The New York Times Is Not A Fan of Flickr

Facebook Sucks
Facebook Sucks

In the middle of a mostly pointless article about how there is no worthy competitor to Facebook, so why bother leaving, Bryan X. Chen writes:

Remember Flickr? The Yahoo-owned site is the closest thing either [Instagram or Facebook] has to a competitor, and it’s like a graveyard of people’s digital memories before they abandoned it for Facebook and Instagram.

(click here to continue reading Want to #DeleteFacebook? You Can Try – The New York Times.)

Hmm. That is not my experience. Perhaps there are less selfies and photos of one’s meal on Flickr1 but I still spend more quality time on Flickr than either Facebook or Instagram. I haven’t uploaded many photos to Flickr recently (I’ve been updating my curated photo gallery instead – check it out) but for an example, my Flickr photos were viewed 1,760 times yesterday. Not exactly burning up the internet, but much more active than my Instagram account. My complaint about Instagram is that it is intentionally too limiting – you are encouraged to see what is newly uploaded in a constant stream, but keeping up with what people share is futile. With Flickr, one can create thematic albums, limited only by imagination. For instance, I have an album of photos that I’m considering printing for my next gallery show2; an album of bridges; and album called, “Our Crumbling Infrastructure”. Or my “Least Interesting Photos”. Not an Instagram option.

Instagram 8 logo
Instagram 8 logo

Instagram also looks horrible on an iPad, you’d think by now they would have made an iPad version. Flickr looks good on any device. Don’t get me wrong, I have complaints with Flickr, and worry that Verizon3 is going to cut Flickr loose, but compared to Facebook or Instagram, I much prefer Flickr.

Anyway, if you are looking to reduce the amount of personal information Facebook has of yours that they can sell or give away to Robert Mercer’s psych-ops organizations like Cambridge Analytica, here are two articles which do a better job explaining your Facebook options than the NYT does. There are other articles, so not only was the NYT instructions second rate, they also were about a week too late. 

Buzzfeed’s Nicole Nguyen wrote on Tuesday:


But Facebook and its network of apps, including Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp, are important communication lines for a lot of people, so deleting your account might not be a realistic option. You can, however, dial back your use and reduce the amount of information you give the site. Here’s how.


Break your habit and limit your use of the platform.


Just by signing up for the service, you’ve agreed to let Facebook track your activity and constantly collect data about you. By reducing the time you spend on the site, interaction with posts, and content you upload, you are also reducing the amount of data Facebook is gathering from you. And remember, this data collection applies to Facebook — and everywhere you’ve signed in with Facebook, including Facebook-owned Instagram and WhatsApp, as well as, to a lesser extent, third-party websites like Spotify.


Log out of Facebook before browsing the web.


Non-Facebook websites use what’s called the Facebook Pixel, a small piece of JavaScript code that tracks your browsing activity across the web and tells Facebook what you’re looking at when you’re not on Facebook’s site and apps.


Any page that has a Facebook Like button installed most likely uses a Facebook pixel. Even pages that don’t have a Like button can have a pixel. This means it’s possible that Facebook knows most of your web browsing history.



(click here to continue reading If You’re Not Ready To Delete Facebook, Here’s How To Limit The Data You Give It.)

And the EFF4 has good instructions for disabling the Facebook API:


You shouldn’t have to do this. You shouldn’t have to wade through complicated privacy settings in order to ensure that the companies with which you’ve entrusted your personal information are making reasonable, legal efforts to protect it. But Facebook has allowed third parties to violate user privacy on an unprecedented scale, and, while legislators and regulators scramble to understand the implications and put limits in place, users are left with the responsibility to make sure their profiles are properly configured.

Of course, you could choose to leave Facebook entirely, but for many that is not a viable solution. For now, if you’d like keep your data from going through Facebook’s API, you can take control of your privacy settings. Keep in mind that this disables ALL platform apps (like Farmville, Twitter, or Instagram) and you will not be able to log into sites using your Facebook login.

Log into Facebook and visit the App Settings page (or go there manually via the Settings Menu > Apps ).

From the same page, click “Edit” under “Apps Others Use.” Then uncheck the types of information that you don’t want others’ apps to be able to access. For most people reading this post, that will mean unchecking every category. 


(click here to continue reading How To Change Your Facebook Settings To Opt Out of Platform API Sharing | Electronic Frontier Foundation.)

Facebook Apps Others Use
Facebook Apps Others Use – click everything off would be my advice

  1. though, there are plenty of those too []
  2. or to be hung around my house []
  3. its current owner []
  4. Electronic Frontier Foundation []

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