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Third party platforms, and owning your own content


An article from techdirt (via Daring Fireball) about Facebook stopping news being shared in Australia due to the Australian government’s threat to tax their news links got me thinking.

My first thought came when techdirt described Australia’s actions as a:

ridiculous attack on the open internet

I mean, I understand that there’s a fundamental principle of the web at stake here, but I don’t think Facebook could be described as the “open internet”.

My second thought was prompted by this comment:

News companies still have websites. People can still visit those websites.

The drama with Facebook and the Australian government underlines the importance of self reliance; why we shouldn’t depend on third party services like Facebook, Medium, or Twitter with its threads to publish your ideas. Your account could be locked for an accidental breach of terms of service, the platform itself may disappear (although I hear bebo is making a comeback), or some nasty limiting regulation/legislation might be put in place.

Medium in particular has always made me uneasy; I know people that have published some great articles on Medium and, the last I heard, 7 years in, Medium was still not profitable.

Social media and third party platforms should always be a secondary add-on to the central hub of your website.

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