Facebook Now Meta Still Problematic

Last week, while reaping a negative PR blitz, Facebook the company announced its new name, “Meta.” Maybe they should have added a “The,” you know, to make it messier. ”The Meta.”

From what I’ve read, people will be able to make a new account on Meta, separate from the Facebook site. If that’s the case, then I look forward to NOT creating a Meta account. Ever.

If Mark Zuckerberg creates a unifying and all-encompassing interface/platform to access the ever-present nebulous metaverse — isn’t that really just cyberspace? — that billions of people are to rely upon, then he will be an ever more powerful gatekeeper, more than he already is for the current set of apps/services: Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Oculus.

If Meta finds success, then will the CEO’s increased power be matched with an increase in responsibility with accountability? And if Zuckerberg’s legion of employees already cannot adequately moderate the company’s current social sites, then how can they be the watchmen for the larger metaverse? Finally, after 17 years of existence, the US government is just now starting to regulate social media. How long will it take to regulate the metaverse, let alone understand what it even is? These and related questions deserve careful consideration.

At the same time, I doubt the overall idea of accessing the metaverse via a unified augmented reality interface through multiple advanced tech devices. Such lofty and ambitious sci-fi claims are somewhat confounding and dubious. While certain niche applications may find utility in a hi-tech conceit like the metaverse, I don’t think that paradigm will become ubiquitous.

One reason is the simple fact that, no matter how affordable devices become, most people who don’t already wear glasses, for example, will not want to suddenly wear glasses — no matter how “smart” they are — just to use a “computer.” Expecting billions of people to submit to the daily wearing of specialized gear other than maybe a watch on their wrist — which is already a relative sign of privilege or luxury — is naive and overly optimistic. If the brand was known for quality software and hardware and had a good reputation — like Apple — then maybe this would be plausible, but it’s the privacy-challenged Meta/Facebook company, which continues to erode what little trust it has, if any.

“Meta” may expand the scope of Zuckerberg’s reach and influence, for better or worse, and it might be, for the sake of argument, a positive step forward. That said, instead of fully accounting for social media’s extant data privacy issues, among other business ethics concerns and global-scale controversies, Zuckerberg is charging ahead with bigger ideas. This seems reckless, akin to his former mantra, “Move fast and break things.” Must society suffer repeating the broken record? Not wanting to sound alarmist, I mean to err on the side of caution — not warning — which is warranted given the years of scandals and now hard evidence from the Facebook Papers; social media needs correction rather than expansion.

I’d like to think I’m overreacting and that “Meta” is just a new name for Zuckerberg’s existing company, nothing more than a re-branding, so there’s no real change to see here; move along. However, the metaverse idea reflected in ”Meta” shows that the Facebook CEO remains as ambitious as ever, and it suggests a greater unification of Meta’s family of apps and services, a refocusing to bolster whatever Zuckerberg wants to build. It’s like adding more reinforcement to the foundation of social media while the underlying ground remains unstable, causing constant upheaval.

What can or should people do? If not delete Instagram or delete Facebook — and if nothing else — then this: do not create an account on Meta. Don’t join Meta. Resist ongoing years of controversy from Zuckerberg’s productions and avoid cycles of #DeleteMeta. Cut it off before it starts.

October Unfriends Facebook

This month has been one bad report after another for Facebook, coming to a crescendo this week with an onslaught of unfriendly news for Facebook and its Newsfeed. The clarion call to #DeleteFacebook may be at its loudest ever. Yet shareholders seem content, billions of dollars keep piling up, and billions of people seem stuck on the social media service — myself included.

Mark Zuckerberg may never step down or be ousted, but new regulation from the US, England, and maybe more countries, seems inevitable at this point. If that ultimately is good or bad remains to be seen. Hopefully it’s enough to mitigate the deleterious effects of Facebook and also prevent any other company from reaching similar dubious status.

I’m sure you’ve heard something of the above in the news already. Maybe you’ve deleted your Facebook account. As for me, well yeah, I’ve deleted my Facebook account…many times; I always end up returning to the love/hate relationship. I’ve tried to document that on my blog. Also for the record, I remain active on Twitter, a social media site.

For a long time, amidst whatever Facebook PR crisis, I wasn’t moved. But this month, especially this week, I am seriously considering giving the social network a thumbs down and deleting it again. Unfortunately, I would likely end up creating a new account within a year because that’s been my pattern. The pull of close family and friends who remain on Facebook wears me down until, eventually, I’ve forgotten the ills and miss the “thrills” of cat pix, silly memes, and birthday wishes.

There are a few things I find useful on Facebook, like certain Groups for coordinating events . Marketplace also has utility, though it has degraded in recent years. Otherwise, my use of Facebook is infrequent at best. I do not have the app on my phone or tablet, and I only occasionally check the site for new messages, which are few. So for me, Facebook isn’t an addiction; I actively avoid the Newsfeed. That’s why, despite the site’s general woes, I have not been driven to nuke it from orbit like in times past.

That is, of course, until recently. I think there is a good case on principle to delete Facebook; I’ve stated similar thoughts on my blog before. That the company is, on some level, a threat to US democracy, foreign governments, and other societies, seems more than plausible. It appears to be fact at this point, given all the smoking hints since 2017 and now fiery hard evidence with the Facebook Papers. There’s a lot to be said against Facebook and global-scale social media in general, though I don’t wish to dredge it all up now.

