The current system of say Facebook, Google (YouTube, Search Engine Optimization) and just about no one else has lead to what I see as a possilbe break from these masters or owners. It will take time and effort by all and so far, just peeps (noise) from governments.

I'm hoping Dani Horiwitz will weigh in here since this is not my field. My thoughts on this go back years as privacy was something we all had a lot more of a few decades ago. But here we are and it's a new world but one controlled by the few as in the two companies (rule of two) it seems.

Some want us to capitulate to our new masters. But it does seems to be a new federation of networks is out there. By that I mean Mastodon and similar but for now it seems from my limited view it's Mastodon. Right now there are YouTube, Instagram and Twitter alternatives so some work is underway.

It's not as if they are working to kill off the younglings. Or are they as Adam Conover interviews and more at https://www.earwolf.com/episode/the-internet-the-business-of-tech-and-happiness-with-scott-galloway/ The title there is "Big Tech, Workism and Killing Companies in the Crib with Scott Galloway, Factually! with Adam Conover #6 July 2, 2019."

After that I get the feeling that "Evil Will Always Triumph Because Good is Dumb". Well maybe that's a bit much but here we are with only two(?) companies running the big show.

So with that I will, when I can, DuckDuckGo and try spending time with a Mastodon and it's tribe.

You're not going to like my answer here ...

I am not the one to weigh in on this topic because I do not have a problem with social networks and lack of privacy. As someone who has been neck deep in this world from the very beginning, I'm of the whole belief that, "If you're not the customer, you're the product." In other words, businesses exist to make money, and there's never a free lunch. Their advertisers are their customers. Your data and your eyeballs are the product they are selling to the advertisers. Creating an addictive social platform that's free and enticing to use is the method by which they manufacture their inventory.

However, it's a choice, right? You could choose not to use their platform in exchange for your privacy. However, each time you do use their platform, you're making the decision that the enjoyment or benefit you get outweighs what you lose.

You could choose to use DuckDuckGo instead of Google, but is it worth losing whatever you get from Google's superior product / featureset / algorithm? If it is, then DuckDuckGo it away! If not ... then, well, it's still your choice.

That being said, what is crossing the line? DaniWeb, for example, recently gave users the ability to unshare your location from within your profile. Like all other social platforms, we take privacy very seriously. Why, though? It's not because we care that you -- our product -- are ensured the benefit of your privacy. It's because we're a business, and as all other businesses, our continued existance relies on the ability to produce a constant stream of new inventory as we sell the inventory we have. If we don't do our best attempt to give you what you want, our service won't be worth the trade-off for you anymore, and we will have more buyers than inventory available to sell. Google doesn't need to care 10000% about privacy. They just need to care enough about privacy to retain 99% of their inventory and be willing to sacrifice the 1% to DuckDuckGo.

That being said, I'm not a hypocrite. This is truly my belief system, and I'm someone who uses Google, uses Chrome, uses Nest cameras, watches Android TV, and is always logged into my Google account across all of my devices. For me, the benefit I get from having everything personalized for me is more important to me, and being the pro-ads person that I am, I enjoy the benefit of targeted advertising, because I would rather see ads relevant to me than ads for products that I would never have any interest in.

At the end of the day, be rest assured that social platforms have a vested interest in giving you what you want.

Thank you Dani. I feel that I did the topic a disservice and should not have gone near privacy. There's more going on with the two companies going for essentially total world domination in their fields. Some may write that's OK as they have the superior product.

Moving on. I wanted to kick this out into the open and along the way comment there are other systems out there (Mastodon) and companies do push back when they can't have it all. I see that in the automotive and oil industries. They influence law makers to slow the change even if it's killing us.

Mastodon does what a lot of other platforms, including DaniWeb, are now doing. They're basically saying, "OK, you don't want to be the product? We will let you be the customer then." They are very heavily sponsor based. In DaniWeb's case, we hide all advertising in exchange for being a sponsor. Yes, they are operating almost like a non-profit for now. Curious to see where they are in a few years.

That being said, not every social media company can, or should, operate like a non-profit, relying strictly on the generous and continuous donation of sponsors. Wikipedia is able to accomplish it with long term success, but they are not the norm. However, I don't think that the non-profit model is a good model for long term success in this space. In other words, I don't think it would be feasable for Google or Facebook or any venture-backed company to adopt this model. There can only ever be one Wikipedia. There can ever only be one non-profit per sector that's trying to accomplish the exact same thing.

About Wikipedia, I wonder what it would look like without Steven Pruitt.

Maybe if there was no Steven, Funk & Wagnells, Encyclopedia Britannica or another would have had time to pivot and take this space. So thank you Steven.