Facebook Doesn’t Care about the World Wide Web

In a couple weeks, Facebook will remove the ability to embed Facebook or Instagram posts without registering as a developer. These embeds, made possible through an open standard called oEmbed, have almost certainly been used millions of times. Soon, much of this content will disappear.*

Facebook’s announcement doesn’t include a reason or explanation, but it’s another layer of bricks reinforcing their walled garden of content. When you use Facebook, they control the information you can post. They control who sees it. They control how it can be accessed (only with methods that allow them to track traffic).

The internet is supposed to be free and open. Major social media companies don’t like that, and it’s so frustrating when they wield their power to control information—and people’s attention—so it is more and more concentrated in a single sphere they can extract profit from.

There’s an argument to be made that blogging is dead, but I remain a firm believer in owning my own content and being a global citizen on the open web.

* It’s possible to prevent this by registering for your own token or using someone else’s. The Jetpack plugin for WordPress is enabling a workaround so all sites that opt-in will use the WordPress.com token.

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