Today, we launch “ How to Ditch Facebook Without Losing Your Friends ” - a narrated slideshow and essay explaining how Facebook locks in its users, how interoperability can free them, and what it would feel like to use an “interoperable Facebook” of the future, such as the one contemplated by the US ACCESS Act .
Millions of Facebook users claim to hate the service - its moderation, both high-handed and lax , its surveillance , its unfair treatment of the contractors who patrol it and the publishers who fill it with content - but they keep on using it.
Both Facebook and its critics have an explanation for this seeming paradox: people use Facebook even though they don’t like it because it’s so compelling . For some critics, this is proof that Facebook has perfected an “addictive technology” with techniques like “dopamine loops.” Facebook is rather fond of this critique, as it integrates neatly with Facebook’s pitch to advertisers : “We are so good at manipulating our users that we can help you sell anything .”
We think there’s a different explanation: disgruntled Facebook users keep using the service because they don’t want to leave behind their friends, family, communities and customers. Facebook’s own executives share this belief, as is revealed by internal memos in which those execs plot to raise “switching costs” for disloyal users who quit the service .