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Social media platforms are websites or apps where people who do not possess much of a social life in the real world can blather on to each other about meaningless twaddle that only they care about. Obviously these people are nothing like us.[citation NOT needed] Popular types of social media include social networks, social news sites, and video-sharing sites.

Moving swiftly along, social media platforms help people keep in touch, now that people move around a lot because the tabloids tell them to (gotta keep those house prices up!).

Major sites[edit]


You can find a RationalWiki page and a RationalWiki group on Facebook; see Fun:RationalWiki Facebook for a description of the latter
But one thing is certain, and it's that I’m a jerk for making this site…

—Mark Zuckerberg[1]

Facebook has horrible ads that claim your friends have a crush on you. How yuk is that?

Facebook is a social media platform stalking tool for approximately everyone in the bloody world who has regular access to the internet. Facebook often receives a shitstorm of attention regarding its "privacy" settings, which people are generally too stupid to use - they're actually quite powerful and useful, from being able to easily restrict what you share with certain friends to sending you a one-time password via text message if you're using an unsecured connection that you don't trust. The privacy controversy really developed in November 2007 when Facebook's staff launched Facebook Beacon, in which Facebook's partner e-commerce websites, including eBay and Travelocity, provided Facebook with news of all your purchases (the partner websites knowing you are on Facebook because you have cookies from Facebook stored on your browser disclosing your Facebook identity to these other websites). Incredibly, Facebook then broadcast news of every purchase you made off-site to all of your Facebook "friends", and initially did this without even requiring the user to first opt-in to Beacon. Needless to say, a public outcry rapidly arose over this practice, and Beacon's "opt-out" status was quickly reversed. Facebook's integration with other websites has continued to be relentless, but is now far less creepy, and mostly used by social-media nerds.

It's worse than that "graph of things Michael Jackson blames it on"

As with other social-networking sites such as MySpace and LiveJournal, Facebook is very popular among college students who post all sorts of personal information about themselves - without realizing the potential for it later coming back to haunt them. So when they add their boss as a friend while they still have a profile picture of them being a drunken lunatic at a stag party, they're a little surprised to be passed over for promotion later. But in short, with Facebook privacy, if you don't want it public, don't fucking put it on the site - this includes the people who post their phone numbers to "public" groups.[2] Facebook makes it difficult to delete your account and data permanently and even when gone there is no guarantee that it isn't still in the database somewhere.[note 1] Although it is possible to delete everything by request, it's easier and quicker just to post some random anti-religious screed, to engage in openly racist diatribe or to start posting porn in order to get banned by the administrators. To make it easier for people to come back, Facebook administrator-gnomes prefer "deactivation", which basically is the same as deletion, but it keeps your data on the server in case you want to come back (how nice!). The site also engages in a little harmless emotional blackmail by telling you how many of your friends will "miss you" when you're gone.

Since Facebook replaced MySpace as the social networking site of choice for most people, some long-term users have noted a trend towards puerile harping and frivolity. Basically, all the people from MySpace came over because they were sick of how crap MySpace was, turned Facebook into MySpace and are now getting sick of how crap Facebook is now that they've turned it into MySpace. To get an idea of the average IQ of a Facebook user, just check out the complaints every time they make a change; with the "news feed" for example. Following a change from a feed that featured selected highlights of what your friends have done (which could be controlled via an options panel) they switched to a "live feed" which just threw everything at you as it happened. There were many complaints and groups demanding for it to be switched back. A later change altered this "live feed" into a news feed (pretty much identical to the first "news feed" incarnation) and people still complained, although in fairness many complaints were directed at the absence of any form of notification. If you ever needed proof that people are just plain scared of change that they don't understand, check Facebook.

Facebook is home to a number of online games, including the agriculture-based Farmville. Farmville incurred the wrath of white nationalist "Oscar Yeager", owner of the blog "Day of the Rope" (both names are references to books by William Luther Pierce) as eggs laid by black chickens are worth more points than those laid by white chickens. Or, as he puts it, eggs laid by "nigger chickens" are worth more than eggs laid by "Aryan chickens".[3]

Jesus himself endorses Facebook.[4] And, according to The Onion, so does the CIA.[5] However, the Daily Mail has a long running hate-on for Facebook.[6] The Mail's editorial staff thinks it may cause cancer. To see the best, or perhaps worst, of the site, visit

Russia also endorses Facebook for its ability to destroy democracy. Despite President Obama warning about Russian dissemination of fake news on Facebook during the 2016 U.S. presidential election, Zuckerberg[7] ignored the warning.[8] By 2017 Zuckerberg began to own up to Facebook's culpability in Russian interference in the US election,[9] admitting that Russia had purchased more that 3000 Facebook advertisements to influence the 2016 election and to sow racial and religious discord.[10] The Russians used the "Custom Audiences" Facebook tool to target specific messages to specific audiences.[11]

We have a responsibility to protect your data[,] and if we can't then we don't deserve to serve you.
—Mark Zuckerberg[12]

In 2018 it emerged that Cambridge Analytica illegally obtained Facebook data, which it used to sway voters in the 2016 U.S. presidential election towards Trump.[13] Facebook was directly responsible for the data breach, but due to shortcomings in the English legal system, the maximum fine was a pithy £500,000. Facebook makes that amount of cash every five-and-a-half minutes.[14]

Facing increased criticism for Facebook's facilitation of fake news and its influence upon the U.S. 2016 election, Facebook hired a Republican opposition research firm, Definers[15] or the PAC America Rising,[16] to… generate more fake news! The fake news included anti-George Soros fake news, which generally comes off as thinly-veiled antisemitism.[17] This is bizarre, to say the least, because Zuckerberg has controlling interest in Facebook and is himself ethnically Jewish.

