Welcome to i23 from Alan's articles

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So, this is i23.

Facebook lost my vote because of privacy concerns but before that truly happened, I came to a realisation about this social-media behemoth.

Over the years, I'd added different people as Facebook friends; ex-colleagues, acquaintances and the odd childhood friend or two. The only interaction I had with most of these people was the odd 'like' of a funny meme or yet another ugly child photo and to be honest, I usually only went through the newsfeed 'liking' things when I was sitting on the toilet. True fact.

When I left my previous employment, me and my ex-colleagues agreed to stay in touch and still meet up regularly. I looked forward to meeting up with them all occasionally when they went out for a work meal or work drinks, but it never happened. Also, despite the odd mutual 'like' exchanges, none of my ex-colleagues noticed or commented after a significant event which should have taken place, didn't. One of my ex-colleagues even congratulated me when I announced the event again.

I'm sure all of us have Facebook 'friends' who we've added just for the sake of it and I know that for some, it becomes a popularity contest to see how many 'friends' you can accumulate. Adding as many 'friends' from school seems to be quite popular, even though you've not seen any of them for 20 years and if you're really honest, you didn't like them back then or couldn't give a shit about them now.

This led to my own Facebook cull where I massively reduced the amount of 'friends' I had; I now only have family and people whom I actually like on my 'friends' list. There's really no point in seeing the life of someone you couldn't care less about on your newsfeed, but I keep some family members on there to maintain a certain etiquette.

Then the whole Facebook privacy scandal came out and everyone acted like it was all a massive surprise. Of course this sharing or exchanging of data was occurring; these companies are out to make money!

This didn't bother me too much, but the fact that the Facebook app and my phone were in cahoots together did. Adverts would pop up in my newsfeed for items related to conversations I'd previously had with someone.

For example, a friend of mine had a mouse infestation at his house. He sent me messages on WhatsApp about this and sent me a photo of a caught mouse.

The very next day, an Amazon advert on Facebook listed mousetraps. Coincidence?

Ok, so it's probably not a coincidence, seeing as Facebook owns WhatsApp and seeing as in the T&Cs for WhatsApp, we probably agree to sell our souls to Mark Zuckerburg.

But it's this level of intrusion which takes things too far in my opinion, and who really knows what happens to the data from my WhatsApp messages? All WhatsApp messages are encrypted, but clearly Facebook can decrypt those messages to serve up customised adverts, thus nulling any emphasis on security.

If you want to use a true secure messaging app, use Wickr.

Anyway, that was it with me and Facebook. I've deleted the app from my phone and if I do want to see what's going on with my friends and family, I just visit the Facebook mobile site.

I'd love to ditch WhatsApp too, but the whole world uses it as the perfect cross-platform messaging app and it's always difficult to persuade people to change their habits.

I've started to use Band, which is a wonderful social-network but which is below the radar, so it's wasted because it's under-utilised. Band has plenty of users around the world and although people start to use it, interest tails off and people forget about it. This is a massive shame because it offers everything that Facebook does, just with a far simpler design. It's definitely worth trying.

I've built the odd website before and fancied doing my own one, which I'll keep updated and which I'll use to post my random crap on.

The name i23 has no purpose whatsoever; I chose it because I wanted a short URL and there aren't many to choose from. It's entirely random, but I like the fact that if I type it as I23.uk, it looks a little like 123.uk. That's it really.

Here's a "Bad Lip Reading" video from the Facebook privacy hearing, just to make you smile.

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By Alan
Added Sep 8 '18



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