Instead of reiterating Facebook’s problems, here’s a potential solution: one form of government regulation should enact a user count cap. Simply make a rule that says any social media site may not have more than 1 billion registered user accounts, and any social media company may not have more than 1 billion registered users. So in the case of Facebook with its three big apps: Facebook, Instagram, and Whatsapp, all three apps combined cannot have more than 1 billion users. This simple rule would help contain global-scale reach, whether positive or negative. Given the amount of adverse effects worldwide as evidenced from Facebook, a user cap would mititage against such problems.

Surely there are other ideas to help; if you have some, please comment below. In any case, a question I ask is: are the net effects of Facebook more good or more bad? That is tough to answer. When the news media is in an uproar against Facebook’s latest misdeeds, it’s easy to think the company’s net effects are indeed negative; so delete it! When the calm follows the storm — and no elections, riots, coups, insurrections, or pandemics are taking place — the Newsfeed can seem like a happy bit of escapism from the daily grind, full of relevant ads for my favorite coffee and also funny animal videos. Yeah.

Bottom line: for now, I’m keeping my Facebook account, for better or worse, but am very close to deleting it again. Because of the years of repeated privacy problems fueling lack of trust in Facebook and seeing its ill affect on my own family and society in general, I really do think we would all be better off without Facebook. I wish the platform would crumble, not for glee over witnessing the mighty fall, but for the safety and sanity of billions of people, like myself, who can’t seem to escape its reach.

Facebook the company is too big and too powerful, and it still rests in the total control of one man. How does that not sound off more alarms? And where is the US government’s new regulations to rein in Zuckerberg’s reign? Isn’t it time to constrain and restrain social media?

Bokeh Will Soon Be Beta

Way back in 2019, an alternative to Instagram was kick-started. The name: Bokeh. After some delay, it is still inching toward the finish line. In fact, private (beta) testing is almost here. And being a backer, I should be able to soon give it a try – exciting! Will it take off? The potential is there.


What is Bokeh?

I’ve written about it before: here, here, and here.

In short, it’s a privacy respecting, ad-free, social-photo-network like Instagram. You know, before IG was bought by Facebook.

How does Bokeh work?

Simple. You pay for it! The monthly cost, I think, is relatively low, something like $3 a month (don’t quote me on that though – it could be different).

Since it’s a paid app/service, there is no ad-based monetization scheme. That means no “Sponsored Posts” in your feed. Also, it keeps your privacy – get this – private! I think that’s worth a monthly fee.

Bokeh, like other social networks, connects you to other people on the service. You share photos and can comment and do the things you’d expect, such as view a feed/stream.

The developers have been hard at work coding and such to bring Bokeh to life. I’m eager to see the fruits of their labor.

Yes, the question remains, will Bokeh survive or grow? What level of success would be considered good? The answer remains open, and I’m open to Bokeh’s potential.

Of course, some start-ups fail. But other networks find success. SnapChat and TikTok come to mind. So yeah, Bokeh can succeed.

In fact, since Instagram’s experience suffers under a bloat of copy-cat features, and Facebook’s reputation is forever tarnished, Bokeh stands a good chance to find those seeking a good alternative. It’s delayed release may be ideal timing.

One thing must never happen though. Bokeh can’t eventually sell-out to Facebook. If it proves popular, even competitive, it should keep standing on its own two feet like SnapChat, for example. Let Facebook try to copy Bokeh’s success; I doubt it could pull it off. Facebook would need to drop its whole ad-based privacy-compromising revenue model. So it fundamentally can’t copy Bokeh! And that gives Bokeh a chance to thrive.

Even if Bokeh turns out to be an experiment, I support it. I want to see what a paid-for social-network can be like. Whatever good points it shows, they can be honed into what eventually might be the future of social-media beyond Facebook. Seriously? Yeah!

Would Bokeh compete with Twitter? Or could Bokeh complement it (as in complete it)? I’m not sure. That’s why we need to wait and see. I’m welcoming Bokeh to the stage to share its talent. It’ll be worth watching.

Oh, by the way, if/when the service opens up to the public, you’ll want to hop on it fast. Why? The sooner you do, the more likely you’ll be able to score your preferred user-name!

Will you join Bokeh when it goes live? Would you be more likely to try a paid social-media service if it has a free trial period? Sound off below!


What do you think? Reply below with your comment. Contact or Email me at the buttons above. Thanks for reading!

A Social Network For Movies

The other day, I wondered, “There should be a goodreads for movies.” You know, a niche site that lets you catalog and discover movies. It would also have a social media like aspect. I didn’t think IMDb was the right thing. So I searched…and found it!


Social Movia

The site, called Letterboxd, is exactly what I was lookin’ for; I joined quickly!

Its look and feel are designed nicely, a dark background with elegant lines and fonts. Things are neatly organized. The interface is nicer than goodreads.

You create your own profile with a Bio, which other members of the site may follow. Then you start adding movies you’ve seen or want to see.

With all the movies you’ve seen, you can take several actions:

  • Like
  • Favorite
  • Tag
  • Rate
  • Log
  • Review

Of course, you can add movies you haven’t seen to your Watchlist. Speaking of, you can create your own custom lists too.

There are reviews of movies by other people on the site. And you can find folks who have similar movie tastes as yourself and connect with them by clicking, “Follow.”

I’m still new to Letterboxd and have only started building my movie catalog. But so far it’s cool.

There are cinephiles or movie buffs there, people who are really into the art of cinema and theater. This makes me feel a bit like an outsider since I’m more like the guy who just wants a good popcorn flick most of the time. Think Blockbuster. Oh well.

If you’re looking for the “goodreads for movies,” Letterboxd is it!


What do you think? Reply below with your comment. Contact or Email me at the buttons above. Thanks for reading!