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The highly popular r/technology subreddit has gone offline as part of a 24-hour social media strike.
Started by Wikipedia co-founder Larry Sanger, the strike calls on internet users to boycott all social media on July 4 and 5, but not before posting the #SocialMediaStrike hashtag.
In a post on his blog, Sanger states that the strike’s goal is to push social media giants to give users back “control over our data, privacy, and user experience.”
“Given the last 12 months of revelations about Facebook, Twitter, Google, YouTube, Reddit etc we show solidarity with this position and believe everyone should be aware of their digital rights,” the r/technology subreddit’s administrators wrote.
SOCIAL MEDIA STRIKE INFO TWEET— Larry Sanger (@lsanger) June 30, 2019
"Will you strike?" poll: https://t.co/VIFZEitsow
We are on strike against social media giants abusing our free speech, privacy, and security.— Larry Sanger (@lsanger) July 4, 2019
We demand social media to be decentralized and to control our own data.
My posts today and tomorrow are a protest. I will post about nothing else.
Please join us. #SocialMediaStrike
The tech entrepreneur is also calling on users to sign his Declaration of Digital Independence, which pushes for tech companies to decentralize and protect “free speech, privacy, and security.”
“Humanity has been contemptuously used by vast digital empires,” the declaration states. “Thus it is now necessary to replace these empires with decentralized networks of independent individuals, as in the first decades of the internet.”
Both Facebook and Google, according to Newsweek, declined to comment on the strike, while a Twitter spokesperson also stated: “We don’t have a comment here.”
While it remains unknown what effect the strike will have, the campaign’s hashtag at the time of writing was not trending on any major social media sites.
- Twitter allowed verified user to make anti-Semitic death threats for 3 months
- Alt-right subreddit that used clowns to promote white nationalism has been banned
- Trump claims Twitter is making it hard for people to follow him
- Trump’s tweets will include a warning label if they violate Twitter’s rules
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Mikael Thalen is a tech and security reporter based in Seattle, covering social media, data breaches, hackers, and more.