Friday, 5 October 2012

HPANWO Facebook Group

Several people have asked me: “Ben, why don’t you set up a HPANWO Facebook group?” I’ve thought about that; after all, almost everybody else seems to have one. But I’ve decided not to for several reasons. Firstly, security: People have often theorized that one day the Powers-that-Be might decide to “pull the plug” on the Internet. I’ve looked into this and I don’t think that’s possible because the Net is so decentralized today. It’s certainly possible to shut down a part of it, or even cut off a large region, temporarily; but to cut off the whole Net for a long period of time would be like trying to paint over the sky! However to offline one website is the easiest thing in the world; Facebook’s owners just have to press a button. Therefore it’s not a good idea to put all our eggs into such a sole precarious basket. I know conspiratorial people who use Facebook for their online life and nothing else! What will they do if there is no Facebook? Also Facebook makes it very easy for intelligence agencies and psychological warfare organizations to monitor, profile and attack conspiratorial users. Sure, they don’t need us all to be on Facebook to do that, but if we spread ourselves out a bit more then it makes their job that bit harder, which is something I want to achieve.

Another reason for not wanting to use Facebook too much is that FB has destroyed much of the traditional website community and especially the “Forumosphere”. In the old days websites had their own in-house forums. Today those forums stand almost empty while most of the discussions go on in FB comments boxes. This is a shame because I love the good old forums. It’s been forgotten that these are sites specifically designed to make discussion easier with sophisticated and ergonomic threaded conversations and easy edit and quote options. The bland and crude functions of FB commenting just don’t compare at all. For these reasons I will not be setting up a HPANWO Facebook group. I will still use FB for socializing, sharing HPANWO publications, answering other people's comments and gathering information, but for nothing else. I still hope to keep the good ol’ fashioned HPANWO Forum alive, see Links column… That’s a hint by the way! If anybody wants to join you’ll be very welcome.

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