Mario Villalobos

It Starts Here

  • Notes

And by here, I mean my website. By here, I mean my RSS feed in your RSS reader app. By here, I do not mean Twitter or Facebook or Instagram or any other social media company whose purpose is to suck up your content greedily to feed their money making machine without regard to you or your well-being.

It starts here.

My words in my home under my name. I own this—I own all of it—and you should, too. Your words in your home under your name. This is what the internet is, and what the internet should always be, a place by people and for people. No algorithms telling you what you should pay attention to, no corporations shoving their half-baked ideas in your face and telling you to like it, but a place where a shy, weird, nerdy guy can write without restraint and share photos of leaves or whatever.

Recently, Manuel Matuzovic, a very well-respected web developer was banned from Twitter for reasons unknown. In a post on his blog, he describes some of the things he’s lost since his ban. He doesn’t have access to his direct messages anymore, images, or bookmarks, and he even lost access to some sites that used Twitter as the login method. One day, everything was normal and the next, all the years of content he produced on someone else’s website was locked away from him, possibly forever.

Isn’t it somewhat ridiculous that these companies exist because of the content their users produce, content millions of people produce for free, and yet these users own none of it? That they can lose all of it by the whims of someone like Elon Musk? Or Mark Zuckerberg? What kind of living hell is this?

Toward the end of his post, Manuel writes:

If there’s something I’ve learned from this whole thing, it’s that I must be more careful with how and where I share my content. A social media platform should not be the primary source. […] Create everything on my own website and syndicate elsewhere, because you never know what might happen to your content or profile tomorrow.

“Now is a good time to reclaim control over your content,” he concludes.

I agree.

And it starts here.