Brenton Harrison Tarrant, the Australian allegedly behind the deaths of Muslims in March 2019 in Christchurch, New Zealand, used the Facebook website to live-stream part of the shooting that killed 50 and injured 50 more at Al Noor Mosque and Linwood Islamic Centre.


Google+, Google's third attempt at a social network, was going to revolutionise the way we communicate and interact online, just like Google Wave and Google Buzz did. Google+'s main selling point was that it wasn't Facebook, but its main failing was that it wasn't Facebook. That is, approximately no bugger was on it, despite the artificially-inflated numbers Google claimed for it (e.g., by trying to force everyone on YouTube to have a G+ login). It could be fun if you happened to have enough people you know there.

Like Facebook, it allowed users to organise their friends and contacts into groups so that information could only be shared with certain people; e.g., what you showed your friends would be different to what you let your parents or your work colleagues saw. Unlike Facebook, however, it effectively idiot-proofed this process by forcing users to use the "circles" feature, where friends were grouped (Facebook's "friend list" feature is exactly the same, but optional, so basically the Great Unwashed out there in internet-land don't know it exists). Some people, mostly YouTubers, complained about Google+'s poor layout and botched integration into all kinds of other Google websites,[18][19][20] which may have actually ended up having an impact on Google's later decision to end the forced integration strategy, since it didn't manage to save Google+ after all.[21]

Google+ claimed to no longer enforce the Real Names policy and its jawdroppingly racist effects. (Google is not racist. It just doesn't think actual proper people could have names like Ping[22] or Elaine Yellow Horse[23] and that people whose names don't fit "firstname lastname"[24] or are written in mixed scripts[25] should have their accounts suspended.) So that's nice.

In October 2018, Google announced that it would be shutting down the service due to a bug being discovered that left private profile data exposed,[26] and clearly it didn't have enough users to bother fixing. It was finally shut down on 2 April 2019. G+ is still available to businesses buying Google Apps.


my favorite feature of this site is absolutely no consequences for my opinions sucking ffucking ass and me being 100% wrong about everything

Twitter's CEO is Jack Dorsey, a promoter of diet woo and alt-med.

Currently one of the most popular media for whale enthusiasts and celebrities to embarrass themselves, Twitter expects you to blog in under 140 280[28] characters!! Yeah… doesn't sound so cool when you tell it like it is, does it? Twitter is also popular with journalists.

It's not even that popular, really.[29] Multiply this by the complete lack of meaningful content[30] and you obviously have the makings of the greatest website ever...

Nevertheless, the short, soundbite nature of Twitter and the fact that mobile devices suit these short messages has made it very popular with social networking nerds. Its heavy users are really heavy, often posting, *ahem* "tweeting" dozens of times per day. It is most popular with celebrities or public figures who wish to interact with their fans — many "tweets" are actually posted by the people themselves, rather than managed by PR companies as typically on a relevant Facebook or MySpace profile. Though, to manage the flood of replies and mentions popular accounts may receive, which may include rational critiques or personal abuse, Twitter provides a range of mechanisms to filter out notifications about some replies. These range from the relatively benign, such as filtering out replies from suspiciously simple accounts with no profile picture or that were recently created (targeted at trolls and bots), to the extreme, such as filtering out all replies from people the account does not follow (presumably targeted for use by people who want to live in a hermetically-sealed filter bubble - let's hope no politicians are using this "feature").

BBC technology columnist Bill Thompson raved about the site before it was seriously big, Ben Goldacre once had a spat with Gillian McKeith over a Twitter comment, and Brian Cox likes to constantly rant about science funding (and where his next Wonders filming spree will take him) via the site.

It is also Donald Trump's social network of choice.

"Woofer" was an inevitable jab against Twitter's 140 (seriously, what the arse can you say in 140 characters?!?!) character-limit; the key point of Woofer was that you must have at least 1400 characters to make a post, leading to tl;dr all round — although one Woofer post per day would represent fewer characters and content than most serious Twitter users make in a month.

Twitter has done a thoroughly shitty job of policing itself against trolls, bots and hate campaigns.[31] Twitter admitted to a Senate Intelligence Committee in 2017 that Russian "fake-news" outlet RT purchased "$274,100 to promote 1,823 ads directed at followers of major media outlets" during the 2016 US presidential election,[32] but nonetheless Senator Mark Warner was deeply disappointed by Twitter's presentation to the Committee regarding Russian influence, a presentation that was "inadequate on almost every level".[33]

Nevertheless, Twitter officially bans its users from, for example, "affiliat[ing] with organizations that — whether by their own statements or activity both on and off the platform — use or promote violence against civilians to further their causes".[34]

Alongside Facebook and 8chan, the Christchurch terrorist attacks shooter Brenton Harrison Tarrant had a Twitter account.


