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Ephemeral Social Media: Social Networks Up Next?

Discussion in 'Off Topic Chat' started by Haltus Kain, Feb 9, 2015.



  1. I would use an ephemeral social networking website.

  2. I would stick with traditional social networking websites.

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  1. HaltusKain

    HaltusKain Well-Known Member

    Regarding the TOR pedos (ha!), that's a completely different crowd and you know it. As mentioned in the OP, it was initially thought that Snapchat would be a service dominated by sexting and other lewd exchanges - the kinds of things you were adamantly advising against in your initial posts. As it turns out, Snapchat attracted a crowd of very normal people, using it for very normal conversation.

    Small networks aren't a good option because of their very nature of being a small network - where's the appeal in a social network that only has a couple of your friends? Ofc all of them have to start small, and all small ones have the potential to grow; but again the protections offered by Ello are not relevant to the threats our rights are facing in today's world, so I don't see it making that kind of growth.

    Now, being a small network, Ello *could* plausibly give itself a makeover to give itself the tools to actually tackle those threats, and basically become an ephemeral service. Much fewer people would be alienated by the change than if, say, facebook were to do that; and Ello's users are folks who've already shown a desire for better privacy, so the changes would be much more positively received, because that's Ello's market in the first place (again, in contrast to facebook, in which many users would probably rage quit if that was thrust upon them).

    xBLASPHEMICx Member

    It's a different crowd, how? If a major network had a permanent delete feature with time triggered functions do you not think those creepers would flock to it? The same way they flocked to TOR? Anonymity is such a bad thing. People don't walk around hidden behind shrouds offline. Online should evolve to a point where that doesn't occur either. Cyber bullying and cyber terrorism only exist because the idiots who participate in such activities are given such a thick security blanket. When I log on I don't change. I am still myself. I am not empowered or bestowed extra abilities no matter how awesome my avatar or handle are. I think a much better course for big social networks and the web in general would be to work towards dropping the veil. Government issued numbers, like social security numbers, issued and used as a means of user verification. Unique per user. Can only be used once. Don't have a number? Can't use Facebook. During application process you agree to share your data amongst the network you build of family and friends. No different than real life. In return for aggreeing to do that, the network (and government) guarantees certain end user rights. Like no unsolicited surrender of information due to employer inquiry. You are also given the right to completely remove posts/messages you have started. That kind of regulation would not only be useful, it would be game changing. We only have one identity in life, it is not ok to be able to create an endless amount of fake ones online for any reason. It simply is not.
  3. HaltusKain

    HaltusKain Well-Known Member

    You could make a pie with all them apples!

    Was there anything else you wanted to say that's actually on topic, though?

    xBLASPHEMICx Member

    Being condescending is also not ok. Why not try being honest for once and simply admit that you don't like a differing view? A view, I might add, that IS on topic. No matter how many times you try to say I've gone off topic won't make it true. It's kind of sad, really.

    You say a service like what you want doesn't exist, I give you tools to make it happen. You complain because one is mobile. Have browser issue so write off another one.

    These "apples" you seem so fixated on are the groundwork that a system like what you want would have to be built on. Period. Discussing that groundwork, as a full functioning antisocial network like what you want doesn't exist on a large scale yet, is not a bad thing. Nor is it irrelevant.

    I'm beginning to think you're one of those users who actually enjoys being able to hide behind a keyboard. If that is the case and you only want the ability to quickly erase offensive or rude comments you may post while "in the moment" then there's really no point in this thread or this discussion. It has seemed time and again that you mostly want anonymity to be embraced by large networks such as Facebook. That will never happen. User privacy grows every day but it grows in a way that protects said user without giving them the keys to troll heaven. Even if your intentions aren't creepy or disgusting, it doesn't mean others won't be.

    I'm curious, could you write out a list here? A simple list of features your perfect site would have. I'd like to see how many of them individually have already been covered. If there is a majority I've missed then your claims of me not understanding the topic hold water. A straight forward list of options will suffice. Here's an example:

    1. Ability to bulk remove posts by month or year
    2. Non disclosure rights unless it is for law enforcement
    3. No user data collection
    4. No user data distribution to ad marketers
    5. Ability to set time limits on posts

    Like that.
  5. HaltusKain

    HaltusKain Well-Known Member

    Your last post was pretty much a rant on anonymity, which wouldn't be any more the case in an ephemeral network than in existing ones like facebook. No one's mentioned that except for you: your post is an argument against something that none of us are asking for.

