Take a look at Facebook’s [Annual Revenues](macrotrends.net/stocks/charts/) and [Daily Active Users](statista.com/statistics/346167), you’ll discover something absurd.

Facebook generates about $55/“active user” per year.

Imagine if every city, county, or state put aside $5 per resident towards a cooperatively owned, locally hosted, federated social media platform. We’d beat Facebooks gross-revenue-per-active-user by nearly 10%!


Imagine the impact democratically governed, locally owned and operated, and consciously moderated social media companies could have on the world.

We need Public Social just like we need Public Education.

Well funded, universally available, and operated by people who care deeply about healthy online communities.

@Zee I'm right up the road from Missoula. Thanks for the tip!

@Zee @bhaugen As someone who lives in a place with fairly dysfuntional public schools despite having a supposedly pro-education party with a supermajority, "we need public social like we need public education" has a completely different meaning for me than you probably intend.

I can imagine dysfunctional public schools. My sympathies, and hope that did not bring back bad memories.


@bhaugen @Zee I absolutely hated school, and my mom loved school and just had no comprehension of why I hated it so much. I'm homeschooling my own kids.

@bhaugen @Zee We tried a charter school for the older one but it didn't end up working out. His first grade teacher could not handle having any students who challenged her authority, so they ended up calling my wife multiple times a week to come get him.

@freakazoid @bhaugen I mean, the alternative to public schools are privately operated schools with no accountability.

This doesn't mean public schools are always good; rather they are preferred over an education system which operates at the behest of the wealthy.

@freakazoid @bhaugen I'm curious if the place you grow up with has their tax rates pegged to the sale price of the property? There's a growing body of evidence that such practices resulted in severe underfunding of public services in cities.

Combine that with spillover from the 70s/80s/90s corporate "efficiency" movement that devalued teachers for administrators; we basically gutted our education system.


@freakazoid will give you more relevant answers.

I am very old. Where I grew up had community schools that were highly valued. My mother was a teacher in a one-room all-grades rural school house. My grandpa led the crew that built it.

Not that they were always great experiences for the students....

... and my children who went to city schools in the 1960's had very different experiences, but not too horrible.

@bhaugen @Zee The 50s and 60s was when my mom was in school, though it was in western Massachusetts so time wasn’t the only difference. My dad went to school in the same town but came from a poorer family and had a single mom so ended up joining a gang and getting in a lot of fights. His decision to join the Air Force to avoid getting drafted into the Army and getting sent to Vietnam, then to join IBM and then move to California is how he ended up wealthy.

@bhaugen @Zee The town also had specialized high schools. My mom went to Technical High School, aka “Tech”. My dad was in the trade high school with all the other folks who the administrators didn’t think would go to college.

@bhaugen @Zee Indeed it does. I live in California, which passed such a law through its horrid “initiative” process in 1978. We are the richest state in the country yet have some of the worst schools. But we still have among the highest taxes in the country. I think our horrible public schools have more to do with our dysfunctional state government, though; California has a history of corruption, and the response has been to replace political appointees with committees.

@bhaugen @Zee The California Teachers’ Association is also pretty awful, though not quite as bad as New York’s teachers’ union.

The proximate cause is the way schools here are governed: we have a “shared governance” system here where the teachers, administrators, maintenance staff, school board, and PTA all get a say, which makes it nearly impossible to change anything even as an experiment.

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