Instagram (IG) is a social networking site centered around pictures and videos. It is famous for its requirement that all content must be uploaded from a mobile phone, encouraging photos to be taken "in the moment." It is also known for its previous requirement that all photos be square; however, photos may now be uploaded in any aspect ratio. Instagram also offers filters to make the images appear more beautiful. Content ranges from posed self portraits ("selfies") to nature photography, and some accounts upload Internet memes. It is not uncommon for people to have hundreds or thousands of "followers", and some users make multiple accounts.

People can "like" photos on Instagram with a double tap, and they can leave comments. Users on Instagram often upload for ego boosts and self-importance. People tend to channel only their "best" moments. The site is infamous for making people feel bad about themselves. In short, you're kidding yourself if you think that being addicted to Instagram is any better than being addicted to Facebook or Twitter.


Tumblr is a "microblogging" platform that fits somewhere between Twitter and traditional blogs, with a particular focus on posting photos and short messages, and a "reblog" function that creates nested comments. Over half of Tumblr's users are under 25 and 55% are female, leading some to joke that Tumblr is the "obnoxious young woman" website to go with 4chan and Reddit's "obnoxious young men."

Tumblr attracts various subcultures, including a great many television and movie fandoms, Japanophiles, artists, writers, foodies, hipsters, otherkin, and social justice warriors activists. The latter range the full spectrum from progressive liberals to outright Marxists and anarchists, but are often stereotyped as thin-skinned, judgmental, politically correct to a fault, vindictive, and prone to knee-jerk ("triggered") reactions, with an incomprehensible jargon of postmodern neologisms ("demisexual", "cogitogender", et cetera). Even people who are generally on board with the 2010s progressive/feminist/social justice memepool tend to find some of these folks to be extremists, and agreeing with some of them can range from being a bit of a strain to downright impossible. For this reason, Tumblr frequently comes up as a boogeyman among MRAs and like-minded people, who tend to cherry-pick the most egregious or hypocritical posts and pretend that the Tumblr community has a monolithic userbase. From time to time, these posts end up coming from troll blogs run by the same people mocking Tumblr in the first place.

The aforementioned reblogging system, which makes it difficult to track down post edits and replies to particularly popular posts (and thus corrections, responses, and factual rebuttals), has also led to cases of misinformation spreading like wildfire,[35][36][37][38] which doesn't help the stereotype at all.

In December 2018 its owners announced a ban on adult content (previously it was home to a wide range of porn from the misogynistic to the queer and trans); as a result 30% of users left by March 2019.[39] It had been bought by Yahoo! in 2013 for $1.1 billion dollars, with Verizon merging its internet stuff into Yahoo! in 2017 to form a new company called Oath, later renamed Verizon Media Group. In 2019, Verizon decided to sell Tumblr, with PornHub suggested as a potential buyer, but even reinserting the dick pics probably couldn't save it.[40] In the end, Automattic (the company behind popular blogging platform Wordpress), bought Tumblr for an undisclosed price, but reported by several sources as $3 million dollars (a little under .3% of the original purchase price). [41]

That said, one blog makes it all worth it.


The LiveJournal engine is open source, so anyone can create a fork. It turns out it's rather expensive in terms of server resources and bandwidth, the code has rotted badly, and most sites making the attempt have failed or become notorious for unreliability. DreamWidth was founded by ex-employees of LiveJournal with a mandate to be less stupid and evil than the various owners of LiveJournal and to take care to expand in a sustainable form. So far it's holding out quite well.

They've lured a lot of fanfic authors, as well as members of minorities thanks to their friendly diversity policies. Their extensive work to make the software suck less[42][43] has been adopted by most of the LJ forks.


See: Reddit

In 2012 Reddit was known for having the largest jailbait forum on the internet (not to mention user ViolentAcrez's legendary outing and interview with CNN),[44][45] and in 2014 it was known for celebrity nude leaks and Gamergate.[46][47] Now it's a mixed bag of stupid, angry fascists (r/The_Donald) and rational, decent people.

Praise WOSH![48]


Remember those halcyon days when teenagers didn't want everyone reading their diary?

The English-speaking LiveJournal community is far too full of furries, neopagans, the sort of science fiction fans and role-playing gamers who confuse the difference between in-universe and real life, dragon and vampire wannabes, and other kiddie fantasy-land subculturists. Again, nothing like us. Their mascot is a goat, though, so they got that going for them.

LiveJournal pages are also mirrored and archived by at least two different (probably unauthorized) websites, making it a privacy risk to post anything there (same as with all other social networking sites), regardless of whether you set your LiveJournal account to block search engines from your page - everything will wind up on Google forever anyhow because of these mirror sites.

Though founded in the United States, LiveJournal proved surprisingly popular in Russia, to the point that it has become the standard Russian blog host, with high-profile Russian politicians and authors hosting their personal blogs on the site. The site was bought by a Russian company and Russian users now make up the majority of its base. The English- and Russian-speaking sides of LiveJournal are, for all intents and purposes, separate communities and rarely interact.