    The posts immediately prior to that showed a promising amount of relevance, but then you dipped back into trying to refute something you don't seem to understand.

    As mentioned previously, I'm not trying to be condescending or aggressive or any of that jazz: in my mind, the apples to oranges analogy is far less so than saying it more frankly, like the previous two paragraphs.

    In your opinion, what would be the least offensive way to inform you when you stray off topic?

    If it's any consolation, I feel this is as much (maybe even more so) a failure on my part for the inability to communicate what exactly the topic is. I've never had so much difficulty expressing an idea to someone, so this is a frustrating experience.

    As for a list, sure. Keep in mind that this is not necessarily conclusive - the service doesn't exist at the moment, so part of the intent here is brainstorm what exactly an ephemeral social network should and should not feature.

    1. Designed to limit your "digital footprint". We've put a focus on timers so far, which I personally think would be the best option. The user would be in control of exactly how much time that would be, but with minimums reasonable to social interaction: the goal isn't to make this as extreme as Snapchat or an RSS feed. So, I'd say at least a day or two minimum, but that's something to discuss. Ideally, I think a couple weeks to a month would be a good amount of time for a conversation to be able to fully run its course before self deletion.

      Other options could be something like a refresh system, in which any time a post is liked or commented on etc, a smaller timer (week or so?) would be refreshed, so it wouldn't be deleted ever so long as there's an active discussion going on.

      There are other ways of setting limits for yourself too - and it doesn't have to be any one option; a combination could well be the best route.

    2. Anything permanent in nature would have to be specifically opted into by the user - so, things like an "about me" section and like social network norms, but would be clearly labeled as NOT being ephemeral in nature.

    3. Content wipes, with parameters established by the user. I mentioned earlier something akin to a "panic button" for lack of a better term. Clearing data in an actual panic would ofc not be the primary function; it would more serve as a quick and easy way to clear specific types of content.Anyway, you'd have options like:

      When the "panic button" is pressed...
      [ ] Delete permanent content (about me, avatar, etc)
      [ ] Delete public ephemeral content (posts, likes)
      [ ] Delete private ephemeral content (private messages)
      [ ] Ask me which type of content to delete.
      [ ] Do nothing.

      When your account is logged into from an unrecognized computer...

      When multiple failed attempts are made to log into your account...


      Contemplating the whole employer-demanding-login-info situation, another good option could be the ability to set a second, trigger-password for the account. When used to log in, it would do so successfully, but would also act as a trigger like the events mentioned above. So, when asked by an employer or something, you could give your account name and the trigger-password, so when they log in, they see exactly what you want them to see, and nothing you've chosen to share only with your friends.

      Other triggers could be things like sending a text with "delete" to a designated phone number from a cellphone linked with the ephemeral social network account; or same thing but with an email.

      The more security features like that, the better.

    4. No retention of data unless specified by the user (about me, etc). If a post or conversation is deleted, it is gone for good, not just hidden from that specific user's account.

      On a similar note, if you're tagged in a post, removing the tag will include the option to remove your actual name from the post - so if someone makes a post that says something like "Debating online with @Haltus Kain!" I could remove the tag (Debating online with Haltus Kain!), or entirely remove myself from the post (Debating online with <removed>!).

    5. Since data would not be collected in the first place, there would be none to distribute for ad marketing. However, I'm assuming ads are the main source of revenue for social networks, so perhaps let the user opt in to some marketing polls to show what kind of products they're interested in; until they do so, ads would be random (kinda like how ads on Google accounts work [or at least used to]).

    6. Non disclosure rights unless it is for law enforcement acting specifically in the interest of preventing serious crimes - violence, rape, crimes against children, things of that nature.

      If you post intent to commit or evidence of having committed a serious crime, that post can and should make it to the authorities.

