A neutral observer might wonder if Facebook’s attitude to content creators is sustainable. Facebook needs content, obviously, because that’s what the site consists of: content that other people have created. It’s just that it isn’t too keen on anyone apart from Facebook making any money from that content. Over time, that attitude is profoundly destructive to the creative and media industries. Access to an audience – that unprecedented two billion people – is a wonderful thing, but Facebook isn’t in any hurry to help you make money from it. If the content providers all eventually go broke, well, that might not be too much of a problem. There are, for now, lots of willing providers: anyone on Facebook is in a sense working for Facebook, adding value to the company. In 2014, the New York Times did the arithmetic and found that humanity was spending 39,757 collective years on the site, every single day. Jonathan Taplin points out that this is ‘almost fifteen million years of free labour per year’. That was back when it had a mere 1.23 billion users.

John Lanchester on Facebook.

From a much longer and end-to-end excoriating article about, basically, the evils of Facebook. And, like I’m not usually that into the whole “modern technology is ruining our lives!” hand-wringing thing, but… Facebook is kinda evil. And this is a good 101 primer on why.

Incidentally, might I take this opportunity to suggest taking some time to investigate the browser-based privacy tools uBlock Origin and, for advanced users, uMatrix. Oh, and Vanilla Cookie Manager if you’re on Chrome, to boot.