It was fine until December 2016, when their servers were relocated to Russia. Five months later, they changed the user agreement to protect the children from teh evil gay menace conform to Russian law, and now, anyone who gets over 3,000 visits to their page in a 24-hour period must reveal their identity, so the Russian law enforcement can imprison re-educate any popular dissenters extremists.


Laughed off as the "Kinkster's Facebook" what many people don't realise is that FetLife is a fully functioning social network site, with many of the functions of Facebook (but not the annoying Farmville spam), with almost 3,000,000 members. In addition, while people wait to see what Diaspora's open-source project is like, FetLife is written entirely in open-source software,[49] which they make freely available on their site. They have also delivered presentations on their software at various conferences.[50]

The site is free to use, relying on advertising revenue and unsolicited subscriptions from its members (supporters receive additional, but non-essential functionality) and actively discourages — indeed has not enabled — meat-market-style searches by age, gender or kink. Unfortunately, their privacy rules make it difficult for people who have been victimized by others within the community to warn people or call out their attackers.[51]

Although it membership has swelled over the past few years, much of this can be attributed to curious "tourists," who have read 'Fifty Shades' and want to see what this is all about. This, of course, pisses off the old guard, who are leaving the site.[52][53]


MySpace (now streamlined to just Myspace, with only one capitalization) was one of the first major social networking websites to hit critical mass and go mainstream. Launched in August 2003, at its peak, it was the most popular, with over 250 million members and described practically as some sort of nation state in its own right.[54] In 2009, however, it was overtaken by Facebook in terms of membership and page views and popularity has steadily declined since, with its ranking on Alexa dropping from its peak in the top 5 to nearly 35 over the course of eighteen months; as of 2017, it has fallen outside the top 3,000.[55] Many think this decline is from Rupert Murdoch's News Corp buying it in 2005. While Facebook was rising dramatically, instead of changing MySpace to be with the times, they squeezed every last penny out of it, making the service like one of those pages full of ads you see when you're one letter off from a popular website. MySpace once required new users to fill in tons of personal info in order to join, info that would then be publicly shared with a million people they didn't know; of course, it was easy to fill in false information, as indeed many did (tons of profiles had their age listed at 69 years old and their income as over a million dollars). Nowadays, all they ask for is your gender, date of birth, and ZIP code. Also, your inbox will be filled with spam and "friend requests" promising you free porn if you add I_LIKE_KID_SEX_4 as your friend.

MySpace was famous for its association with the emo subculture, with a stereotypical profile often featuring emo pop-rock that played as soon as you entered. This auto-play feature could also act as an open invitation for viruses and other malware to just walk straight into your computer. Furthermore, as users had the freedom to heavily customize the layout of their page, most profiles appeared to have lime green text on purple scrolling backgrounds, or something similarly gaudy. Prolonged exposure to this dangerous combination of psychedelic text, whiny music, and potentially fatal HTML errors (even the homepage had enough errors in it to make the W3C lose sleep at night) led to mass defection to rival social network Facebook once it emerged as a viable alternative.

The Washington Post Magazine of March 16, 2008 listed MySpace as obsolescent, alongside such things as cassette tape mixes, rotary dial phones, answering machines, making cigarette ashtrays in kindergarten craft projects, and computer paper with holes in the side. Funny thing, print newspapers were somehow not on their list. Clearly then, MySpace is a thing of the past; after all, the Post is America's Newspaper of Record and would never jump the gun on a thing like this.

Viant, formerly known as Interactive Media Holdings and Specific Media, bought it from News Corp for $35m in 2011.[56] In 2013, MySpace relaunched with a shiny new image and working system. Predictably, despite the several years' work and untold truckloads of dollars poured into the relaunch, it was still shite. Just in a different way. And they pissed off their remaining userbase by deleting most of the old versions' user-generated content. This may be for the better in the long run, though, as it's likely that many former users are secretly glad that all record of their obnoxious teen years has been wiped off the internet.[citation NOT needed]

Its parent company Viant was purchased by Time Inc in 2016, mostly to get control of its user data for advertising purposes, rather than to continue Myspace as a going concern.[56][57] Myspace continued as an internet Mary Celeste, but in 2019 it was reported that its owners had "accidentally" deleted all content uploaded before 2016. Some conspiracy theorists speculated that it was trying to save on server space by deliberately dumping it, but few people cared.[58]


Friendster was the original social networking site, or at least the first one to become really popular. Its peak years were from its founding in 2002 to around mid-2004, when MySpace supplanted it in the US and made it the original joke about a fallen social network.[59] Since then, nearly all of its popularity has been in East and Southeast Asia, where it's evolved into a "social gaming" site (i.e. hive of "free-to-play" games that sucker you with microtransactions).


From the historical record: annoying little chavsWikipedia's W.svg like to announce at high volume who they've just "met" on Bebo whilst using a public library computer.

