I deleted my Instagram accounts today. The process is needlessly obscure - the flow on the app and the web interface only exposes an option to temporarily disable your account - which is an alarming anti-pattern; it is indeed one of the walled gardens I alluded to in an earlier post.

I am a current Facebook employee and I would not recommend our products to anyone without a serious rethink of our business model first - which won’t happen as long as people are wedded to our platform.

Been meaning to write this for a while, but the release of Netflix’s The Social Dilemma yesterday gave me the additional motivation to finally finish this post!

Comments appreciated here, via the mailing list linked to the post, or on Mastodon


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I think that podcast episode was my first introduction to Tristan Harris’ work! Thanks for linking it here.

There’s been some progress since that podcast - both iOS and Android now let you limit usage of individual apps. Even Facebook and Instagram paid lip service to it by letting you set usage limits in their apps - though of course Facebook and IG (and Twitter) still wants to own your feed rather than let you decide what you see.

But on the other hand … I feel like we’re just tinkering around the edges to generate some PR talking points. In the end it’s still about farming people’s attention out to unscrupulous advertisers - what Jaron Lanier called manipulators

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