Facebook is gaslighting the web. We can fix it.

Anil Dash, Weblog, Nov 21, 2011
Commentary by Stephen Downes

In my view, both Google and Facebook are trying to replace the open web with their own private networks. They want to do this, I think, because a closed and controlled web is more friendly to advertisers. To do this they must stop people from using the open web, or as Anil Dash says, to "gaslight" the web. He writes, "Facebook has moved from merely being a walled garden into openly attacking its users' ability and willingness to navigate the rest of the web. The evidence that this is true even for sites which embrace Facebook technologies is overwhelming, and the net result is that Facebook is gaslighting users into believing that visiting the web is dangerous or threatening." I'm not so thrilled about Dash's proposed solution, which is to ask "Stop Badware partners such as Google (whose Safe Browsing service is also used by Mozilla and Apple), as well as Microsoft's similar SmartScreen filter, to warn web users when visiting Facebook." Enlisting one giant to help fight another giant simply empowers yet another giant.
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