Bebo was founded in 2005 and in 2008 AOL bought it for $850m, but by then Facebook was already on the rise and its membership plummeted. AOL sold it in 2010, in one of the most embarrassing business fails of a company that's not short of idiocy (remember the AOL-Time Warner merger?). Bebo went bankrupt in 2013, and its founders bought it for $1m (they had personally made $595m from the sale to AOL). Since then it has attempted to reinvent itself as a failed messaging app (wanna Blab, anybody?) and an e-sports hub.[60]


Quora is both a question-and-answer site similar to a more informal version of Stack Exchange and a social media platform. The social media platform is very popular in the United States and India, to such a point where jokes about India being how you become well-known found across the social media or blog-style posters. [61]


You can find RationalWiki Discord server here

Discord is a relatively recent social media platform that has quickly risen in popularity with over 200 million users. Touted as "by gamers, for gamers", it is an online chat client not unlike the IRC chats of old. Users can join various servers that host a wide variety of subjects, from videogames, to tv shows, or even just certain popular subjects. Of course, the intuitiveness of the client means that a lot of servers with... nasty subjects end up popping all over the place, with entire servers dedicated to CP, ATIFA, and many others. The website was utilized heavily by the alt-right and neo-Nazi groups with Unicorn Riot and other outlets such as Montreal Gazette leaking chat logs.

Friends Reunited[edit]

This British site was one of the first social networks, launched in 2000. Initially it focused on allowing people to connect with former schoolmates (and post libellous comments about former teachers) but gradually it added more social network features, while becoming famous/notorious for people (often married people) hooking up with their childhood sweethearts.[62][63] Unlike most social networks, it charged people to contact other users until 2008. It was bought by British commercial TV network ITV in 2005 for £120 million ($208 million), and in 2009 sold to DC Thomson (Scottish publisher of newspapers for elderly people like The Sunday Post and legendary kids comics like The Beano) for £25 million, before shutting in 2016.[64]

Non-English language[edit]


A Russian equivalent of Facebook, VKontakte (or VK) is notable for having cute cartoons to guide you through the sign-up process, and for happily hosting horrifyingly homophobic groups, allowing them a safe and largely unregulated forum to post videos of their exploits. On a side note, VK began enjoying a surge of popularity in America starting around 2013, largely boosted by the attempts of American males to find a Slavic female companion.[65] The network's founder and former CEO, Pavel Durov, is pretty onside with Internet freedoms, but in April 2014, he was fired from the position. Surprisingly, a large number of Israelis use the site. This may be due to the vast Russian diaspora located there. Starting in 2016, VK began seeing an influx of American neo-Nazis, likely due to the lack of censorship.[66]


A Chinese social media site, similar to Facebook, filling the gap in the market caused by the PRC's blocking of Facebook and Twitter in mainland China.


Another Chinese social media giant, roughly equivalent to Twitter. Once tried to ban LGBT content then changed its mind when a ton of people got pissed off.[67]


Used to be South Korea's most popular home-grown social media network until around year 2010. By year 2015, they became so unpopular that they couldn't even able to maintain services considered as their basic function.[1].


Google's first attempt at a social network, Orkut was popular in Brazil and India. However, this wasn't enough, and Google pulled the plug in September 2014.


Japan's answer to Twitter. Lets you build an avatar with their Pigg virtual community where you can talk with other people, and play games.


Get Closer[edit]

Get Closer was an attempt by UK record chain HMV to cash in on the "success" of social networking sites by making people buy stuff. It seemed to be about encouraging you to become "friends" with as much music and films as you can, by making obscure (or not so obscure) connections between them, then buying them from HMV. Funnily enough, it completely died in the arse.[68]


See the main article on this topic: Gab

Gab is a social media network founded by Andrew Torba in August 2016 as an alternative to Twitter that proclaims itself to be for free speech, despite such good intentions it has unfortunately racked up an infamous reputation for being a breeding ground for white supremacists, white nationalists, neo-Nazis, anti-Semites, Holocaust deniers, Islamophobes, cranks, crazy conspiracy theorists, alt-righters, Internet trolls and other unsavory creatures of the web. It was the outlet of choice for the Pittsburgh synagogue shooter Robert Bowers who would go on to kill 11 and injure 6.


See the main article on this topic: PewTube

Created by Anthony Mayfield[69] as an "alt-tech" alternative to YouTube, PewTube was a dumping ground for conspiracy theorists, neo-Nazis, white supremacists/nationalists, and 4chan users. The site shut down in 2018.[70]


See the main article on this topic: BitChute

Created by Ray Vahey[71], also as an "alt-tech" alternative to Youtube, BitChute is notable for using peer-to-peer technology to avoid the high hosting costs of centralized servers streaming video. The site was founded on the principle of being very concerned about "censorship" at mainstream social media sites such as Youtube.[72] Consequently, as you might expect from such a stance, it has become a hot spot for white supremacists, white nationalists, neo-Nazis, anti-Semites, Holocaust deniers, Islamophobes, cranks, crazy conspiracy theorists, alt-righters, Internet trolls and other creatures of the web actually unsavory enough to violate Youtube's content policies. [73] BitChute's official Twitter and Gab accounts are happy to retweet small samples of the content they host, much of which concerns of a lot of complaining about mainstream social media content policies[74], along with various other alt-right political or paranoid-style topics. [75] Due to the proliferation of extremist content (including one arrest as of 2019 for racist advocacy of terrorism made on the platform)[76][77], BitChute has had problems keeping payment providers willing to support working with the site. [78][79]


