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What do we want? Decentralised, non-siloed social media with open standards! When do we want it? Soon!

Wikipedia co-founder calls for strike against Facebook et al

The other Wikipedia co-founder has called for a 48-hour boycott of all social media platforms to demonstrate users' desire to regain control of their data and privacy.

On 4-5 July, and for at least one day, Larry Sanger has implored people to snub social media platforms except for posts showing that they are on strike.

Jimmy Wales' former colleague unironically suggested using the hashtag #SocialMediaStrike.

He is asking participants sign the Declaration of Digital Independence, drafted by Sanger, or for people to create their own similar document.

Sanger – who memorably tried to fork Wikipedia in 2006 after leaving the project back in '01 – would like to see social media platforms work more like a blog reader that can suck up any posts published using RSS or Atom standards.

The declaration also provides a list of the sins of existing social media platforms. These include moderating platforms at the whim of senior executives rather than democratically; using algorithms to highlight the most controversial content which makes discussion less serious and rational and allows foreign interference in elections; and forcing users to sign Ts&Cs they cannot understand and then marketing their data in ways no one would agree to.

Sanger's strike is part of his broader push for a decentralised, interoperable social media platform which returns control of data back to individuals. He wants the various platforms to stop acting as data silos but instead adapt a common set of standards and APIs.

He claims to have made some progress in discussions with Twitter boss Jack Dorsey, who appears supportive of his ideas.

Sanger said even Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, "whom I don't trust as far as I could kick him", has paid lip service to the idea of neutral protocols. ®

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