Faceoff

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Declaration

We took a big nap, and we're groggily waking up in a strange new world. While we slept, billions joined the Internet, but they got shown a different Internet than ever expected - a blue amusement park full of clever HTML5 distractions, games ready to absorb your time and your wallet, and an ever present permission to allow a private company control over all aspects of your culture and your expression. The rules that have risen up are pretty simple: Do whatever you want, until you can't. Talk to anyone you want, as long as we can track it. And don't ever, ever, ever expect to leave intact. And now that we're woken up in this nightmare honky-tonk, we find that massive swaths of culture, expression and interaction are locked away, waiting for the next time we wake up and find rules changed, user interfaces messed with, and endless experimentation upon random swaths of people to see what sells more, to whom, and how to make it even worse.

OK, there's no way Archive Team can download Facebook. Facebook enjoys an input of data unprecedented outside of military and top secret programs. In August of 2012, Facebook itself reported these statistics: [1]

  • 2.5 billion content items shared per day (status updates + wall posts + photos + videos + comments)
  • 2.7 billion Likes per day
  • 300 million photos uploaded per day
  • 100+ petabytes of disk space in one of FB’s largest Hadoop (HDFS) clusters
  • 105 terabytes of data scanned via Hive, Facebook’s Hadoop query language, every 30 minutes
  • 70,000 queries executed on these databases per day
  • 500+ terabytes of new data ingested into the databases every day

So no, Archive Team is not downloading Facebook anytime soon. But we can give the users of Facebook who care enough to stray outside their walled garden something they don't have: A choice.

The FaceOff project is an effort to create a set of libraries and programs to allow a user to absorb their Facebook footprint and have a local or personally-stored copy. Facebook doesn't want to give their users this choice [2] - their export function is an anaemic mess, barely worth the code that was put together to make it seem to work.

We will scope the project, devise solutions, enlist and enumerate other similar efforts underway, and give users who care enough about their online lives the choice of storing their own copy elsewhere.

"Right to Access" for users outside USA/Canada

According to European data protection law every individual has the right to get a copy of all personal data a company holds about him (right to access). This law is in theory also applicable to Facebook: Every user with a residence outside of the US and Canada has a contract with “Facebook Ireland Limited”, based in Dublin, Ireland and has therefore a right to access. In practice, after Facebook was flooded with requests for data, it has created a limited "Download Tool". For more information, see http://www.europe-v-facebook.org/EN/Get_your_Data_/get_your_data_.html

Known Products / Projects of a Similar Nature

Here are projects or efforts that are currently known:

Noncommercial

Commercial

  • SocialSafe - "LOOK AFTER ALL YOUR YESTERDAYS: Create your very own, totally private, digital journal simply by backing up your social networks."
  • SOS Online Backup appears to back up your account, but doesn't seem to allow downloading of said data, just restoring it back to facebook.


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