War – what to do?

After the Brexit referendum result, a friend of mine asked “Does this mean there could be wars?”. I replied “yes”. As Slartibartfast said, “I’d far rather be happy than right, any day”.

So, now there’s war, what can you actually do? TFAYCD, right? Well, there’s a direct line from Brexit to Trump, to Russian money buying Tories, to Johnson gaining power, to the invasion of Ukraine. It’s Facebook.

I hated FB when it first popped up, mainly ‘cos it was shit web design, but also because it went against web open standards, seeking to keep users on its pages, never leaving to the web outside. And it succeeded. And by doing so, it got your data. And then it sold your data, without your permission, to Cambridge Analytica, who weaponised it. They used the data to microtarget their clients’ advertising, to sway results in the Brexit referendum, and in Trump’s election. It worked.

If this sounds like conspiracy theory to you, then sorry, no, it’s journalism: The Observer broke the CA story. So, what can you do? Delete your Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp accounts. I’m serious.

“But Twitter’s just as bad – all the trolls on there!” Alright, I’ll admit other sites might have been not good enough, but I draw a very clear distinction between that and being actively evil, which is what FB were (IMO, sure). [Edit: Post Muskageddon, let’s scratch this one too.]

“But I use it to stay in contact with my friends and family!” You know, they’ll still be your friends and family. And we all managed to keep in touch just fine before FB came along. There are alternatives. Signal, Twitter Mastodon, proper web sites, forums, email. Use them.

And if you’re in the UK, register to vote, and always vote tactically to keep the Tories out. Because no, all politicians aren’t the same. Encourage your local LIB/LAB/Green candidates to form a progressive alliance on a platform of introducing Proportional Representation. The Tories have been systematically undermining the institutes of state, and deliberately using the covid pandemic to try to overwhelm the NHS. They’re literally evil.

So yes, there is something you can do. Don’t let them get away with it, and ffs, delete your facebook account. Get off their disinformation superhighway, and refuse to click on any fb link. It’s not much, I know, but it is at least something you can do.

Thanks for reading. And good luck to all Ukrainians, and whoever’s next.
Normal boring posts will resume before long.

PS Use of Tik Tok would also seem very unwise.

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