Reddit, Twitter, and more...
Hello fellow Opt Out travelers,
As Twitter and Reddit implode around us, the lessons from the Opt Out project are more valuable than ever. If you or a friend are ready to take the plunge, my post on The Tech Breakup offers some helpful tips. Congratulations to those of you trying out new services and migrating your communities off these once-beloved platforms.
It is time to move on. Still, I know full well that there is a grieving process when you leave these places, these relationships. It takes a village to build anything meaningful, and it's disheartening to see that work swept away in a matter of weeks! But let's be honest. The castles we built were on shifting sands, vulnerable to a single capricious CEO who can tear our communities apart. It's so important to take the reins ourselves, to build stronger foundations--foundations that put community first, ahead of investors.
While people leaving Twitter one user at a time are often making migration decisions alone, the Reddit collapse shows the power of working in groups. Traveling together in the same groups we forged first on those platforms, working with trusted peer-to-peer relationships, we can do a lot more to disassemble the toxic web than we ever could alone. This is one of my key Opt Out lessons: don't work alone! If striking out alone can seem daunting, confusing or lonesome, it's so much more empowering to join a group--and much stronger in the long term too!
In other news, the Opt Out Project featured on a few podcasts this spring. Check these out for more relevant #optout info, experts, and discussion:
"OVERTURN" on BBC's digitally human: explores what happens when freely given data suddenly becomes dangerous, if it’s possible to keep any secrets in an online maelstrom of information, and why we keep coming up against this problem again, and again, and again... Features interviews on the topic of reproductive data privacy with me, my colleague Gina Neff at Oxford, and Thomas Germaine and Kyle Barr at Gizmodo.
"The Mars Rover Isn't Stealing Our Data" on Reimagining the Internet: This terrific podcast hosted by Ethan Zuckerman talks to the right people about how we might imagine a better, fairer, more just, and more human-centric web. In this episode I chat about being a conscientious objector to Google, the Opt Out Project's attempts to keep data about my children off the web, and then tie it all into my work with NASA's Mars Rover mission.
And of course, the conversation is alive and well on Mastodon, where you are welcome to message me at @firstname.lastname@example.org. I'm basically not on Twitter anymore but you can share these posts there to help others get off.
More to come! In the meanwhile, and make sure you know where your data is!