      If you post about having jay-walked or downloaded a music torrent, no one gives a $#!+. Things like that aren't worth the authority's time.

      And before you give a speech about not posting about even petty stuff like that: you are absolutely correct. Posting about having committed ANY crime on a social network is stupid. BUT, there needs to be a line drawn between when it's okay for Big Brother to take a peek at your mail, and when it isn't. IMO, that line should be between serious offenses, and everything else.

    ...I think that's everything that's on the table so far, but again keep in mind that this is very much a brainstorm of a concept; not a complete project. You are also more than welcome to contribute in that way - rather than expressing so vehemently that such a service wouldn't work, why not think up features that would make it - in your opinion - successful?

    Ultimately the intent is to make the experience much more like a face-to-face interaction. In real life, people can have conversations with one another without any fear of what they say having consequences beyond the social scope of the conversation (unless you're some celebrity constantly being followed around by cameras and microphones). Verbally say something stupid or offensive, and there will be social consequences; verbally inform people that you're planning to carry out a school shooting tomorrow, and there's a good chance the cops will be alerted, and that there will be legal consequences.

    You've mentioned a few times that not archiving everything would remove the social aspect... but in verbal conversations, everything you say isn't archived, and it doesn't need to be. Hanging out with your friends isn't somehow rendered 'not social' if the experience isn't being recorded. I don't see why online socializing is any different in that regard.
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2015

    xBLASPHEMICx Member

    Number 3 is pretty much pedo heaven. Flat out. A secondary password to trick employers? Really? What little interest I had in your idea has left the building. You're intentions are not on the up and up at all.
  7. HaltusKain

    HaltusKain Well-Known Member

    You are suspiciously fixated on what is and isn't a good environment for pedos. o_O

    And to that point which I've already addressed several times, including in the OP: folks said the same thing about Snapchat, and that isn't what it's normally used for.

    Criminals will utilize any social network to commit heinous acts. Facebook isn't free from that. Criminal acts shared publicly are addressed by #6.

    Trick employers? No, not trick them. You wouldn't be sending them to fake info, you'd be managing your content in a way that disallows non-participants from viewing your conversations. This is no more 'tricking' anyone than setting a post on facebook to "friends only", assuming that action can work as intended (i.e., not have someone else log in as you and access -as someone other than a friend- content you've chosen to share only with your friends). Those kind of security breaches were not even fathomed when facebook was made; its privacy/security tools are outdated.

    It's like having hired a bunch of real security guards to defend your home; but when a stranger shows up with your key, all the guards just assume its you. You don't see a problem with that?

    As for my intentions, you've been utterly incapable of comprehending them from the get-go, assuming instead that my goal is to cover up lewd or embarrassing posts. If your mind is really so closed that you can't understand the concept of protecting privacy for the sake of protecting privacy (as opposed to protecting privacy for the sake of not getting caught for doing something that you shouldn't), then I'm not sure why you invested any interest in this thread in the first place.

    You've made it crystal clear that this concept is so foreign to you that you simply cannot comprehend it. So, allow me to compare it to something you're more familiar with: We've spent three pages trying to describe an orange to you, and you are still only seeing an apple.
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2015

    xBLASPHEMICx Member

    If an employer asks to login to your account, and the password you provide is one that loads a version of your profile that is in any way different than what you actually use, even if it simply hides liked pages, that's tricking your employer. That isn't privacy. That's dishonesty.

    Your childish attempts to again make it seem like I don't know what this topic is about or that my replies are not on the subject at hand do nothing. You display again and again that because what I've said is not what you want to hear, and worse it's the truth, that something must be wrong with me. That I must be confused. Or not able to comprehend. Both wrong.

    You get passive aggressively defensive because your precious idea is being constantly shot down. I honestly wish you could enjoy a network where you could feel somewhat secure. I even tried to help you make existing networks more to your liking. But that's not what you want, is it? You try to defend being dishonest to an employer. That is so incredibly messed up.

    xBLASPHEMICx Member

    Found another option. This one is created by Facebook itself. Posts delete after 24 hours. You can read about it here.


