that would be great, I have community forums at community.learnlinux.tv, which I intend to be more active in. I think the official community on that site is a much better system anyway. And that’s exactly what I’m going to recommend everyone use going forward. Splitting the community among multiple sites is just a hard thing to keep track of for someone that wears multiple hats. I’m also looking into creating a Discord server (for very specific reasons) so it would be even harder to continue to maintain a Facebook group with both the community and Discord to maintain.
So if you haven’t already done so, head on over to community.learnlinux.tv. There aren’t that many posts right now, so start a topic and initiate a conversation. Hopefully it becomes an awesome place to have a discussion.
I think it’s way better to focus on your own platform, too.
I can understand and appreciate that. The tracking of data across platforms is something that I hate and I do everything I can to stop that. Even the fact that if you go to a site hat has a FB or other logo on it can be used for tracking you. We even now have tracking attached to favicons. (I use Firefox, containers, and other extensions to try to reduce this to as little as possible.) Even Google that had some many ideals in the 90s and early twenties seems to have lost those over the years.
The whole idea should be to enable people to discuss, and help each other. Even if you disagree with others it should be possible to do in a controlled and friendly manner without descending to a flame war. (Though I doubt if many of them know what flaming is, or by using caps they are yelling at others.) You can see these type of responses even on YouTube.
So yes keep it in the learnlinux.tv community where you have more control and people will try to help each other and give advise. It may help it even grow. It has been sad to see so many forums on so many subject and interests diminish or disappear with the advent of FB and its ilk.
Yeah we have our Firefoxes locked down pretty good too, and still when we set up PiHole, we found lots of shenanigans were still going on. So, I guess we have to really use multiple levels of defense, including having our router/firewall set to only allow DNS queries through from the PiHole. Still, DNS over HTTPS can leak through.
Continue the discussion at community.learnlinux.tv