Diaspora was touted as possible competition for Facebook, by offering a "privacy aware, personally controlled, do-it-all, open source social network."[80][81] Unlike Facebook, which relies on centralised servers paid for by the company's advertising revenue, Diaspora is decentralised so that one could choose which server they use or set up their own. Like e-mail, one could communicate with users of other servers, too. However, it has not seen much success in gaining a big user base, obviously an important thing for a social media service. After its highly successful Kickstarter, one of the four developers committed suicide. As a result Diaspora is a poor shadow of its intended result. In 2012, the original developers apparently concluded that they cannot bear the task of challenging Facebook, and declared Diaspora a "community project" instead[82].


Touted as a "disruptive Facebook alternative" in early 2018, this social network got quite a bit of news coverage while Facebook was suffering from allegations related to Cambridge Analytica. It claims not to use trackers or algorithms, or collect users data (even though it probably does). The company failed to explain how they planned to make money since their subscription service was shown to be unprofitable, but since they also failed to get any customers, this didn't seem to matter much. Other "disruptive Facebook alternatives" floated around during the same period, failing in every way to gain traction or threaten Facebook, even though everyone hates Facebook.[citation NOT needed] Some of the users of its almost empty and supposedly unmonitored network are pretty dodgy, mainly lurking in the private groups.


Ello is the new Next Big Thing since Google+ and Diaspora failed to destroy Facebook. It seems to be based on fanatically idealistic principles, somehow intending to run a social network, with no visible income stream (besides flogging t-shirts) to support it. As the front page of the site states:

Our social network is owned by advertisers.

Every post you share, every friend you make and every link you follow is tracked, recorded and converted into data. Advertisers buy your data so they can show you more ads. You are the product that’s bought and sold.

We believe there is a better way. We believe in audacity. We believe in beauty, simplicity and transparency. We believe that the people who make things and the people who use them should be in partnership.[83]

However, Ello has already pulled one over on Facebook, attracting many members of especially the LGBT community, when Facebook decided to selectively apply their "real names only" policy (which they've since walked back[84]) thereby potentially outing, or worse, many members of the community. Ello's "choose any name you want" policy has become their biggest draw card for the time being.[85]


Voat is a Reddit ripoff alternative founded in 2014 as "a community platform where you can have your say. No censorship". Originally, the website was WhoaVerse by Atif Colo/@Atko and Justin Chastain/PuttItOut prior to its current name. Its name is a portmanteau of goat and vote. The website has seen an influx of former Reddit users not satisfied with how the website is cracking down on hate speech, harassment, and trolling. The website has many racist sections which include but are not limited to: /v/Niggers, /v/NameTheJew, /v/GasTheKikes, /v/IslamHate, /v/IslamUnveiled, /v/HitlerWasRight, /v/altright, /v/Identitarian etc. Voat is one of the websites that make up the "alt-tech" (a cluster of alt-right websites as alternatives to mainstream websites).

Christian networking sites[edit]

At least fourteen Christian networking sites have sprung up, many of which are marketed at Christian-themed versions of popular sites like Pinterest (Godinterest) and YouTube (GodTube). They emphasise their clean, family-friendly nature — which mostly goes only as far as removing "offensive" content.

"If you post a picture on this site, everyone in the picture must be modestly dressed (by our standards), not promoting any sinful activity (drinking, smoking, tatoos, gambling, etc), and not crude in any way (sodomites, abortion pics,[note 2] etc.)," says Big Baptist while Christianblog says: "We have dedicated volunteers who review each and every blog entry to make sure that all content that is posted is family safe and Christian based." — in fact they all say different versions of this, so we won't bore you with minor variations in wording. Of the others, ChristUnion has found an appropriate Biblical quote as its strap — Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ — see, the Bible foretold social networking sites! And therefore, it's true. Ditty Talk allows linking to Myspace, which kind of misses the point. The scarily-named FaithFreaks has "a network of filters and monitors", so they're either control freaks or sound engineers.[note 3] is "heavily monitored" and says It’s not "My" space; It’s "His" space! JCFaith's "about us" page is mysteriously blank, except for phone commercials.

Conservative networking sites[edit]

There are a few conservative social networking site as well. Let's Get This Right promises to link to "100's (sic) of conservative resources" and has forums, some of whose posts get up to an incredible six[86] replies. Tea Party Community is the tea party answer to Facebook. Facebook is full of liberals that just love to report conservative pages and get them removed from Facebook (Despite the fact that conservative pages frequently have a higher number likes than liberal pages. However this is clearly a liberal plot to create a bunch of deep cover liberals that are trying to smear the good name of conservatives through the mud. Just ask any conservative!). Another conservative social network is Connect with Liberty. "ReaganBook" was shut down after the completely predictable deluge of Liberal trolls[87], and came back as "Freedombook", which was invitation only before it fell over and died. An option for mostly gun related talk is


