Here’s a compelling pitch for Ello, the ad-free social network. It’s a pitch, clearly, from Paul Budnitz, the CEO. But it is also worth a read even if you don’t know or care about Ello or just don’t want to mess around with yet another social network. It’s a nice summary of Facebook’s user surveillance and tracking.
It’s worth a read so you understand your “deal” with Facebook. It’s the same mostly hidden deal we’ve all struck with nearly all of the web sites and mobile apps we use, including all the big media companies that want us to trust them (yo Craig Newmark, Sally Lehrman and Richard Gingras at the Trust Project). They desperately want to track you, know more about you and use that data to place more precisely-targeted ads and personalized content on your screens. They want to sell and profit from that data and they want to keep you, the user, the product, blind to the details of those transactions. That can sound benign and genuinely helpful – they want to provide better products and experiences for users and make advertising more worthwhile for everyone. It gets creepy, dystopian and borders on philosophical once you realize how much they know. Free will, anyone?
Confession: I saw this first on Facebook, which I still check regularly, and it was linked to a post on Medium, which I never “check” but see and read links at pretty frequently. I’ve posted there too.
But I’ll cross-post this on Facebook and Ello, and probably again at We Media (this post) and Nach, my personal site; but I will link here to the only version you should go to first and share, on Ello.
More about Ello: Join me there? I’m not active there yet. I love the spirit but it isn’t really personal or meaningful until enough people use it. For now it’s an inspiring curiosity. But I am thinking, seriously, of ditching Facebook completely, and Ello seems like the best alternative. You can find me there: https://ello.co/anachison
Andrew Nachison is founder of We Media. He lives in Reston, Virginia.