Wikipedia Co-Founder Bashes Facebook and Other Major Social Media Platforms

By Bill Toulas / July 6, 2019

Larry Sanger, the co-founder of Wikipedia, Nupedia, Everipedia, and Citizendium, is currently calling users of large social media services to reconsider their choices and open their eyes to what is happening. Sanger accuses social media giants of power abuse, which is something that has been discussed by many eminent individuals numerous times before. The man has even launched a social media strike between July 4 and 5, with the purpose of protesting against the user data management policies that are established by social media and blindly accepted by their billions of users.

Sanger called people to begin a massive, loud, and appropriately outraged campaign of complaint against these social media, as the politicians, regulators, and user data protection agencies have failed to contain the problem and compel tech behemoths like Facebook to behave. Social media platforms are not keeping their data collection and selling activities a secret, but promise that the people behind the user IDs cannot be identified. However, this has been repeatedly proven a lie, through multiple scandals that involved the leaking of user sensitive data to a trove of 3rd party companies.

Commenting Facebook’s boss, Sanger told CNBC: “The internet wouldn’t have been created by people like Mark Zuckerberg, or any of the sort of corporate executives in Silicon Valley today. They wouldn’t be capable, they don’t have the temperament, they’re too controlling. They don’t understand the whole idea of bottom-up.”

Protesting against a state of affairs is not enough if you don’t have a clearly defined alternative to propose. Sanger did cover that part by writing the “Declaration of Digital Independence”, calling people to espouse, sign, support, promote, and demand its adoption from “the Big Socials”. As he writes: “Like old King George, Big Social Media have systematically abused our rights. They have centrally collected and control the data we individually own. We should declare our independence of them by demanding a new system of decentralized social media in which we own and control our own data, and the networks are made fully interoperable. Let's tear down the silos. Sign the Declaration, and strike!”

What Sanger proposes is an entirely decentralized system for social networks to be deployed instead. The following nine principles constitute the declarations proposal, including the change of ownership of the data to be given back to the users, the right to publish anything freely on the platforms, the right to keeping conversations private, and more.

Did you take part in the social media strike between June 4 and 5, and will you be signing Larry Sanger’s Declaration of Digital Independence? Let us know in the comments down below, and help us spread the word by sharing this post through our socials, on Facebook and Twitter.

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