In early 2009, during their quest to split the entire inanimate world into things that cause cancer and things that cure cancer, the Daily Mail ran a story essentially entitled "Facebook causes cancer".[88] somewhere.[note 4] This was based on a report by Dr Aric Sigman in the Journal of the Institute of Biology. Noted science writer, blogger, and columnist Ben Goldacre then refuted the claims, stating that Sigman had selectively quoted his evidence and ignored all the evidence that social networking use had no effect — or even a positive effect — on people's social lives, particularly those suffering from loneliness. Ben later appeared on Newsnight specifically to tear Sigman a new arsehole over the scaremongering.[89]

"Nym wars"[edit]

"Nym wars" — short for "pseudonym wars" — is the term applied to the effort by social networks to end the practice of allowing subscribers to use a screen name that is not their legal one.[90] While Facebook discourages the use of pseudonyms, the nym wars really took off in the summer of 2011 when Google's new social network, Google Plus, prohibited the use of any pseudonyms, and Google employees even suggested that everyone start reporting questionable names. Then, to ensure that this policy was not being abused, Google Plus began aborting accounts with screen names that seemed to be even remotely pseudonymous, e.g. not sounding sufficiently white American.[91] This trashed the site's reputation with its initial seed audience of techies, and may have been the factor that crippled it out the gate.

Google claimed that real names encouraged better social behaviour. This is something people commonly assume about real-name policies — but no-one, including Google, has ever supplied actual evidence of this, rather than personal feeling and assertion. In fact, what evidence there is points the opposite way: South Korea required commenters on sites with over 100,000 users to supply their Resident Registration Number (national identity number), and this reduced malicious comments by ... 0.9%.[92] So if anyone makes this claim, ask for actual evidence: if they provide it, they'll be the first.

Yonatan Zunger from Google described in 2014 what actually happened, and its consequences (particularly in interacting with groups such as Gamergate):[93]

While there was an expectation that people would behave better when their activity was tied to their own identity, as that identity is presumably a highly valuable and non-renewable resource to them, the evidence weighed against it: people seem quite willing to be jerks under their own identities.

In practice, the forced revelation of information makes individual privilege and power more important. When everyone has to play with their cards on the table, so to speak, then people who feel like they can be themselves without consequence do so freely — these generally being people with support groups of like-minded people, and who are neither economically nor physically vulnerable. People who are more vulnerable to consequences use concealment as a method of protection: it makes it possible to speak freely about controversial subjects, or even about any subjects, without fear of harassment.

(A classic experiment which you can easily replicate is to change your profile photo to that of a young woman for a few weeks. Change nothing else, even your name, and see what happens to your interaction pattern. I've seen quite a few people run this test and the results are, shall we say, quite visible)

Every issue Zunger notes there was raised internally at Google before Google+ launched in 2011, and ignored by management who were determined to push through a Real Names policy on no data and no thinking it through.

Social media consultants[edit]

Social media consultants/strategists/experts/gurus help businesses manage their social networking profile. Since creating a Facebook page and Twitter account and then hiring college students to maintain them isn't rocket science, social media consultants often promote their services with hefty doses of bullshit and techno babble. Although not all social media consultants are scammers, the trend of large corporations spending vast amounts of cash in order to establish a social media "presence" has created somewhat of a Gold Rush atmosphere where snake oil merchants flourish.[94][95] Social media consultants may also offer a kind of "digital public relations" service to create buzz, spread stories, and polish their client's reputations, replacing the need for traditional PR agencies.[96]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. Anecdote alert: I have occasionally seen the "groups" feature glitch and display the names and profile pictures of groups that were deleted several years ago (so it's not a local cookies or temp files glitch). Although clicking on them redirects to the main page like with most deleted accounts, there is the uncomfortable possibility that if the titles can still be accessed via a glitch, the content is still in the "recycling bin" even after 3-4 years.
  2. What an "abortion pic" even is is anyone's guess.
  3. of course, most sound engineers are control freaks, but we'll let that pass for now.
  4. I mean, to be fair...


