I’m blocking Threads

I decided to block threads.net from my Mastodon account, which really doesn’t do much if there are determined bad actors, but it’s a small initial step to keep Meta in its place. Just as I never linked my YouTube account to Google back when I used those legacy 2000s websites, I really don’t need to have anything from Meta in my experience of the fediverse. They’re distinct things. There’s a reason I stopped using Facebook and Instagram in the 2010s for anything personal.

What really convinced me was Erin Kissane’s blog post. Erin had written about Facebook’s involvement in the genocide of the Rohingya people in Myanmar in far more depth than I ever did—I think I just sent you off-site in previous posts—but if you read her post, it contains an excellent summary.

She writes (original links removed):

Beginning around 2013, Facebook spent years ignoring desperate warnings from experts in Myanmar and around the world, kept its foot on the algorithmic accelerator, and played what the UN called “a determining role” in the genocide of the Rohingya people. A genocide which included mass rape and sexual mutilation, the maiming and murder of thousands of civilians including children and babies, large-scale forced displacement, and torture.

I wrote so much about Meta in Myanmar because I think it’s a common misconception that Meta just kinda didn’t handle content moderation well. What Meta’s leadership actually did was so multifaceted, callous, and avaricious that it was honestly difficult for even me to believe:

  • they shouldered their way into Myanmar’s brand-new internet market via agreements with cell companies and a global domination initiative disguised as a public service;
  • they razed Myanmar’s fragile online news ecosystem and directly funded clickfarms;
  • they failed to mount anything resembling a reasonable attempt to moderate Burmese-language content for years on end while leaning on local civil society groups to handle the dangers their algorithms made unstoppable; and
  • they spent years serving as an unwitting mega-channel for massive fake-page networks run directly by Myanmar’s brutal military.

There is plenty more, and Erin provides links to back up her claims, all of which have been reported in international media.

If you still wish to provide a connection to genocide enablers, then you do you. But I don’t want to think about Meta when surfing the fediverse.

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