    It's mobile also, but that's easily the most used platform nowadays so it's understandable. I know, I know. Not what you want. But again, it is an existing option with similar functionality.
  10. HaltusKain

    HaltusKain Well-Known Member

    There's nothing dishonest about not letting a stranger into your home.

    [ the idea expressed in this thread ]

    [ the thing you are "shooting down" ]

    ^Venn diagram. Interpret the ideas within the brackets as circles. Notice they're not overlapping.

    You are so determined to be right that you're inventing things to argue against. I can't have a discussion with that - all I can do is inform you that you're wrong; you're ignorant (which is actually okay); you're choosing not to remedy your ignorance (which is less okay, but to each their own); and you're choosing to argue against things you're ignorant about (which is not okay).

    I appreciate that - I'll check it out. Don't confuse "unwanted" and "that's not what's being discussed in this thread" as synonyms. I'll take whatever tools I can get for today; its functionality does indeed sound similar to what I'm shooting for. But the existence of the candle doesn't mean we shouldn't still strive to create the light bulb.
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2015

    xBLASPHEMICx Member

    I'm not determined to be right. The way I process this is very simple. It has no right or wrong, that is foolish to consider. When police serve a warrant at your home, do you open a magical door that shows them a different version of your home? If that were possible, would you think that it would be alright for people do do that? I know I don't. It should be no different online. Would I let a stranger into my home? No. But my employer? Who pays my wages? Yes, most assuredly I would. I'm not arguing anything. I stated a fact. Number 3 in your list is dishonest. Can't argue that. If your list were presented in a proposal for new features to Facebook, that alone would get it denied. Surely we can agree on that, no?
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2015

    xBLASPHEMICx Member

    I'm keeping an eye out for other apps that do this. As they're not exactly popular it's very slim pickings.
    Haltus Kain likes this.
  13. HaltusKain

    HaltusKain Well-Known Member

    Police don't search your home unless they already have probable cause to believe they'll find evidence of criminal activity - that's what the warrant is for.

    If I've given the authorities reason to do a search, then I deserve what's coming. Altering the state of the house to cover something up would not only be immoral, but illegal, and would probably get me in an even worse legal situation.

    That's not what we're talking about though. If an employer has probable cause to believe I'm a criminal, the process should end there with "sorry, we're going to go forward with other applicants". Employers are wanting in so they can look for that probable cause.

    If a cop asked a judge for a search warrant before having any reason to believe a crime has been committed, that cop would be laughed out of the court room. Why should employers get anything other than that same reaction? Why should they get to snoop around where they're not welcome, as a pre-hire requirement, when cops aren't even allowed to do that in the name of public safety?

    xBLASPHEMICx Member

    Because an employer during the interview process is attempting to establish trust? It's not logical to compare it to a search and seizure. That is a one time thing, reports & arrests filed then done. With a possible employer it's different.

    Pause. Let me also say real quick that I don't think asking to login to my account is ok. View it? Sure. May even add employer. No problem. If I have prior convictions? Then I can understand wanting a deeper look at my day to day activities but any job position where such a steep processing curve is in place is no where someone with an unusual amount of drunken wild posts or questionable content should be.

    That out of the way, I'm still confused as to how you think having a separate password that shows a curated version of your profile to an employer is not dishonest? It actually really is. If you were said employer, is that really how you'd like your relationship with a possible employee to start?

    xBLASPHEMICx Member

  16. HaltusKain

    HaltusKain Well-Known Member

    Violating my privacy is not the best start to that endeavor. I'd hate to see what the new-hire orientation looks like:

    "...and next we'll be doing combination ice-breaker / team building exercise: I'd like you all to pair up, and the person on the left please drop your trousers, bend over, and spread your cheeks; and the person on the right, go ahead and conduct an anal cavity search!"

    I jest ofc - don't take that last bit seriously. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: On an actual serious note though, it's important to consider that the loss of rights isn't a one-and-done process, but more of a "slippery slope". Once causeless searches prior to employment become commonplace, what's next?

    Agreed. In law enforcement, whether it's a search and seizure, search incident to arrest, a pat-down weapons search, a search following extenuating circumstances... any search: the thing they all have in common is that they can't just be done on a whim. An officer can't just knock on your door and say "Hey, it's been a slow day, so instead of patrol, I'm going to look for evidence of a crime here - wait outside, I'm just going to search your home real quick." That would be unconstitutional.