  2. Evil
  4. Jesus's Facebook profile.
  5. "CIA's 'Facebook' Program Dramatically Cut Agency's Cost"
  6. BBC dot.Rory — Facebook v Daily Mail
  7. See the Wikipedia article on Mark Zuckerberg.
  8. Obama tried to give Zuckerberg a wake-up call over fake news on Facebook by Adam Entous et al. (September 24, 2017) The Washington Post.
  9. See the Wikipedia article on Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections.
  10. Russian operatives used Facebook ads to exploit America’s racial and religious divisions by Adam Entous et al. (September 25, 2017) The Washington Post.
  11. Russians took a page from corporate America by using Facebook tool to ID and influence voters by Elizabeth Dwoskin et al. (October 2, 2017 at 8:00 PM) The Washington Post.
  13. See the Wikipedia article on Facebook–Cambridge Analytica data scandal.
  14. Facebook fined for data breaches in Cambridge Analytica scandal: Firm fined £500,000 for lack of transparency and failing to protect users’ information
  15. See the Wikipedia article on Definers Public Affairs.
  16. See the Wikipedia article on America Rising.
  17. Delay, Deny and Deflect: How Facebook's Leaders Fought Through Crisis by Sheera Frenkel (Nov. 14, 2018) The New York Times: "Facebook also used Definers to take on bigger opponents, such as Mr. Soros, a longtime boogeyman to mainstream conservatives and the target of intense anti-Semitic smears on the far right."
  18. A song about it
  19. "So the other day, my other channel was brutally forced into subduing to the wrath that is Google+. They may as well have just brutally fucking murdered the channel, ripped out its arteries and shot it in the back of the fucking head!"
  20. Lol fuk u spodermen ur usin googel+"
  22. My Google+ profile has just been suspended for having an unusual name. (Ping, 23 July 2011). This is where they suspended their own employee because they didn't think his name was white enough.
  26. Google+ is shutting down, and the site's few loyal users are mourning, CNBC
  29. Twitter hype punctured, BBC News
  30. Twitter tweets are 40% 'babble', BBC News
  31. Twitter, what the hell with all the harassment? by Ian Sherr (October 2, 2017 5:00 AM) CNET.
  32. Twitter finds links to hundreds of Russian-backed bot accounts: Facebook wasn't the only platform being used to spread propaganda during the 2016 election by Andrew Tarantola (09.28.17) engaget.
  33. Mark Warner calls Twitter presentation to Intel panel "deeply disappointing" (September 28, 2017, 4:38 PM) CBS News.
  34. "The Twitter Rules". 2018. 
  35. The Sea of Hoax Tumblr blog
  36. The Walking Dead scene mistaken for an actual picture of someone dying during an MRI, originally from ruoloc. Note: correction on actual post not visible in reblog.
  37. "The Statue of Liberty was originally black" myth, naturalbods. See also: Snopes
  38. Movie shot mistaken as a real photo of US war crimes in Vietnam, originally from angerr
  39. After the porn ban, Tumblr users have ditched the platform as promised, The Verge, Mar 14, 2019
  40. Even a Pornhub Acquisition May Not Save Tumblr From Brink of Collapse, Observer, 3 May 2019
  41. Verizon Sells Tumblr for a Bag of Nickels, Motley Fool, 16 Aug 2019
  42. Technical debt and the making of payments on it (denise,, 2011-03-29)
  43. Adding examples to the essay on technical debt (foxfirefey,, 2012-01-01)
  44. Chen, Adrian, "Unmasking Reddit's Violentacrez, The Biggest Troll on the Web", Gakwer (12 October 2012, 4:00P).
  45. Violentacrez on CNN, YouTube 18 October 2012.
  46. Roy, Jessica, "Reddit Made a Ton of Money Off of Those Nude Celebrity Photos". NY Mag (10 September 2014, 1:42 pm).
  47. "Wikileaks wades into #GamerGate, says Nato as corrupt as video games journalism", New Statesman 16 September 2014.
  48. Our Lord and Savior WOSH on Reddit.
  49. FetLife's open source Projects
  50. On-line versions of their presentations
  52. Fifty Shades of Grey poses a threat to online BDSM communities
  53. This BDSM community is furious about 'Fifty Shades of Grey'
  54. August 2003: MySpace, CBS News
  55. Alexa - site info
  56. 56.0 56.1 Time Inc. Buys Myspace Parent Company Viant, Variety, 11 Feb 2016
  57. Time Inc becomes the latest company to buy Myspace by mistake, The Inquirer, 12 Feb 2016
  58. Myspace loses all content uploaded before 2016, The Guardian, 18 March 2019
  59. The Onion. "Internet Archaeologists Find Ruins Of 'Friendster' Civilization."
  60. See the Wikipedia article on Bebo.
  62. Teacher wins damages in Friends Reunited libel case, The Guardian, 21 May 2002
  63. 'I met my wife on Friends Reunited', BBC, 18 Jan 2016
  64. See the Wikipedia article on Friends Reunited.
  65. Ukrainin' Men: How American Men Are Using the Russian Facebook to Find Brides] by Adrien Chen (2012 May 15) Gawker.
  66. American Neo-Nazis Are on Russia's Facebook: To escape Facebook’s crackdown and connect with white-power groups worldwide, U.S.-based extremists are joining VK by Olga Khazan (May 20, 2016) The Atlantic.
  80. Join Diaspora's home page
  81. Facebook alternative Diaspora rolls out first code
  82. Announcement: Diaspora* Will Now Be A Community Project. Archived from the original at, 27 August 2012.
  83. Ello's main page
  86. As of 17 May 2009.
  87. The swift death of ReaganBook, the Facebook for patriots
  88. How using Facebook could raise your risk of cancer
  89. Ben's face halfway through Sigman talking is especially priceless.
  90. Kaste, Martin. "Who Are You, Really? Activists Fight For Pseudonyms", National Public Radio (USA) website, posted 28 September 2011, accessed 29 September 2011.
  91. Ross, Nick. "How much has Facebook just damaged Google Plus?", Australian Broadcasting Corporation website (technology and games blog), posted 14 September 2011, accessed 29 September 2011.
  94. Social media scammers: be careful who you hire
  95. Stephen Baker Beware Social Media Snake Oil Bloomberg Business
  96. Learn Social Media Strategies for Effective Public Relations