Dr. Larry Sanger, Wikipedia’s co-founder, is advocating for a protest against big social media.
Dr. Sanger has called for a strike on his blog where he uploaded a “Declaration of Digital Independence.” The protest will last two days, on the fourth and the fifth of July, when social media users are urged not to log into their accounts.
The aim of the 48-hour strike is to call attention to the control social media has over its users’ personal data. The co-founder of the online encyclopedia is hoping that the protest will lead to a universal change of the social media’s practices.
Ultimately, Dr. Sanger is advocating for decentralized networks that are reminiscent of the early beginnings of the Internet.
Earlier this year, he had shared another blog post expressing his primary issue with major social platforms. In the text, he had pointed out that the main problem of social media is centralization.
Sager said that this system allows governments and large corporations to invade our privacy and stifle our autonomy and free speech.
Dr. Sanger has provided a list of reasons for the strike. These include — the discrimination against users based on their political orientation or religion, promotion of controversial content which creates conflict, and unauthorized use of personal data for marketing schemes.
He is inviting all dissatisfied people to join the protest and sign his “Declaration of Digital Independence.”
Dr. Sanger claims that there is a “massive demand for a system in which each of us individually owns our own data.”
He is hoping that big social networks will take notice of the strike and issue statements in response. This way, he says, as many people as possible will learn about the initiative for decentralized networks.
However, some members of the public are skeptical. On social media, there have been comments about the futility of the protest. People seem to think that, since the number of social media users is so massive, the decrease Sanger’s strike could cause would be negligible. Others have mentioned that those who genuinely have an issue with the way social networks are operating do not use the platforms on a daily basis. On Reddit, some believe that “not using the apps is not enough.” Instead, “we should delete them.”