    And cops are sworn to protect us - the intent of the law ultimately boils down to keep you and your property safe. If ANYONE should have the authority to just up and do a search because 'why not', it would be cops. As a nation, we've decided that that's not okay. ...and that's a hell of a lot more justifiable a cause than an employer attempting to gauge how often you post while drunk.

    No problems there - in any of those cases, they're entering as a guest, which is totally acceptable. My issue is when they want to log in as ME. In particular, this gives them access to things like private messages, which is not just a violation of my own privacy, but everyone else involved in the conversations.

    I absolutely don't want my relationship with an employer to start with a privacy violation, but if they're willing to sink to such unethical practices in the first place, then I want to be able to defend myself.

    I'll make another comparison: let's say you've got a really nice bicycle; and despite practicing high levels of security wherever you bring it (locking it in place when not in use) someone comes along and picks or bolt-cuts the lock, and steals your bike.

    Weeks later, you're skimming Craigslist listings in your area, and notice one of a bicycle that looks EXACTLY like the one that was stolen from you. You call the police, but they're tied up with more important things. So you contact the seller and set up a meeting. He gives you a BS story about how he's owned it for years and just needs some extra cash now, yadda yadda. You flip the bike over, and sure enough: the serial number matches the one that was stolen from you - this is your bike. You say "yea, definitely interested, let me just give it a spin real quick to make sure it rides smoothly, and if it does, I'll pay the full asking price."

    So you hop on, and ride it home. YOU STOLE A BIKE!! ...is what you did unethical? I don't think so - it's your f#$%king bike! That @$$hole shouldn't have stolen it from you in the first place.

    So, no, I don't see a problem with deleting private content when someone who that content wasn't made for tries view it by tricking the service into thinking it's you by using your login name and password.

    Could it be a questionable practice in other circumstances? Sure! But in this case? That @$$hole shouldn't be violating your privacy in the first place.

    xBLASPHEMICx Member

    It's still dishonest though. The motivation behind it is irrelevant. Look at it this way for a moment, what you're saying is it's ok to be a thief even if you're thieving your own property. Instead, shouldn't you be saying it's never ok to be a thief? No matter what? There should be no grey area here at all. I do understand your privacy concerns but as long as you have nothing to hide then it's not the end of the world. From my understanding, an employer can request the login but that by no means empowers them to log in whenever they feel like it to stalk your pics and messages. It's honestly a little foolish and narcissistic to assume that would be the case. How can you protect yourself from that kind of invasion? Simple. Turn on session alerts in Facebook. It shows you what devices are logged into your account at any time. That's a part of Facebook right now. Has been for a long time. I'm positive if an employer asks to view your profile it wouldn't be a surrender your login and leave employer alone in office while they look at your stuff. That's silly. It would be cooperative. I don't know what kind of totalitarian overlord employers you're thinking will be running around demanding Facebook and Twitter logins, lol. Aside from session log, you also have the right to simply refuse. It needn't be an invasion issue. Ask employer for his or her login as well. See how they react. If they still demand it, then leave. Not because you have things to hide but because that's really weird.

    If we can eliminate number 3 from your list, the chances of what you're looking for increase greatly. Not from a tiny unknown startup, but from the larger existing networks. Implementation takes time. That Facebook has some active things you're wanting in Slingshot is a step in your direction. Is it the first step or the only step? Only time can tell.
  18. HaltusKain

    HaltusKain Well-Known Member

    Absolutely! In a perfect world, that's where privacy laws come into play (well, in a PERFECT world, we wouldn't need laws in the first place, cuz folks just wouldn't be dicks at every opportunity, but I digress). Unfortunately, that is not our world; especially regarding the internet, our privacy rights are constantly under attack - sometimes our lawmakers have our back, sometimes they don't. It isn't consistent enough to be worthy of our trust, and once they start taking rights away, it's a slippery slope.

    Dangerous words right there. Our rights are an incredibly valuable thing, and should never be given up without a fight.

    It's beyond silly - it's flat out ridiculous. But it's happened. Several states have already passed laws forbidding it from happening again - very very good - but not all of them; and if this issue turns out to be anything like SOPA or the other attacks on our online rights, then it's probably a safe bet that it will resurface in some similar form.

    It's like a freaking hydra: cut its head off, and two more just grow back in its place.

    I do have a right to refuse, but that doesn't necessarily mean I can afford to refuse. It would be a shame to turn down an otherwise great job opportunity due entirely to one unethical pre-employment practice.

    In principle, I would LOVE to be able to tell a prospective employer "I'm sorry, but YOU failed the interview!" and walk out of my own volition upon being faced with an unethical demand like that ...but frankly? I wouldn't have the balls to actually do it - not if it meant losing out on my dream job.

    Well, part of the desire, at least on my part, is to get away from facebook or the other social media big-wigs. They wouldn't take the risk of making that large a change.

    Ultimately it all depends on how much demand builds up for something like this. I'm on board, but most folks aren't yet. Our rights are still in a comfortable-enough state that ditching a long-used social network in favor of a new one with a drastically different design focus... would be more than most are willing to consider.

    If our rights continue to remain under attack, people will start to seek protection from something other than rights in and of themselves - an ephemeral network will shield its users with privacy whether or not they have privacy rights, legally speaking.

    If the attacks let up and our law makers start doing a fantastic job of protecting us - then what we have now works fine, and there will be no reason to change.

    Call me a pessimist, but I don't have high hopes in that regard.

    xBLASPHEMICx Member

    This will be off topic but relevant. Grapes? I dunno. Regarding user rights. There is no governing body accepted by the worldwide user base that could delve out a set of rights. All attempts I've heard of to do so have filed miserably. Even SOPA to a degree tried to establish some kind of ruleset. Do you agree that states should not be allowed (government either on federal level) to pass legislation at all? I think it's horrible to try and force US law upon something that has no borders. US mentality as to what law is, as well. Do you think a group of officials from varying countries could sit down and create a fair set of conduct that not only protects genuine user rights but also allows a level of voluntary transparency? Where once we opt into this newly formed online district, we agree to share a designated amount of information in exchange for varying tiers of protection. Such a thing, to me, would be great. Sadly, that isn't the world we inhabit. Folks lose their minds if a timeline changes design. It'd be a veritable ragnarok of sensitive user groups all demanding justice. For what? Who knows? I'm positive they'd complain, though. Curious what your thoughts are on not only such an organization coming into existence but if you feel it is needed.
  20. HaltusKain

    HaltusKain Well-Known Member

    Things like SOPA do keep getting shot down, but the outcry against them is weaker each time. Again, call me a pessimist, but I really think we're on the path to losing rights that are being taken for granted today.

    As for the highly regulated internet bit... yes, it is off topic, but this thread has become such a fruit basket in that regard, I'm not sure I care at this point. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

    My opinion is pretty much "it depends". Which liberties are to be chopped, in exchange for which securities?

    I mean, anonymity on the web is something that I think does more harm than good - you mentioned earlier having something akin to government issued web ID's, so everything you say could be traced back to you... but, to what extent? Could anyone just click one of my comments on youtube and pull up my address? Hell no I don't want that. If it's accessible only to the authorities, would it actually make a difference in terms of things like trolling or online bullying or the other bits of nastiness of the internet that's actually visible to the majority of us? Or would this be more oriented toward things like smoking out more serious problems like the pedos, which the vast majority of us aren't exposed to in the first place (in other words, we'd be sacrificing some of our liberties, but wouldn't actually see any resulting improvement - we'd just have to assume in good faith that those problems are actually being fixed).

    Another big concern is, with that level of accountability, what happens when someone phishes or hacks their way into you account and posts a death threat or something? Even today, best case scenario that would be a legal hassle; worse case, that could land you in prison. So, with less anonymity, seems like identity theft would become a much more serious problem.

    What guarantees would we have that this governing body would actually do their job ethically, and not turn out to be "the first galactic empire!" of the internet?

    There's a LOT to consider in basically rebuilding the internet.
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